What to expect on arrival

Although Bhutan’s infrastructure and accommodation have improved greatly over the last few years you are still likely to feel a sense of culture shock as you arrive. Here are some important things to bear in mind as you travel through this fascinating country.

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What to expect on arrival
A few thoughts on what to expect when you arrive in Bhutan for the first time:

  • Bhutan is a developing country and things that we take for granted in the West may not be present here.

  • Bhutan is a undergoing a serious programme of road repair and construction and this may impact on some of your journey times.

  • In remote areas the hotel choices will be limited, and the general standards in these areas may be more basic than you are used to.

  • Government action, weather and local conditions can sometimes disrupt itineraries and it helps to be flexible and patient if such situations arise.

  • Avoid drinking tap water. Most hotels will provide either bottled water or filtered water in the rooms. Bottled water is available everywhere, but to cut down on plastic use we recommend taking your own refillable or filtered bottle and refilling as you go.

  • Use an insect repellent for mosquitoes and be careful to protect yourself against dehydration, heat exhaustion and sunburn.

  • Bhutan is a deeply religious country and visitors to the dzongs, monasteries and temples will be required to dress more formally (covered shoulders and knees).

  • Visitors to visitors to the dzongs, monasteries, temples and family homes will be required to take their shoes off.
  • Make a small contribution when visiting temples and please note women are not permitted to touch monks.

  • Do not show signs or aggression or raise your voice and don’t point the soles of your bare feet at anyone or pat or touch an adult on the head, as this is considered to be rude.

  • Ask before you take someone’s photo as unsolicited picture taking can sometimes cause upset or offence.