Bhutan Woman with jewelry
A Local Woman with Ethnic Jewelry

Bhutan is a tiny Buddhist kingdom situated up in the Himalayas Mountains making it very hard to get there. There are usually a few daily flights to and from Bhutan, and this makes it even harder to get there. The best time to visit Bhutan is during early fall. The topography of the place makes it even harder to predict what to expect and so listed below are some tips that will make your trip to Bhutan worthwhile.

1. Carry enough cash:

Costs for tours and accommodation are managed through the partnership of the government and private travel agencies. Minimum daily tariffs are set by government regulators. Even though there are some ATMs, they only serve the local customers. Tipping is discouraged but to get good service you need to tip the service providers. Some shops accept US dollars should you wish to purchase a major item. Local banks do not offer credit card facilities.

2. Travelers cheques:

You should carry well known travelers cheques like American Express, Thomas Cook, Visa, Citibank, or Barclays since most hotels and airports exchange them for cash at a reasonably small fee.

3. Clothing and sun screen:

Mountain Flowers in Bhutan

The altitude is high, and temperatures can drastically vary between the morning hikes and evening strolls in the lower altitude. Heavy clothing is needed for the cold mornings and sunscreen for the sunny afternoons.

4. Make prior travel arrangements:

There are usually few flights in and out of Bhutan and so it is good to make prior travel arrangements with your travel guide. Bhutan has a tough terrain and buses usually spend a lot of time navigating the mountain roads.

5. Visas:

Bhutan, unlike most countries like the US where visitors by air and seas, need to have ESTA visas (Electronic System for Travel Authorization), issue visas only when you arrive in the country. Visas are provided at Paro airport if you are entering Bhutan by air and at Phuentsholing if by road. You must apply through your tour operator in advance to get the visa before travelling.

6. Health and insurance:

Bhutan_Dochu La
Dochu La in Bhutan

It is good to have medical insurance cover before travelling. Bring your clearly labelled medications since sometimes it is hard to get your prescribed medication in Bhutan.

7. Vaccinations:

Travelers to Bhutan need to be vaccinated against major illnesses such as hepatitis A and B, Polio, Typhoid among others. Enquire from the specialized clinics on the required vaccinations.

8. Bring a book, CD player or iPod:

Bhutan_Mantra written on prayer wheels
Prayer Wheels in a Bhutanese Temple

Journeys across the countryside can take a lot of time since the terrain is difficult and so you can pre occupy yourself with a good book or music while on transit. Take a morning walk with local children.For maximum enjoyment of the cultures and tradition of Bhutan, you should plan to wake up early and take a leisurely morning walk with the local children going to school since they are very friendly and curious about any visitors.

10. Visit Bhutan holy places:

Bhutanese temples are amazing places to visit, and you should take some time to admire the artistry, workmanship and the color of the Dzongs. Only artists who are skilled are allowed to paint their religious murals so avoid doing so, but you can take pictures.
Bhutan is a great place to visit especially during early fall, and so people should make this place be in their list of places to visit in the world and these and other many tips will make your stay in Bhutan worthwhile.

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