Bhutan

Quick Facts

Region: Himalaya

Population:
691,141

Religion:

Bhutan’s official religion is Drukpa Kagyu, a school of tantric Mahayana Buddhism. Buddhism is practised throughout the country, however, in the south, people of Nepali and Indian descent practice Hinduism.

Language:

Bhutan's official language is Dzongkha. Given the geographic isolation of many of Bhutan's highland villages, it is not surprising that a number of different dialects have survived.

Area (sq. km):
47,000 square meters

Time:

Bhutan is 6 hours ahead of GMT, 15 minutes ahead of Nepal and 30 ahead of India.

When To Travel

Bhutan's climate ranges from tropical in the south, to temperate in the centre of the country, to cold in the north, and like much of your adventure in the Himalayas it will be quite unpredictable. The weather can vary dramatically from place to place, from day to day or within the same day. In the Thimphu and Paro valleys, the winter daytime temperature averages 60 degrees Fahrenheit during clear winter days but drops well below freezing during the night. Mid December to early January can be a beautifully clear and dry time in Western Bhutan. Late December through mid February is the period of heaviest snow fall in the higher elevations Spring in Bhutan is a truly spectacular time. Autumn (late September through November) is usually very mild and clear. The autumn colours surround and the sky is usually at its clearest, affording magnificent views of the Himalaya range.

Useful Travel Facts

Telephone:

The internationl dialling code is +975. You can make international calls from Thimphu and Paro.

Electricity:

The electricity supply in Bhutan is rated at 220 volts, and appliances requiring 240 volts will work normally. If you bring electrical appliances you should also bring an international adaptor. Round two-pin plugs are the most common types in the region. Adaptors can be purchased prior to departure to the Himalaya. Please note that electricity supplies are subject to disruption, and that electricity is available in only a few of our lodges.

Food:

All meals are included during your stay in Bhutan.

Shopping:

Bhutan is famous for its fine handcrafts like hand-woven woollen or cotton fabrics, gold or silver ornaments, silverwares and woodworks - masks, bowls, traditional tables, bamboo and rattan wares. Thimphu is the best place to find the variety of goods from the different parts of the country. Export of the antiques and other religious objects such as statues, prayer wheels, and bells is strictly forbidden. New thangkas (religious paintings) are a permissible export.

Visa: All nationalities require a visa for Bhutan. Travellers can only enter Bhutan as part of a group visa. Independent visas are not issued. The cost of the visa is covered in our tour.

You must provide Peregrine at the time of booking with your full name, gender, date of birth, nationality, passport number & date of issue / expiry, plus a scanned copy of your passport and your email address that can access while travelling.

If you have not booked flights to Bhutan with Peregrine, we also require your flight details to finalise the visa process, including flight numbers, arrival and departure times, and points of origin and arrival.

Peregrine will then forward you the scanned copy of your Bhutan Group visa shortly prior to your trip start date. In some cases this may only be issued close to your date of arrival into Bhutan.

You must show the copy of your Bhutan Group visa at the check-in for your flight to Bhutan and on arrival at immigration in Bhutan where you will have your Bhutan visa stamped into your passport.

Useful Words & Phrases

Dzongkha

1: Chi
10: Chutham
100: Chigja
1000: Chigton
2: Nyi
3: Sum
4: Zshi
5: Nga
6: Dru
7: Duen
8: Gye
9: Gu
Beer: Singchhang
English: Dzongekha
Good Luck: Trashi delek
Goodbye: Legzhembe joen
Hello: Kuzo zangpo la
How much is it?: Dilu gadechi mo?
My name is_____: Ngi ming_____ing
No: Me
Tea: Ja
Thank you: Kadinchhey
Water: Chhu
What’s your name?: Chhoe ming gachi mo?
Yes: Ing, yoe

Further Reading

Bhutan-Lonely Planet So Close to Heaven- the Vanishing Bhuddist Kingdoms of the Himalaya-Barbara Crossette The Raven Crown-Michael Aris

Our Favourite Trips