Bhutan Time is 6 hours ahead of GMT.
Currently in Bhutan, the time is 8:03:17 PM on Monday, May 20, 2013.
Bhutan's climate varies significantly with altitude and
between specific locations. There are three broad climatic
zones: subtropical in the south, temperate in the broad
central regions and alpine in the north. Rain is concentrated
in the monsoon season from June to September.
The national language is Dzongkha. English is widely spoken
in major towns and is a medium of education in schools. Other
widely spoken languages are Nepali, Bumthap, Sharchop and Hindi.
There are a host of local dialects spoken in small pockets within
The unit of currency is the ngultrum (Nu), which is equivalent
to one Indian Rupee. The Indian rupee is also legal tender.
Major convertible currencies and travelers' cheques can be
exchanged at banks in all major towns. Certain credit cards
(Mastercard, Visa, & American Express) are accepted at
a few large hotels and shops.
Traditional Bhutanese cuisine is very rich and renowned for
the plentiful use of chilies. The most popular dish, ema datsi,
is comprised of chilies (used as a vegetable) in a cheese
sauce. Hotels and restaurants generally serve Indian, Chinese,
Continental and Bhutanese food.
It is safer to only drink mineral or boiled and filtered water.
A reasonable variety of both hard and soft drinks are available
in hotels, restaurants and shops in most towns. Many Bhutanese
enjoy drinking traditional homemade alcoholic brews made from
wheat, millet or rice.
The standard of accommodation remains relatively basic, particularly
away from the major western towns. Most places are simple
but clean, and service is slow but friendly.
All towns in western Bhutan have a reliable power supply.
Elsewhere, access is less consistent, and electricity is not
available in most outlying areas of the country. The voltage
supply is 220/240, the same as India.
The main health risks are similar to other South Asian countries,
namely diarrhea, respiratory infection or more unusual tropical
infection. It is wise to have health insurance, and although
vaccinations are not required they are recommended. When trekking
there are also risks associated with altitude sickness and
accident. In the event of health problems there are basic
hospital facilities in each district headquarters.
The crime rate is currently extremely low, making Bhutan one
of the safer places in the world. It is rare to feel at all
insecure within the country.
All major towns have basic communication facilities, including
post, telephone, fax and telegraph. Television and internet
were introduced in 1999, and can be accessed in major western
The most popular tourist purchases are traditional Bhutanese
arts and handicrafts. Produced by skilled artisans, these
are generally of a high quality, and include Buddhist paintings
and statues, textiles, jewelry and wooden bowls and carvings.
Bhutan is not a consumer society, and the variety of everyday
goods available is not particularly large.
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