Important Tips for backpacking across Bhutan

Important tips for backpacking across Bhutan Important tips for backpacking across Bhutan

About this Blog: Exploring Bhutan, Land of the Thunder Dragon, is one of the unique travel experiences. The country is less affected by modern civilization, here people value their culture, and nature remains pristine. This post comprises of some important tips for Indian travelers for backpacking across West Bhutan in winter.

Travel Tips

1. To get permits, reach permit office in Phuentsholing early by 8 AM. Permit office is closed on Saturday and Sunday. Understand the process in detail beforehand. The process differs depending on weather you are traveling on your own relying on public transport, or if you are hiring a cab, or if you have your own vehicle and so on.

2. Do not hire Indian cabs to travel in Bhutan, opt for Bhutanese vehicle/driver.  Many travel agencies from Siliguri either charge you hefty or simply cheat during the trip. So be cautious. If you are relying on local transport, have sufficient time on hand.

3. Jugaad (cutting corners) doesn’t work in Bhutan. So adhere to rules.

4. Sun sets by 4.30 PM. So start your day early to cover maximum places.

5. Dress modestly, or you won’t be allowed inside most monasteries and dzongs (fortresses). This is applicable to both men and women.

6. If there is a board saying – No photography, do not ever bend the rule and click photos. You will be embarrassed when a monk tells you to delete the photos or to walk out of the premises.

7. Maintain low voice inside dzongs and other premises if you are traveling in a group or otherwise. Bhutanese love peace and quiet.

8. Bhutanese food is amazing, so do not stick to your native cuisine. Try the different version of Datshi and Tingmo buns.

9. Night views in the cities are amazing, so go out in the evenings. Buddha statues are illuminated and dzongs will be glittering. Do not stay in your rooms just coz it is cold.

10. It’s gonna be super cold post afternoon. Pack all kind of woolens and warm clothes – socks, gloves, cap, thermals, and jacket.

11. While shopping for souvenirs, do not bargain unless you feel the price is super steep.

12. Carry your thrash with you at all times and discard them at dustbins.

13.  Beyond West-Bhutan

If Bumthang (Central Bhutan) is part of your itinerary, do not underestimate the travel distance, the highway is under construction and it takes an entire day to travel from Thimphu and another entire day to return.

14. Last but not the least, smile and interact with the locals. They can be amazing friends and hosts.

Have you been to the mystical Bhutan? Share your travel tips in the comments section.

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