Punakha, Bhutan - Stein Travel
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Punakha

Known as the 'winter capital of Bhutan', Punakha is only 45 miles (72km) from Thimphu but has a much warmer climate that allows for the patchwork of red and white rice fields that covers the surrounding valleys. The serene atmosphere of the city is personified in the Punakha Dzong, also known as the Palace of Great Happiness, the winter residence of Bhutan's Central Monastic Body and home to several sacred relics. Punakha makes a good base for exploring nearby attractions like the Guru Rinpoche Caves and Koma Tsachu hot springs.

Information & Facts

Language

Dzongkha is the official language, and various Tibetan dialects are spoken. English has recently become the language of instruction in schools but is only spoken fluently by guides and tourist industry professionals.

Money

The local currency is the Ngultrumbut subdivided into 100 Chetrums. The currency is pegged to the Indian rupee on scale of 1:1. The Ngultrumbut was only introduced in 1974 before which the country had no currency, relying on a system of bartering to acquire goods. US Dollars and Travellers Cheques can be exchanged at banks and large hotels. Visa and Mastercard are not widely accepted.

Time

Local time is GMT +6 hours.

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