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Essentials


WHAT TO PACK

The following is a list of what you should pack for your trip to Bhutan: clothes as per the season, sunglasses/spare glasses or contact lenses, a pair of casual shoes, washing kit, shaving kit, towel, hat, umbrella/poncho, walking poles (for hikes and treks),camera, film and accessories, books, maps, insect repellent, hand cream, small sewing kit and safety pins, torch or flash light with spare batteries, mirror, nail clippers, scissors, sun cream, lip balm, soluble aspirin, antiseptic cream, Dramamine, anti-histamine cream, anti-diarrhea pills, and a preparation for the relief of sunburn. You can also bring some energy bars, small hand sanitizers and several pairs of socks.

HEALTH AND MEDICAL INFORMATION

We recommend you to visit your health care or doctor, 4 to 6 weeks before your trip commences to check whether you need any vaccinations or other preventive measures.
There is a reasonably well equipped hospital in the capital of Bhutan, Thimphu, with modern diagnostic facilities such as ultrasound, MRI and CT scan. Outside Thimphu, Bhutanese hospitals provide only basic health care.
You will always find it difficult to acclimatize easily on the high mountain altitudes. Familiarize yourself with the dangers of altitude sickness especially if you are planning to trek in remote areas of Bhutan.
Make sure you have travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad, emergency helicopter evacuation and repatriation services are available but it comes with huge cost of about $4650 in an hour(cost keeps on fluctuating depending on the value of the currency).
If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 112 and ask for an ambulance. You should promptly contact your insurance/medical assistance company, if you would(because we don’t take chances) like to be referred to a medical facility for treatment.

CLOTHING

Due to the mountainous terrain in the country, weather condition is always unpredictable therefore, it is advisable to bring an assortment of clothing. For the cold weather after autumn, clothes with inner lining is always better than a few thick ones, so choose your clothes wisely. Clothes should preferably be made from natural materials, which allows the body to breathe. Although there are normally opportunities to wear shorts, we would advise women to wear skirts or loose trousers. In general, visitors should wear casual clothes like a collared shirt/coat or fleece with long trousers and skirts.

LANGUAGE

The main language spoken nationwide is called Dzongkha, which means the speech from the fortress and it is our national language,we consider English as our secondary language. Having said that we have more than 23 different language spoken in a small country like ours. English is widely spoken and understood throughout the country, in fact all the local shops boards and signs are written in English.

MONEY

Bhutanese unit of currency is the Ngultrum (Nu.), with 100 Chetrums = 1 Ngultrum. The value of Ngultrum is pegged with the value of Indian rupee. Presently, US $ 1 = Nu. 60 (the value keeps on fluctuating as does any other currency). Visitors are advised to carry their money in the form of travelers’ cheques, with a little cash (US dollars) which might be needed for incidental expenses.

ELECTRICITY

In Bhutan, electricity runs at 240 volts, 50 Hz. If you do bring electrical appliances, bring along an international converter kit complete with a set of adapter plugs.

TIME

Bhutan is 6 hours ahead of GMT and 30 minutes ahead of Indian standard time. There is only one time zone throughout the country.

PHOTOGRAPHY

The photography opportunities on all trips are immense. It is said that, you cannot take any bad pictures in Bhutan, provided if you have a good camera with extra batteries and charger. You will wish to take pictures of the local people, their houses and shops, etc. Please always seek your guides help or ask by gesture if it is acceptable to do so or not. And, while visiting religious institutions and Dzong’s you won’t be allowed to take pictures or record a video therefore please make sure you follow your trip leader’s instructions carefully.