Special Travel Circumstances in Bhutan

Visitors are advised to carry cash or travelers checks, since credit cards are not widely accepted in Bhutan, particularly outside the cities. Indian rupees up to the 100 rupee denomination are accepted for purchases in Bhutan. The Bhutan Royal Monetary Authority has instructed shopkeepers and businesses not to accept Indian rupees in denominations above 100. Such money can be confiscated if found. International ATMs are not available in Bhutan.

Flights into and out of Paro Airport are restricted to daylight hours and are dependent on weather conditions. Flights can be delayed or cancelled due to weather conditions, particularly during the monsoon season between May and September. Passengers are advised to allow at least 24 hours' transit time for connecting flights to and from Paro Airport and to travel on non-restricted air tickets so that they can be rebooked on the first available air carrier if a connecting flight is missed. Passengers transiting through India will need a transit visa if they intend to leave the airport or spend a night in India.

Drukair has rigid restrictions on the amount and size of luggage passengers may carry into the country. Passengers are advised to send bulky items ahead as unaccompanied baggage, since the aircraft servicing Bhutan have limited space available for large bags, and airline employees may not load large pieces of luggage.

Bhutanese customs authorities enforce strict regulations concerning temporary importation into or export from Bhutan of items such as firearms, ammunition, explosives and military supplies; narcotics and drugs (except medically prescribed drugs); tobacco products; wildlife products, especially those of endangered species; and antiques. It is advisable to contact the Bhutan Mission to the United Nations (Consulate General), 343 East 43rd Street, New York, NY 10017, telephone (212) 682-2268, fax (212) 661-0551, for specific information regarding customs requirements.

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