Do's and Don'ts in Bhutan

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Dos in Bhutan:

  • Although Bhutan welcomes foreigners these days especially for those on their last minute all inclusive holidays, the country is extremely conscious regarding its culture.
  • The greeting in the Bhutanese language Dzonkha for hello is Kuzu Zangpola, and says Tashi Delek for good bye or good luck.
  • All the citizens, except India and Bangladesh, need VISA to enter into Bhutan.
  • VISA should be applied minimum 30 days before you plan to visit Bhutan.
  • One need s Route Permits to travel in Bhutan and this is provided by the Immigration office at Thimphu
  • Either carry Nu (Bhutan's currency) or INR (Indian Rupees).Both is accepted in Bhutan, though 500 and 1000 Indian rupee notes might not be as easily accepted.
  • Use right hand while giving or receiving something. Pass the holy sites keeping them on your right side.
  • US dollars are pretty widely accepted in Bhutan, but you are still advised to exchange some of your currency to Bhutan's currency i.e. ngultrum (Nu) or Indian Rupee for buying small items and for the really remote places. There are not many ATM machines nearby except major cities like Thimphu, where also international ATM/credit cards might or might not work.
  • Do bring MasterCard - NOT Visa or other credit cards. Banks, ATM's will NOT give cash on a Visa credit card in Thimphu or Paro and other areas as well and only a few merchants will take credit cards.

Dont’s in Bhutan:

  • Tobacco is absolutely prohibited in Bhutan. The tourists might use it, but extra care should be taken. Selling or giving tobacco to the locals is also a crime.
  • Make sure you take off your footwear before you enter into any religious place.
  • You are advised to dress discretely and modestly in Bhutan. If you’re visiting any Bhutanese temple (Tsechu), they’d admire you if you wear their national dress gho & kira. Also make some donation to Tsechu.
  • Foreign nationals are not permitted to carry Indian rupees across the border to and from India.

Buying and selling of antiques is strictly forbidden in Bhutan.Don't jump to give toys or treats to children in exchange for photo offers. Locals are careful not to breed a generation of children who beg tourists, as happens - but adults likely will not object out loud out of politeness.

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