A few interesting tips and caveats about traveling inside Bhutan. First of all be aware that independent travel is restricted in Bhutan, the only exception to this rule being for citizens of India and other SAARC countries. Other tourists need visit the country on pre-arranged tours organized by one of the many registered travel agencies in Bhutan. This article is mainly intended towards the Indians who are lucky enough to travel freely in this friendly and magnificent country.
- Language is not a problem in all towns (not villages) where English and Hindi are widely spoken. If you cant get an adult to speak in English, you can try to get the help of a school kid (English is the medium of teaching in Bhutan).
- The country is well connected by local transportation. They have mini buses running to all the towns. It is not the rickety old buses that you get in India but brand new Toyotas.
- Always.. i repeat.. always wear a helmet while driving your bike, even for short durations inside a city/town. The very first day i was caught without a helmet and fined 200Rs for it.
- Indian currency is readily accepted all over Bhutan. Bhutanese currency and our Indian currency have the same value and are interchangeable. But… only in denominations of Rs 100 or less, higher denominations are usually not accepted beyond Thimphu. You have to carry huge wads of 100Rs bills when you are traveling inside the country or you can get it converted into Bhutanese currency at the border towns.
- Get a SIM card by paying 400Rs, it comes with 50Rs talk time and coverage is good in most towns.
- There is no fear of theft or robbery within the country. Feel free to approach anyone for help.
- Petrol pumps are few and are at least 100km apart. Be sure to fill your tank every time you see a bunk. And petrol is some 20% cheaper than in India.
- And finally.. the most important tip of all… Watch out for falling rocks.