General Info

Currency
The Bhutanese currency is called Ngultrum (Nu.) and is at par with the Indian Rupee and both are used in Bhutan.

1 Nu.(Ngultrum)=100 Ch(Chetrums)

US$ 1=Nu. 60 (approximately)

Foreign currencies can be exchanged at the airport and from Banks. Some major credit cards like the Visa, Master Crad and the American Express are accepted by the bigger hotels and business establishments mostly confined to the bigger town like Thimphu, Paro and Phuntsholing.

Telecommunication
Bhutan is well connected with mobile phone connections and tourists can get temporary sim cards. And most hotels provide free Wifi connections. Bhutan is connected with the LTE, 3G & 2G network of following frequency and if you wish to use the same we recommend you to get a handset which supports the following Frequency:

  • LTE FDD -1800 MHz band
  • UMTS/3G -850 MHz band
  • GSM 900/1800 MHz band

Time Zone
Bhutan has one time zone for the entire country. It is six hours ahead of GMT. Bhutan is 30 minutes ahead of India, one hour behind Thailand, and 15 minutes ahead of Nepal.

Climate
Bhutan has three climate zones- the southern belt that is tropical in nature, the cool and temperate zone of the central part and the alpine region in the north.

Financial Security
Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) is the regulatory authority of the Tourism industry, in particular to frame policy directives, which will ensure the Industry’s healthy growth. As a rule, all monetary transactions must be deposited to TCB’s account and only then the visa is issued. The payment is approved and released to the tour operators after deducting the Government Taxes only after the tour is completed and the standards are met. As such, there is no risk involved while booking your Tours .

Tour Escort
All our Tours are escorted by well trained, knowledgeable guides, trained and certified by the Tourism Council of Bhutan. All the guides speak English but Japanese, French, German and Chinese or for other Nationality, advance well trained guides can be provided with prior information and on additional cost.

Photography
Bhutan is a photographers paradise. The locals are mostly humble and always smiling but if you wish to take their pictures its always nice to ask by gesture if it’s okay to take pictures. Also while visiting Dzongs, monasteries and religious institutions, please follow your guide’s instruction. Photography inside the Dzongs and monuments are not allowed.

Medical and Health
Anyone who enjoys out door life and is physically fit can participate on our treks and tours. How ever some treks maybe rigorous and difficult because of high altitude and therefore a good training of fitness for at least a month at home is required for treks going to an altitude in excess of 4000m. There is no compulsory vaccination for travel to Bhutan. However it is recommended that you be protected against Polio, Tetanus, Typhoid, Cholera, Hepatitis A, Malaria, especially if you are traveling out of Bhutan. If you have heart condition, please check with your doctor to ensure that it is alright to undertake high altitude treks.

Travel Insurance
The costs that we offer do not cover your Travel Insurance. It is imperative that you have full comprehensive insurance cover to protect against unforeseen accidents and mishaps. Such policies are not available in Bhutan. It should adequately cover baggage and travel delays etc. and helicopter evacuation, transportation and medical assistance in case of treks.

Alteration of Itinerary
Chen-Ray Travel & Tours reserves the right to modify or alter any trip itineraries due to circumstances beyond our control such as Flight cancellation, weather condition, political strikes or restrictions etc.

Airport Tax
Airport tax of USD 10.00 per person is payable at the time of departure. It is subject to change.

Customs & Regulations
The Royal Bhutan Customs Rules and regulations strictly prohibit the export of any religious Antiquity or antiques of any type. All personal electronics items – Cameras, Computers and personal electronic equipment may be brought into the country but they must be declared on the customs form provided on arrival at Paro and will be checked on departure. The following are the lists of permitted and prohibited items:

Use/Sell of TOBACCO Products are strictly prohibited in Bhutan.

Free Imported upon Tax

  • 2 Cartons of Cigarettes – subject to 100 percent Customs Duty and 100 percent Sales Tax
  • 2 boxes or 50 pieces of cigar subject to 100 percent Customs Duty and 100 percent Sales Tax
  • 2 bottles of alcoholic spirits – each bottle not larger than one liter
  • 1 bottle of perfume up to 2 ounces
  • 50 grams (1.1 lbs) of Gold
  • 1 kg (2.2 lbs) of Silver
  • Maximum of 10 pieces of clothing whether stitched or unstitched (for gift or sell)
  • Other household or personal goods including electronics and bedding shall be limited to one piece each. Video cameras and photographic equipment can also be freely imported into the country.
  • *Items of gifts and presents shall be included in the above free allowance.
  • Most foreign currency can be imported or exported up to the equivalent of 10,000 USD.

Prohibited

  • Illegal drugs
  • Guns, explosives and ammunition
  • Knives and deadly weapons
  • Plant and plant products
  • Meat and meat products
  • Pets and animals
  • Religious or rare cultural artifacts
  • Hazardous materials
  • Counterfeit money and goods
  • Pornographic material
  • Any other goods which are prohibited by any laws or international conventions or treaties to which Bhutan is a signature

Restricted

  • All arms and ammunition are prohibited from entering the country unless special permission has been granted from the Royal Bhutan Army.
  • Plant and plant materials will require permission from the Ministry of Agriculture before being granted permission to enter the country.
  • Animal and animal products will also require permission from the Ministry of Agriculture to enter the country. All cats, dogs and other pets will also need a travel health certificate clearing the creature of any potential infection or contamination.
  • Wireless and remote sensing telecommunications equipment will need a permit from the Ministry of Information & Communication.