Travel Information

The main points of entry are through Phuentsholing in the south bordering with the Indian plains of West Bengal, and through Gelephu and SamdrupJongkhar that links with the Indian state of Assam, or Paro, where you fly in on the national airline of Bhutan, Drukair. You will have to produce your visa and passport upon arrival.

Travelers from India and Bangladesh need not have prior visa arrangement because of our bilateral agreements. You have to have passport (also some passport-size photographs) or voter’s card, based on which permit will be issued. If you plan to travel by road, the best point of entry would be Phuentsholing, Gelephu or SamdrupJongkhar.

Travel by air

Bhutan’s air carriers, Druk Air and Bhutan Airlines, operate several flights per week from Singapore, Bangkok, Delhi, Kolkata, Bodh Gaya, Dhaka, Guwahati and Kathmandu to Paro. Their modern jets carry passengers through one of the most spectacular flight paths in the world. A particular highlight is the stretch between Kathmandu and Bhutan where one passes four of the five highest mountains in the world. Passengers will be treated to glorious views of Mt. Everest, Lhotse, Makalu and Kangchenjunga, before landing in Paro Valley, at a height of 7,300 ft above sea level.

The country has so far only one airport (Paro). However, another international airport is under construction in Gelephuwhile domestic airports in Bumthang in central Bhutan and Yonphula in the east are already in operation. Our guides will be at the airport receive you with the programme for your holiday in Bhutan.

The contact addresses of the Druk Air offices are as follows:

In India:
New Delhi, Tel: 91-11-335-7703
Email: druk_delhi@hotmail.com(please recheck)

Kolkata, Tel: 91-33-240-2419
Email: drukcal@vsnl.et(please recheck)

In Bhutan:
Paro International Airport, Tel: +975-8-271856/271857
Email: drukair@druknet.bt(please recheck)
Visit www.drukair.com.bt for more information

Travel by land

Phuentsholing,Gelephu and SamdrupJongkhar in eastern Bhutan are the only land border areas open for international tourists. The town of Phuentsholing is located approximately 170 km east of the Indian national airport,Bagdogra. After crossing Phuentsholing, your journey begins its mountainous climb through endless turns and hair-pin bends till you arrive at Thimphu, the capital city. The travel time for the 150 km stretch can be more than 6 hours.

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.

SamdrupJongkhar is the only entry point in eastern Bhutan. The town borders the Indian district of Darranga, Assam and is approximately 150 kms away from Guwahati, the capital city of Assam. The journey from Guwahati is about three hours. Tourists entering Bhutan through SamdrupJongkhar will be taken to Trashigang, the largest district in the country, and from there over the lateral route to Mongar, Bumthang, Trongsa, WangdePhodrang and then finally into capital, Thimphu. The distance is about 700 kms and will take you a minimum of three days to reach Thimphu.

A combination of overland and air travel is also possible. All overland travel requires an Indian visa.

BEST TIMES TO TRAVEL

Bhutan has a season for everyone. The Kingdom stretches across all climatic zones; from the sub-tropical jungles in the south, to the moderate heights of 2000 – 2500 metres in the centre and up to the alpine world of the towering Himalayas and glaciers of the north.

In winter, there is beautiful sunshine and the days are pleasantly warm. However, it could reach -5 to -6 degree Celsius during the night. Winter is the best time to visit the southern foothills. Dry and pleasant conditions make this the best time of the year for bird watching, village to village trekking in the lower altitudes or a bicycle trip along quiet mountain roads.

The trekking routes in the high mountains are covered in deep snow and are impassable at this time of year. The impressive and endangered Black -necked cranesmake the high valleys of Bumdeling (in eastern Bhutan) and Phobjika (in central Bhutan) their winter homes.

The trekking season commences in moderate altitudes in spring. Above 3000 metres spectacular rhododendron forests bloom. It is also the perfect time for river rafting. In Paro, one of the largest monastic festivals - Parotshechu – takes place.

The temperature is pleasantly mild even up to the Alpine regions. Rain comes only in May as the harbinger of the approaching monsoon.

The summer brings with it the monsoon, but this should not deter travellers. In the settled areas of the medium ranges of Central and Western Bhutan pleasant summer temperatures without heat or humidity prevail. Rain falls for short periods daily but is manageable with adequate planning and equipment. Treks in high mountain areas, e.g. the Snowman Trek, are characterized by mild temperatures, verdant green meadows, and pastures of Blue Poppies and Edelweiss. Nomads tending their yaks in the high Alps are a common sight.

Autumn is the traditional high season in Bhutan. September and October have the highest number of tshechus (monastic festivals). Trekkers particularly enjoy the clear view of the mountains in October and the low rainfall. Rice harvest means a picturesque landscape remarkable terraces and changing colour.

Temperatures and vegetation in the altitudes between 200 and 300 metres are comparable to the moderate climate of middle Europe. The tree line lies just under 4000 metres. During winter there is little precipitation. Snow falls rarely below 2500 metres.

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