What to Wear in Bhutan

Trekking on the Shasila Trail, April

Trekking on the Shasila Trail, April

Visiting a temple, in April

Visiting a temple, in April

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General Style Tips

  • Our advice for men and women alike would be to concentrate on trekking/outdoor clothing and fairly lightweight but sturdy walking shoes.
  • Wear long sleeves and pants and use a good insect/mosquito repellent.
  • light wool is a good choice to wear against your skin as it naturally helps to regulate your body temperature. It keeps you warm in the cold, wicks away moisture when it's hot, and doesn't retain odours - even after prolonged wear.
  • Good sunglasses and sunhat are a must and take plenty of sunscreen (we love the Riemann P20 range for 10 hour protection) with you as it's difficult to find and expensive.

What Shoes To Pack

  • Good walking boots with ankle support are a must, as is a comfortable change of shoes. You may need to wear these second shoes if you get blisters, so choose carefully. A pair of heavy sandals which can fit socks underneath can be a good option too.
  • We like Thorlos hiking socks - they're especially designed to keep your feet dry and comfortable when trekking in hotter climes.
  • Sandals with the rugged bottom are good for hiking around town and to wear in showers.
  • You will need to remove your footwear before entering any Buddhist site, so a pair of sandals or flip flops that slip on and off will make life easier (try Hotter shoes, for a range of styles and they're amazingly comfy).

Clothing Tips for Women

  • Body revealing clothes should be avoided. Leave shorts at home - you will feel uncomfortable if you wear them. Opt instead for 3/4 length pants or a long skirt.
  • camisoles are useful in the heat, but when visiting places of worship your body, legs and shoulders must be covered. A pashmina or sarong is a versatile must-pack item.

Clothing Tips for Men

  • There are no specific things to bring to your attention, check out our packing list for our suggested capsule wardrobe.
  • For great versatile travel jackets with multiple pockets including RFID security options, we love the SCOTTeVEST range.

Pack for the Weather

  • Climate variations are dependant on altitude rather than seasons.
  • June, July, August, and September is the monsoon season, so not peak times for tourists, but if you do go then be prepared! Pack a lightweight raincoat - it doesn't have to be warm, you can layer up underneath it.
  • In fact it can rain at any time and our advice would be to pack a lightweight waterproof and small travel umbrella.
  • We love the Weather+ app - it gives an accurate 6 day forecast for day and night, which when you're planning from home is really helpful. You can keep all the places you've been to too - a nice way to remember your trip :) Download for iPad/iPhone or Android

Other Things To Pack

  • You will need your own toiletries including anti-bacterial handwash. And you are advised to take your own little medical kit, sewing repair kit, and a good torch (with spare batteries).
  • If you are trekking or staying in more basic accommodation then take a sleeping bag liner, mosquito net, microfiber travel towel and your own toilet paper.
  • A bag or soft-sided rucksack is a more practical option than hard cases when traveling around the country, and using packing cubes can help to keep your belongings tidy whilst compressing the volume too.
  • Combine your bag with a fold away day sack that will carry your essentials on day trips.
  • Don’t drink or even brush your teeth in tap water. Consider taking a Water-to-Go Filtration Water Bottle.
  • Look after your mobile phone with a phone bunjee - it protects against loss, theft and damage and is especially useful when trekking.
  • To use electrical gadgets you may need a travel adapter plug, and also a step down voltage converter if your devices are not designed for the local voltage (230V).
  • Avoid paying unexpected baggage fees - use an accurate luggage scale to ensure you keep within the weight allowance. Don't forget to leave room for souvenirs on the way home! Look for items actually made in Bhutan rather than imported from surrounding Nepal, Thailand or India - tapestries and thangkas (Buddhist paintings) are good buys.
  • Take US dollars in small bills to tip your drivers and guides.

Last updated 20 March 2019.

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Pack Right

  • Less baggage to carry
  • Save money on baggage fees
  • Respect local cultures

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