Bhutan Blog– My recent trip to Thimphu and Paro in Bhutan was a mesmerizing experience. So I thought I must come up with a post to tell our readers about this tour.
Before my trip to Bhutan, I had no idea about this place, except, that it is still ruled by a king and that it the ‘Happiest Place on Earth‘.
Note- The boarder to Bhutan from India 🇮🇳 is opening from 23ed September -2022.
MY BHUTAN BLOG
But when I got there, I realized that Bhutan is much more than just the happiest kingdom. It’s much more than that. My little discoveries about this place, during my short trip of 6 days made me fall in love with this place.
By reading this post you will get to know why you should consider Bhutan as your next travel destination.
We at TE helped in designing 100% safe , secure, cost effective tour experience of Bhutan for our esteemed readers, we do not operate like a typical travel agents who keep pushing for useless packages, just try sending a whatsapp message to me to help your requirement.
NOTE: Bhutan tourism is rising with every passing year, therefore I recommend you to plan ahead and well especially during peak season months (September & October). Here is my exclusive Bhutan Itinerary
BHUTAN PERMIT FEE FOR INDIAN
As per the latest news, the Bhutan government is going to end the free travel for Indian passport holders. Add Rs 1,200 per day to your trip (for adults) and Rs 600/- per day for kids from July 1st, 2020.
I strongly recommend doing the Bhutan trip before July 2020 and you are in luck, we are taking a group to Bhutan in May 2020 at a very nominal rate and with the best experience and stay. Interested? drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org now to get all detail and itinerary. Do not miss out on this.
BHUTAN TRIP FROM INDIA
When I was planning my trip to Bhutan, this New Year (2018), I was told by many of my friends that it was not the right time to visit the kingdom due to the heavy fog that shrouds the roadways. Even though this made me a little reluctant about traveling at this time, I did not want to kill the excitement inside me about my upcoming trip.
So, I booked my tickets on the 3rd of January and headed towards the mysterious land. I did not have to carry my passport, nor did I have to apply for a visa because I was traveling from India. Being a friendly neighboring country, both the Indian and Bhutanese governments have exempted their people from carrying any of these travel documents on their visit to each other’s countries.
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Other than their own languages, the Bhutanese speak broken English and Hindi. You might also meet people you speak and understand Bengali.
Fun Fact: Bhutan loves Bollywood. You will hear many familiar Bollywood songs playing in cabs, cafes, and restaurants. You might also see people gathering around TVs in public places to have a glimpse of their favorite Bollywood actor. Other than Bollywood, they also listen to popular English songs.
The Bhutan king apparently is a big football fan. The general public is also very fond of this game and admires popular football player David Beckham.
BHUTAN: BEST SEASON TO VISIT
October to December is the ideal time to visit Bhutan. If you want to play in the snow, January end of February end is the best time for you. Winters are mostly very cold and windy here. Springs are mostly dry and pleasant.
TRAVEL DOCUMENTS TO CARRY
Even though you can travel to Bhutan from India without a passport, you will have to carry two things with you to be able to enter the country.
- Voter Id Card and a photocopy of it
- Two Passport Sized Recent Photographs
HOW TO REACH BHUTAN
Bhutan can be reached either by road or by flight. If you are traveling from India, it is easier to hit the road to reach Bhutan. If you are not a fan of road trips, then flying to the Paro airport can be an alternative for you.
BY FLIGHT & WHY I AVOIDED
I did not want to take a flight to Bhutan for obvious reasons. Bhutan is known to be one of the world’s most dangerous airports. I know that sounds uncool, but I was really petrified when I learned that it is so dangerous that there are only 8 licensed pilots in the world who are authorized to land at the Paro airport.
For many of you, it might sound like a great adventure to fly to one of the most dangerous airports. But to me landing at an airport that is located amidst towering mountain peaks of 18000 ft height and is at an altitude of 1.5 miles above the sea level, did not sound like a great idea. Even the runway is one of the world’s shortest runways. Because the Paro valleys always experience strong winds blowing at high speed, almost all flights face severe turbulence at the time of landing.
Now that you know so much about it, it won’t sound strange if I tell you that you might not have frequent flights from your place to the Paro airport. So plan your travel well ahead and book your tickets in advance.
DETAIL EXPERIENCE BY ROAD
If you want to travel by road, you will first have to reach to Jaigaon( the Indo-Bhutan border on the Indian side) and then take a cab from Phuetsholing(the Indo-Bhutan border on the Bhutanese side) after completing the immigration procedure. To reach Jaigaon, you will first have to reach Hasimara, a small railway station which is about 14 km from Jaigaon.
If you are traveling from other parts of India besides Northeast, check out how to reach Hasimara from your place. If you are traveling from Northeast India, Hasimara is about 7 hours from Guwahati Railway station.
You will easily get sharing public vehicles (25 INR per person) or private taxis(generally 400-500 per cab but rates might vary for tourists. So, use your negotiation skills well here) to drop you at the border.
Distance with Major Places in Bhutan (In the reference from Phuentsholing)
- Phuentsholing to Thimphu: 164 km
- Phuentsholing to Paro: 160 km
- Phuentsholing to Bagdogra: 164 km
- Phuentsholing to Siliguri: 155 km
BHUTAN IMMIGRATION PROCESS
Once you reach Jalgaon, just cross the Indian border gate to reach the other side. You can directly go to the Bhutan immigration office where you can get your documents checked. This does not take too long, and you can easily get it done in 20-25 minutes’ time.
The officials break away for lunch from 1-2 o clock. So, try reaching there before 1. The office does not check documents after 5. So, this is another thing you need to remember.
Money-Saving Tips: Do not be manipulated by brokers who might approach you to get your documents checked quickly. They will charge you for their services and promise you to get it done without standing in the queue. There is no need for any assistance. The process is anyway simple and quick. You can do it all by yourself.
JOURNEY TO THIMPHU FROM PHETSHOLING
You might want to go around and explore Phuetsholing a bit. But there is not much to see here. So I directly headed to Thimphu. Thimphu is about 6 hours from Phuetsholing. Although Thimphu is only about 179 km ahead of Phuetsholing, it takes some time before you reach your destination because of the curvy road.
Side Tip: Do not be misled by the Google drive time that might show you 4 hours and 30 minutes time to reach your destination.
You can hire a cab on spot from Phuetsholing. Some of them might charge you an exorbitant price, but at this point too, try using your negotiation skills. Cab drivers might charge you 3000-4500 INR one way. The rates will also depend on the vehicle that you hire. Small cars might charge you slightly less, but the 6-7 seaters obviously will quote you a higher fare.
Since I was traveling in a group of 5 we hired a 6-seater car. The cab driver at first quoted an amount of 3500 INR, but we managed to get him down to 2700 INR.
Side Tip: Get yourself a Bhutan tourist sim card at Phuetsholing itself. These cards will cost you 180 INR (120 talk time with no data) and are valid for a month. You will have to submit a photocopy of your immigration documents to get the tourist sim.
CURRENCY ISSUE IN BHUTAN?
If you are traveling from India, you do not have to convert your currency. Bhutanese accepts and offers Indian currencies at every place. However, I would like to advise you not to carry the 2000 INR currency as this note might not be valid in Bhutan (not sure about it). I mostly carried currencies worth 500 and below which I could easily use during my stay there.
People traveling from countries outside India can convert your currencies either to Indian or the Bhutanese currency.
BHUTAN SAFE FOR SOLO GIRL TRAVELER?
If you are a girl traveling alone to Bhutan, you will not face any kind of threat from people out there. Bhutan according to me is one of the safest places you can be. It has lovely and warm people everywhere who are ready to help you anytime you need help.
The only problem for solo travelers is that you might have to provide an undertaking to the Bhutan government that you are traveling alone and that you are responsible for any risk that might come up during a trek. Bhutan is a place that is surrounded by extremely high mountain peaks and tourists love the idea of trekking in the mountains during their stay out there.
While some easily complete these adventure trips, some return midway for several reasons like fatigue, difficulty in breathing, etc. It is therefore advised that you travel in a group or at least one person to accompany you throughout your travel. So basically, other than the geography of the country, nothing in Bhutan is unsafe.
CONCLUSION & TAKEAWAY
Traveling in Bhutan is an extraordinary awesome experience; the clean & green country teaches you how to be happy in small things, and that to be grateful for all that you have. I am sure, my Bhutan travel guide will help you plan a perfect holiday in this happy country with yourself, and that you will be able to keep yourself away from all the hassles.
If you face or have any question, feel absolutely free to write in below comment, I read all the comments and reply accordingly.
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Dear readers, I hope the blog post answered some of the questions about your Bhutan trip. Do you still have a question? Feel free to comment or rate us by clicking the 5 stars.
Nice blog.. Good job.. Thank you so much for the information. It’s a great post…I love travelling and want to travel all over the world.
I must appreciate your way of expressing the thoughts very well written the pictures and the description is so perfect. Thank you very much for such valuable & interesting information about Bhutan.
Great job. Thanks for the guidance.
Thanks & glad you liked!
Hi, I am travelling end-Sep. Do you need to have all hotel bookings through out your stay in advance?
Though it’s not officially written anywhere, to avoid any issue, we recommend you to carry a rough itinerary (passport ot voter id card), confirmed hotel vouchers ( you can use booking.com) or refer our Bhutan itinerary section Bhutan Itinerary for Indian
Let us know or email us – email@example.com for any help required
Hi Thanks for sharing the information about bhutan also I Have also visit Houseboat Alleppey in kerala it’s one of the beautiful experience in my life
Hi Kaveri, Thanks for sharing deep useful information about Bhutan trip. I like your way of writing.
Great, Your content is informative as well as inspiring. Keep it up.
Hey, this is a very informative blog thanks for sharing, it helps me a lot to plan my trip.
Are you planning a vacation to Bhutan? Let us assist you with the trip. Visit our website http://bhutanroundabout.com.
Is phunsholling immigration office open in weekends?
Like all government establishment, the immigration office will be closed on weekends and government holidays. Plan your trip accordingly, so that you do not end up holding the night in Phuentsholing.
If you need assistance planning your trip, you may visit https://bhutanroundabout.com. They will help custom make trip.
Fabulous amazing place beautiful pictures sharing. Thanks for sharing this informative and comprehensive blog.
Bhutan is the place where I want to go back again and again. I have visited that place with my family for a couple of times.
Your blog post reminds me of these times and that was an amazing travel guide for me.
Your photos are stunning, take love.
hi can i get the details what are the best palces to visit in bhutan , i will be travelling from bangalore recommend the travel options
Hello Bharti, thanks for commenting out, are you sure you want to travel now? as everything is in lockdown. However, you can be in our email list when things get better and we open for group travel.
Very nice and useful information. Bhutan remains one of the important places and neighbour of India besides Nepal
That is very interesting, Thank you for sharing such a great information with great photos.
Really nice information.. thanks for sharing this.. or you can check for more IRCTC Tourism
Thank you so much for sharing this informative article. I am planning the same trip and I would recommend everyone to research before visiting.
I also read an article on places in pixel on the reasons to visit Bhutan
There are many blogs I have read But when I read Your Blogs I have found such useful information, fresh content with such amazing editing everything is superb in your blog, Thank you so much for sharing this useful and informative information with us.
Great article! Thanks for sharing. If planning for a vacation to Africa I recommend you to Tanzania safari
That is the most elaborate description of Bhutan. Thank you for such an amazing article.
In the land of serendipity
Thank you for your Guidance it is really helpful to me on travelling.
Hi, I like your post. It’s fantastic. Thank you for sharing your personal experience! I definitely enjoyed reading it. In fact Bhutan is all about seeing mother-nature in its happiest form. It’s truly an amazing experience while reading your article that it takes one back in time. I was planning for a Bhutan tour, while searching for it I came through your article and trust me it was like a one-step solution for all the necessary information and the guide lines. The way you describe each and every details is a reflection of your depth knowledge about the country. Hoping to travel “Bhutan- the Land of Thunder Dragon” as soon as possible and soak the mesmerizing beauty of the nature and to feel the beauty of “Only Carbon Negative Country in The World”. Thank you for inspiring us to travel more. Keep sharing & Keep travelling.
Thank you for so detailed information about the country. It seems a magical land. Will visit as soon as this pandemic issue is resolved.
Nice post, Thanks for sharing this information!
This is an old post but I found in very useful, Thanks for sharing!
You have written very nicely about trip to Bhutan. Our next planning in Bhutan tour, Your valuable information’s will help us to plan our tour more properly. Thank you.
Bhutan is the place where I want to go back again and again
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I want to travel to Bhutan during Dec last week of 2020. Please let me know what the permit charges are applicable for Indian tourists?
This is very nice information. Thank you for sharing
i always wanted to visit Bhutan the land of dragon
Hello Sir, Nice Content. I got many information from your content. I like the way you work. Well wishes to you.
I am very anxious to visit Bhutan as culturally we care close to Bhutan so it is nice to go there for pilgrimage and tour as well,Thanks for information to visit there …. hope very soon can visit there
very nice article thanks for sharing with us.
Wow, a very nice blog about Bhutan!
Hope to visit this beautiful land soon!