TRAVELING TO BHUTAN
You can enter Bhutan by plane through the internationals airports of Bangkok (Thailand), Calcutta/Kolkata (India), Gaya (India), Siliguri (India), Dhaka (Bangladesh), Yangon (Myanmar, former Birma) or Kathmandu (Nepal). Paro Airport in the south west of the country, is Bhutan’s one and only international airport. From there a drive of approximately 1,5 hours takes you to the capital of Thimpu. Bhutan’s one and only national carrier is Druk Air. For complete flight schedules and other related flight information go to the Druk Air website: www.drukair.com.bt.
In general, Druk Air flies about three times a week. However, their flight schedule changes regulary and delays do frequently occur because of the changeable Himalayan weather. This means your program possibly has to be adjusted after the booking. It’s best to build an extra day or two in your itineraries in case of flight cancellations. You must confirm your travel during festival seasons (March, April, September, October, November) at least four months in advance with your ground agent or tour operator to ensure seats with the airline. Before you can purchase your Druk Air tickets, your visa first has to be issued.
Entering by land
You can also enter Bhutan by land via the border town of Phuentsholing (southwest Bhutan). Note though that unless you are an Indian national, you have to either enter or exit Bhutan on a Druk Air flight. Ask your tour operator what your best options are, depending on your wishes to also visit India and/or Nepal. If you enter Bhutan via India, don’t forget to get your passport stamped when leaving India.
If you enter Bhutan by land, one of the first things you need to do, is obtaining a Bhutanese visa. Go to the visa officer in the drungkhag (subdistrict) office and present your passport, two photos and a US$20 fee. Indian nationals need to fill in two copies of a form, and bring five photo’s and photocopies of their identification document (passport, driver’s licence or voting card) to the office of the Indian embassy.
Travel plans required
You can’t travel without plans through Bhutan; always book your journey in advance. However, you can choose travelling in a group, individually or fully customized.