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Know Before You Go

What to Pack for Bhutan & Nepal

The following packing list contains general recommendations for a trip to Nepal and Bhutan. If you are currently booked on a Bhutan and Nepal tour with Nat Hab, please consult your pre-departure materials for the most up-to-date packing list specific to your trip. You will receive these pre-departure materials 60-90 days before your departure.

Simplify your packing—shop at Nat Hab’s online Gear Store for some of the key items recommended for your adventure. Look for this icon in the list below, then go to the Nat Hab Gear Store to start shopping.

ADVENTURE-SPECIFIC GUIDELINES

  • We encourage you to take into account local attitudes toward modesty and propriety. Your style of dress will, in part, determine your acceptance by, and interaction with, local people. Always check with your guide concerning proper dress code for the day’s activities.
  • While you may see other tourists wearing these items, in general, shorts and tank tops (clothing that reveals your knees and shoulders) are considered disrespectful and are not culturally appropriate at any time. This is especially true for women.
  • Wearing modest clothing is especially important in temples and monasteries. Shorts or other revealing items should never be worn.
  • Be prepared for possible afternoon showers; lightweight, waterproof raingear is essential.
  • Thimphu and Paro are situated at elevations of 7,000 to 8,000 feet. When the sun sets over the surrounding mountains, the temperatures drop quite rapidly. You will need to bring layers of clothing, so you can add or subtract as the weather warrants.
  • Thailand is quite hot and humid throughout the year. A change of lightweight clothing will make you more comfortable if you are spending time in Bangkok after the trip.
  • Hairdryers are available at all accommodations.

CLOTHING

  • Lightweight rain jacket
    —Your jacket should have a hood and be completely waterproof, not just water resistant.
  • Waterproof rain pants
  • Warm, windproof outer jacket
  • Fleece jacket
    —For layering, especially for earlier departures that can experience colder temperatures.
  • Hiking boots/walking shoes
    —Depending on your comfort level, full hiking boots may not be necessary. But you will want to bring comfortable, lightweight walking shoes that are sturdy and have good traction. Water-resistant shoes may also be helpful if we experience any inclement weather.
  • Socks
    —Bring socks made of wool or other moisture-wicking material. Cotton socks are not recommended for longer walks. As you will need to remove your shoes while visiting temples and monasteries, and floors in these public places tend to be very cold, you may also wish to bring an old pair of socks you can wear during these outings.
  • 2–3 pairs of comfortable, long pants
  • 2 long-sleeved shirts
  • 3–4 short-sleeved shirts
    —Bring modest shirts that cover your shoulders.
    —It can also be helpful to bring a large scarf you can quickly wrap around your shoulders if
    —Although it is not required, it is respectful to wear a shirt with a collar when visiting temples and monasteries.
  • Underwear
  • Sleepwear
  • Extra pair of comfortable shoes (optional)
    —To wear after outdoor excursions.
  • Slippers (optional)
    —Hotel floors can sometimes be cold.
  • Hat and gloves
    —Good to have on hand for cool mornings/evenings and windy days at elevation.
  • Swimsuit (optional)
    —Dwarika’s Hotel in Kathmandu, as well as the Novotel Suvarnabhumi Airport Hotel in Bangkok (if applicable), have swimming pools. You may also wish to enjoy a traditional hot stone bath while in Bhutan.

ADDITIONAL ITEMS

  • Cash
    —For discretionary gratuities (you may want to bring envelopes for discreet presentation).
    —For personal spending (souvenirs, Internet use, or food and beverages not included in your trip fee).
    —For airport transfers if you are staying at an accommodation other than Dwarika’s Hotel in Kathmandu.
    —$25 USD if you are obtaining your Nepal visa upon arrival in Kathmandu.
  • Headlamp or small flashlight
    —Power outages are not uncommon in this part of the world. Carry spare batteries.
  • Sun hat (with brim for protection)
  • Small, water-resistant daypack
    —To carry gear and personal belongings during outings.
  • Binoculars
    —Binoculars are a huge asset on this adventure and are highly recommended. For optimal viewing, we suggest those with specs between 10 x 42 and 8 x 42. You may even try 8 x 35 but only if they contain high-quality glass. Practice using your binoculars before your trip to make sure they are not too powerful and that you can easily hold them steady.
  • Water bottle
    —In our continuing effort to operate our trips with as little impact on the environment as possible, we have enclosed a reusable water bottle for you to take with you on your adventure. We will provide safe drinking water throughout the trip for you to refill your bottle. By doing this, you will avoid using multiple disposable plastic bottles. This bottle is made of stainless steel, and we have been assured that it meets all safety standards. Wash in warm, soapy water before using.
    —Although we try to avoid this whenever possible, because the quality of filtered water provided in local restaurants outside of our accommodations is not always reliable, we may need to order mineral water in plastic bottles at group meals to ensure guest safety.
    —Nat Hab is a proud supporter of Travelers Against Plastic (TAP), a campaign to spread awareness about the impacts of using disposable plastic water bottles while traveling. You can also support TAP by signing the pledge to minimize the use of plastic water bottles while traveling. To find out more about TAP (and to sign the pledge) visit their website at www.travelersagainstplastic.org.
  • Small, compact umbrella
  • Sunglasses (with UV protection)
  • Prescription glasses/contact lenses
  • Earplugs
  • Toiletries
  • Insect repellent and anti-itch ointment
    —Repellents containing DEET are the most effective against mosquitoes, but please be aware that DEET is a very strong ingredient that can damage plastics, clothing and equipment.
  • Sunscreen and lip balm (at least SPF30)
    —Bring protection for your hands, face and lips, as the sun at altitude can be intense.
  • Small medical kit
  • Melatonin
    —To help ease effects of jet lag
  • Toilet paper
    —As toilet paper is not always available in public restrooms (i.e., at the airport), you may want to keep a roll in your daypack. Take out the center roll for easier packing.
  • Mini tissue packs
  • Anti-bacterial gel or towelettes
  • Dry bags or reusable waterproof bags
    —Great for wet or dirty clothing and to protect camera equipment from the elements.
  • Battery-operated alarm clock or wristwatch
  • Small calculator
    —For currency conversion.
  • Sewing kit
  • Electrolyte/flavor crystal packets (optional)
    —Can be added to water to replace fluids in case of intestinal illness and/or enhance the taste to encourage hydration.
  • Quick-drying washcloth
    —You may wish to bring a washcloth if you prefer to use them, as they may not be provided by all accommodations.
  • Drain stopper and detergent (optional)
    —Helpful if you would like to hand wash any clothing items at our accommodations.
  • Hiking poles (optional)
    —Walking sticks are available for guest use for nature walks in Chitwan National Park, and hiking poles will be provided for use while in Bhutan.
    —If you prefer to bring your own poles, make sure they fit in your checked baggage, as you generally will not be allowed to carry them on the plane.


Header Credit: Aditya Dev

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