1 Do I need a visa? All tourists (excluding Indian, Bangladeshi and Maldivian passport holders) require a visa when visiting Bhutan and must book their holiday through a licensed Bhutanese tour operator or one of their international partners. These operators and partners look after your visa arrangements. How long will it take me to get there? The flight is 5 hours from Singapore, with a 45-minute refuelling stopover in Kolkata, India. Bhutan time is 6 hours ahead of GMT, 2 hours behind Singapore. 2 What’s the money situation? Bhutanese currency is the ngultrum (Nu), which has no coins but only notes. Indian rupees, which are on par with the ngultrum, are also accepted all over Bhutan, except in Rs500 and Rs1000 currency notes. They are also occasionally given as change. ATMs accepting withdrawals using Visa or MasterCard are found in main towns. Major hotels and tourist shops also accept credit cards but travellers’ cheques and cash are the easiest here. between March and May and September and November. Winter in Bhutan is from mid-November to mid-March; at this time of year, the climate is dry and sunny for the most part, with perfect blue sky, and temperatures peaking at around 15 degrees Celsius in the daytime and falling below zero at night. The monsoon usually arrives in mid-June, with light rain falling mainly in the afternoons and evenings. spoken in main towns. Here are some phrases to get you started: Hello Kuzu zangpo la What is your name? Na gi chen ga chi mo? My name is __ Nge gi ming __ een How much? Gademchi mo? Thank you Kadinchey la Yes Ing See you again Log jay gay Is there anything I should know about meeting the locals? A formal greeting is to bow with hands open and outstretched and the palms up. 4 When’s the best time to visit? Bhutan can be visited throughout the year but the best months are 5 What’s the lingo? Dzongkha is Bhutan’s national language. English is commonly 6 3


• There are no

traffic lights in Thimphu, the capital.

• Bhutanese will refuse a gift three

times before accepting it. • Archery is the national sport. • The sale of throughout the country. • Plastic bags have been banned in the country since 1999. • National dress is compulsory for Bhutanese citizens. cigarettes is banned

What’s a must-try dish? Ema datshi , a chilli-and-cheese stew, and jasha maroo , spicy



8 What should I buy as a souvenir? Postage stamps. Bhutan is a philatelist’s dream. Visit the philately counter at the National Post Office at Chang Lam to buy some colourful local stamps or, for a unique a unique souvenir, buy a personalised stamp with your picture on it.


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