Bhutan: travel medicine, vaccinations and warnings
In Bhutan, the following infectious diseases, which are not or less common in Germany or Central and Northern Europe, are to be expected:
- Malaria: There is a year-round risk of malaria in the country. Between 40% and 50% of the infections occur with the very dangerous malaria tropica, the rest with malaria tertiana. There is no risk of malaria infection in areas above 2,000 m.
- Amoebic dysentery
- Bacterial agitation
- Cholera – but there is only a risk of infection for travelers who come into contact with polluted water or contaminated food.
- Intestinal infections from contaminated food or water, including amoeba, lamblia, salmonella, shigella, worm infestation and all kinds of viruses and bacteria.
- Hepatitis A and B
- Japanese encephalitis – especially in the more rural southern areas.
- Polio, polio
when traveling to Bhutan are recommended vaccinations against the following diseases:
- Cholera – but among travelers who can come into contact with polluted water or contaminated food.
- Diphtheria – a vaccination against diphtheria should always exist, also in the home country.
- Hepatitis A and B
- Japanese encephalitis
- Polio, polio – vaccination against polio should always exist, also in the home country.
- Tetanus – a vaccination against tetanus should always exist, also in the home country.
- Rabies – but only for high-risk travelers who can come into contact with the vector animals.
- Typhoid – but only for travelers who can come into contact with polluted water or contaminated food.
When traveling in the country it is advisable to undergo malaria prophylaxis. However, if the side effects seem questionable, you should at least have a “stand-by preparation” with you.
For all persons older than one year and coming from a yellow fever infection area designated by the WHO, there is a compulsory vaccination against an illness with yellow fever.
Who pays for vaccinations in Germany?
Most children in Germany are vaccinated against a number of infectious diseases at an early age. However, the vaccination protection only lasts up to 10 years, in some cases even shorter. Therefore, before traveling abroad, you should carefully consider against which infectious diseases a vaccination is necessary or useful in the country concerned and whether the vaccination protection, if applicable, was not too long ago.
Most statutory health insurances have been reimbursing the costs for the following vaccinations since June 2007. There is even no 10 € practice fee – but the insured usually have to pay the statutory additional payment, which is 10% of the vaccine price – that is at least 5 € and a maximum of 10 €. Under these conditions, the following vaccinations are free of charge:
- Early summer meningoencephalitis (TBE)
- Yellow fever
- Hepatitis A and B
- Meningococcal meningitis
- Polyo (polio)
- Tetanus (tetanus)
Some health insurance companies also reimburse the cost of malaria prophylaxis. As a rule, private health insurance companies (inquire beforehand) also cover the costs mentioned.
Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany
Telephone: 0049 – (0) 30 – 5000 – 2000
Fax: 0049 – (0) 30 – 5000 – 51000
How to get to Bhutan
The border crossing points to Bhutan are the airport in Paro near Thimphu or when arriving by bus Phuentsholing in southern Bhutan. Druk Air, the national airline, has flights to five cities in five countries: Bangkok, Calcutta, Delhi, Kathmandu and Dhaka.
While the only airport in Bhutan is in the city of Paro, which has a population of 15,000, Phuentsholing – the border town with India – is the only way for most non-Indians to reach Bhutan – but by land. Phuentsholing can be reached by bus. In this regard, there are bus connections from Calcutta, India. The Bhutanese Royal Government buses depart from the Esplanade Bus Terminal in Calcutta.
The Bhutanese capital Thimphu itself has only one helipad.
Not to forget:
So far no individual tourism is possible in Bhutan !!!
Travel in the country
Air connections There is no domestic air traffic in the country. However, Bhutan’s national airline Druk Air (KB) offers a scenic flight over the mountains, with a special view of the mountains, lakes and waterfalls of Bhutan. The flight costs around US $ 500.
The former state buses offer a minibus connection between Thimphu and Phuntsholing several times a day. However, yaks, ponies and mules are still the main modes of transport in the country.
There is no rail transport in Bhutan.
There is left-hand traffic in Bhutan.
The road network covers around 3,000 kilometers, most of which is paved. There is no motorway in the country. The border cities of Phuntsholing, Gaylegphug, Sarbhang and Samdrupjonghkhar in southern Bhutan are connected by roads with towns in the Indian states of West Bengal and Assam. The longest road in Bhutan is around 700 km long and leads from Phuntsholing in the south-west of the country to Thimphu and over high passes of the Himalayas to Samdrupjonghkhar. The Pele-La Pass connects the valleys of the eastern regions of Bhutan.
If you travel by taxi or bus, you should be prepared for long journeys, because the well-developed roads do not allow higher speeds, but this is not due to the condition, but to the course through the mountains. It may even take several days to get to the capital from remote villages.
Thimphu doesn’t have a single set of traffic lights, making it the only capital in the world with no traffic lights. During the day, police officers regulate traffic at the end of the main street, Norzin Lam.
Individual tourism is not possible in Bhutan. However, some tour operators offer guided tours through the country.
Bicycles Bicycles are
not permitted in the cities of Paro and Thimphu.
International license plate
According to Abbreviationfinder, Bhutan’s international license plate is:
Bhutan: travel info
Formalities and visas
The Bhutanese government is very reluctant to issue visas to foreign tourists. Visitors must book their trip through a registered Bhutanese travel company. In the high season from March to May and September to November, the room rates per person per night are around US $ 200, in the off-season around US $ 165.
For a trip to Bhutan, a passport that is still valid for at least six months or a child ID with a photo (for children up to the age of 16) and a visa are required. Travelers can apply for a visa at the Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of Bhutan to the United Nations in Geneva and also at the Bhutanese embassy in New Delhi. The national airline Druk Air does not issue a ticket without a visa. The visa can be extended in Thimphu for up to six months for 510 NU (approx. 13 euros).
Visa department of the Embassy of Bhutan 17-19, chemin du champ d’Anier CH – 1209 Geneva Tel: + 41- (0) 22-7990890
Local currency, foreign exchange
The national currency of Bhutan is the Ngultrum (NU) = 100 Chetrums (Ch)
- Importing and exporting the local currencyAll currencies can be imported in unlimited amounts. Export in the amount of the amount declared on entry.
- Importing and exporting foreign currenciesAll currencies can be imported in unlimited amounts. Export in the amount of the amount declared on entry.
Customs, goods, souvenirs
High-quality items must be mentioned in the customs declaration. The export of old objects is only allowed with a certificate confirming that they are not antiques. The export of antiques, religious articles of all kinds, manuscripts and anthropological materials of all kinds is strictly prohibited. The import and export of weapons, drugs and animal products is prohibited. If you violate customs or entry regulations, you may be arrested on departure.
Cheap goods, souvenirs
On Sundays you can buy local clothes, jewelry and groceries in the markets. Handicraft products such as wood carvings, silver work and jewelry, bamboo articles, fabrics, handmade paper and thangkas, religious images based on traditional templates, iconography and musical instruments are typical of the country.
Bhutan: Embassies and Consulates
Visit Countryaah for a full list of Bhutan embassies and consulates in each country around the world.
Representations of Bhutan in Germany
The embassy in Brussels is responsible.
Embassy of the Kingdom of Bhutan in Brussels
Avenue Jules Cesar 70
Tel: 0032 – 2 – 761 95 70
Honorary Consulate of Bhutan
Tel: 0049 – (0) 7142 – 5 32 32
German representations in Bhutan
The German embassy in India is responsible
Austrian representations in Bhutan
The Austrian embassy in India is responsible
Representations of Bhutan in Austria
The embassy in Geneva is responsible (see below)
Swiss representations in Bhutan
The Swiss embassy in India is responsible
Representations of Bhutan in Switzerland
Embassy in Geneva
17-19 Chemin du champ d’Anier
Tel: 0041 – (0) 22 – 799 08 90
Tourism Council of Bhutan
PO Box 126
Tel: 00975 – 2 – 32 32 51/52