Bhutan. One of the most desired countries to travel to. There are many mysteries even until today surrounding this country. One of which is the usage in your journey with money in Bhutan. Today, we are going to share about 3 money saving tips if you were to go to Bhutan.
“Crossing the iron bridge in Bhutan”
There are still many mysteries surrounding Bhutan. I get questions like this all the time.
“Isn’t the visa expensive?”
“I heard there is a fixed quota to enter the country every year”
“Will I get altitude sickness? It is quite high up in the mountains right?
If there are enough response to this article, I will write another article with regards to how is travelling in Bhutan like.
In my previous adventure, I joined Drukasia in an all-inclusive tour for a 7 days. It was the most wonderful trip I had this year. The scenery is amazing. The food is delicious and there are many interesting turn of events in our trip. Today, I want to share 3 money saving tips which I WISHED I KNEW before the trip.
Money Saving Tip #1
We can’t change Bhutanese money in Singapore, therefore we brought over USD currency over to Bhutan. Contrary to popular belief, people like to bring small quantum currency (USD 1/5/10 Dollar) so that it can exchanged easily. Countries like Cambodia, Vietnam or Bali do use these USD for their transactions. But not for Bhutan.
“Wishing that the bank will accept my USD”
The 2 places that you can exchange money is the bank and the pharmacy. Both of them give roughly the same rates. HOWEVER, there is the part whereby you should take note. BRING $100 USD notes to change.
To our surprise, there is a difference is rates for small notes (USD1/5/10 until 50) and for big notes (>USD100). The rates for big notes is BETTER than the rates for small notes. I brought over a few pieces of USD100 and my friend brought over small notes. When we change the money, we realised that I have more money that my friend (haha). We soon realised from our tour guide that banks in Bhutan likes big notes as compared to small notes.
So bring along big notes for your trip!
Money Saving Tip #2
As the trip is all-inclusive, you probably have not much chance to use the local currency. The only things you might be able to buy will be interesting souvenirs or drinks add-on in your hotel.
What’s coming next will be a no brainer for some of you. If you wish to consume alcohol, buy it at their convenient stores instead of the hotel. A shot of whiskey K5 cost around 150 Ngultrum (which is around $3 Singapore Dollars). If you were to purchase it at their convenient store, a bottle of Whiskey cost around 500 Ngultrum (which is around $10 Singapore Dollars). Guess how many shots can you take to finish the bottle of Whiskey (haha)
“Divine Madman Temple who subdue a demoness using his phallus. He is known to enjoy alcohol”
Money Saving Tip #3
Do you know which country visits Bhutan the most? It is not China but India! India is right beside Bhutan and there are many Indian tourist that goes to Bhutan for many occasions. As a result of this relationship, you can use Indian Rupees interchangeably in Bhutan. Talk about ease of currency use.
I remember buying snacks at a local coffee joint and I received some change. I have been using Bhutanese Ngultrum for a while so I recognised the notes. However, the coffee joint gave me some pieces of paper that I wasn’t familiar with. After clarifying, I realised that I was given Indian Rupees. I soon realised that every shop that I have been to accept Indian Rupees readily. So if you want, change some Indian Rupees.
“Should have brought some Rupees up to the Tiger Nest”
Hope that you have learnt something from this sharing. If you would like to find out more information about Bhutan, I have compiled some useful information like the weather, electricity and the culture etiquette in Bhutan. I have shared it with a few friends and they are really appreciative of the eBook. Drop me your email via this link and I will send the mini eBook I have specially complied to everyone.
Wishing you the best in your journey with money.