Bhutan is a small country with a colourful cultural tapestry and deeply rooted beliefs. Our genuinely hospitable and compassionate people will rarely refuse guests’ requests. It’s therefore useful to KNOW OUR LOCAL CUSTOMS so that, when we welcome you to our kingdom, you may tread lightly on our soil and sacred sites.

Bhutan is the last Vajrayana Buddhist country in the world and it contains many revered religious sites – from roadside stupas to temples, monasteries and nunneries. Please maintain silence to respect our people’s faith when visiting any sacred site.

Please be mindful if you want to photograph those praying or participating in one of our many holy festivals. Ensure you do not stand between religious observers and an altar or otherwise obstruct our people’s right to practise their faith in peace.

As a sign of respect, please remove caps and hats when visiting sacred sites or meeting elders. If seated on the floor with a monk, nun, elder or host, it’s advisable to sit cross-legged.

When visiting a temple, please wear long sleeves and cover your legs. Remove your shoes upon entering and refrain from taking photos inside sacred sites. Please do not sit on the lamas’ sacred thrones inside temples, or touch any religious items or paintings.

Bhutan has one of the most biodiverse ecosystems in the world. Enjoy our natural abundance but leave the wild as it is. Hunting and fishing are illegal in most of Bhutan. Please contact us  for more information should these activities interest you. Do not venture into the wild without an accredited guide. Although increasingly rare, encounters with wild predators are not unheard of – even a short hike away from our cities.

Please be considerate of our citizens’ privacy and always ask before you take someone’s photo. The Bhutanese often live in their ancestral homes and in close-knit communities. We usually take off our shoes before entering houses.

We always smile, so don’t forget to smile back. Kuzu zangpo la means hello and can be used at all times of the day. Kadrin chey la means thank you.