Getting to Bhutan

Bhutan government is restrained about allowing tourists into the country. They don’t encourage people to travel to Bhutan independently although it is opening up. Only a limited number of tourists could enter the country at any one time to prevent it from being overwhelmed by mass tourism. Generally, visitors to Bhutan must either be tourists, or guests of the Government. All tourists must travel on a preplanned, prepaid, guided package tour or custom designed travel program. Everyone traveling to Bhutan requires a visa, except for Indian passport holders.

Entering by Air

At present two carriers operate to Bhutan, Drukair and Bhutan Airlines. They operate regular flights to / from Paro to Bangkok, Delhi, Kolkata, Bagdogra, Bodh Gaya, Dhaka, Kathmandu, Guwahati, Singapore and Mumbai. There is only one international airport in Bhutan is located at Paro. Paro is situated at a height of 2,225 m (7300 ft) above sea level and is surrounded by mountains as high as 4,876 m (16,000 ft). A second international airport is currently under construction in Gelephu along the southern border to India.

The aircrafts are extremely well suited for the alpine environment and your descent in to the Paro Valley will be among the highlights of your visit as it brings you closer to the mountain tops than most other flights in the world. The flight between Paro and Kathmandu runs parallel with the Himalayas for much of the journey and Mt Everest can often be seen very clearly. It is advisable to book your air tickets well in advance to avoid the tourist season rush.

Entering by Road

There are currently two authorized entry & exit points by road for foreign tourists. Entry / Exit to Bhutan is also possible through Phuentsholing, the southern Bhutan frontier town. We strongly recommend vistors entering or departing at Phuntsholing spend the first night there on the Bhutan side. Jaigaon is chaotic and only offers low standards of accommodation. The second entry/exit point is at Samdrup Jongkhar in the far southeast of Bhutan. This option, bordering the Indian State of Assam, is useful for visitors who travel to the more remote eastern side of Bhutan. It is 3 hour drive from Samdrup Jongkhar to the Indian airport of Guwahati which will connect you by air to your onward destination.

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