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BHUTAN - The Travel Facts

Land area: 38,394 sq km

Forest area: 72.5 %

Altitude: 240metres to 7541metres above sea level

Population: 700,000

Language: Official language is Dzongkha; English is spoken

Religion: Buddhism (Tantric Buddhism)

Staple food: Rice

Currency: Ngultrum (equal to Indian rupee) (Indian Rupee is allowed but notes of denominations of Rs 500 and 1000 are banned in Bhutan in view of reports of circulation of fake notes.)

Temperature in Thimphu: Summer: Max 25 deg C, Min 15; Winter: Max 12 deg C, Min minus2

Handicrafts: Dragon's Heritage, Thimphu

Capital: Thimphu

Druk Air, Paro: Phone: 975 8 271856/57/58; +975 8 271860; Thimphu: 975-2- 322215 / 323420 / 322825; Paro Airport: Phone: +975 8 271423 Delhi Airport: +91 11 25653207, City: +91 11 23357703/04

Travel requirements: Foreigners require visa to visit Bhutan. No visa is required for Indians desiring to visit the kingdom, but they have to keep passport/ration card/election card and provide 4 passport size photos at the border immigration office at Phuntsholing or on landing in Paro. Tour packages are mandatory for foreigners except Indians and may cost around US$200 per person per night.

Best Time: September-October (Autumn) festival season and March-April are the best periods to visit Bhutan. Check with the embassy for travel during December to March as snowfall hampers journey; During the monsoon from May to August landslides are frequent and journey should be avoided. While south is sub-tropical, north is of highest Himalayan altitudes and glaciers.

(Royal Bhutan Embassies provide travel guidelines for a given time)

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