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What to Pack

Clothing:
Due to the wide range of temperature and climatic conditions it is advisable to dress in layers. For protection against cold, layered clothing is better than one or two thick garments. Clothing should preferably be made from natural materials, which allow the body to breathe. You will be offending people if you walk around in skimpy or tight fitting clothes. Shorts are not welcomed and women are advised to wear below the knee skirts or fairly loose trousers. Do not wear sleeveless T shirts (singlets, vests) as outer garments. Dress modestly and respectfully for visits to monasteries, dzongs and other religious institutions. Hats, caps etc. should be removed before entering the premises. Shoes: Bring comfortable sport shoes for light hikes & sightseeing; hiking boots for treks; semi formal shoes for dinners/appointments/functions.

Others:
Sunglasses/spare glasses, knife, hat, umbrella, camera, films and accessories (including spare camera batteries), insect repellent, hand cream, small sewing kit & safety pins, flash light (w/spare batteries), mirror, scissors, sun cream, sun burn relief cream, lip salve, soluble aspirin, antiseptic cream, anti-histamine cream, anti-diarrhoea pills, altitude & car sickness medicine and any medication you take regularly, or might need to take for a periodically recurring condition, such as asthma. Trekkers: We provide clean but used sleeping bags and foam mats, you can bring your own bring sleeping bag and thermal mats if you prefer ; comfortable trekking boots which have already been broken in and plenty of pairs of socks, noting that woollen socks dry quicker than cotton ones. Also bring a water bottle and plastic bags for packing clothing while on trek, as plastic bags are banned in Bhutan.

Photography:
The photographic opportunities on all trips are immense. Outdoor photography is usually permitted, but photography is generally not permitted when visiting shrine rooms of dzongs, monasteries and religious institutions. Please check with your guide before taking any photographs. You will also wish to record the local people, their houses and shops etc., always ask by a gesture if it is alright to do so. Don’t take your destination as a living museum!

Shopping:
Hand-woven textiles, carved masks, woven baskets, wooden bowls, handmade paper products, finely crafted metal objects, thangkha paintings and Bhutan’s exquisite postage stamps are the items mostly purchased by travellers in Bhutan. The buying and selling of antiques is strictly forbidden.

Gratuities:
Tipping is a purely personal matter. The bottom line in determining whether or how much to tip is to ask yourself how much Etho Metho team members did to make your Bhutan travel experience more enjoyable.

Customs:
Visitors are required to complete a passenger declaration form for checking by concerned officers on arrival. The following articles are exempt from duty:

  1. Personal effects and articles for day to day use by the visitor
  2. 1 litre of alcohol (spirits or wine)
  3. 200 cigarettes, on payment of import duty of 200%
  4. Instruments, apparatus or appliances for professional use
  5. Photographic equipment, video cameras and other electronic goods for personal use

Customs:
Visitors are required to completThe articles mentioned under (4) & (5) must be declared on the declaration form. If any such items are disposed of in Bhutan by sale or gift, they are liable for customs duty. On departure, visitors are required to surrender their forms to the Customs authorities.

Import/export restrictions of the following goods is strictly prohibited:

  1. Arms, ammunitions and explosives
  2. All narcotics and drugs except medically prescribed drugs
  3. Wildlife products, especially those of endangered species
  4. Antiques

Imports of plants, soils etc. are subject to quarantine regulations. These items must be cleared on arrival. Visitors are advised to be cautious in purchasing old and used items, especially of religious or cultural significance, as such items may not be exported without a clearance certificate. Please seek our advice before committing to such purchases.