The standard voltage of electricity in Bhutan is 230 V and the frequency is 50 Hz. If the standard voltage in your country is in between 220 and 240 V, as it would be in the UK, Europe, Australia, and most of Asia and Africa, you can use your electric or electronic appliances in Bhutan without a voltage converter. Likewise, if the standard voltage in your country is in between 100 and 127 V, as it would be in the US, Canada and most South American countries, then you will need a voltage converter and a plug adapter before using your appliances. You may even need many different plug adapters if you are planning to travel to more than one country. In this case, it is recommended that you get a universal adapter and a converter kit if you will be carrying multiple electrical and electronic devices.
If you are unsure about the voltage thing, you can check on your appliance where you will find a label. If the label states something like “INPUT: 100-240V, 50/60 Hz, your appliance can be used in any of the countries in the world. Generally, all laptops and some electric razors take universal voltages. You need to check your equipment and be sure about the voltage requirement in order to avoid damaging it. If the only electric device that you are bringing with you is an electric shaver, you may consider buying a model that is not too heavy. Alternately, you can purchase it in Thimphu or other popular cities, but not in the remote locations.
Voltage fluctuations are very common in Bhutan, so it is always advisable to use an adapter with quality power surge protector for all your electronic and electrical appliances. Power outage is not very common in the recent times like it used to be few years back.
The power plugs and sockets used in Bhutan are of type D, F and G, usually with three round pins with either small or large pin sizes. Type F is also known as ‘Schuko’ and also works with plug C and plug E. Type D sockets are mainly used in India, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and many African countries and it works only with plug D. Type G is of British origin and the socket works with only plug G.
If you are in Bhutan for trekking in remote locations, it’s best if you do not bring heavy electrical appliances. As for your light-weight video camera, you can bring enough batteries to last the trek. However, if you are in Bhutan for yours in major townships, it’s best to carry chargers and adapters with you as you will be able to use them. For trips that combine both tours and treks, you can bring important necessary electrical items and use them when touring and leave them at your hotel during the trek.
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