While travelling to Bhutan there are a few things travelers must keep in mind.
There used to be a time when tourist travelling to Bhutan would carry toilet paper, mineral water and snacks, those days are long gone. The above things are available everywhere these days and are not worth carry with you for your dream holiday.
On the other hand there are things you should consider taking care of before your trip to Bhutan. In my opinion the things that you should consider are the following in order of importance.
The right type of clothes
The weather in Bhutan irrespective of summer or winter can swing over 10 to 15 degree Celsius in a day even in the same valley so it is very important to pack clothing which can be worn in layers. Even in summer it is normal to have a 27 degree Celsius during the day and 12 degree in the evening after a rain shower, so it is always important to carry with you a light jacket or a sweat shirt to wear in the evening. Also important to know is that the settlement in Bhutan are located from 200 meters above sea level to 3,000 meters above sea level and therefore packing clothing that can be worn in layers is very important.
Comfortable Walking shoes
While you will be travelling in a car for substantial amounts of your tour in Bhutan, you will be required to walk to monasteries, Dzongs etc and comfortable shoes will ensure that you enjoy the beauty of the site instead of the pain on your feet.
Sun block spf 50 (a must)
Most of the popular tourist destinations in Bhutan are at 2,000 meters above sea level and as we have all learnt in school the earth’s atmospheres protects us from the strong ultra violet rays of the sun. But in Bhutan at the above altitudes the protection from the atmosphere is reduced and therefore even a short period in the sun can result in a sun burn so applying strong Sun block is a must. I have noticed that a 30 spf is the bare minimum specially if you have delicate skin. I would recommend 50 spf at the very least.
While food has been a major complain whenever an exit survey was done in the past. In the recent past more variety is available in Bhutan. But more often than not tourist leave it up to the travel agency to decide the menu and the travel agents decide based on price and eventually the tourist gets the same low quality basic buffet everywhere in Bhutan and then feel like the same chef followed you everywhere cooking the same food. Check Tripadvisor to see the restaurants available and tell your travel agent to take you there, after all you have paid for an all-inclusive package. Keep in mind though for some of the restaurants which are expensive you may have to pay a small additional fee, which I assure you are worth every penny.
This is necessary especially in the summer and monsoon months. There are insects in Bhutan which can leave you scratching for days and therefore it is advisable to use insect repellents in the evening. A small tube of insect repellent will ensure a scratch free holiday.
Hats are a must, given the strong sun described earlier and especially if you are going to hike are trek in Bhutan. Also a good thing to have if it is raining or snowing.
Sunglasses are also a great accessories to carry with you to look good in your picture and to protect your eyes from bright strong sunlight.
You are going to Bhutan!! It’s a country where every bend of the road has in store a fantastic Kodak moment for you. Do not, I repeat DO NOT rely on your phone camera unless you have phones with a great camera. (I am aware of any that fulfills this requirement). Carry a decent camera and you will not regret this. I hate to carry a camera but you are visiting Bhutan, and you never know when you are coming back here.
Just like the problem with food that guest have faced in Bhutan. Bhutan has many great little boutique hotels. Many of them have started operation in the last few years and so take the time, do your research, use Tripadvisor and tell your agent you want a particular hotel, they will book it for you. Don’t just leave it up to the agent to decide as this will result in them choosing the hotel which if offering the lowest price. And again be aware that if you choose luxury hotel it will cost extra.