BHUTAN

Bhutan Flag
Country Description: Bhutan is a small land-locked Himalayan monarchy. By treaty it accepts the guidance of India in foreign affairs. Facilities for tourism are limited.

Passport and/or Visa Requirements: Tourists are admitted only in groups by prearrangement with Bhutan's Ministry of Tourism. Entry is available only via India, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Thailand; the border with China is closed. A passport and visa are required. For entry information, contact the Bhutan Travel Service, 120 East 56th Street, New York, N.Y., 10022, telephone (212) 838-6382, or the Bhutanese Mission to the United Nations in New York, telephone (212) 826-1919.

Medical Facilities: Medical facilities in Bhutan are limited. Some medicine is in short supply. Doctors and clinics often require immediate cash payment for health services. As U.S. medical insurance is not always valid outside the United States, supplemental medical insurance with specific overseas coverage, including medical evacuation, has proved helpful. Information on health matters can be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's international travelers hotline, telephone (404) 332-4559, or via the cdc home page on the Internet at http://www.cdc.gov.

Travel Warnings, Advisories and Areas of Instability: There is relatively little crime in Bhutan. However, some pickpocketing and purse snatching has been reported. The loss or theft of a U.S. passport abroad should be reported immediately to local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. Useful information on safeguarding valuables, protecting personal security, and other matters while traveling abroad is provided in the Department of State pamphlets. "A Safe Trip Abroad" and "Tips for Travelers to South Asia." They are available from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington D.C. 20402.

Drug Penalties: Travelers are subject to the laws and legal practices of the country in which they travel. Penalties for possession, use or trafficking in illegal drugs are strictly enforced in Bhutan. Convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and fines.

Traffic and Road Conditions: Although Bhutan's road network is not extensive, principal sites likely to be visited by travelers are connected by reasonably well-maintained, paved, two-lane roads. Traffic is rarely heavy. Nevertheless, sharp curves, narrow lanes, and limited visibility in mountainous terrain make reduced speeds and special caution advisable.

Embassy Location and Registration: There is no U.S. Embassy or Consulate in Bhutan; however, updated information on travel and security in Bhutan may be obtained at any U.S. Consulate or Embassy in India or Bangladesh. Although no formal diplomatic relations exist between the United States and Bhutan, informal contact is maintained through the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi. For assistance, U.S. citizens can contact the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi (located at Shanti Path, Chanakyapuri, 110021); U.S. Consulates in Bombay, Calcutta or Madras; or to a more limited degree, the U.S. Embassy in Dhaka, Bangladesh (located at the Diplomatic Enclave, Madani Avenue, Baridhara). The U.S. Embassy telephone number in New Delhi is (91)(11) 6889033 or 6113033. In Dhaka, the U.S. Embassy telephone number is (880)(2) 884-700-22.

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