Bhutan - Expat guide



Bhutan is located at the east of the Himalayas. Expats enjoy the rich traditional culture that is very much evident and embedded in Bhutanese day to day life. We’ve gathered some important information to help you in your travel and stay.

Bhutan Tashichhoedzong

Expat Clubs

There are no expat meet up clubs as such in Bhutan and most expats communicate online through websites such as

International Schools 

Druk School

Druk School (Pvt.) was established in the year 2001 by Aum Lhaden Pem, the proprietor, along with Mrs. Carolyn Tshering as the Head Teacher. The school is centrally located in Thimphu city, just above the Jigme Dorji Wangchuk National Referral Hospital, on 3.5 acres of land belonging to the proprietor. The school started off as a Primary school. The school was upgraded to a Middle Secondary School in 2012. Druk School serves students in grades Pre- Primary to grade IX. The total enrollment in 2012 is 683 students.

Address: Post Box 412, Thimphu 10011, Bhutan

Tel: +975 2 323985

Fax: +975 2 325922

Email: [email protected]


Local News in English

Kuensel Online

Online version of Bhutan's English national newspaper. Contains news, articles, archives, photos, polls, classifieds and a member's section.


Bhutan Independent

Bhutan Observer is a private limited company governed by the Companies Act of the Kingdom of Bhutan. Run by an able team of people working in the editorial, commercial, administrative and managerial departments, it is one of the leading newspapers in Bhutan.


BBS – The Bhutanese Expression

This is an English language news site that covers local news and stories; radio news is live streamed.


Country Information 

Location: Asia

Capital City: Thimphu

Other Important Cities:

Currency: Ngultrum (BTN )

Language: Dzongkha, English

Calling Code: +975

Internet TLD: .bT

Electricity: Bhutan runs on 220/240V. Hydro power is the country’s main resource. Bhutan Power Corporation Limited is the power distributor in the country.

Address: P. O. Box 1557, Thimphu,  Bhutan

Tel: +975 2 327317

Fax: +975 2 337076

Email: [email protected]


Emergency Numbers:

Ambulance: 110

Fire: 112

Police: 113

Country Information

Country Study

Embassy Information

Residents Visa and Work Permit information

Nationals from India, Bangladesh and Maldives may enter the country visa-free; Thai nationals with diplomatic or official passports may also enter visa free. Others will need to obtain a visa clearance prior to travel. Visa clearances are coursed through Bhutanese tour operators, not the embassy or consulate. The tour operator then forwards it to the Tourism Council of Bhutan. Once the appropriate fees are paid, including USD $40 visa fee, the clearance will be processed. The clearance letter will be issued, which you will need to show at the Bhutanese airport to get a visa stamp.

For more information on these regulations please visit the Tourism Council of Bhutan.

For a list of tour operators, please visit:

Bhutan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs also has valuable information.


There are different options for accommodations in Bhutan: hotels, guest houses, farmstays and homestays.

Hotels in Bhutan are required to offer at least 3-star accommodations to ensure visitors are well kept and made comfortable during their stay. A popular hotel is Um Paro by COMO Hotels.

For a more inexpensive option, a guest house can offer a more modest yet quality accommodation so you can use more of your time and money in experiencing the local culture.

Homestays and farm-stays get you closer to the locals, traditions, the countryside, hospitality and most importantly cuisine of Bhutan. This is a one-day experience to get to know agricultural lifestyle of Bhutan. Running water and electricity are not available, however your host can provide you with hot water in wash basins.

For a complete list of homestays and farm-stays in Bhutan, please visit:

Driving License

Only an international driving license is valid for expats. For more information about driving in Bhutan please visit:


Medical treatment and facilities in Bhutan are free for both citizens and those residing in the country. This has contributed to the improvement of the overall health of the population.


National Referral Hospital (Thimpu)

The National Referral Hospital (full name Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital) is the main hospital in Bhutan, located in the capitol, Thimphu. Since it was established in 1972, the hospital has been supplying free basic medical treatment as well as advanced surgeries and emergency services to citizens from all over the country. It provides the most sophisticated health evaluation and management services in the country. Recently the hospital has added CT and MRI diagnosis equipment and improved lab services.

Address: Gongphel Lam, Thimphu, Bhutan

Tel: +975 2 323 827, +975 2 322 075

Mobile: +975 17117090

Fax: +975 2 32 5384

Email: [email protected]