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  Travelling in Bhutan can be done through various modes of transport as per convenience

  • BY AIR-
  • There are 4 airports in Bhutan, out of which 3 are operational and connected with each other.
  • Paro Airport – the only international airport in Bhutan
  • Bathpalathang (Bumthang, in central Bhutan)
  • Gelephu Airport (south Bhutan, near India’s border)
  • Yongphulla Airport (south of Trashigang)
  • One should always check with the airline companies to know the current status of operation before planning.
  •   TAXI-
  • Thimphu, Paro and Phuentsholing have taxis in operation in the cities. The taxis have metres, but they are rarely used. Most of the taxi tariff has been fixed by the government and it is considered a bad thing to bargain. For long distances, taxis charge a flat rate, which can rarely be negotiated.
  • Normally, the charges are as follows-
  • Nu 60 for a local trip in Thimphu, Nu 800 for a full day of travelling, Nu 650 per seat from Thimphu to Phuentsholing, and Nu 2600 for the same distance, but solo use.
  • Most of the taxis seat 4 people and they don’t accept even one extra passenger and you might have to hire another taxi for the same.
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  • CAR-
  • If you plan to drive your own car from India into and around Bhutan, you will need an Indian driver's license to do so. You will have to take a 14-day permit from the Phuentsholing border for the same, for which all documents of your car will be required. An International Driving Permit is not valid in Bhutan. One should be careful while driving, because the roads are narrow and there are no traffic signals or horns.
  • MOTORCYCLE-
  • Some tourists prefer biking through Bhutan. For such biking enthusiasts, trips can be arranged through various organizations like Himalayan Roadrunners or Saffron Road Motorcycle Tours.

   TRAVEL ESSENTIALS

  • All foreign nationals, excluding Indian, Maldivian and Bangladeshi nationals require a visa to enter the country and will have to book their trip through a Bhutanese tour operators or their international partners.
  • If one is entering Bhutan with one’s own car, one needs an Indian drivers license. An International Driving Permit is not valid in Bhutan and one needs a permit for driving, which can be availed from the Phuentsholing border. One needs to carry this at all times when travelling with one’s own vehicle in Bhutan.
  • CURRENCY-
  • The local currency unit is ngultrum (Nu). There are 100 chetrum in one ngultrum, and 60 ngultrum converts to approximately US $1.00. US Dollars are accepted at most tourist areas and there are foreign exchange services available. There are very few ATMs in Bhutan, so most people prefer to carry cash.
  • The Indian Rupee can be used in Bhutan, the Bhutan Monetary Authority doesn’t allow 500 and 1000 Rupee notes to be traded in Bhutan. The Thai Baht cannot be exchanged in Bhutan.
  • TRAVEL INSURANCE-

  • Tourists are advised to have international travel and medical insurance while visiting Bhutan, as Bhutan doesn’t provide it.
  • WATER-

  • It is advisable to carry bottled water while travelling, especially while visiting areas where bottled water isn’t readily available. Tap water and watered down fruit juices should be avoided.
  • MAP-

    A map is considered helpful, although one can always just ask for directions. A list of recommended restaurants and places to visit is always handy.

    CLOTHING-

  • Warm clothes are a necessity when visited northern parts of the country, and an umbrella/ raincoat is also recommended. Formal and appropriate clothing is required during visits to the festivals, the Dzongs and other religious institutions.
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