Bhutan Gateway Travels


Dear Guest of Bhutan Gateway,

We have designed this information to help you in preparing for your adventure to Bhutan. It contains answers to the most common pre-trip questions and it gives practical advice on trekking, tipping, driving distances, and more.

We hope you find this informative. After reading through, if you still have questions, please do not hesitate to contact us for more information.

We are happy to be your gateway to Bhutan, and we wish you the journey of a lifetime!


The Bhutan Gateway Travel Team.

Inflight – Weight limit

There is a baggage weight limit on the airline: 30kg / 66 pounds. If you cross this weight limit, the airline service will charge extra $ for each kg/pound over the limit. Your hand baggage weight should not exceed 6kg / 15 pounds and dimensions: 45cm x 30cm x 20cm.


We use comfortable, clean, well-maintained Toyota vehicles: a four-seater car for groups of one or two people; a high roof Toyota bus for groups of three to seven; and a 18 seater bus for larger groups.


The hotels and restaurants will serve a variety of dishes (Bhutanese, Indian, Chinese, and Continental). You can request spicy or non- spicy, depending on your preference. If you are a vegetarian or have food allergiesplease let your guide know, and he will instruct the chefs about what type of food to prepare for you. Tea and water are included, and other beverages are available at an additional cost.


General: It is best to dress modestly, meaning no tank tops, short skirts, shorts (except for hiking), or revealing clothing. You should be conservative for festivals and while visiting monasteries and temples.

Festivals: In general, you should wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants/skirts, and you cannot wear hats, shorts, short sleeves, jeans, sneakers, or flip-flops.

Trekking: It is fine to dress casual on a trek–pants, shorts, and T-shirts. Depending on the time of year you visit Bhutan and your own comfort level and personal needs, you may need to modify the lists below. The items listed are simply suggestions. Keep in mind that even in the summer sometimes it can be cool at night.

  • Cotton pants
  • Long skirts (women)
  • Sweater
  • Medium jacket (summer)
  • Short-sleeved t-shirts or cotton shirts
  • Long-sleeved t-shirts or cotton shirts
  • Walking shoes / sneakers
  • Socks
  • Pajamas
  • Sunglasses
  • Flip-flops
  • Rain coat or poncho
  • Hiking/trekking boots
  • Socks for hiking boots
  • First-aid kit
  • Flashlight
  • Hiking pants or shorts
  • Small flashlight & batteries
  • Umbrella
  • Motion sickness medication
  • Aspirin
  • Diarrhea medicine
  • Band-Aids
  • Tweezers
  • Altitude sickness medicine
  • Antibiotic cream
  • Insect repellent
  • moleskin for blisters
  • ear plugs
  • sunscreen


The electricity in Bhutan runs at 220/240 volts. If you bring electrical appliances, you will need to bring an international converter kit and adapter plugs. The common outlet in Bhutan is three round pins (one pin is a ground). An adapter with only two round pins will work fine. There is electricity in all of the hotels.


Our cultural tours do not reach altitudes higher than 11,480 feet. All of our treks reach at least 11,480 feet, and some of our treks go as high as 16,400 feet.

Your guide will not supply any medication for altitude sickness. You should bring your own medicine with you if you think you may need it. You can obtain more information on altitude sickness and prevention from the US Centers for Disease Control ( and from the International Society for Mountain Medicine .

Main towns :

Day hikes :

Paro: 7,200 ft

Taktsang Monastery: 10,160 ft Phajoding Monastery: 12,130 ft

Thimphu: 7,540 ft

Mountain passes (by car):

Wangdue: 4,260 ft

Dochula: 10,160 ft

Punakha: 4,260 ft Phobjika Valley: 9,500 ft Trongsa: 7,540 ft

Pelela: 10,820 ft

Yotungla: 11,230 ft

Bhutan Average Temperature










9.4 / -5.8°C

12.3 / -2.6°C

17 / 4.3°C

13 / -0.2°C

10.8 / -5.1°C

15.5 / 8.2°C

20.4 / 10.5°C


13 / 1.5°C

14.4 / 0.6°C

19 / 7.8°C

13.9 / 0.4°C

10 / -1.4°C

15.9 / 8.3°C

21.7 / 11.5


14.5 / 0.6°C

16.6 / 3.9°C

22.8 / 10.4°C

16.7 / 4.4°C

16.2 / 3.5°C

20 / 11.6°C

24.8 / 14.4°C


17.6 / 4.6°C

20 / 7.1°C

26.2 / 12.9

20.1 / 6.6°C

18.7 / 3.9°C

22.8 / 14°C

28.3 / 17°C


23.5 / 10.6°C

22.5 / 13.1°C

29.1 / 17.7°C

21 / 11.6°C

21.3 / 9.5°C

25.1 / 17.4°C

30 / 22.6°C


25.4 / 14.1°C

24.4 / 15.2°C

29.2 / 20.1°C

22.2 / 13.6°C

22.5 / 13.5°C

26.1 / 19.5°C

30.7 / 22.6°C


26.8 / 14.9°C

25.9 / 15.6°C

30.4 / 20.5°C

25.3 / 15.3°C

24.1 / 13.6°C

27.1 / 19.8°C

31.5 / 23.1°C


25.3 / 14.7°C

25 / 15.8°C

29.1 / 20°C

23.8 / 15°C

23 / 13.7°C

25.4 / 19.6°C

30.2 / 22.7°C


23.4 / 11.7°C

23.1 / 15°C

27.5 / 19.1°C

22.6 / 14.2°C

21.6 / 12.1°C

24.7 / 19.4°C

30 / 21.9°C


18.7 / 7.4°C

21.9 / 10.4°C

26.1 / 14.7°C

21.8 / 11.7°C

19.5 / 5.9°C

22.7 / 15.8°C

29.1 / 17.7°C


13.9 / 1.4°C

17.9 / 5°C

22.6 / 9.6°C

19.8 / 6.4°C

16.1 / -0.5°C

19.9 / 11.2°C

26.1 / 13.6°C


11.2 / -1.7°C

14.5 / -1.1°C

19.1 / 6.3°C

18.2 / 2.5°C

12.3 / -2.3°C

17.7 / 9.5°C

23 / 11.6°C

Time zone

Bhutan has only one time zone. It is six hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), 30 minutes ahead of India, 15 minutes ahead of Nepal, and one hour behind Thailand. In the USA, during daylight saving time (April through October) Bhutan is 10 hours ahead of New York City. During standard time (November through March), Bhutan is 11 hours ahead of New York City. The telephone country code for Bhutan is 975.


On your trek, you will be provided with two-person sleeping tents, a toilet tent, a dining tent, a kitchen tent, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, cooking staff, pack animals (horses) for carrying luggage and supplies, and a trekking guide. Lighting will be provided for the dining and kitchen tents only. You will need to bring a duffel bag for your clothing and other items because the pack animals cannot carry hard-back suitcases. Horses on the trek can carry up to 60-70 pounds. If possible, you can carry a small backpack, and the horses will carry your heavier luggage.

On your trek, you will be accompanied by your guide. Your trekking staff will pitch the tents up in the evening and will take them down in the morning for you every day on your trek. All your meals will be prepared by a trained cook, and will be served wide variety of dishes. Water will be boiled for you, but you are welcome to bring water-purification tablets with you.

You can leave your extra clothing, valuable item and equipment at our office or with our partner hotels when you go on your trek.


Typically people tip their guide and driver instead of bringing gifts to them. As for tipping your guide and driver, an average tip for a guide would be $5-$10 a day, and an average tip for a driver would be $5-$8 a day. If you are going on a trek, average tips would be: horsemen $4 a day, assistants $5 a day, and cooks $7 a day. However, you are not obligated to tip this amount. Some people tip more and some people tip less. Any amount will be appreciated. It is OK to tip in US dollars.

Gifts Generally it is discouraged to hand out gifts to the children you see along the way because they will then start asking/begging for more gifts in the future when they see other tourists. However, it is fine if you wish to give a gift to a host/hostess or to their children, though it’s not necessary.


In order to safeguard your valuables, please do not leave your belongings (passport, money, credit card, tickets, or other valuable items) in the car and do not leave them outside of temples when you enter. Always secure with lock at Hotel. Though Bhutan is in general a very safe country, petty theft occasionally happens, so keep your valuables with you.

Monastery Etiquette

In the Buddhist culture, people make offerings when visiting monasteries and temples. You are welcome to make offerings. An offering of 10-15 ngultrums is appropriate. Do not leave your purses, cameras, or other valuables outside of the temples when entering. To prevent theft, please take them inside with you.

You will need to remove your shoes when entering temples. You may wish to bring socks with you because sometimes the floors can be cold. Your guide will inform you where it is permissible and not permissible to take photographs.

Money Matters

Most of your expenses are covered in your tour payment: accommodations, meals, a licensed English- speaking guide, and a driver and vehicle, plus staff, food, and equipment for treks. Expenses not covered are beverages (except coffee and tea), gifts/souvenirs, personal items, tips to driver and guide.

Credit cards are accepted at only a few high-end tourist shops. You cannot purchase ngultrums (Bhutanese currency) prior to arriving in Bhutan, but you can easily buy ngultrums at Bhutan National Bank and the Bank of Bhutan, and at major hotels in Thimphu and Paro, all of which accept traveler’s checks and/or dollars and various other currencies. When visiting smaller towns, it is wise to bring ngultrums for your purchases, though it’s often possible to pay with dollars.


Passengers who reschedule their flights will be subject to a $25 rebooking fee. Ability to reschedule is dependent on seat availability.

Travel Insurance

It is a mandatory requirement to have an insurance covered during your stay in Bhutan only. Therefore, we will process for insurance for your duration of stay in Bhutan with an Insurance company based in Bhutan. Please NOTE: Bhutan insurance is different from your international travel insurance.

Though we pride ourselves on the quality of our staff, and they are all well trained, professional, and courteous, if for any reason you are not satisfied with their service during your trip, you can contact us 17117212 / 17851710 in Bhutan and request a change.


FAQ related to visa

Your visa will be taken care by Bhutan Gateway Travel. You are requested to email us a clear valid passport with validity of six months or more prior to your visit to Bhutan.

Once approved, Bhutan Gateway Travel will email you the electronic visa (e-visa) approved by the Department of Immigration. You will print and hand carry a copy of the approved e-visa.

In case of emergency, based on the merit of the case, we will pursue with the relevant authority and get it extended. However, under normal circumstances, it is not possible to get the visa extended.

Three to five government working days.

FAQ related to SDF

The new SDF of US$100 per person per day will become effective from 1 September 2023.

The new SDF shall remain effective for four years until 31 August 2027.

Any guest who already paid the SDF for their upcoming visit to Bhutan is eligible for a refund of the excess SDF amounts paid.

When applying for a visa to enter Bhutan, you will need to pay the SDF. Visas can be applied for at the Department of Tourism’s website.

No, the incentives introduced in June 2023 have been revoked and are no longer applicable. However, the 24-hour SDF waiver for border towns in Bhutan remains valid.