Etiquette

Bhutan is a deeply traditional society and certain codes of conduct apply.

  • Visiting temples & monasteries Shoes should be removed before entering any dzong, goemba or religious building. Photography is banned inside chapels, but is usually permitted in temple courtyards. Walk around chortens and shrines in a clockwise direction. Avoid revealing clothing – locals dress modestly so follow their lead.
  • Physical contact It is considered rude to touch anyone on the head, or point your feet towards someone. Shaking hands is becoming common in urban areas, but the traditional Bhutanese greeting is a bow with the arms low and outstretched.
  • Social etiquette When dining with a group of people, wait till everyone has been served before you start. If you offer something to a local person – for example a tip for your guide or driver – it is customary for them to initially decline the offer before they accept.