There are two significant entrance points to Bhutan. One is related to Phuentsholing, which is the southern border of West Bengal plains, and another one passes through SamdrupJongkhar and Gelephu, which creates a link with Assam. Through Paro, you can fly through Drukair, defined as national Bhutan airline. After arrival, tourist needs to produce passport and visa as a security measure.
Travelers from Bangladesh and India are not supposed to provide visa arrangements, before reaching Bhutan, due to bilateral agreements. They need to carry passports or voter�s card with passport sized photographers, upon which the available permits are likely to get issued. If you are willing to travel by road, some of the best entrance points are Phuentsholing, Gelephu or SamdrupJongkhar.
If you are traveling by air:
Founded in the year 1981, Druk Air is stated to be the national air carrier of Bhutan, and it started its operation in 1983. Various flights are now scheduled on a weekly basis, from different cities of Delhi, Kolkata, Bodh Gaya, Guwahati, Dhaka, Bangkok, Singapore and Kathmandu, and the journey ends at Paro. Druk Air happens to use Airbus A-319, which is also considered to be a versatile aircraft, ensuring comfortable journey to passengers. These jets follow some of the most wonderful flights, before reaching Bhutan. The spectacular highlight of this journey is through the stretch between Bhutan and Kathmandu. Here, the jet flies above four highest peaks in the world. While flying in a comfortable manner, passengers can soothe their eyes with the magnificent view of Mt. Everest, along with some other peaks, like Makalu, Kangchenjunga, and Lhotse. Passengers are likely to land at Paro Valley, located in Bhutan, and it is located at a height of 7,332 feet, just above sea level. Pari Airport is located near the river side of ParoChhi, and it is nearly 6km from Paro, in a deep valley.
Paro Airport is considered to be the only international airport, of this place. Even though, there is another international airport, located in Gelephu, but it is under construction, at present. Moreover, you can avail services from domestic airports, in Yonphula in East and Bumthang in a central position.
After reaching your airport, our guides will be waiting for you with complete holiday package and your stay in Bhutan.
Listed below, are two important contact addresses of Druk Air Offices:
- In India:
- New Delhi, Tel: 91-11-335-7703
- Email: email@example.com
- Kolkata, Tel: 91-33-240-2419
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- In Bhutan:
- Paro International Airport, Tel: +975-8-271856/271857
- Email: email@example.com
- Visit www.drukair.com.bt for more information
If You are Travelling by Land:
For many years down the memory lane, Bhutan stayed isolated from other parts of the world, with the main aim of preserving the natural environment and cultural heritage. Even though, Bhutan opened its gate to the world in the 1960s, still, this place comprises of a guarded stance, when it comes to the tourism business.
This is the sole reason behind Gelephu, Phuentsholing, and SamdrupJongkhar as the major land borders for international tourists. Phuentsholing is located nearly 170km towards eastern part from Bagdogra, the national airport of India. This journey starts with a mountainous climb through various turns and hair-pin bends. You need to cross Phuentsholing and finally arrives at Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. It will easily take over 6 hours to cover the complete stretch of 150km.
Gelephu, located in the South Central part of Bhutan, is defined as another entrance point of Bhutan. The entire stretch between Gelephu and Thimphu is nearly 250kms. In this journey, you will enjoy Mother Nature, at her best. You have to pass through the subtropical areas of Bhutan and be a part of the alpine zone. This stretch will finally lead you to Thimphu. It will take nearly 10 hours to complete this route, as you have to pass through three districts.
While planning to visit the eastern part of Bhutan, the only entrance point is SamdrupJongkhar. It shared a border with Darranga, in Assam and located nearly 150kms from the capital of Assam, Guwahati. It will take nearly 3 hours for completion of this journey from Guwahati. After you plan to take this route of SamdrupJongkhar, you have to cross the largest Bhutanese district, Trashigang. You have to take some lateral routes too, to Bumthang, Mongar, WangdePhodrang and Trongsa, finally reaching Thimphu. This journey will take three days of your time, as you have to cover a massive distance of 700km.
It is always possible to avail a combined journey of air and overland. For a whole overland journey, make sure to have your Indian Visa, near hand.
Tnis is the reason that only Phuentsholing, Gelephu and Samdrup Jongkhar in eastern Bhutan are the land border areas which are open for international tourists. Phuentsholing is a town that is located approximately 170 km east from the Indian national airport Bagdogra. One journey begins its mountainous climb through the endless hair-pin bends and turns after crossing Phuentsholing till you arrive at Thimphu which is the capital city of Bhutan.It can take more than six hours to cover the 150 km stretch.
Gelephu in South-Central Bhutan is Another entry point to the country of Bhutan is through Gelephu located in South-Central Bhutan . The stretch from Gelephu to Thimphu is approximately 250 kms . On this journey you will be treated to the sub-tropical areas of Bhutan and enter the alpine zone and eventually lead you to Thimphu. The travel time for this route would be about ten hours as you have to pass through three districts .
In eastern Bhutan the Samdrup Jongkhar serves as the only entry point. The town shares a border with the Indian district of Darranga in Assam and is situated around 150 kms away from Guwahati which is the capital city of Assam. The journey takes about three hours from Guwahati. If you enter Bhutan from the Samdrup Jongkhar will be taken to Trashigang, the largest district in Bhutan, and has to take the lateral route to Mongar, Bumthang, Trongsa, Wangde Phodrang and then finally into capital of the country-Thimphu. The entire journey will take around three days since the distance is covered is about 700 kms .
It is possible to have a combination of overland and air travel. In case of all overland travel it is mandatory to have an Indian visa.
The ideal time to visit Bhutan
Defined as a dynamic country, Bhutan comes with the best season for everyone. It has everything you can ask for, from southern sub-tropical jungles to 2000-2500 meters of height in the center, this place has it all. It even comprises of the magnificent views of the alpine region, lowering towards the Himalayas and northern glaciers.
While planning a trip to Bhutan during the winter season, you will be warmly greeted with warm and pleasant days, followed by great sunshine. Always remember that mercury level can even drop till -5 to -6 degree Celsius, especially during night time. For the southern part, winter is the best time. If you are an avid bird watcher, this time is likely to offer you with a perfect, pleasant condition, for watching some Nature�s delights. Moreover, this will be an apt time for village trekking towards lower altitudes, or if you have any bicycle trip alongside mountain roads. Visit Eastern Bhutan during winter season while planning to visit Black necked cranes, defined as endangered species. You will come across little precipitation during this time of year. Snow falls are hardly going to take place below the 2500 meter margin.
In case, you are looking for mountain trekking, winter is not an ideal time then, as mountains are likely to get covered with deep snow. Spring is the ideal trekking time for moderate altitudes. You will enjoy the overwhelming view of rhododendron forests, just above the 3000 meter mark. If you are interested in river rafting, this is your ideal weather. Moreover, if someone wants to be a part of Bhutan�s culture, then consider taking a trip to Paroin spring, to celebrate the largest festival of monastic, termed as Parotshechu.
Even when you reach the alpine region, the weather is likely to be mild enough for you to enjoy natural beauty. You can expect rain only during May month and as a mark of the upcoming monsoon.
Even though, summer months come along with monsoon; you are not supposed to feel discouraged, as Bhutan travelers. In Western and Central parts of Bhutan, summer months are without both heat and humidity. Rain is easily manageable due to its shortest time frame, and through proper equipment and planning. While you plan for mountain trek, especially in Showman Trek, you will be amazed by the pleasant temperature, meadows of Edelweiss and Blue poppies and even green meadows. The site of nomads with their yaks is a common one, especially in higher Alps.
As per the traditional norms, tshechus or monastic festivals take place during autumn months, especially during the months of October and September. During this point of time, trekkers are likely to enjoy picture perfect view of mountains during the month of October, and with lower rainfall count. You will also enjoy a rice harvest, which means a clear landscape view with amazing terraces and changing colors.