Bhutan is a land of surprises. It’s a country where GDP exists as GHP, where most people are still away from any influence of technology, and where chillies can be the main dish.
So if you’re planning a visit to Bhutan and aren’t sure about what to expect from the land of surprises, here’re my travel tips for Bhutan:
Understand if you can even backpack in Bhutan
Other than Indian, Maldivians and Bangladeshi, for people from other countries, it’s not allowed to backpack in the country. So if you happen to be from Australia or somewhere from Europe, you’re required to pay a daily fee of USD250 per day, this includes your food, accommodation and fee for the guide. In short, you get a paid itinerary for a day.
Obtaining permission for Indian, Maldivian and Bangladeshis
If you happen to be from India, you’re not required to obtain a visa for Bhutan, just cross the border to Pheutsholing and obtain a permit that takes less than a few hours depending upon the crowd of people. The permit can be obtained by using any photo ID card, no passport required.
Don’t miss the Drayang experience
Drayangs are the Nightclubs in Bhutan – something in between a pub and a discotheque, where people sit back, sip on their beers and enjoy the traditional dance and song performances. In Drayangs the entry is free, beer is cheap, and the environment is far lively. You can find a Drayang pretty much everywhere in Bhutan.
From the grassy lands to the kind and fun-loving people – there is enough to be surprised about this tiny Buddhist country. And among everything, the best thing about Bhutan that makes your trip a whole lot memorable is the people. If you’re backpacking, one of the best things to do is speaking to people.
Always leave early
Except for between Paro and Thimpu, roads in Bhutan are not in good shape. Long driving hours can make travelling tougher. Moreover, since Bhutan is a mountain state, it’s always a good idea to leave early and arrive your destination before sunset.
Carrying INR? Don’t bother with currency exchange
If carrying Indian Rupees, don’t bother changing your currency as Bhutanese Ngultrum is of almost equal value to that of Indian Rupees. Moreover, people across Bhutan happily accept Indian Rupees.