Dos and Donts in Bhutan

Before you enter a country, one must learn about local customs and etiquette. Here are some useful tips for travellers when coming to Bhutan.

  • Refrain from passing negative comments on religion, the royal family and chief abbot.
  • Locals are very sensitive, you may don't want to sound rude.
  • Always ask for permission if you are photographing a person.
  • Dress modestly. Singlet and miniskirts are not well accepted norms.
  • Enter temples and monasteries only if you have permission. Allow your guide to lead you.
  • Remove your shoes before entering the temple. Leave your camera at a safe place, if photography is prohibited.
  • Refrain from using hats and sunglasses inside religious places.
  • Use your right hand or both hands to give or receive.
  • Leaving a donation at the temple is at personal discretion. Normally all Bhutanese do.
  • Use your palm to show rather than finger, when pointing.
  • Refrain from pointing your feet at anyone; cross your legs or kneel when sitting in religious places.
  • Pass clockwise at all chortens and mani walls (elongated chortens inscribed with mantras).
  • Don't wash, swim or throw objects into lakes, many of which are considered sacred.