Bhutan power adapters - what plugs are used in Bhutan?

Bhutanese power outlet

What adapter do I need for Bhutan?

You'll need to pack a Type G plug adapter [3] for Bhutan if the plug you intend to use doesn't fit in a Bhutanese power outlet.

The type of power adapter, converter or charger that's needed when visiting Bhutan all depend on the voltage and type of device that you're trying to use with a Bhutanese power outlet. If you're not sure which voltage your device can use then read the section below on how can you tell if you have a dual voltage or single voltage device before going any further.

  • Power outages do occur in Bhutan, it is advised to pack a power bank [4] if you wish to keep your cellphone and other devices fully charged whilst abroad during a blackout.
  • If you're from America travelling to Bhutan then you will need to bring a plug adapter to fit a US plug in a Bhutanese power outlet. Because the voltage is different in Bhutan use a power converter if your device isn't dual voltage and check that it will work with a 50hz power outlet.
  • If your device is 230 volts or is dual voltage and your plug can fit in a Bhutanese power outlet then you can use it in Bhutan.
  • If your device is 230 volts or is dual voltage but your plug won't fit in a Bhutanese power outlet then you'll need to bring a suitable plug adapter for Bhutan such a Type G plug adapter [3]. Please Note that a plug adapter for Bhutan (or power adapter) is designed to change the actual shape of the plug on your device to fit into a plug outlet found in Bhutan, but but is unable to convert the voltage from 230 volts to a different voltage.
  • If your device is unable to run on 230 volts and isn't dual voltage you'll also need a power converter for Bhutan to convert the voltage from 230 volts to the correct voltage for your device. You will still need to use a suitable plug adapter for Bhutan if your power converter doesn't use the correct Type G plug adapter.
  • If you only need to recharge your USB devices such as tablets or mobile phones then a USB travel power adapter will be ideal and it will work with any voltage, but ensure that you bring one which has a Type G plug adapter otherwise you will still need to pack a suitable plug adapter for Bhutan.

Warning: If your device won't handle 230 volts used in Bhutan you run a risk of an electrical fire hazard, a blown fuse or damage to your device. Before using your device in Bhutan check the instruction manual first to ensure safe operation.

Bhutan power adapters

Power adapters for Bhutan

Complicated combinations of standards and plug types can often be daunting when planning to travel to a new country, especially to the first time traveller. This isn't as complicated as it appears, with only a handful of different types of standards used throughout the world this guide tells you exactly what you'll need in advance to power your device in Bhutan. This page has links to step-by-step instructions showing exactly which power adapters you'll need to power your devices when you are visiting Bhutan using the types G, C, D, F or M 230 volt 50Hz wall outlets. Power adapters are different from country to country therefore we suggest reading our Wiki Connections travel power adapters list where you'll find a full list of charging devices in different countries.

What is the best power adapter for Bhutan?

The best power adapter for Bhutan will be a Type G power adapter [3] which will allow you to use any 230 volt device or appliance.

What is the best power adapter for Bhutan?

What is a power adapter?

Power adapters are small, cheap and lightweight plastic adapters that permit a different shaped power plug from a different region to correctly slot into a wall socket in Bhutan.

Also known as: an electrical adapter, plug adapter, travel adapter, electrical adaptor, mains travel adapter or power adaptor [5].

Can a power adapter convert the voltage from a Bhutanese power outlet?

Power adapters will only adapt the shape of a plug to fit into a 230 volt Bhutanese power outlet and can't convert to a higher voltage. If you need to safely use any 100, 110 or 120 volt device you will also need a more expensive step down power converter for Bhutan along with the right type of adapter.

Do I need a power adapter for Bhutan?

It will depend on the shape of plug you are attempting to use in Bhutan and the location you are travelling from.

Will I need a power adapter if I'm visiting Bhutan from the US?

US plugs won't fit in a Bhutanese power outlet so you will need to bring a power adapter for Bhutan, and as the voltage is much higher you will also need to use a power converter for Bhutan if your appliance or charger isn't dual voltage to prevent damage or overheating.

What does a power adapter for a Bhutanese power outlet do?

A power adapter enables visitors travelling from a different location to use their own electrical appliances and devices in Bhutan by changing the shape of the plug from one shape to another.

Bhutan power outlets and plug sockets

What plug sockets are used in Bhutan?

There are five different types of power outlets used in Bhutan, these are type G, C, D, F and M with the primary power outlets being type G:

  • Plug Type C - This ungrounded power socket, also known as a Europlug, can be recognised by 2 round adjacent holes for live and neutral pins.
  • Plug Type D - You can identify the power outlet by the three holes forming a triangular configuration for live, neutral and earth.
  • Plug Type F - This sunken circular wall socket can be recognised by two 4.8mm round adjacent holes for live and neutral pins along with a pair of thin grounding clips at the top and bottom.
  • Plug Type G - You can identify the power outlet by the three rectangular holes forming a triangle shape for live, neutral and earth.
  • Plug Type M - You can recognise this plug outlet by the three large holes forming a triangle pattern for live, neutral and ground.
What plug sockets are used in Bhutan?

Do US plugs work in Bhutan?

No - a US plug won't work in Bhutan because it won't fit in a Bhutanese power outlet without using a power adapter. Also, the voltage is 230 volts therefore use a power converter for Bhutan if your device or appliance isn't dual voltage and check that your appliance will work with a 50hz power outlet.

How do I use a 110 volt appliance in Bhutan?

A step down power converter will allow you to use a 110V appliance in Bhutan.

Is the voltage in Bhutan the same as in the US?

The voltage in Bhutan is 230 volts, however 120 volts is used in the US. If your US appliance or power charger won't handle dual voltage then you will need to use a suitable power converter for a Bhutanese power outlet which can change the voltage from a 220-240 volt power outlet to 120 volts.

Is a plug socket in Bhutan the same as in the US?

A US plug won't fit in a Bhutanese power outlet so you will need to use a plug adapter for Bhutan. Both the voltage and frequency are different so if your appliance or charger isn't dual voltage use a power converter for Bhutan and check that it works with 50hz.

What is the electrical frequency used in Bhutan?

The frequency of the alternating current from a Bhutanese power outlet is 50 Hz.

Does Bhutan have power outages?

Typically Bhutan reports power blackouts around once a month.

Is there good access to power outlets in Bhutan?

The population of Bhutan has excellent access to electrical power throughout the country.

Should I use a portable charger in Bhutan?

Because of potential electrical blackouts in Bhutan visitors are advised to use alternate charging solutions if they wish to continue using devices such as phones or tablets.

  • During a trip increased use of cell phones for storing itineraries, taking photos, social network sharing, GPS and web browsing will syphon off power before the end of the day. As well as just missing photo opportunities this can potentially leave you stranded without enough power to make an emergency call or being able to use satellite navigation to return to your accommodation or hotel. By packing a power bank [4] for Bhutan eases those concerns as it means you can keep your mobile phone fully powered without using a phone charger, especially when travelling to a country with regular power outages.
  • Use at least a 10,000mAh portable charger [4] which can supply enough energy to power around 3 full charge cycles whilst a 20,000mAh power bank [9] should keep an average smart phone powered for roughly 7 days. The mAh rating (or milli ampere-hours) shows the capacity of the battery and gives an indication of how many cycles the portable charger can achieve, so a higher number is better for travellers.
  • Providing that your laptop supports USB-C charging then bringing a portable charger for a laptop [10] marked with PD (power delivery) that supplies 20Wh or more can be used to extend the battery life of that laptop in Bhutan.
  • However be aware that some airlines prohibit batteries on an aircraft that supply 100 Wh of power or more and must be kept in hand luggage only.
  • Consumer power banks aren't strong enough for use with high wattage items that generate heat, although a rechargeable hair dryer [7] or gas hair straighteners [8] can be used for travelling to areas with frequent power cuts such as Bhutan.
Should I use a portable charger in Bhutan?
Do solar powered chargers work in Bhutan?

Solar backpacks will recharge most USB devices

Do solar powered chargers work in Bhutan?

The climate in Bhutan could be suitable for a solar power bank [12] but it could take time to recharge. The smaller surface area of the cells means a solar power bank will need to be left in powerful daylight for an extended period of time in order to provide enough power for a single charge cycle, and this might prove inconvenient to continually pack and unpack a solar power bank and wait whilst it recharges in a sunny area.

  • The bigger solar panels used on a solar backpack [11] will give the bag the ability to create more power within a shorter period of time.
  • Phones that have been directly plugged into a USB charging port of a backpack will trickle charge the power during sunny periods in Bhutan, but could be inconvenient to have it constantly connected to the bag during the day if it is to be needed frequently. A backback with solar cells is constantly exposed to daylight therefore could be topping up a power bank [4] throughout the day, unlike a small solar power bank which requires unpacking facing the sunlight.
  • A solar bag which is suitable for Bhutan needs to have a solar cell efficiency of at least 22%, can generate a minimum of 6 watts of energy and be used with a 10,000mAH power bank or stronger.
  • They are available in backpack, rucksack and laptop messenger styles making them perfect for work, domestic and travel use.
  • The durable and flexible solar cells used in solar powered bags are made to survive scratching and bending, unlike normal rigid solar panels.

Sources

  • International Electrotechnical Commission - World plugs by location (cited August 2014)
  • Wikipedia - Mains electricity by country (cited July 2014)
  • Index Mundi - Power outages in a typical month (cited May 2018, data collected between 2006 to 2017)
  • Index Mundi - Access to electricity (cited May 2018, latest data collected 2010)
  • WikiPedia - List of countries by average yearly temperature (cited May 2018, data averaged between 1961 to 1990)

Bhutan chargers

What is a USB travel power charger?

A USB travel charger is a dual voltage charger with interchangeable plugs and multiple USB ports, suitable for charging multiple USB powered devices when travelling abroad.

What USB charger do I need for Bhutan?

When travelling to more than one country then the best travel charger for Bhutan to buy is a multiple USB port charger which includes compatible plugs like a 4 port USB travel charger [13]. Bhutanese use five different types of power outlets (types G, C, D, F and M) and bringing this ensures that you are covered for both types C and G.

Because these types of chargers are supplied with interchangeable plugs and can handle 100 volts - 240 volts it makes them ideal for over 100 countries around the world just by switching the supplied plugs. If your device can support Fast Charge (not all USB devices will) then you will benefit from faster charging times by using one of these travel chargers, plus additional support for certain power hungry devices.

Unlike other adapters this means you can recharge multiple devices at the same time without needing to pack individual travel chargers or occupying additional power sockets. Because you are only packing a single lightweight travel charger will also keep the size and weight down, making it perfect to fold up in hand baggage and on hand for recharging your devices at the airport or on your flight. Due to their space saving versatility these types of chargers can be used when back at home so when you're not on holiday they can be used under your bedside table charging multiple phones and tablets without needing an additional plug socket.

We suggest searching for a versatile power charger of this nature at your preferred electronics retailer. The travel charger illustrated below is the 4 Port USB Wall Charger [13] which has been successfully tested with multiple USB devices in numerous foreign countries.

What USB charger do I need for Bhutan?

Why use a travel USB charger for Bhutan?

  • Normal travel USB chargers include multiple USB charger ports, this means that you only need to bring a single charger to charge multiple devices. Rather than bring 4 separate power chargers it's now only necessary to pack a single 4 port USB wall charger to power up to 4 individual devices which cuts down on the size and weight of your luggage.
  • Most travel USB power chargers should include interchangeable plug heads for various regions. This is perfect when visiting multiple countries which are likely to use different outlets to Bhutan.
  • A good USB charger is compact, rugged and lightweight; ideal for rigors of travel instead of than risking packing a domestic charger which might be impossible to replace in Bhutan.
  • USB chargers can accept the 230 volts used in Bhutan power outlets plus other voltage standards across the world.
  • There is a possibility that some hotel rooms in Bhutan might only have one wall outlet, by bringing a travel charger with multiple USB ports means you can share the single wall outlet with family or other traveler instead of having to wait to recharge one device at a time.
  • Because of their versatile nature a travel USB charger takes the worry out of visiting an unknown country as they are guaranteed to work practically anywhere on the planet.
  • Power outlets found in airports are often scant and the demand for charging multiple devices from other passengers before a flight can be high, therefore a USB charger with multiple ports and the capability to fast charge is ideal.
  • Sometimes the power grid in a country can be unstable, a quality travel charger allows for unexpected spikes and prevents damage to any devices attached to it. Trying to repair an overloaded cell phone in Bhutan could prove to be problematic and costly.
  • Higher priced USB travel chargers should also incorporate a power outlet strip to plug in low wattage devices such as laptops, but be aware these will be unsuitable for high wattage domestic such as hair dryers or clothes irons. Please read the section on using travel appliances with a Bhutanese power outlet for useful guidelines on the most suitable power adapter for using a high wattage appliances with a Bhutanese power outlet.
  • Some tablets and cellphones could pull more than the normal 500 mA (milliamps) supplied by a standard 5 volt USB adapter to charge or provide fast charge. Higher priced USB travel chargers will support fast charging should some of your devices draw extra power.
  • On returning home travel USB power chargers can also be used by recharging multiple cellphones and tablets on an overnight basis using a single power outlet.

What is the best USB charger for Bhutan?

The is the most compact option for travellers from any country wanting to charge devices using USB, however for visitors also wishing to use their domestic plugs the following power strips provide larger but more versatile solutions. All 3 power strips offer surge protection which can be useful for visitors of counties with unstable power supplies. These travel adapters are supplied with interchangeable type C, I and G plugs covering both Bhutan and over 150 destinations:

  • BESTEK Portable International Travel Voltage Converter - The BESTEK travel converter has 4 USB charging ports with 3 AC power outlets and is the best selling compact power converter for travellers originating from North America visiting Bhutan.
  • ORICO Traveling Outlet Surge Protector Power Strip - Likewise having 4 USB ports but only 2 AC power outlets the travel adapter from Orico is also aimed at travellers originating from America using type B plugs and gives almost the same functionality as the BESTEK with only one less AC outlet at almost half price.
  • BESTEK International USB Travel Power Strip - This power strip has 2 AC outlets but offers a generous 5 USB charging ports. This versatile power strip is compatible with both American plugs and popular plug types A, D,E/F, G, H, I, L and N making it perfect for most travellers from around the world visiting Bhutan.

Power converters for Bhutan

What does a power converter for Bhutan do?

A power converter for Bhutan will allow travellers to use their 100, 110 or 120 volt electric appliance with a 230 volt Bhutanese power outlet.

Also known as: electrical converter, electrical transformer, voltage converter, power transformer or voltage transformer.

What is the difference between a plug adapter and a power converter for Bhutan?

A cheap, small and lightweight power adapter (or plug adapter) will change the shape of the plug on your device to fit into a power outlet in Bhutan, but an expensive and bulkier power converter [14] converts the voltage of 230 volts from a Bhutanese power outlet to work with a non-230 volt device.

Do I need a power converter for Bhutan?

If visiting Bhutan from a different country please check the device can be used with a 230 volt power supply.

  • A step down power converter [15] is needed if you are visiting Bhutan from a country that uses 100-120 volts and your device or appliance is incompatible with 230 volts. Read our list of world power outlets guide to see which voltage is used in your country.
  • You don't need a power converter if you already own either a single voltage appliance that works with 230 volts or one that is dual voltage.
  • Typically, electrical devices designed for a lower voltage (such as 120 volts) and then used with 230 volts run a risk of an electrical fire hazard, a blown fuse or damage to your device unless a step down power converter [15] is used.
  • You won't need a power converter if you wish to charge a smaller electrical device such as a tablet as these are normally designed for international use and support dual voltage, however you should always check the device for dual voltage support first.
  • For supplying power to high wattage appliances or generate heat (for example clothes irons or hair dryers) then you will need to use a much larger higher wattage heavy duty power converter [16] which allows the appliance to be used with a 230 volt Bhutanese power outlet.
  • It will be more cost effective to purchase a robust lightweight dual voltage travel appliance than bringing a heavier high wattage power converter to Bhutan simply to use your existing domestic appliance.
  • Read these comprehensive guides on how to use curling irons, clothes irons, hair dryers and hair straighteners in Bhutanese power outlets , along with recommendations on some affordable dual voltage alternatives.

Will I need a power converter for Bhutan if I'm visiting from America?

The 230 volts from a power outlet in Bhutan is different to a 110 volt US outlet, therefore you need to use a step down power converter [15] if your charger or appliance doesn't support dual voltage.

What converter do I need for Bhutan?

To use any 100, 110 or 120 volt appliance with a 230 volt Bhutanese power outlet you will need to buy a step down power converter [15].

How to convert 230 volts to 110 volts

  1. Use a step down power converter [15] to allow you to use a 110 or 120 volt appliance with a 230 volt Bhutanese power outlet.
  2. If the power converter doesn't include the correct shaped plug then it will also be necessary to plug in the power cord from the power converter into a power adapter for Bhutan before plugging that into a Bhutanese power outlet.
  3. Some power converters include the ability to perform both step up and step down voltage conversions, therefore it may be necessary to manually switch the converter to output the voltage to the 110-120 volt range.
  4. Plug your appliance into the converter and turn the power on, your 110-120 volt appliance can now be used with a 230 volt Bhutanese power outlet.

What voltage does Bhutan use?

Bhutan uses 230 volts in their normal power outlets.

What is the difference between a converter and a power transformer?

Voltage converter

What is the difference between a converter and a power transformer?

Converters and transformers are both used to change one voltage to another, but this ambiguity can cause confusion as their purposes are different:

  • Power converters are designed for simple electrical appliances which typically generate heat or use motors such as clothes irons, shavers or hair dryers. Transformers are designed for more complex electronic items such as televisions or games consoles.
  • Buying a power converter is cheaper than buying a power transformer.
  • Power transformers are larger and heavier making them more suited for permanent residential use; for example an expat wishing to use an imported television would need to use a transformer for this purpose.
  • Power converters are more suitable for travellers wishing to bring domestic appliances abroad such as hair dryers or flat irons. However, it is more practical and cost effective to purchase a dual voltage appliance designed for travel rather than a heavier power converter.
  • Power converters are suitable for 2 pin ungrounded appliances, it could be harder to find a converter if you want to use a grounded 3 pin appliance.
  • Transformers can be used constantly however it is recommended that converters are used for no longer than a couple of hours at a time.
  • Shops may sell transformers under the name of converters, for the purposes this guide we will be referring to both converters and transformers as converters.
What voltage is my device?

Single voltage hair dryer

What voltage is my device?

One method to see if your appliance is either single or dual voltage is to check for numbers printed on the supplied charger, or on the device itself, normally near to where the power cord sits. This location will depend on the make or model of your device but should also be written in the instruction manual or on the box.

  • Single voltage devices might have a specific number - such as 120V.
  • Single voltage devices might also have a small voltage range (around 20 volts) with a dash to accomodate small voltage fluctuations - such as 220-240V.
  • Dual voltage devices will say a larger voltage range separated with a slash - such as 110/240V.

What can I connect to a Bhutanese power outlet

Travel appliances that can connect to a Bhutanese power outlet

Beats Pill speakers which can connect to a Bhutanese power outlet

Jabra Bluetooth speakers which are compatible with a Bhutanese power outlet

Mobile phones which can be connected to the Bhutanese power outlet

Apple iPhones that work with a Bhutanese power outlet

Samsung Galaxy phones that work with a Bhutanese power outlet

A list of Amazon Kindle tablets which work with a Bhutanese power outlet

A list of Apple iPads which are compatible with a Bhutanese power outlet

Corrections

We endeavor to ensure all details on this page are correct and relevant to travelers visiting Bhutan, if you wish to contribute any useful information or feedback please email travel@wikiconnections.org. For more comprehensive technical details visit the Wikipedia page on AC power plugs and sockets [17].

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhutan - Bhutan Wikipedia page.
  2. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/ - International Electrotechnical Commission World Plugs
  3. Type G plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type G power outlets without converting voltage.
  4. Portable charger - A power bank is a portable charger which can recharge USB powered devices such as mobile phones and tablets on the go.
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adapter - power adaptor
  6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mains_electricity_by_country - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country
  7. Rechargeable hair dryer - Rechargeable battery powered blow dryer suitable for travelling.
  8. Gas hair straighteners - Cordless ceramic hair straighteners powered by gas cartridges.
  9. 20,000mAh portable charger - High capacity 20000mAh high-speed portable USB charger suitable for charging mobile phones and some tablets for several days.
  10. USB-C PD power bank - Power Delivery charger suitable for charging laptops with USB-C support.
  11. Solar backpack - A solar backpack will charge USB devices or an internal power bank when left in sunlight.
  12. Solar power bank - Portable power bank with solar cells which can recharge when placed in sunlight and power any USB powered device.
  13. 4 Port USB Wall Charger - A universal USB charger capable of charging up to 4 USB devices with swappable international adapters.
  14. Power converter - A step up step down power converter converts 110-120 volts up to 220-240 volts and 220-240 volts down to 110-120 Volts.
  15. Step down power converter - A step down power converter allows a 100-120 volt appliance to be used in a 220-240 volt power outlet.
  16. Heavy duty power converter - A 5000 watt heavy duty step up and step down power converter used to convert voltages for domestic appliances, power tools, televisions, heating appliances and motors.
  17. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AC_power_plugs_and_sockets - AC power plugs and sockets