Transport in Bhutan

Bhutan has only established diplomatic relations with 22 countries, mainly South Asian countries. Therefore, transportation to Bhutan must go through a third country. Read on Transport in Bhutan to know more information.



Dochula Pass


Tourist Visa Permit

The tourist visa permit is a pdf file issued by the Tourism Authority of Bhutan. The upper left corner is the national emblem of Bhutan, and the title is Royal Government of Bhutan, Department of Immigration. The permit content includes visa and Route Permit, with information such as the name, nationality, passport number and arrival and departure date of the tourist. There is a blue seal from the Immigration Bureau of the Ministry of the Interior.




Visitors need to print it out and take it with them. When taking the connecting flight to Bhutan, you need to show it to the staff at the counter of Royal Bhutan Airlines. When arriving at the Bhutan entry port on the visa permit, show it to the customs officer, and the customs will stamp the official visa on the passport.


How to get to Bhutan


Paro International Airport (PBH) is the only international airport in Bhutan, with direct flights to Kathmandu, Bangkok and Delhi. Located in Paro, the airport is built in a deep valley at an altitude of 7,300 feet. All routes to Bhutan are monopolized by Bhutan's two airlines, Druk Air and Bhutan Airlines. The prices are only two prices in the off-peak and peak seasons, so you won't be able to get discounted tickets like other travel destinations.




Ticket reservations can be made through Bhutan travel agencies, and online bookings can also be made through or However, considering the possibility of ticket modification or refund, it is recommended to use a Bhutan travel agency if the seats are not very tight. Subsequent ticket changes and other tasks will be more convenient.


Most countries are not unable to fly directly to Bhutan and must be transited from a third country. Currently there are direct flights to Bhutan from Nepal (Kathmandu), Thailand (Bangkok), India (Delhi, Kolkata, Guwahati), Singapore, and Bangladesh (Dhaka). Usually, tourists will transit from Kathmandu, Bangkok, and Delhi.


Taking off from Kathmandu and Delhi, you must remember to take a window seat on the left, so that you are able to see the snow-capped mountains above 8,000 meters such as Mount Everest and Kangchenjunga. If you fly from Bangkok, you need a window seat on the right.



Tourists can also enter Bhutan from the southern land bordering Bhutan and India. Phuntsholing in southwestern Bhutan is currently the only land border crossing open for international tourists. Phuntsholing is about 170 kilometers from Bagdogra National Airport in India and is adjacent to Darjeeling in India. The famous cities in West Bengal are Kolkata and Darjeeling. Tourists can take a bus from these two cities to the Indian border town of Jaigon.




The road starts in the tea plantations of northern India, passes through numerous turns, sharp bends, and a long way through the rocks of the mountains to Thimphu via Chukka. This 176-kilometer journey takes more than six hours by car. Land travel and air travel can also be combined. An Indian visa is required for land travel.


Be sure to contact the Bhutan travel agency in advance to get the visa permit. Otherwise, the Jaigon border guards in India will not post the departure stamp if they don't see these documents.


How to get around Bhutan


At the end of 2011, Paro (Western Bhutan) opened a route to Bumthang (Central Bhutan), but there were only a few flights a week. Sometimes the flights were cancelled due to terrible weather and few passengers.





All major towns in the 20 districts of Bhutan can be reached by road. Although Bhutan has many mountains, steep slopes and deep valleys, its highway hubs are relatively well developed. There are almost no straight roads in Bhutan, and the roads winding through the mountains are not very convenient. Even if the distance between the two places is not far, it takes half a day. Travelers who are prone to motion sickness need to prepare medicine for it in advance.


Although transportation in Bhutan is not convenient, travel agencies will arrange comfortable vehicles for tourists, usually minibusses or SUVs. In Bhutan, you will never see three tourists crowded in the back seat of an SUV. Comfort is the first.




In Bhutan, tourists can travel in medium-sized buses with 20-22 seats, small buses with 8-12 seats, or rent a car by themselves. The width of the road does not allow large passenger cars to travel.


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