Getting to Bhutan
The travelers has the two options of getting into Bhutan i.e, i) by air and ii) by land. Whether you come by air or by land, the gathering point is in Thimphu, where the head office of Druk Siddhi Tours has been located.
The country has only one international airport which is located at Paro, about 58 kilometers (roughly 1 hour drive) from the capital Thimphu. However within Bhutan there are domestic flights to Yongphula in Eastern Bhutan, Bumthang in Central Bhutan and Gelephu in South-Central Bhutan. Flying into Bhutan’s Paro International Aiport is typically an exciting experience as the descent into Paro valley brings you closer to the mountain tops than most other flights in the world.
The flight between New Delhi to Paro is particularly rewarding as it offers spectacular views of 4 of the 5 highest mountains in the world. In clear weather, as you soar higher up, you’ll be treated to amazing close-ups of Mt. Everest, Lhotse, Makalu and Kangchenjunga at their best. The following destinations are connected with the airlines from Bhutan.
– India (Kolkata, Delhi, Gaya, Bagdora, Guwahati), Nepal (Kathmandu), Thailand (Bangkok), Bangladesh(Dhaka) and Singapore
For complete schedule of Druk Air and Bhutan Airlines, please visit their website at www.drukair.com.bt and www.bhutanairlines.bt respectively. One can even avail helicopter services for which you are advised to make bookings through travel agents.
Phuentsholing, Gelephu and Samdrup Jongkhar are the only land border areas open to tourists.
The town of Phuentsholing in south-west is located approximately 170 km east of the Indian national airport at Bagdogra. After crossing Phuentsholing, you begin your journey to Thimphu, the capital city with travel time of about six hours for the 170 km stretch. 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. 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 is about three hours. The main road entry points are through Phuntsholing in the south that links Bhutan with the Indian plains of West Bengal, and through Gelephu and Samdrup Jongkhar that link with the Indian states of Assam.
Alternatively, some tourist come through Phuntsholing using the Bagdogra airport (the nearest Indian airport located in West Bengal) which is about 170 kilometers. Visitors can also opt to use Guwahati Airport which is more that 150 kilometers from both Gelephu in South -Central Bhutan and Samdrup Jongkhar in Eastern Bhutan. For other places, kindly go through the following distance chart.
Distance Chart for travel by road.
|From||To||Distance (km)||Driving Time (hrs)|
|Samdrup Jongkhar||Guwahati (Assam, India)||110||3|
|Phuntsholing||Bagdora (West Bengal, India)||165||4.5|
|Phuntsholing||Siliguri (West Bengal, India)||155||4|
|Phuntsholing||Darjeeling (West Bengal, India)||200||6|
|Phuntsholing||Kalimpong (West Bengal, India)||185||5|
|Phuntsholing||Chalsa (West Bengal, India)||110||2.5|
|Phuntsholing||Gangtok (Sikkim, India)||220||7|