8 things you need to know before traveling to Bhutan

Bhutan - the happiest country in the world attracts tourists by its mysterious beauty, beautiful nature, and friendly people.

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If you intend to visit this country, you should learn necessary tourist information such as customs, dress codes, travel expenses.

Self-sufficient Bhutan tourism is not possible

The first thing to know is that you cannot travel to Bhutan on your own as you would to other countries. From applying for a visa to organizing travel, it will have to go through a travel agency in this country. The cost of the tourist visa is around $ 40 and you are issued once you have paid in full for your trip.

Only citizens of India, Maldives, and Bangladesh are exceptions to this rule. Residents of these three countries can book their own flights, means of transportation, and accommodation without going through a tour operator.

You cannot travel to Bhutan by yourself, you must go through a travel agency.

How much budget preparation is enough?

Depending on when you travel, you will have to pay a daily fee of around $ 200 - $ 250 to enter this country. This includes basic meals, accommodation, tours, entrance fees to attractions, guide, and driver hiring costs for the entire duration of your stay.

During the low season (January, February, June, July, August, December) you pay $ 200 per day. In other months, the price goes up to $ 250 per day. This rate applies only if you are traveling in groups of 3 or more; Couples will pay an additional 30 per person per day; Solo tourists are an extra 40 dollars/day. This cost is not cheap, but it is well worth visiting the happiest and most mysterious country in the world.

Airplane to Bhutan

The tour company will usually book flights from DrukAir or Bhutan Air and the flight will land at Bhutan's Paro Airport. A good tip for you to enjoy the beautiful scenery on the plane is, if you fly to Bhutan, choose a seat near the window on the left side of the plane and when flying from Bhutan, choose the right seat to have a great view over the majestic Himalaya. Try to avoid emergency aisle seats or wing-position seats so that you don't prevent viewing outside.

Use of cash is best

You should change money to Ngultrum - the currency of Bhutan before leaving Paro airport to visit places. Cash is the best means of transaction in Bhutan. You can also withdraw money from banks' ATMs here for a fee; however, the cash machine is not much and it is not working properly. Credit cards are slowly being accepted in this country as well, but usually for large transactions and most places charge a fee for card transactions.

You should also prepare tips for the tour guide and driver and should be taken at the end of the trip. If giving tips, put them in an envelope. Hotels and restaurants usually cover a service charge of up to 20%, so no extra tip is required unless you wish.

Bhutanese cuisine

The dish in Bhutan is very spicy and typical is Ema datshi dish made from a mixture of red chili or dried green chili, cheese, and is considered the "national spirit" of this country. Of course, there are also non-spicy dishes and several restaurants that serve dishes that are tailored to the taste of foreigners. Steamed rice, red rice as well as noodles are usually served with every meal.

Ema datshi is the "national spirit" of Bhutan.

The food in Bhutan is very fresh and many restaurants serve fresh, clean food from farm to table. Fresh fruit and vegetables are available. If you get the chance, visit a coffee shop and order a cup of avocado tea made with tea leaves, buttermilk, and salt. It is an extremely interesting and exotic taste.

Prepare to adapt to the weather

Bhutan's weather is notoriously unpredictable. For example, a weather forecast says that the sky is clear, it rains and vice versa. Therefore, you should prepare to adapt to this weather pattern as well as prepare clothes to suit many weather patterns of the day. In particular, if you plan to go hiking, be more prepared as the weather can change quickly at higher altitudes.

Hiking treks in Bhutan give you great views but can also make you get altitude sick if you don't adapt in time. Take aspirin with you to relieve headaches and ask your doctor to see if you can take any medications to help you adjust to the altitude.

Also remember to bring lip balm, sunscreen, and sunglasses when traveling to Bhutan. Because the air here is dry and cold, the wind blows a lot so lips are prone to dryness when you are outdoors a lot, so remember to bring lip balm to take care of your lips. Sunscreen and moisturizer will also protect your skin under the blazing Bhutanese sun.

Please dress politely

Bhutan is a Buddhist country, people wear traditional costumes called Gho and Kira including many layers of cloth on the body. The knee and lower leg can only be revealed by men. Therefore, you should wear polite, discreet clothing when traveling to this country.

Bhutanese people wear traditional clothing.

Wear dresses, pants, and skirts that fall below the knee. Shoes are also important, especially if you are going to be constantly on the road or walking through the woods. It is advisable to have 2 pairs of running shoes, one for everyday travel activities and another for other activities that require more walking.

If you plan to visit a temple, cultural site, or monastery, you will have to cover your arms and legs completely; for women, it is not allowed to leave the open shirt too low below the neck. If you attend a certain festival, wear simple, elegant clothes to show respect.

Please take note when taking pictures

Bring a professional camera to capture the beautiful natural landscapes and traditional architecture of Bhutan. If you are traveling alone, you can bring a selfie stick or tripod to take great photos yourself.

It is important to note that you can take pictures outside of temples, monasteries, but not to take any pictures after you have entered because this is considered extremely disrespectful. It is also possible to take pictures of Bhutanese people's everyday clothing when meeting on the road but ask in advance for their permission to take pictures.

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