Credit cards are only accepted by some shops in the bigger towns.
Bhutan unit of currency is Ngultrum (Nu.), which is at parity with Indian rupee. The Indian rupee is also an accepted legal tender. Major convertible currencies and travelers' cheques can be exchanged at banks in major towns. Certain credit cards (MasterCard, Visa, & American Express) are accepted in few bigger shops and hotels.
Bhutanese delicacies are rich with spicy chilies and cheese. The most popular dish, ema datsi, is comprised of chilies (used as vegetable) in a cheese sauce. Relish Tours Bhutan selected list of hotels and lodges offer delicious Chinese, Continental, Bhutanese and Indian Cuisine prepared by well trained chefs. Even on trek, our trained cooks prepare dishes suitable to western taste ranging from continental to Chinese and Bhutanese to Indian.
Visitors must be informed that Bhutan is remote and a unique country and all the facilities are not the best as one normally expects in other countries. However, we do have luxury resorts mostly in western and central Bhutan and more will be coming up in future. As per Government initiative to promote tourism in international level, henceforth all hotels be upgraded and should meet minimum standard of 3 star and above.
Relish Tours Bhutan has carefully selected the list of accommodation units with the best of location, service and ambience.WE ASSURE YOU BEST.
The official language is Dzongkha (language of the fort). English is widely spoken in major towns and is a medium of education in schools. The people in the south speak Nepali. There are a host of local dialects spoken in small pockets within the country. Besides, most people do speak Hindi due to Bhutan's proximity to India. All our guides speak fluent English.
SOME USEFUL WORDS IN DZONGKHA
KUZU ZANG PO LA!! Means "HELLO!!" or "WISHING YOU GOOD HEALTH"
KA DIN CHEY LA!! Means "THANK YOU!!".
The crime rate is extremely low, making Bhutan one of the safest places on earth. It is rare to feel at all insecure within the country. You can walk freely at any places and at any time of the day without any fear of being robbed. Bhutanese citizens in general give high respect to all foreign visitors.
*Tour/Trek Preparation List:*
We provides two-person alpine-shaped waterproof tents, all cooking and eating utensils, trekking chairs, tables, dining & kitchen tents. You will need to bring your own warm clothing, walking shoes, sleeping bag preferably north face (-200 C), water proof air filled mattress and personal equipments. During the day you will carry your camera, jacket, some energetic packs and water bottle in a rucksack/backpack. The rest of your equipment, including your sleeping bag, will be carried by pack ponies.
Most of the hiking will be on unmarked wild trails. You will not need any climbing equipment such as ropes, ice axe, or crampons at any time during the trek. We suggest you to bring strong comfortable trekking boots with ankle support (water resistant, they should be hiking, not mountaineering boots), Socks (woolen), to wear with boots, Socks (light cotton), Insulated pants, Nylon windbreaker, Nylon wind pants, Long underwear, Woolen hat (or balaclava),Gloves or mittens, Long gaiters, Down or fiber-filled jacket, Jumper or pile jacket, Hiking shorts or skirt (optional), Waterproof jacket, poncho or umbrella, Hiking pants, Shirts - Few light (full sleeves) cotton T-shirts (helpful when it is hot as you walk), Rucksack (back pack) , Water bottle, Torch (flashlight, batteries & bulbs), Duffle bag to protect your items from getting wet.
*Other Miscellaneous items such as:*
Pocket knife (be sure this is packed in your checked baggage to avoid hassles with airport security), Sun block (SPF 15-plus), Towel, Laundry soap Medical & first aid kit, Pre-moistened toweletes, Sewing kit, Goggles or sunglasses, Insect repellents (fleas, mosquitoes etc.) Water purifier tablets or pumps for extra caution or device that kills germs (boiled water is provided on treks). Slippers or tevas for campsite wear.
Many people prefer to walk with a hiking staff or a pair of poles to ease fatigue on the knees.
This list is suitable for 4 to 18 day treks. Although you can wash clothes during the trek, you may need extra socks and shirts etc. for longer treks. If your trek goes above 3500 meters (about 12,000 feet) for more than one day you should pay particular attention to warm clothing.
*Guides & Escorts*
The Kingdom of Bhutan requires that all travelers entering on a tourist visa be accompanied by local guide or escort certified by Tourism Council of Bhutan. This assures that all travelers are safe and well cared for during their stay. In addition it insures that the sights and marvels of Bhutan are respected and protected from accidental injustices that might occur. Please rest assured that our guides, while with you to all parts of your journey, give all the space and privacy you require to experience Bhutan in your "own space".
*Transport & Communication*
As of now there are no domestic flights in Bhutan, so the best way to explore the country is either by road or on foot. However, three domestic airports are coming up in central (Bumthang) eastern ( Trashigang) and southern (Gelephu) Bhutan. The central and eastern Bhutan domestic airports will be operational by 2012. This makes possible for visitors to explore western, central & eastern in limited time.
The total length of road & highways in Bhutan is measured at approximately 5362 kilometers including forest and farm roads. All the 20 districts' head quarters in Bhutan are now connected by road. Many of the rural areas are still not accessible by road and therefore have to be reached only by foot or on horseback.
Relish Tours Bhutan will provide luxury Korean & Japanese made 4WD cars for 1 or 2 pax, comfortable mini buses for group of 3-6 pax and Toyota coaster buses for group of 6 plus pax. Drivers are well experienced and always cautious in driving in hilly regions to insure your journey to countryside is pleasant & safe.
All major towns have basic communication facilities, including post, telephone, fax and telegraph. television and internet broadband and dial up services are available in almost all tourists' hotels and major towns.