Cost of living in Bhutan

Bhutan, a small country nestled in the eastern Himalayas, offers a unique and enriching lifestyle that is often described as one of the happiest in the world. The kingdom of Bhutan has several distinctive advantages for its residents.

One of the key advantages of living in Bhutan is the country’s focus on Gross National Happiness (GNH) rather than simply Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Bhutan recognizes the importance of holistic well-being and emphasizes sustainable development, spiritual values, cultural preservation, and environmental conservation. This approach creates a balanced and fulfilling life for its citizens.

Additionally, Bhutan is renowned for its pristine natural environment and breathtaking landscapes. The country’s commitment to environmental conservation means that residents can enjoy clean air, majestic mountains, dense forests, and a wide variety of flora and fauna. Access to such natural beauty allows for a peaceful and tranquil lifestyle.

Moreover, Bhutanese people value their culture deeply, and the country takes significant measures to preserve its heritage. Traditional Bhutanese festivals, commonly known as tshechu, offer a glimpse into the rich cultural traditions and beliefs of the nation. Living in Bhutan provides an opportunity to immerse oneself in this vibrant cultural fabric and participate in these festive celebrations.

Furthermore, Bhutan’s government provides free healthcare and education to its citizens, ensuring that essential services are accessible to all. This social welfare system creates a sense of security and well-being among the population.

Overall, living in Bhutan offers a unique and rewarding experience. The country’s focus on happiness, coupled with its pristine natural environment, deep-rooted cultural traditions, and strong social welfare system, contribute to a high quality of life. Bhutan’s serene lifestyle and commitment to holistic well-being make it an ideal place to find contentment and fulfillment.

Average salaries in Bhutan

Here are some examples of average monthly earnings for popular positions in Bhutan:

1. Teacher: The average monthly salary for a teacher in Bhutan is around 20,000 Bhutanese Ngultrum (BTN) (approximately 250 euros or 300 US dollars).

2. Salesperson: A salesperson in Bhutan can earn an average monthly salary of about 15,000 BTN (approximately 190 euros or 230 US dollars).

3. Driver: The average monthly earnings for a driver in Bhutan is around 12,000 BTN (approximately 150 euros or 180 US dollars).

Please note that these figures are approximate and can vary depending on factors such as experience, qualifications, and location within Bhutan. It’s also important to consider that the cost of living in Bhutan may be different compared to other countries, so these salaries should be viewed in relation to the local economy.

Overall, these examples provide a general idea of the average monthly earnings for popular positions in Bhutan.

Food prices in Bhutan

Meals in restaurants

Here is an example of meal prices in restaurants in Bhutan:

1. Traditional Bhutanese meal (Ema Datshi): 200 BTN (2.5 EUR, 3 USD)

2. Fried rice with vegetables: 150 BTN (1.9 EUR, 2.3 USD)

3. Chicken curry with rice: 250 BTN (3.1 EUR, 3.8 USD)

4. Beef momo (dumplings): 180 BTN (2.2 EUR, 2.7 USD)

5. Vegetable noodles: 120 BTN (1.5 EUR, 1.8 USD)

6. Pork curry with naan bread: 280 BTN (3.5 EUR, 4.3 USD)

7. Fried fish with fries: 200 BTN (2.5 EUR, 3 USD)

8. Mixed vegetable curry with rice: 180 BTN (2.2 EUR, 2.7 USD)

9. Mushroom soup: 100 BTN (1.3 EUR, 1.5 USD)

10. Cheese and spinach momo (dumplings): 150 BTN (1.9 EUR, 2.3 USD)

Please note that these prices are approximate and can vary depending on the location and type of restaurant. Additionally, prices may be subject to change over time due to inflation or other factors. It is always a good idea to check with the specific restaurant for the most up-to-date prices.

Grocery shopping

Here is a list of basic food items and their approximate prices in Bhutan:

1. Rice (1 kg) – 50 BTN (0.60 EUR, 0.70 USD)

2. Wheat flour (1 kg) – 40 BTN (0.50 EUR, 0.60 USD)

3. Potatoes (1 kg) – 30 BTN (0.40 EUR, 0.50 USD)

4. Onions (1 kg) – 40 BTN (0.50 EUR, 0.60 USD)

5. Tomatoes (1 kg) – 60 BTN (0.70 EUR, 0.80 USD)

6. Eggs (10 pieces) – 60 BTN (0.70 EUR, 0.80 USD)

7. Chicken (1 kg) – 200 BTN (2.40 EUR, 2.80 USD)

8. Beef (1 kg) – 300 BTN (3.60 EUR, 4.20 USD)

9. Fish (1 kg) – 250 BTN (3 EUR, 3.50 USD)

10. Milk (1 liter) – 60 BTN (0.70 EUR, 0.80 USD)

11. Bread (500g) – 30 BTN (0.40 EUR, 0.50 USD)

12. Cooking oil (1 liter) – 100 BTN (1.20 EUR, 1.40 USD)

13. Sugar (1 kg) – 60 BTN (0.70 EUR, 0.80 USD)

14. Salt (1 kg) – 20 BTN (0.25 EUR, 0.30 USD)

15. Tea leaves (250g) – 100 BTN (1.20 EUR, 1.40 USD)

Please note that these prices are approximate and may vary depending on the location and the specific store. It’s always a good idea to check the current prices at the local market or supermarket.

Cafes and bars

Here is a list of average prices for beverages served in bars and cafes in Bhutan:

1. Tea: 20-30 BTN per cup (0.25-0.38 EUR / 0.30-0.45 USD)

2. Coffee: 40-60 BTN per cup (0.50-0.75 EUR / 0.60-0.90 USD)

3. Soft drinks: 30-40 BTN per can (0.38-0.50 EUR / 0.45-0.60 USD)

4. Fresh fruit juice: 50-70 BTN per glass (0.63-0.88 EUR / 0.75-1.05 USD)

5. Local beer: 80-100 BTN per bottle (1.00-1.25 EUR / 1.20-1.50 USD)

6. Imported beer: 150-200 BTN per bottle (1.88-2.50 EUR / 2.25-3.00 USD)

7. Local spirits: 100-150 BTN per shot (1.25-1.88 EUR / 1.50-2.25 USD)

8. Imported spirits: 200-300 BTN per shot (2.50-3.75 EUR / 3.00-4.50 USD)

Please note that these prices are approximate and may vary depending on the location and establishment. It’s always a good idea to check the menu or ask the staff for the current prices.

Bhutan uses the Bhutanese ngultrum (BTN) as its local currency. The exchange rate may fluctuate, so it’s advisable to check the current rates before making any conversions to euros or US dollars.

Accomodation

Flat rental in Bhutan

– Średni koszt wynajmu jednopokojowego mieszkania w centrum miasta wynosi około 10 000 BTN (120 EUR, 140 USD) miesięcznie.

– Średni koszt wynajmu jednopokojowego mieszkania poza centrum miasta wynosi około 7 000 BTN (85 EUR, 100 USD) miesięcznie.

– Średni koszt wynajmu trzypokojowego mieszkania w centrum miasta wynosi około 25 000 BTN (300 EUR, 350 USD) miesięcznie.

– Średni koszt wynajmu trzypokojowego mieszkania poza centrum miasta wynosi około 18 000 BTN (215 EUR, 250 USD) miesięcznie.

– Koszt wynajmu domu jednorodzinnego w centrum miasta wynosi około 40 000 BTN (480 EUR, 560 USD) miesięcznie.

– Koszt wynajmu domu jednorodzinnego poza centrum miasta wynosi około 30 000 BTN (360 EUR, 420 USD) miesięcznie.

Please note that these prices are approximate and may vary depending on the location, size, and condition of the property. It is always recommended to research and compare prices before making any rental decisions.

Buy a house or apartament in Bhutan

– Średnia cena zakupu domu w Bhutanie wynosi około 10 000 000 BTN (około 110 000 EUR, 130 000 USD).

– Ceny domów w Bhutanie mogą się różnić w zależności od lokalizacji, rozmiaru i standardu budynku.

– Mieszkania w Bhutanie są zazwyczaj tańsze niż domy i ich ceny zaczynają się od około 3 000 000 BTN (około 33 000 EUR, 39 000 USD).

– Podobnie jak w przypadku domów, ceny mieszkań mogą się różnić w zależności od lokalizacji, rozmiaru i standardu budynku.

– W Bhutanie istnieje również możliwość wynajmu domów i mieszkań, co może być tańszą opcją dla osób, które nie chcą inwestować w nieruchomość na stałe.

– Warto zauważyć, że Bhutan jest krajem o niewielkim rynku nieruchomości, co może wpływać na ceny i dostępność domów i mieszkań.

– Przed zakupem nieruchomości w Bhutanie zaleca się skonsultowanie się z lokalnymi ekspertami, aby uzyskać dokładne informacje na temat aktualnych cen i procedur zakupu.

Transport in Bhutan

Public transport

Here is a list of different forms of public transportation in Bhutan along with their approximate prices in the local currency (Ngultrum), euros, and US dollars:

1. City Bus: The cost of a city bus ticket in Bhutan is around 10-20 Ngultrum (€0.10-€0.20 / $0.12-$0.24).

2. Taxis: Taxis are a popular mode of transportation in Bhutan. The starting fare for a taxi ride is approximately 25-30 Ngultrum (€0.25-€0.30 / $0.30-$0.36), and the fare increases based on the distance traveled.

3. Auto-rickshaws: Auto-rickshaws, also known as tuk-tuks, are available in some cities in Bhutan. The fare for an auto-rickshaw ride starts at around 20-30 Ngultrum (€0.20-€0.30 / $0.24-$0.36) and may vary depending on the distance.

4. Bicycle rentals: In some tourist areas, bicycles are available for rent. The rental cost for a bicycle is approximately 100-200 Ngultrum (€1-€2 / $1.20-$2.40) per hour.

5. Shared taxis: Shared taxis are a common mode of transportation for short distances in Bhutan. The fare for a shared taxi ride is usually around 10-20 Ngultrum (€0.10-€0.20 / $0.12-$0.24) per person.

6. Walking: Walking is a popular and free mode of transportation in Bhutan, especially for short distances within cities and towns.

Please note that these prices are approximate and may vary depending on the location, distance, and availability of transportation options. It is always advisable to confirm the fares with the respective service providers before traveling.

Fuel prices

Here is an example of fuel prices in Bhutan:

– Petrol (Gasoline): 75 Ngultrum per liter (approximately 0.95 Euro or 1.10 USD per liter)

– Diesel: 65 Ngultrum per liter (approximately 0.82 Euro or 0.95 USD per liter)

Please note that these prices are approximate and may vary slightly depending on the location and current market conditions in Bhutan. It is always recommended to check the latest prices before making any fuel-related decisions.

Bhutan, a landlocked country in South Asia, uses the Bhutanese Ngultrum (BTN) as its official currency. The Ngultrum is pegged to the Indian Rupee (INR), and the exchange rate is approximately 1 BTN = 1 INR. However, for the convenience of international travelers, some businesses in Bhutan also accept Indian Rupees, US Dollars, and major credit cards.

Bhutan is known for its commitment to environmental conservation and sustainable development. As a result, the government heavily subsidizes fuel prices to discourage excessive consumption and promote alternative energy sources. This approach helps to maintain a balance between economic growth and environmental preservation.

In conclusion, fuel prices in Bhutan are relatively affordable compared to many other countries. The government’s efforts to promote sustainable development and conservation contribute to the stability of fuel prices in the country.

Vehicles rental

Here are some examples of rental prices for vehicles in Bhutan:

1. Car rental:

– Small economy car: 1,500-2,000 Bhutanese Ngultrum per day (approx. 20-27 euros / 24-32 US dollars)

– Mid-size sedan: 2,500-3,500 Bhutanese Ngultrum per day (approx. 34-47 euros / 40-56 US dollars)

– SUV: 4,000-5,500 Bhutanese Ngultrum per day (approx. 54-74 euros / 64-88 US dollars)

2. Scooter rental:

– Basic scooter: 500-800 Bhutanese Ngultrum per day (approx. 7-11 euros / 8-13 US dollars)

– Premium scooter: 1,000-1,500 Bhutanese Ngultrum per day (approx. 14-20 euros / 16-24 US dollars)

Please note that these prices are approximate and can vary depending on the rental company, location, duration of rental, and the type of vehicle. It’s always recommended to check with different rental agencies to compare prices and find the best deal.

Bhutanese Ngultrum (BTN) is the local currency used in Bhutan. The exchange rate may fluctuate, so it’s advisable to check the current rates before making any conversions.

Entertainment prices in Bhutan

Here is a list of different forms of entertainment in Bhutan along with their approximate prices in the local currency, Bhutanese Ngultrum (BTN), and their approximate values in Euros (EUR) and US Dollars (USD):

1. Watching a movie at a local cinema: 150-300 BTN (1.70-3.40 EUR / 2.00-4.00 USD)

2. Visiting a traditional Bhutanese dance performance: 200-500 BTN (2.30-5.70 EUR / 2.70-6.70 USD)

3. Attending a live music concert: 300-800 BTN (3.40-9.10 EUR / 4.00-10.70 USD)

4. Participating in a traditional archery competition: 500-1000 BTN (5.70-11.40 EUR / 6.70-13.40 USD)

5. Exploring a local museum or art gallery: 100-300 BTN (1.10-3.40 EUR / 1.30-4.00 USD)

6. Trying out traditional Bhutanese games like darts or khuru: 50-200 BTN (0.60-2.30 EUR / 0.70-2.70 USD)

7. Enjoying a scenic hike in the mountains: Free or nominal entry fee for national parks (0.00-2.30 EUR / 0.00-2.70 USD)

8. Visiting a Buddhist monastery or temple: Free or nominal donation (0.00-2.30 EUR / 0.00-2.70 USD)

9. Taking part in a traditional Bhutanese festival: Free or nominal entry fee (0.00-2.30 EUR / 0.00-2.70 USD)

10. Trying out Bhutanese cuisine at a local restaurant: 200-500 BTN (2.30-5.70 EUR / 2.70-6.70 USD)

Please note that these prices are approximate and may vary depending on the specific location, season, and any additional services or experiences included. It is always recommended to check with the respective establishments for the most up-to-date prices.

Basic services in Bhutan

Here is a list of basic services and their approximate prices in Bhutan:

1. Cinema ticket: The average price for a cinema ticket in Bhutan is around 200-300 Bhutanese Ngultrum (BTN) (approximately 2-3 euros or 2-3 US dollars).

2. Haircut (fryzjer): The cost of a basic haircut in Bhutan ranges from 200-500 BTN (approximately 2-5 euros or 2-5 US dollars).

3. Beauty salon (kosmetyczka): The price for beauty salon services such as facials, manicures, and pedicures in Bhutan can vary, but on average, it ranges from 500-1000 BTN (approximately 5-10 euros or 5-10 US dollars) per service.

4. Massage (masaż): The cost of a one-hour full-body massage in Bhutan is around 1000-2000 BTN (approximately 10-20 euros or 10-20 US dollars).

5. Car mechanic (mechanik samochodowy): The prices for car repairs and maintenance in Bhutan can vary depending on the type of service required. On average, the hourly labor rate for a car mechanic is around 500-1000 BTN (approximately 5-10 euros or 5-10 US dollars).

Please note that these prices are approximate and can vary depending on the location, quality of service, and other factors. It’s always best to check with specific service providers for accurate pricing information.

Healthcare

Private healthcare in Bhutan is available for those who can afford it, alongside the free public healthcare system. The prices for private healthcare services in Bhutan can vary depending on the provider and the specific service required. Here is a list of approximate prices for some common private healthcare services in Bhutan:

1. Consultation with a specialist doctor: The cost of a consultation with a specialist doctor in Bhutan can range from BTN 500 to BTN 1,500 (approximately €5 to €15 or $6 to $18).

2. Dental check-up and cleaning: A dental check-up and cleaning in Bhutan can cost around BTN 500 to BTN 1,000 (approximately €5 to €10 or $6 to $12).

3. Eye examination by an ophthalmologist: The cost of an eye examination by an ophthalmologist in Bhutan can range from BTN 500 to BTN 1,500 (approximately €5 to €15 or $6 to $18).

4. Prescription glasses: The price of prescription glasses in Bhutan can vary depending on the type and quality of the frames and lenses. On average, a pair of prescription glasses can cost around BTN 1,000 to BTN 3,000 (approximately €10 to €30 or $12 to $36).

5. Laboratory tests: The cost of laboratory tests in Bhutan can vary depending on the type of test required. Basic blood tests can cost around BTN 500 to BTN 1,000 (approximately €5 to €10 or $6 to $12).

It is important to note that these prices are approximate and can vary depending on the healthcare provider and location within Bhutan. Additionally, prices for more specialized or complex procedures may be higher. It is advisable to contact specific healthcare providers in Bhutan for accurate and up-to-date pricing information.

Vacations and trips

Here is a list of prices related to vacations and trips in Bhutan:

1. Visa fee: $40 (€35) per person per day during the peak season (March, April, May, September, October, and November) and $30 (€26) per person per day during the off-peak season (January, February, June, July, August, December). This fee includes accommodation, meals, a licensed guide, and transportation within Bhutan.

2. Accommodation: The average cost of a hotel room in Bhutan ranges from $50 (€44) to $200 (€176) per night, depending on the location and level of luxury.

3. Food: A meal at a local restaurant in Bhutan can cost around $5 (€4) to $15 (€13) per person. Higher-end restaurants may charge slightly more.

4. Transportation: Hiring a private car with a driver for a day can cost around $80 (€70) to $120 (€105), depending on the distance and duration of the trip. Public transportation, such as buses, is cheaper but may not be as convenient for tourists.

5. Sightseeing and activities: Entrance fees to popular tourist attractions in Bhutan range from $10 (€9) to $30 (€26) per person. Additional costs may apply for activities like trekking or visiting national parks.

6. Souvenirs: Traditional Bhutanese handicrafts and souvenirs can vary in price, but expect to spend around $10 (€9) to $50 (€44) for small items like keychains, magnets, or postcards.

It’s important to note that these prices are approximate and can vary depending on the season, location, and individual preferences. Additionally, the Bhutanese Ngultrum (BTN) is the local currency used in Bhutan, and the exchange rate may fluctuate.

Clothes and accessories

The average prices of clothing and accessories in Bhutan are as follows:

1. Traditional Bhutanese dress (Gho for men and Kira for women): Approximately 5,000-10,000 BTN (60-120 EUR, 70-140 USD)

2. Western-style clothing (shirts, pants, dresses, etc.): Around 1,000-5,000 BTN (12-60 EUR, 14-70 USD)

3. Footwear (shoes, sandals, etc.): Approximately 1,000-5,000 BTN (12-60 EUR, 14-70 USD)

4. Winter clothing (jackets, sweaters, etc.): Around 2,000-10,000 BTN (24-120 EUR, 28-140 USD)

5. Accessories (belts, scarves, hats, etc.): Approximately 500-2,000 BTN (6-24 EUR, 7-28 USD)

Please note that these prices are approximate and can vary depending on the brand, quality, and location of the store. It is always a good idea to compare prices and bargain if possible.

Bhutan is known for its traditional clothing, and the prices for traditional dresses can be higher compared to Western-style clothing. However, Western-style clothing is also widely available in Bhutan, and the prices can be more affordable.

When converting the prices to euros or US dollars, please keep in mind that exchange rates may fluctuate, and the values provided are only approximate.

In conclusion, the average prices of clothing and accessories in Bhutan range from 500-10,000 BTN (6-120 EUR, 7-140 USD), depending on the type of clothing and its quality.