Fast Facts: Bhutan

Below are some of the most common questions from our travelers.

Do I need a passport? What is required for entry?

U.S. citizens must have a passport which is valid for at least six months after your arrival date.

U.S. passport holders must have a visa for entry into Bhutan, which must be obtained through a licensed tour operator such as Friendly Planet. Consult a Bhutan Embassy or the U.S. Dept. of State website for more information.

Booked on one of our packages with Scheduled Dates? We will pre-arrange your travel visa, and the visa fee is included in your tour price.

More information about passports & visas.

What is the weather like?

Although the country expanse is quite small, Bhutanese weather varies from location to location mainly depending upon the elevation. In the North of Bhutan on the borders with Tibet it is perennially covered with snow. In western, central and eastern Bhutan you will mostly experience cold European-like weather. Winter lasts from November to March. Punakha is an exception as it is in a lower valley and summer is pretty hot but winter is pleasant. Southern Bhutan bordering with India is hot and humid with a sub-tropical climate. The monsoon is the determining factor for rain here. Generally, October, November and April to mid-June are the best times to visit Bhutan. Rainfall is at a minimum and temperatures are conducive to active days of sightseeing. There are four distinct seasons similar in their divisions to those of Western Europe. Monsoon season occurs between June and August. Temperatures drop dramatically with increases in altitude. Days are usually very pleasant with clear skies and sunshine. Nights are cold and require heavy woolen clothing, particularly in winter.

Check out the current weather conditions in Bhutan.

Are there any health precautions I should take?

According to the Center for Disease Control, there are no requirements for travel to Bhutan. Mediical clinics and hospitals are located throughout the country, even in the most remote areas. Waterborn diseases such as diarrhea, dysentery, giardia, and typhoid are not uncommon especially during the monsoon season. Altitude sickness can strike at altitudes as low as 2,500m. Be aware of this before embarking on expeditions in the mountains.

Center for Disease Control
World Health Organization

What is the currency?

In Bhutan, the national currency is the Ngultrum. Please review the current exchange rate for the Ngultrum.

Bhutan does not operate an international ATM service, though certain shops specializing in tourist goods accept payment by credit card.

What are the best items to shop for?

Bhutanese handwoven cloth is prized around the world and is a very popular item to purchase in Bhutan. The most famous is the brightly colored Yathra which is made from wool and dyed with natural colors. This material is used in jackets, bags, rugs, and wall hangings. It can be found in various cold areas of Bhutan such as Thimphu but is a specialty of the Jakar area. Dappa are hand made wooden bowls commonly found in the Trashi Yangtse region but can be purchased throughout the country. They tightly fit together making them ideal for carrying cooked food. Bangchung are small woven baskets with two tightly fitting halves. These are found mostly in southern Bhutan but can also be bought throughout the country.

What are the voltage requirements?

220 volts, 50 Hz. Plugs D, F & G. You will need a voltage converter and plug adapter in order to use U.S. appliances. We recommend getting a universal adapter and converter kit. View more information about electrical standards around the world.

Can I take my cell phone?

See our blog post on using your cell phone abroad.