6 things to know before visiting Bhutan
The Land of Thunder Dragons is a gorgeous, remote and culturally distinct nation that’s been attracting ever more tourists in recent years. It’s a truly remarkable destination, worthy of all the fuss. But here are six things to know before visiting Bhutan.
1. You can now travel in Bhutan on your own
You no longer need to be accompanied by a guide and driver when travelling within Bhutan.
2. Bhutan's tourist visa is different from others
keeping you safe (even in an already very safe country like Bhutan!) being someone local whom you get to know well and have meaningful conversations with removing any possible stresses to do with admin and navigation translating things for you and facilitating engagements with other locals ensuring you don't miss out on special places and lesser-known experiences!
3. There are behaviours to avoid in Bhutan
You shouldn’t play loud music in public, which includes inside religious sites and national parks. It’s considered impolite to take photos or videos of individuals without first asking their permission. Also, ask for permission from the attending authority before taking any photos or videos inside places like monasteries. You’ll have a tour guide with you at all times who can serve as your translator. In Bhutan, Tuesday is ‘Dry Day’. This means locals don’t drink alcohol on Tuesday. So it would be respectful to avoid alcohol on Tuesdays too. On a similar – though in fact stricter – note, it’s illegal for tobacco to be sold in Bhutan. Tourists can bring cigarettes into the country, but you should only smoke them in designated places. It’s disrespectful to wear revealing clothes when visiting religious sites like monasteries and temples. Also be prepared to take off your shoes in religious sites if requested to do so. The Bhutanese are very eco conscious. If you can, avoid using single-use plastic bottles, cans and the like.
4. Bhutan doesn’t offer micro SIM cards
5. You can get altitude sickness in Bhutan
6. Bhutan’s place names can be confusing