Situated between India and Tibet, Bhutan is a landlocked country with limited access points. That brings to mind the question of how to reach Bhutan in the shortest, fastest way and what the available options are. The Kingdom of Bhutan is spread across the eastern Himalayas, and the popular way to travel in the country is via the winding mountain roads. However, there is more there is more than way to reach Bhutan. You could fly to Bhutan or travel to Bhutan by road.

How to Reach Bhutan by Air

Paro is the international airport of Bhutan. Regular flights operate between Paro and Delhi and Kolkata. If you are traveling to Bhutan from Nepal, you can avail of direct flights to Paro from Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. All flights to Bhutan are operated by Druk Air, which is the national carrier of Bhutan.

Paro is a scenic valley-town of gurgling streams, quaint houses and old monasteries, hemmed in by the Himalayas. It is just a 2-hour drive from Thimpu. Car rentals and government bus services are available for the journey from Paro to Thimpu.

Druk Air currently operates two Airbus A319-114 with seating capacity of 124 passengers including 8 Business Class seats. Druk Air flight operates to Paro, Bhutan from Bangkok daily, two to four times a week from Delhi and Kathmandu, twice or thrice a week from Kolkata, Bagdogra and Dhaka, which originates from Bangkok. In Bangkok, Druk Air uses the new airport (BKK) Suvarnabhumi International Airport.

Druk Air flight booking is centralized in Thimphu, Bhutan. It is not an IATA member and currently it cannot be booked on any Global System (GDS). Druk air do not accept Credit card payments.

Druk Air Flight Schedules, Fares regional Flights

    Druk Air fares – Coach or Economy Fares  in US $
    Sector Season Fare
    Off season fare
    (Jun, July…)
    Taxes + Y-Fuel Surcharges
    PARO – DELHI 315 237 31
    DELHI- PARO 315 237 46
    BANGKOK- PARO 360 270 37
    PARO -BANGKOK 360 270 31
    KATHMANDU – PARO 190 143 31
    PARO – KATHMANDU 190 143 31
    KOLKATA- PARO 190 143 18
    PARO – KOLKATA 190 143 31
    Druk Air fares – Business Class Fares in US $
    PARO – DELHI 380 285 81
    DELHI – PARO 380 285 96
    BANGKOK -PARO 440 330 37
    PARO -BANGKOK 440 330 31
    KATHMANDU -PARO 230 173 31
    PARO – KATHMANDU 230 173 31
    KOLKATA- PARO 230 173 68
    PARO- KOLKATA 230 173 81
    Infant Fare: 90% discount on the base fare for Infants (below the age of 2years)
    Child Fare: 33% discount on base fare for Children (below 12 years on the date of travel)
    Student Discount: 25 % discount on base fare for Student (must be below 25 years of age and proof to show that one is a full time student, including ID card)
    Group Discount: For every 11th passenger, there is 50% discount on 1 pax or OR 1 person travel free for every 16th passengers. All passengers must be traveling on the same route and purchasing flight tickets at the same time. Taxes and insurance etc are still charged.

    How to Reach Bhutan by Road

    There is no rail network within the country and travelers can gain access to Bhutan by means of road transport – buses, private cars, which are authorized by the government of Bhutan. All parts of Bhutan are well-connected by a network of roads. If you are planning to reach Bhutan from India, the point of entry is the border town of Jaigaon. It is about 150 kms from Siliguri, the furthest that you can get near Bhutan by rail. A stately gate separates the Indian town of Jaigaon from the Bhutanese town of Phunsoling. Cars are available for hire from Siliguri to Jaigaon. You can book the very same car to take you to Bhutan or on reaching Jaigaon, get in touch with local tour operators to book a car for your tour to Bhutan and back.

    The laws for traveling to Bhutan are stricter for people of other nationalities than of India and China. The purpose of such laws is to preserve its environment and culture. Both the touring party and the car rental company need to acquire permits to be in Bhutan for a given length of time

    The ornate border gate between Bhutan and India

    13 Oct 2011

    Collected from various sources

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    2 comments
    1. Hello Roy,
      This is a good overview article. However, the closest rail terminal to Bhutan is Hasimara, only 17km from Jaigaon. As you can imagine, it is much more convenient to travel.

      Also, the last time I read, there were no special concessions for citizens of any other countries except India and Bangladesh. China has encroached upon Bhutan too and there is a border dispute with the communist giant.

      cheers,
      Priyank

    2. Thanks Priyank, I will update that. Please send us some of your travel experiences, they will be of immense interest to your readers, considering that you are one of the leading Indian Travel Bloggers. Thanks!

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