Bhutan Travel Information

Getting into Bhutan

Travel to Bhutan via Air or Land: The Kingdom of Bhutan stayed isolated from the rest of the world until the early 1960s. It used to be very difficult to enter the country. It was only accessible by walk from two Northern and Southern entry borders. The Northern route was through Tibet crossing high-altitude passes, which were unreachable during the winter. The second route from Southern point came through the plains of Assam and West Bengal. The Dense Jungle in the South and High altitude passes from the North make it very difficult to enter the country. However, after Bhutan planned economic development carefully, that has made the country much more accessible. There are now connected roads entering the country and one international Airport in Paro.

Visa Information for Entering Bhutan

Indian, Bangladeshi, and Maldives citizens can obtain a Bhutanese visa at any port of entry to Bhutan, producing a valid Passport with a minimum validity of 6 Months (Indian nationals may use their votervoters’VIC) as well.) And the other entire tourist must obtain a Visa Clearance before the travel to Bhutan. Visas are processed through your Bhutanese Local tour operator or any international travel agent/partner.

You will be required to send your color copy of the passport (Photo Page) to your tour operator (HimalayanWindows deserves entire processing), who will apply for your visa. The visa is processed by the Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) once the full payment of your package, including the visa fee, has been transferred to the tour operator. Generally, Visa Clearance will be processed within 72 hours after TCB receives the payment in Full.

During your point of entry, you will be required to show your Visa Clearance Copy; then, the visa officer will stamp your passport with entry details.

A Visa Clearance letter is a copy approved by TCB, along with your complete personal information and passport details. Your entry/Exit details and places to visit have been mentioned on the Visa Clearance Lette,r so it is requested to bring that copy while boarding on and must be shown at the immigration of Bhutan along with your original passport.

Traveling By Air

Paro is situated at 2225m above sea level and bordered by mountains as high as 4876m. Only one international Airport located in Paro connects several countries, such as India (Delhi, Kolkotta, Bodh Gaya, Guwahati), Nepal (Kathmandu), Thailand (Bangkok), Bangladesh (Dhaka), and Singapore. Aruk Air and Tashi Air are operating flights around the country. There are also regular services to Bumthang (central region) and flights available to Trashigang (eastern part) and Gelephu (Southern Region). A second international is currently under construction in Gelephu along the southern border with India.

Flying to Paro International Airport is typically an exciting and thrilling experience as the descent into Paro valley takes you closer to the mountain peaks than most other flights worldwide. It has also been considered the world worldling and adventurous Airport. The flight between Paro, Kathmandu, and Delhi is worthwhile as it offers impressive views of four of the five highest mountains in the world, including Mt. Everest, Mt. Lhotse, Mt. Makalu, and Mt. Kanchenjunga.

Traveling by Land

Phuentsholing, Gelephu, and Samdrup Jongkhar are along the southern borders of India, and these are only open overland borders to international tourists.

Thimpu’s capital city is back a 180 KM journey from Border Town Phuentsholing, which takes about 7 hours. The Phuentsholing Border Town is about 170 Kilometers east of the Indian National Airport Bagdogra. You will begin your drive through a mountainous climb through hairpin bends until you approach Thimphu. Travel sickness tablets are advised for young children who feel uncomfortable traveling on the hillsides. For those planning to exit from the Phuentsholing border, this Paro Phuentsholing Bhutan tour of 7 Days can be helpful.

Gelephu, the Central South Town, is another border to Bhutan. It is about 250 Km from Thimphu; this long journey takes you through lush sub-tropical forests and pristine alpine forests before you reach Thimphu. Due to the mountainous countryside’s narrow roads, the drive to Thimphu from Gelephu takes approximately 9-10 hours.

Samdrup Jongkhar is the only entry point in eastern Bhutan. This border is near the Indian District, such as Darrang, Assam, and about 150 Km from Guwahati, the capital city of Assam. The Journey from Guhawati to Samdrup is about three hours, and tourists entering Bhutan via Samdrup Jongkhar will have to travel through Trashigang, the largest district in Bhutan, and from there travel east through Mongar, Bumthang, Trongsa, and Wangdi Phodrang to the capital city, Thimpu. It would help if you allowed about three days to complete your journey from Samdrum Jongkhar to Thimphu.


Food in Bhutan

The unique feature of Bhutanese cuisine is its sharp taste. Chillis are an essential ingredient of nearly every plate and are considered so critical that most Bhutanese people would not enjoy a meal that was not spicy.

Rice forms the main body of most Bhutanese meals. It comes with one or two side dishes consisting of meat or vegetables. Beef, Pork, and Chicken are the meats most frequently. A wide range of western and Indian cuisine is also accessible in many restaurants across the country. Some cuisines are trendy in Bhutan, including Ema Datshi, MoMos, Phaksha Paa, Jasha Maru, Red Rice, and Goep (Tripe).

List of Hotel to be used or Similar (3 Star hotels)

Paro Thimphu Punakha Wangdue Bumthang
Hotel Olathang Hotel Pedling Damchen Resort DragoDragon’s Resort Chumey Nature Resort
Tiger Nest Resort (TNR) Hotel Phuntsho Pelri Meri Puensum Resort Hotel Tashiling Gongkhar Guest House
Namsey Resort Yeedzin Guest House Hotel Zangthopelri Gakling Guest House Hotel Kuenzang Norling Intl (KNI)
Jigmiling Hotel Hotel Migmar Hotel Lobesa Punatsangchhu Cottage Hotel Pedling

Note: A list of Four and Five-star hotels can be sent as promised. However, it is recommended to decide on the hotel after checking the reviews from past travelers.

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