Travel Informations Bhutan
Bhutan, a small country known as the land of ‘thundering dragon’ enriched with culture, custom its old traditions which is similar to Tibetans, Bhutan one and only Buddhist kingdom around Himalaya and last bastions of Mahayana Buddhism, against the backdrop of great Himalaya range; Buddhist spirit permeate almost all aspect of Bhutanese culture.
Prayer flags flutter on the hills, temples and Dzong (fort) villages dot the hilly landscapes, and religious festivals are celebrated all the year around.
Bhutan, although a tiny country but full of exciting scenery of rolling hills, enchanting rhododendron, pines and magnolia forest with high eastern Himalayan peaks, enriched with ancient traditions and culture, one of the last Himalayan Shangri-La, where the national flower is Himalayan blue poppy, found in the high altitudes. The national tree is the cypress, which is often associated with religious places. The national bird is the raven, which adorns the royal crown.
It represents the deity Gonpo Jarodonchen, one of the most important guardian deities of Bhutan and the national animal is taken, an extremely rare species of the ovine-carpine family. Found in herds in the high altitudes above 2,500 meters and over, living on a diet of bamboo.
Bhutanese people wear the traditional clothing that has been worn for centuries. Bhutanese men wear a gho, a long robe tied around the waist by a small belt called a kera. A woman’s ankle length dress is called a kira, made from beautifully colored and finely woven fabrics with traditional patterns. Necklaces are fashioned from corals, pearls, turquoise, and the precious agate eye stones which the Bhutanese call ‘tears of the gods’ or dzi beads.
Beside, cultural tour of Bhutan which includes famous historical monasteries and Dzong (Fort palaces) trekking and hike can be done leading to remote areas of Drokpas the Yak herder’s country in the shade of high snow capped mountains.
Travel in Bhutan is restricted by the Government where visitors can enter in a group wise with proper travel agencies of Bhutan, where Treksa Holidays have counterpart agents to make your travel at ease, to minimize the flow of tourist Government of Bhutan allows foreign travelers to spend minimum of US$ 200 per day / per person to make the country sustainable form eco and friendly tourism.
To support your travel in the area chosen in Bhutan we have listed some suggestions and information which will provide you with sustainable help and idea.
For Trekking and Travel which involves some High altitude.
AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness):
Traveling in Bhutan involves some high altitude as per the area chosen and could be strenuous. Travelers with known heart or lung or blood diseases should seek doctor’s advice before booking the trip. It is always advisable to drink at least 3 liters of water every day while on the tour.
Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS):
Depending upon the zone of trekking, AMS might occur is not acclimatized well while trekking in the high Himalayan region, usually the symptom of AMs can be felt above 3,000m with thin air, lack of oxygen from low air pressure. The Rapid Ascend, dehydration and Hypothermia are the cause of the symptom. We have rated three different level of the Altitude Sickness;
The initial symptoms of Acute Mountain Sickness starts with headache, nausea, shortness of breath, fatigue / tiredness, Loss of appetite, disturbance in sleep which is mild a symptoms that will make like hangover / not feeling well. You don’t need to worry much this will take time to heal after a good acclamatsation, this can be avoided after slow ascend or resting into the same elevation.
HAPE – High Altitude Pulmonary Edema:
This second level of the sickness may get water in the lungs with the symptoms of increasing Headache, wish to vomiting or vomiting, diarrhea, Dizziness’, Breathing hard, severe cough (dry or Productive), increasing tiredness/weakness, high pulse, Fatigue while walking, Blueness of the face, Lips, Fingers nails which means inability to circulate the Oxygen into the blood. If these symptoms occur, you shouldn’t ascend higher, take medicine & rest/stay into the same altitude for extra night, if it does not improves, you need to descend into lower elevation.
Hace – High Altitude Cerebral Edema
The final level is a extreme stage of altitude sickness with the symptoms of worsening headache & Vomiting, mental confusion, swelling hand & face, walking like drunk, irritable, unconsciousness or coma. If these serious symptoms appear, you need to get into the hospital as soon as possible either by other possible arrangements.
All the decision is made by the victims and by the leader or guide for
evacuation by any means of quick transportation if possible by helicopter.
Above symptom can be Prevented earlier:
A proper acclimatization before heading higher elevation, not to make Rapid Ascent; not to walk faster and drink plenty of fluid like water.
Listen your body & Let them more comfortable & rest more than usual.
Avoid alcohol, Narcotic Drugs, sleeping pills and smoking.
Drink more fluid 3-4ltrs a day… clean, boiled or treated water/tea/coffee/soup/juice etc.
Do not carry heavy packs, 10 – 12 Kilograms is ok.
Climb higher sleep lower.
Above 3000m, a 300m ascent a day if possible and walk with someone.
The main healer and treatment is Descent, Descent, Descent is the best way of recovering, however there are few medicine which is helpful when suffering; Oxygen, Diamox (Acetomolide) for AMS 125 mg. Before dinner, for sleeping problem if feeling suffocated, Nafedipine for HAPE, Steroids/Dexamethasone for HACE, Hyperbolic Bag – Gamow Bag
Go up slowly with taking your own pace, Don’t let your body in the cold, Do not leave your team member behind unattended, either trekker or porter, Drink plenty of fluids (at least 3 liters per day), Get all information about Altitude Sickness before your trekking tour that will make you confident to make your tour successful.
Depending upon the season of travel and trip chosen as per altitude, Bhutan a small country with varied temperature range from subtropical, alpine to arctic climates in the higher Himalaya Mountains above 4,000 meters.
In addition on booking with Trexmount Ventures we will provide you with much information as per the season of travel in Bhutan.
From October till March, warm clothes such as thermal underwear are required. April till September, light clothes for the day and a warm jacket or a sweater is must for the evenings.
The other recommended items are: personal medical first aid kit, water purification tablets (though mineral water can be bought), toilet & tissue papers, flashlight, comfortable walking shoes, sleeping bag, dust mask, sun hat, sun glasses and sun block cream.
Food and drinks:
Bhutan due to its culture, religion and customs similar to Tibetan, so much of the main foods and cuisine are almost the same with few varied types of meals. It is always handy to carry dry food and biscuits or anything that can be brewed with hot water such as coffee and drinking chocolate.
No prohibition on still and video cameras, tape recorders or radios as long as they are registered with custom officials and are of personal use.
Printed matters considered unsuitable by the Bhutanese Government are prohibited.
It is most advisable that clients should have full insurance against medical and personal accidents.
Booking formalities and visa:
Minimum 2 weeks required booking the trip from Kathmandu to travel in Bhutan , Trexmount Ventures requires advance payments along with the deposit of your passport for visa process and a full payment of the tour should be done. From overseas, at least 2 weeks with all your personal and passport details are required with payment required as per the company’s rules and regulations.
Equipments & Packing:
The main necessary and important that one needs to prepare with seasonal clothing and the trip selected with Bhutan varied climate as per seasons.
If you are doing trekking and going above 3000m you need warm clothing all year round.
Clothing list (especially for trekking)
Woolen tops, baseball caps or sunhats.
Body wear (this all required on your duration of Holiday):
Please bring all your necessary daily wear as per the duration of the holidays in Bhutan / Nepal and as per the season regarding clothing and other wear Trexmount Ventures will supply you with clothing list if necessary before trip departure to Nepal and Bhutan.
For normal tours and sightseeing a runners and sports shoes is the best, as this involves short walks and climbing on steps also.
For Trekking it obvious that you need a good comfortable walking boots if possible water proof (wax polish to be carried on other leather boots and shoes against wet areas and snow) with warm woolen shocks and for leisure walk soft cotton socks.
Daypack: A small rucksack as day to carry your necessary and valuable items; camera, water bottle, money, passport, towel, toiletries items, water proof for the walk and Sleeping Bags and walking poles as options.
Camera and batteries, spare passport photos, water bottle, money belt, Torch / Flash Lights, Sewing kit, Sunhat/ Sunglasses, Ipods, Books, Wet Ones, Detergents to wash clothes, Writing materials, Swiss Army knife, Calculator, Personal toiletries, including tampons, Contraceptives, Insect Repellent, Sunscreen.
If you are wearing glasses, it is advisable to bring a spare pair since opticians are few on route trekking traveling remote areas.
If you wear contact lenses you may find that climatic changes and dust can create visual irritation, therefore, it is advisable to bring a pair of glasses.
Your doctor might suggest you while traveling in Asia or any 3rd world countries, as in Nepal / Bhutan vaccinations are not compulsory unless coming from a yellow fever infected region but we do recommend you are covered for: *diphtheria & TB, hepatitis A, *hepatitis B, *malaria, typhoid, polio and tetanus. NB* a Yellow Fever certificate is required if arriving from infected areas.
For traveling in the countryside and remote areas, immune globulin is also recommended to combat hepatitis A. We advise you to bring along a supply of antibiotics, an anti-diarrhea agent, and any other prescription drugs required by your current medical conditions.
Vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed before departure.
You may need additional inoculations so please contact your GP or a travel medical centre for further information. Please consult your doctor for up-to-date information and prescriptions for vaccinations, anti-malarial requirements and any reasonably foreseeable illnesses whilst traveling into Asia.
Please don’t forget check up with your Doctor & get advice whether your health permit or not to go into the region.
We also recommend:
A dental check-up prior to traveling, you know your blood group in case of emergency and to send your medical / dietary lists.
If you have any pre-existing medical conditions which might affect you on tour, you make these known to your Travel Agent at the time of your booking
In every trip we do provide with essential comprehensive medical kits however you may carry your own medical kits as per your doctor’s recommendations.
List of some recommended items:
Band Aids / Bandages, laxatives, upset stomach remedy, anti-diarrhea remedy, Panadol /Aspirin, rehydration remedy, antiseptic cream/powder, sterile.
The Bhutanese currency is the ngultrum, which is pegged to the Indian rupee and thus trades with the currency. There are no coins, and you can expect to be handed wads of cash. The smallest note is for 1-ngultrum, and it’s worth only about $0.02 USD. As of April 2013, USD1 is equivalent to about 53 ngultrum if you are using USD50 or USD100 notes. Please take note that USD50 and USD100 notes are given a better exchange rate than USD20 notes or lesser. The smaller USD notes fetch about 5% less.
If you plan to bring $100 U.S. notes be aware that the banks in Bhutan do not accept notes printed in 1996 does to counterfeiting that took place in that year. So go through your notes carefully–also, no tears, ink marks, staple holes etc.
Bhutan is a cash economy! Visa and Master card are not accepted at smaller shops, but bigger shops and some hotels accept Master card. There is an American Express office in the capital, and Amex is accepted in a few rare instances. More important, an Amex office means you can get your travelers’ checks replaced if necessary.
If you bring in cash, best option is to change dollars or whatever you bring into ngultrums at the airport. The exchange rate is the same as in the banks in town. Keep in mind that banks get much harder to find outside the capital. You can also change your money at the hotels in Thimphu, but the rate is not as good.
For a stay of two weeks 100-150$ will cover your expenses, inclusive drinks with meals, and some souvenirs. However, this will certainly not be enough to cover tips.
In most of the world, currency exchange is a fairly straightforward process. In Thimphu, it involves several lines and just waiting around until you’re called. Do not be surprised if you invest more than 30 minutes just exchanging money. It’s best to avoid doing this more than once, so get what you need the first time. Another way of avoiding long waiting times is to ask your guide to assist in changing money. Since you are arranging your tour with a local tour company ask them to bring an envelope to the airport with $100 U.S. in ngultrum and exchange that for a crisp $100 note and you’re all set. Locals do not have to give their passport details, etc and thus save time.
If you go, you’ll mainly need money for some beautiful handcrafted souvenirs. The philatelic bureau also sells some nifty stamps in Thimphu. Everything else is included in the price of the tour, from meals to hotels to gasoline, so it’s best not to get too much money at the bank. You may find yourself with souvenir cash later.
Because Indian money trades at par with the ngultrum, rupees are generally accepted in Bhutan and may be occasionally given as change. But since 2012 there have been shortages of Rupee notes due to Bhutan’s high import economy so if you can, bring and spend Rupees–you will be doing your guide and driver a big favor.
In Bhutan most places have tourist standard facilities depending upon the choices, as we have put a lot of effort into locating the most appropriate type of accommodation for each tour.
It will always be clean and hygienic, comfortable and of a very high standard. Accommodation for Bhutan trips is in a combination of good standard tourist class hotels and Guest Houses in the Treks operated by the local people, which offer Twin Sharing accommodations, please be prepared for the common Bathrooms.
If you wish to spend a few additional days in your start city before the departure of your tour, then we can arrange accommodation for you. On the last day of the tour we usually arrive at our final destination in the late afternoon, when the tour ends. If you would like to book accommodation for that night or even stay additional nights, we will be more than happy to arrange this for you as well. All our accommodation is carefully chosen, conveniently located, clean and comfortable.
Travel / Medical Insurance:
Travel / Medical insurance a compulsory in all Trexmount Ventures trips, all clients MUST be insured to cover personal accident, medical expenses, cancellation, curtailment and repatriation. Please Note you should check that your insurance policy is adequate for Trekking & Tours in Tibet.
Tipping & Bargaining:
Tipping in Bhutan is not compulsory but it is a way of traditions handed by earlier visitors this might be expected by the guides, porters and Tour Driver, any gratuities for good service will be gratefully accepted at the end of the tour.
Bargaining is kind of culture, especially in markets when hiring the Local Vehicles, Buying the Jewelries and Local Clothing.
Arriving in Bhutan & Transfers:
Before you depart for Bhutan please send us your flight details so that we can arrange a complementary transport from the airport to the hotel in Kathmandu, where our staff and representative will have a sign board with “Trexmount Ventures “, please look for it when reaching outside the main terminal, please note our phone numbers if incase of flight delay and change in time & Schedule or if you don’t see our Sign Board on your arrival in case of emergency:
Please notify on these + 977- 1- 4701237, 4701238, 4701239 or Cell: 9851058054
Please be aware of hawkers at the airport who will try to carry your bags for you and direct you to specific guesthouses. Please carry your own luggage and “don’t give any money who ever ask for it”. Luggage
Standard commercial airline baggage restrictions apply. Usually this is 20 kg for economy passengers and one piece of carry-on luggage. It is advisable to check with your airline before traveling.
You might be tempted to buy a few souvenirs here and there, so leave a little room for those extra purchases!
Your passport is a valuable document and you should exercise extreme care in keeping it safe. We recommend that you keep your passport on you at all times, preferably in a money belt that is worn under your clothing. We advise that you take copies of relevant pages in your passport and any visas that you may purchase in case of loss or damage. Your tour leader will require your passport details at the pre-departure meeting. Again, we recommend that you have a photocopy of your passport details, kept separate. Your passport must be valid for six months after the END of your tour, and must have one blank page for each country to be visited.
All Travelers except Indian residents requires visa, to obtain the visa at 20 days prior to date of entry into Bhutan with PP details and photo’s.
Visa only service is not entertained in Bhutan one should have to join for full tour package services from local tour operator which includes guide, accommodations, food, tours and transportation.
Visa fee of US$ 40 (increased from Jan 2013 AD) which is mostly included in the trip package.
Guests require multiple entry visas for India, Nepal if they are traveling to Bhutan and back to India or Nepal.
Traveling into Bhutan must be obtained from Nepal through Bhutan counterpart agents. Please note that; Once the visa is issued, it will not be amended, revalidated and visa fees will not be refunded.
Tourism Council of Bhutan issues visa clearance which will be e-mailed or Fax to your local travel agents to Bhutan and to Trexmount Ventures. Travelers are required to produce visa clearance copy at the time of check in for Druk Air flight, entering by overland must produce Visa clearance letter at the entry point.
Actual Visa is stamped at passport on arrival in Bhutan.
To enter Bhutan, foreigners are issued with Entry Permit valid for Thimphu and Paro only. Rest of the Bhutan considered as restricted area, and foreign travelers requires special permits to enter immigration checkpoints located at main / major junction around the country.
Do not take unnecessary valuables with you, a money belt, or similar, worn close to your body is the best way to carry passports, airline tickets, money and other Valuables.
Do Not leave any valuables in hotel rooms, please use SAFETY DEPOSIT BOXES in the Hotel. Items are left at the individual’s risk.
Pickpockets are not common in Tibet but it can happen, especially in tourist areas and in crowded markets; you must always exercise care.
Be aware that anything left lying around will also be liable to theft.
Departure Tax: International Flight departure taxes are included in your flight ticket from Nepal. However If you are flying with in the country, there are some departure tax inclusive with air tickets.
Time Zone: Bhutan Greenwich Mean Time (GMT + 5:30 Hours).
The year is divided into 4 different seasons in Bhutan – winter, spring, summer and autumn. The best period to visit the country for plant lovers is during spring when the flowers are in full bloom. The mountain slopes are covered with beautiful and colorful flowers. Spring season commences from early March and continues until late May. Even though the days are clear haze disturbs the mountain views. Late May, and the downpour begins. It continues till late August. Come September and the autumn season begins. It continues till late November. With temperate climate, clear blue skies and extraordinary mountain views it is the best season to visit the country. Winter begins in late November and continues till late February.
Incase of any cancellation of the tour prior to departure, a cancellation policy as per the company’s rules and regulation shall be applied.
Risk and Liability: Tibet tours are run strictly under BHUTAN TOURISM BUREAU, we or our agents shall not be responsible for any changes or cancellation of the programs due to road blockade, cancellation of flight, sickness or accident, political unrest etc. Any extras cost thereof shall be borne by the clients.
Package cost includes:
Flight fare Kathmandu-Bhutan -Kathmandu, hotel/guest house accommodation on full board basis, sightseeing tour as per the itinerary, An English speaking guide, transportation by private vehicle during the tour and monastery entrance fee.
Nepal / Bhutan visa and entry fees, International airfare beside flight to Bhutan and back to Kathmandu, personal medical / travel insurance, emergency evacuation or any charges in case, if required, expenses of personal nature etc.
Electricity in Bhutan is 230 volts AC, 50 cycles. We do have two pins & 3 pins power sockets, you better to have two Pin travel plug adepter which will be useful to charge your batteries.
Anyone discovered in possession of any such drugs, will be asked to leave the tour immediately without question or refund.
You should not drink the water from the tap in Bhutan because of bacteria.
You can either use water purification or buy the bottle of water. Now a day, some people are bringing their own water filter which is very impressive & useful.
Photography is important part of the holiday that carries the memory of holiday in the photos. Please remember, we are guests in the countries through which we travel and we may sometimes inadvertently cause offence by taking photographs without first asking permission. It is absolutely forbidden by law to take photos at any borders, as they are all active military installation.
Ciltron Garden 495, Thamel Kathmandu, Nepal Phone: +977-1-4701238 | 4701239 | Fax : +977-1-4701237 Email :email@example.com | Url : http://www.nepalholidayinfo.com
This tour is operated by Trexmount Ventures. Information provided in all brochures, leaflets and dossiers is offered in good faith by the company, based on the latest information available with update while in publication.