Getting To Bhutan
The ways to Bhutan
Still Bhutan embarked on a planned economic development in the early 1960’s, Bhutan by and large remained cut off from the rest of the world. The country was accessible only by foot. The two main entry points to the country was from the North and from the South. From the North, the entry was from Tibet and was possible crossing the high passes while from the South it was through the plains of Assam and the West Bengal. However, with the planed economic development, accessibility became easy with motor roads connecting Bhutan with the other parts of the country.
Today the main points of entry are through Phuntsholing in the south that links Bhutan with the India planes of West Bengal, through Gyelephu and Smdrup Jongkhar that links with the Indian, states of Assam and through Paro, where the entry is through Druk Air, the National airlines of Bhutan.
Travel by Air
The country has so far only airport that caters to the needs of visitors coming in through flight. However, an international airport is under construction in Gyelephu that will eventually provide passengers with a choice of their entry to Bhutan. The Bhutan’s only international airport at paro, is located at a hight of7300 ft above sea leve; and surrounded by mountains and hills as high as 16,000 feet. Druk Air is the national air operating wit two A319. It flies to destination that include Bangkook, Delhi, Kolkota, Bodh Gaya, Dacca, Kathmandu and Guwahati in Assam and Plans are also underway to invite other private airlines.
The flight between Paro and Kathmandu is one of the most exciting ones as the aircraft passes over 4 of the 5 highest mountains in the world. In fine weather, as you solar higher up, you can enjoy the spectacular display of Mt.Everest, Lhotse, Makalu and Kangchenjunga at their best.
Travel by Land
Phuntsholing, Gyelephu and Samdrup Jongkhar in eastern Bhutan are the only land border areas open for international tourists. The town of Phuntsholing is located approximately 170 km east of the Indain national airport Bagdora. After crossing Phuntsholing, your journey then begins its mountainous climb through endless turns and hair-pin bends till you enter Thimphu, the capital city. The travel time for the 176 km stretch can be more than 6 hours.
Gyelephu in South –Central Bhutan is another entry points to Bhutan. It is approximately 250 km 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 ten hours.
Samdrup Jongkhar is the only entry point in Eastern Bhutan. The town borders the Indian District of Darranga, Assam and its approximately 150 kms away from the Guwahati, the capital city of Assam. The journey from Guwahati is about three hours. Tourists entering Bhutan through Samdrup Jongkhar will take you to Trashigang, the largest District in the country, and from there over the lateral route to Mongar,Bumthang,Trongsa, Wangdu Phodrang and then finally into capital, Thimphu. The Distance IS ABOUT 700 kms and will take you a mimmum of three days to reach Thimphu.
There is one national airlines and Nepal Airlines called Buddha Airline that flies to Bhutan. The contract address of the Druk Air office are as follows:
New Delhi Tel: 91-335-7703
Kolkata Tel: 91-33-240-2419
Paro International Airport Tel: +975-8-271856/271857
Visit www.drukair.com.bt for more information
You can enter into Bhutan from any of the three entry points: Samdrup Jongkhar (Southeast Bhutan), Gyelephu (South of Bhutan), and Phuntsholing (Southwest Bhutan).
You will be endorsed by the Immigration officers upon your arrival before you are issued with a permit, make sure you go personally. You may have to carry ypur passport (also some passport photographs) or voter’s registration card. If you plan to travel by road, the endorsement is done at the entry points in Phuntsholing, Samdrup Jongkhar, and Gyelephu. If by flight, you will enter from the Paro Airport.
Inclusive Standard Package.
Visitors may experience Bhutan only on all-inclusive package for which a fixed minimum of US $ 250/person/day is set by the Royal Government of Bhutan.
The tariff covers the following land costs for a Standard Package:
(a) Standard Hotel (2-3 star hotel) twin sharing accommodation; camping on treks.
(b) Full Board- All meals at local restaurants/ standard hotels/on treks
(c) Transport /Transfers
(d) Ponies & Assistance for treks
(e) Licensed English speaking Guide/ other fluent language speaking guide
(g) Entrance fees for museum, monuments and cultural sites
(h) 35% royalty to the Government.
* FIT Surcharge
Single individual: US $ 40 per night per person,
Group of 2 people: US $ 30 per night per person,
- Visa Fee: UD $ 20 per person
- Tourism development Fee: US $ 10 per person
(Note): Air fare- Royal Bhutan Airlines Drukair For latest flights schedules click here & for airfare contact us.
Inclusive Luxury Package
The Luxury package is based on 4 or 5 star hotel categories (Such as Aman, Uma, Tashi Taj, LeMaderin, Zhiwaling , Namgay Heritage) with extra services in addition to the Govt. fixed minimum tariff of US $ 250/person/day.
This tariff covers the following land cost for Luxury Package.
(a) Luxury Hotel accommodation (4 & 5 star where ever available),
(b) Full Board-All meals at luxury hotels and at local restaurants,
(C) 4 wheel drive SUV vehicle (seat 2)/ Transfers,
(d) Licensed English speaking guide/ a fluent language speaking guide.
(f) Entrance fee for museum, monuments and cultural sites
(g) 35 % royalty to the Government.
(h) 2 liters of bottled of mineral water per person per day
* FIT Surcharges.
Single individual: US $ 40 per night per person,
Group of 2 persons: US $ 30 per night per person.
- Visa Fee: US $ 20 per person
- Tourism Development Fee: US $ 10 per person.