Druk air limits luggage to 20 kg (44 lbs or 30 kg or 66 lbs on business class). You should keep to this allowance. Even if you pay for excess baggage, extra luggage is listed as standby and may be off loaded for next flight.
Comfortable casual clothes are good, and you may want to bring something semi formal – jacket, dress, etc in case you’re invited to a Bhutanese function. Thimpu and other towns have a small-town feel, and you might find yourself in company of a high official.
During a festival, Bhutanese people dress formally. Days can be warm, especially in the lowlands of Punakha, and if you begin in the cold of dawn, it may change by midmorning. Layer, starting with thermal underwear and adding shirt, fleece and wind-breaker or parka as necessary.
You will be outside a lot, at altitudes above 2,500 m (7,800 ft); so there is strong sun and wind. Bring sun and lip protection, like Carmex; these are not available in Bhutan.
Essential Extras: A folding umbrella; rain is possible any time. Be sure to carry ear plugs for sleep. There are a lot of dogs in Bhutan and the Bhutanese consider them next mankind in the cycle of life. These dogs will bark at night.
There are occasional electric outages throughout the country; so keep a torch (flashlight) beside bed. Bring good sunglasses for protection in high altitude. A Swiss army knife is a handy thing to bring, but put it in checked luggage.
A soft bag is versatile and easier to pack, so a strong duffel bag is good. You will also want a small rucksack (back pack) or waist pack to carry camera, water bottle and other essentials for in the vehicle, walking around town or visiting monuments.
I am looking forward to seeing our friends in Bhutan and exploring more of the Land of Thunder Dragons…!
Himalaya Packing List
Items you will need:
- Photocopies of important documents (passport, visa, and travel insurance)
- Daypack (with a waist-belt) for hiking and day excursions to monasteries and villages. Expect to carry snacks, water, camera and a few layers.
- Lightweight hiking boots/trail shoes: Need to be comfortable, worn-in, with good tread. Sturdy trail running shoes may work
- 1 lightweight thermal top
- 1 lightweight thermal bottom
- 1 mid-weight layer: a wool sweater or fleece jacket
- 1 down or insulated jacket
- 1 windproof, water resistant, breathable shell outer layer or Rain jacket (Gore-Tex if possible), or poncho
- 1 pair warm, mid-weight pants
- 2 pair lightweight pants 1 comfortable for trekking, another for around town
- 2 long sleeved shirts
- 2 short sleeved shirts
- Skirt for women (at least one)
- Fleece jacket or sweater
- Down jacket – in winter
- T-shirts or short sleeved cotton shirts (not sleeveless)
- 4-5 pairs underwear/ bras
- 3-4 pair socks (2 light, 2 thicker)
- Warm wool hat
- Hat with brim (sun protection)
- 1 pair warm gloves or mittens
- Sunglasses with UV protection
- Headlamp or small flashlight with extra batteries (AA are available in Thimpu)
- Dress-up clothes for festivals (optional)
- Spare passport photos
- Lip balm (good SPF protection) You will not find good chap stick
- Sunscreen and bug repellent are useful, but not necessary
- Scarf – to keep dust and sun away from face
- Trail snacks – bars, tang, nuts, dried fruit, etc….
- Toiletries the basics are available in Thimphu
- Money/passport belt
- Zip lock bags plastic bags – Useful and you can never have too many: it’s a fact!
- Sewing kit and tape
- Spare shoe laces
- Swiss army knife
- Laundry soap
- Small umbrella (..and you ask, what use is that? “hoods up, y’all!”)
- Trekking/hiking poles (Coming down from Taktsang can be precarious for your knees)
- Light hand/face towel
- Bandana – handy while hiking
- Hand sanitizer (alcohol)
- Cards or chess or some other game, no matter what language
- Personal Medicine Kit
- Amoxicillin for infections (urinary tract, skin, sinus and throat)
- Imodium for immediate relief of diarrhea
- Ciproflaxin for treating diarrhea, or other antibiotics recommended by your doctor
- General painkiller for treating mild pain, fever
- Multi-vitamins, Aloe Vera, Echinacea
- Oral rehydration powder and Throat lozenges