GETTING TO BHUTAN

All tourists (excluding Indian, Bangladeshi and Maldivian passport holders) who wish to travel to Bhutan require a visa and must book their holiday through a Bhutanese tour operator or one of their international partners. The tour operator will take care of Visa arrangements for visitors. Visa clearance must be obtained before coming to Bhutan.  In the case of Indian nationals a passport or voters card are acceptable on entry. Bhutan can be entered either though Land or Air as described below:

TRAVEL BY LAND

Phuentsholing, Samdrup Jongkhar and Gelephu are the only land border areas open to tourists.

Phuntsholing is the commercial hub of Bhutan.The town is located approximately 170 km east of the Indian national airport at Bagdogra. From Phuentsholing, it takes about six hours to reach Thimphu.

The district of Samdrup Jongkhar in south-east Bhutan borders the Indian district of Darranga, Assam and is approximately 150 kms away from Guwahati, the capital city of Assam. The journey from Guwahati to Samdrup Jongkhar is is about three hours. Tourists entering from Samdrup Jongkhar will travel through Trashigang, Mongar, Bumthang, Trongsa, Wangdue Phodrang and then finally into capital, Thimphu. The distance is about 700 kms and will take about three days to reach Thimphu

Gelephu in south-central Bhutan is another entry point to Bhutan. It is approximately 250 kms from Thimphu and the journey will take you through the sub-tropical areas of Bhutan before entering the alpine zone and then finally into Thimphu. One will have to traverse across three districts and the travel time will be about ten hours.

TRAVEL BY AIR

The only International Airport in Bhutan is located in Paro. The flight between Paro and Kathmandu is one of the most exciting ones as the aircraft passes over four of the five highest mountains in the world. In fine weather, as you soar higher up, you can enjoy the spectacular view of Mt. Everest, Lhotse, Makalu and Kangchenjunga at their best.

There are flights to destinations that include Bangkok, Delhi, Kolkata, Bagdogra, Bodh Gaya, Dhaka, Kathmandu, Guwahati, Singapore and Mumbai.

At present two carriers operate to Bhutan; Drukair (www.drukair.com.bt) and Bhutan Airlines (www.bhutanairlines.bt). And there are domestic airports in Yonphula in eastern Bhutan, Bumthang in central Bhutan, and Gelephu in south-central Bhutan.