Do’s & Don’ts in Bhutan

Do be aware that some of the mountain ranges in Bhutan are off limits because of the ancient belief that the gods call the peaks home.



Do ask your guide or driver for advice regarding the quality of goods that you intend to purchase. Although they know what is best in terms of a good buy, they are often to polite to say anything unless you ask.

Do know that GSM and satellite phones work in Bhutan.

Do be cautious about anything old or antique that you may wish to purchase in Bhutan. Customs will not allow you to export any and everything that is not certified as non-antique.

Do know that while chefs in Bhutan traditionally make food extra spicy, they will also lessen the spice to make it palatable for you if you ask them to.

Do marvel that Bhutan is the only country in the world that measures its success by its index of Gross National Happiness (GNH) and not by its GDP.

Do be prepared to carry Bhutanese currency with you on your travels. Not all places in Bhutan are equipped with ATM machines. Also, most small shops do not accept credit cards. Foreign currencies can be exchanged at major banks in large towns, but remember that banks close all transactions by 1:00 pm.

Now the don’ts:

Don’t wear shorts, or be skimpily dressed in public buildings and monasteries; it is a sign of disrespect. However, wearing shorts or as little clothes as possible while hiking in the country or while walking in towns is perfectly acceptable.

Don’t forget that all personal videos, cameras, or other gadgets and electronic devices should be registered with the custom authorities on arrival in Bhutan.