2 to 3 months before departure: Please complete all your medical check-up and begin any immunization which requires two inoculations.
Make sure you have all the necessary travel documents up to date. Before your departure, please check: Passport is valid for at least another 6 months with appropriate visas.Please photocopy the Picture page of your passport showing number and other information and keep it in a separate place in your baggage, so that in case you lose your passport during the trip, then this will help you expedite in getting a new passport enormously. Money ( cash US$ is very handy). Carry extra 5-7 passport size photos.
Flights: You can fly into Paro, Bhutan and back three times a week from Delhi via Kathmandu and once everyday from Bangkok via Calcutta & Gaya by Druk Air, Royal Bhutan Airlines. Your baggage allowance is 44lbs. (20kg.) Plus your hand carry bag. We will make all your Druk Air reservations and issue tickets from here in Bhutan.
Lost Luggage: Baggage doesn’t get lost very often, but should this unfortunate situation occur, you will be eternally grateful that you are carrying, or better yet wearing, your walking shoes! Make sure that you hand-carry your most irreplaceable things like prescription drugs, important documents, camera, etc.
Clothing and Packing: For Bhutan, guidelines for estimating your lowest temperatures on the trip are noted. Of outmost importance is LAYERED CLOTHING! This means that the majority of your clothing can be worn in layers, so that you can put on more clothing if it is cold or take off layers as it gets warmer. For example, it is much better to wear a T-shirt, cotton shirt (long sleeve), light sweater and windbreaker than to wear one bulky parka. This idea also comes in handy when you are packing and trying to keep under the weight limit.For packing we suggest the following: One carry on bag that will fit under the seat in front of you or in the overhead compartment.We suggest using a duffel bag for Bhutan. Within this bag, you may want to have another duffel or zippered (lockable) bag which you could use to leave behind additional items in Thimphu (if you travel to central Bhutan or go on a trek). Again, remember that this bag can only weigh 44lbs.
Weather in Bhutan: Bhutan enjoys an extremely varied climate which depends on seasons and also on elevation. At the same latitude as northern Florida, USA Bhutan’s temperatures are governed more by altitude than latitude. During the spring and fall, daytime temperatures will be between 50F and 70F. Nighttime temperatures will be between 35 - 40F. At 8000' (Paro, Thimphu and Bumthang) temperatures vary greatly. It will be quite chilly in the mornings - you will want to have a sweater and light jacket available. By 10:00A to noon, it will be warm enough to be comfortable in a light long sleeve or short sleeve shirt. A wind usually develops in the later afternoon and by 4:00PM it will be cool enough to warrant your sweater. Whenever the sun disappears over the surrounding mountains, the temperatures will drop quite rapidly. Therefore, remember to think of layered clothing that can be added or subtracted as the weather warrants.
You can expect some afternoon showers so a light poncho or rain coat is advisable, if you are trekking. Otherwise, umbrellas can be purchased in Thimphu and are more convenient than bringing one from home. You will encounter beautiful weather - but, in regards to mountain climates, is wise to expect the worst and be pleasantly surprised!
Arrival in Bhutan: Upon arrival in Bhutan, you will have your Bhutanese visa stamped in your passport and you will have to pay US$20 as visa fee at that time. (We will fill up your visa forms and get the visa approved prior to your arrival after receiving the passport details and travel dates confirmed from you). The customs officials will ask you to fill out a form detailing your electronics goods like cameras, tape recorders, binoculars etc. The form will be distributed to you in the flight by flight attendants. Upon departure, this list will be checked and you must have these items with you or a penalty will be charged. After the customs and visa clearance, you will be greeted and given a warm welcome to Bhutan by your who will accompany you throughout your time in the Kingdom.
Customs: Please kindly complete the customs from and keep your copy in a safe place as you will be required to present it to the customs official as you exit the Kingdom. Be sure to declare watches, cameras, extra lenses, tape recorders and jewelry. Only small quantities of modest jewelry (if any) are recommended for travel to these areas.
Gifts: Though you will find Bhutan to be rich in spirit and culture, in an economic sense it is quite otherwise. We do not encourage the indiscreet or excessive handing out of gifts as this form of GIVING can be very detrimental to the recipients. For example, candy contributes to tooth decay in areas that saw virtually no cavities decade ago, and which have no dentists even today. Responding to child’s playful request creates a BEGGING psychology where none existed before. This is regretted by the local adults and perpetuates a shallow and stereotypical relationship between local people and foreign visitors.
You will find that your best interaction with the locals comes when you visit with them in ways that come naturally to you - as when visiting another part of your own country. Be creative. Some past travellers have made origami birds for children as a way of starting a conversation. Others have used hand puppets or soap bubbles to "break the ice". Sharing a picture book of your family or the area you live in is always of interest to the people that you visit.
You should try to provide the local people that you encounter with alternative ways of viewing you. Unfortunately, many times "tourists" come through an area bestowing gifts of candy or money, snapping pictures of the curious natives and then disappear back into the bus. This reinforcing of the stereotypical image of westerners as fabulously wealthy and somehow "superior" (in clothing or material possessions), only makes the cultural gap greater. No one wants to be treated as poor creatures deserving your pity or to be looked down upon because their standard of living is different than your own. Try to communicate to people on one on one, equal to equal basis when possible and you will find that your trip will take on an entirely new dimension.
Some times small gifts are appropriate, such as a box of crayons to a local grade-school or a postcard of your city to someone that you have spent some time talking with. Some other suggestions are: postcards or picture books of your city or unique areas of your state, classic and contemporary American paperbacks, small pins commemorating special events or places, felt tip or ballpoint pens, perfume samples, scarves, handkerchiefs. Also, for children: small coloring books, crayons and specially children’s books.Again, do not give gifts indiscriminately and NEVER give out candies or money to children.
Tipping: You may often like to reward good service with a small "tip" for the guide and drivers. One of the best things to give are items of clothing that you may want to leave in Bhutan since it is at the end of your trip. Therefore, sweaters, down vests, jackets etc. that you no longer need and don’t mind parting with are the best gifts as these allow the local guides to use them in the better completion of their jobs (often they wear T-shirts or shirts under their national dress - the GHO).
Time: Bhutan is 14 hours ahead of U.S. Pacific Standard Time and 6 hours ahead of G.M.T.
Electricity: Current is 220 Volts A/C 50 hertz. Wall plugs are normally round, two pronged European type. It is important to bring adapter plugs.
Films : Film is quite expensive (when available) in Bhutan, so bring too much rather too little. You are permitted to bring in as many rolls of film as you wish duty free.
Money Matters: You can exchange currency at Paro Airport, hotels or banks. U.S. Dollars can be used for purchases occasionally. One important thing to keep in mind is that money exchange is not an easily accomplished task in Bhutan. Therefore, if you have the chance to exchange, do it! You may not have chance to do later. Once you leave Thimphu, it is almost impossible. On departure, you are entitled to change back into foreign currency remaining Bhutanese currency, but remember that you must show your stamped exchange certificates to do this.
The exchange rate varies weekly and is roughly 47.15 Bhutanese Ngultrums to 1 US dollar as of 30th Nov, 2015. The units of Bhutanese currency are Ngultrums and Chetrums, with 100 Chetrums equaling 1 Ngultrum. The Ngultrum is tied to the value of the Indian rupee and although there has been a concerted effort on the governments behalf to discourage the use of Indian rupees, they are still acceptable currency in most areas of Bhutan.
Credit Card: All leading credi carrds like American Express or Visa cards are accepted at Bhutan
Shopping: As you know, there are wonderful things to buy in Bhutan - hand woven textiles, some jewelry (gold, silver, coral and turquoise), Thangkas, and woodcarving - to name just a few. There will be many opportunities to purchase items throughout Bhutan. The hotels have gift shops which actually have a good selection of handicrafts and jewelry. There are several shops in Thimphu that also offer a variety of goods - from everyday ready made textiles to some older pieces. Finally, you may have the opportunity to purchase textiles from weavers in their homes (for example in the Bumthang valley). Look around, compare quality and prices before making purchases. There are few places where bargaining is not appropriate, but for the most part in the shops it is way of life. Remember that old thangkas and religious items are forbidden for export if they are more than 100 years old. Certificates are required to prove their younger age if there is any doubt.
Cultural Courtesies: Remember that you are coming as guest of the Kingdom of Bhutan. The current restrictions places on tourists have come from the actions of the past visitors and future rulings will be determined by your actions and the actions of others visiting Bhutan.It is vital that you act in a respectful and considerate manner while in the country. For example: When you visit Buddhist shrines or temples, it is appropriate and a sign of respect to walk around the building in a clockwise direction (so that the structure is to your right side). This is also true for Mani walls (walls built of stone tablets with Buddhist mantras carved on them) and chortens (small Buddhist shrines). NEVER WALK AROUND A TEMPLE OR MANI WALL COUNTERCLOCKWISE! When you are permitted into a temple, remove your shoes and leave them outside. (This is when a heavy pair of wool socks is very beneficial. The floors in the temples are often very cold!). Photography will not be permitted within temples or monasteries. When in doubt, ask your leader or guide weather it is allowed. Always ask permission to photograph people - most often they are very eager and ask for you to send a print to them after you return home. Never point at deities or religious items with your finger. Always use your open hand with the palm up.Using both hands to give or receive signifies that you honor the offering and the recipient or giver.
The accepted form of greeting is "KUZU ZANGPO LA", La being an honorific term added to the end of any sentence to show respect.
More information regarding cultural courtesies will be given during the trip by your guide.
Insurance: The purchase of "medical, baggage and trip cancellation insurance is strong recommended in your home country before the commencement of your journey. Besides reimbursement of non-refundable air tickets, it should also cover the cost of rescue operations by helicopter in the event of an evacuation. However, all local charges must be paid by the client before leaving Bhutan.
Communication with Home: Now the internet connects everybody so easily. No problem for communication in Bhutan.
Transportation in Bhutan: You will be transported in Bhutan by comfortable Toyota Coaster Buses or Private Cars.
Hints & Suggestions: Bring several padlocks. Bring enough to lock together the sipper tabs of each piece of luggage. If you wear glasses or contacts be sure to bring spares. Bring straps for sunglasses so they can hang on your neck and not be lost.Bring journals and pens from home. They are difficult to obtain easily in Bhutan.Best to bring what ever laundry soap, hand soap and shampoo from home (biodegradable, preferably.) Bring extra batteries for every item that is battery operated. (Cameras, flashes, watches etc.)
Holidays in Bhutan:
24th July First Sermon of Lord Buddha
30th July Death Anniversary of 3rd King
22nd SeptemberBlessed Rainy Day
23rd SeptemberThimphu Drubchen (Thimphu only)
27th - 29th SeptemberThimphu Tshechu (3 days)
7th November Descending day of Lord Buddha
11th -13th NovemberHis Majesty's Birth Anniversary
17th December National Day
22nd December Meeting of Nine Evils
2nd January Winter Solstice
14th January Traditional Day of Offering
Food and Water Precautions: Avoid : WATER WHICH HAS NOT BEEN BOILED (e.g., tap water in hotels in Asia). Boiled water is provided in hotel rooms and you can take extra precaution of adding iodine.
Safe to Eat and Drink: BEER, BOTTLED SOFT DRINKS (Coke, Fanta, Limca etc.),BOTTLED WATER,HOT TEA OR COFFEE, CHEESE, FRUITS,COOKED VEGETABLES
About Group Travel: IN A GROUP, CONSIDERATION OF THE OTHER GROUP MEMBERS, PARTICULARLY WITH REGARDS TO PUNCTUALITY, PLAYS IMPORTANT ROLE. Since everyone wants to get as much as possible from the relatively short period available, minutes count. Finding your way to the group’s designated meeting place may take longer than you think, so try to allow for little extra time. If you are like most people, you will return from your trip not only with a wholly new perspective on this part of the world, but with a wonderful new set of friends as well.
Adventure travel trips to such remote areas as Bhutan, seldom run like Swiss clockwork. Inevitably, regardless of our expertise and preplanning, changes in our itinerary will occur. Our challenge in to offer you the most professional "framework" for your travels in this remote area, to handle small changes in the trip efficiently when they arise and to make your time travelling in this fascinating Kingdom as comfortable and rewarding as possible.Your responsibilities are equally as important. Your patience, compassion and kindness to both the local people you come into contact with your fellow travellers can make this trip truly "once in a life time" journey. Make sure to do your par in assuring that you are well prepared for this exciting journey. Apart from the necessities that you will be carrying in your duffel, be sure that you have done some advance reading about Bhutan and most importantly, bring an open mind - ready for a wide range of experiences and situations. We trust that you are looking forward to this exciting journey. Even now, months in advance of your tour, preparations are moving into high gear. Arrangements are being made so that when you and other group members arrive Bhutan, the right combination of staff, vehicles, and activities all contribute to the end goal of helping you get the most out of your trip.
Liability: Kailash Himalaya Trek Pvt. Ltd. Or it’s agent act only as an agent while undertaking tours, transportation, hotel accommodation, guiding and other services. It shall not be responsible or liable for any accident, damage, loss, delay or inconvenience caused in connection with travel facilities arranged by the Company, its employee or agent. All bookings are accepted and executed with utmost care, yet no responsibility is undertaken for any change or deviation on account of factors beyond our control.
Clothing and equipment list: Following list shows suggested items that you should take in the short tour. It covers most of the items that are essential in the tour. It is not necessary you should bring all these. Use your discretion depending upon how long you are planning to be in the mountain and your own past experience in outdoor activities. For a day hike all these are not necessary at all except a daypack and sunglass, perhaps sunhat and a walking stick.
Rucksack or backpack - day pack (waterproof)
Duffel bag or stuff-bag (water proof)- without frame made of nylon or canvas
Sunglass or dark goggles would be better.
Sun hat with brim and woolen hat
Water bottle (1 liter) with good cap
Down jacket, wool shirt and heavy sweater in autumn and early spring trek.
Socks-woolen or pile and cotton (3 pair each)
Gloves or mittens -woolen
Shorts and trousers or skirts. Long Skirts are better for women.
Shirts - cotton long and short sleeved
Shirts - woolen long sleeved
Walking shoe - trek boot are useful in all condition. Running shoes are sufficient in short trek and hike.
Sleeper or sandals - to use at campsite.
Pocket knife ( if you are travelling in airplane, put it inside your check in baggage)
Medical Supply: Sun Lotion , Chapstick, Foot Powder,Bandage and tapes, Moleskin or blister tape Lomotil or medicine for diarrhea, Decongestant medicine, Aspirin, Antiseptic cream Cough syrup, Water purification tablet
We encourage minimum impact on the land as far as possible. The mountain environment is very fragile. It is suffering from deforestation. We should take care right now so our future generation can enjoy the nature later.
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