29th Nov 2015

The Kingdom of Bhutan is undoubtedly the land of the smiling people as happiness is all that matters in this magical place.

All tourists(excluding citizens of India,Bangladesh and Maldives) traveling to Bhutan have to book their tour through a tour company that has been approved by the Bhutanese Tourism Board.

Bhutan is quite an expensive country for travelers,one has to spend $250 per person, per day but if you are an Indian,Bangladeshi or Maldivian travelling to Bhutan would be much cheaper as you need not go with a approved Bhutanese tour group.

Entry into Bhutan can be made either by land or by air. The entry permit will be issued by the Department of Immigration,Royal Government of Bhutan on arrival at Paro airport,entry permit can be obtained on all days.

If entering by land via Phuentsholing permit will be issued at this border town,travelers entering from Phuentsholing need to complete biometric formalities at the Immigration office.You need to carry your Voter identity and a passport size photo.The office remains closed on Saturday,Sunday and Government holidays,so plan your trip accordingly.

The entry permit issued on arrival is valid for Thimphu and Paro only. Tourists going beyond Thimphu and Paro need to acquire a route permit from the Royal Government of Bhutan Immigration Office at Thimphu on any working days.

Bagdogra, in northern West Bengal, is the nearest airport from Phuentsholing and flights to Bagdogra are cheaper than flights to Paro. Phuentsholing is 5 hour drive from Bagdogra.

One can also combine Bhutan trip with Darjeeling and Gangtok.

For travel one can use public buses or hire a taxi with driver.You can also take your Indian car to Bhutan and obtain a permit for the car from the Regional Transport Office in Phuentsholing.

Indian rupee is acceptable in Bhutan.English is widely spoken and some places people also understand and speak Hindi.Indian cuisine is served in almost all hotels and restaurants.

Bhutan is a safe destination for solo travelers,people are helpful and friendly.

Photo of Bhutan Gate, NH317A, Phuentsholing, Bhutan by Hemlata Gab

Bhutan Gate - The main overland entrance from India to Bhutan is through Jaigoan, the Bhutan Gate remains open from 6 am to 8 pm and no entry permit is required to visit Phuentsholing. Hotels in Jaigoan are cheaper as compared to hotels in Phuentsholing.


Photo of Thimphu, Bhutan by Hemlata Gab

Thimphu is six hour drive from Phuentsholing. It is the only capital city in the world with no traffic lights.

Photo of National Memorial Choten, Doeboom Lam, Thimphu, Bhutan by Hemlata Gab

National Memorial Choeten was built in 1974 by Her Majesty Queen Phuntsho Choden Wangchuck in memory of her son the third Druk Gyalpo,King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck(1928-1972)

Photo of Thimphu, Bhutan by Hemlata Gab

The Buddha Point - 51.5 m bronze statue of Shakyamuni Buddha on top of Kuensel Phodrang Hill.

Thimphu from the road to Punakha.

Photo of Thimphu, Bhutan by Hemlata Gab

'Druk Wangyal Chortens'

Photo of Dochula, Bhutan by Hemlata Gab

Dochula pass is 25 km from Thimphu,situated on the road from Thimphu to Punakha.


Photo of Punakha, Bhutan by Hemlata Gab

Punakha Dzong

Photo of Punakha Dzong, Bhutan by Hemlata Gab

Punakha Dzong is situated on the confluence of the Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu rivers.It is the second oldest and second largest Dzong in Bhutan.

Paro valley and Paro Dzong bird's eye view from the Watch Tower.

Photo of Paro, Bhutan by Hemlata Gab

Paro valley is one of the widest valleys in the Kingdom of Bhutan.

Taktsang Monastery ,Paro

Photo of Tiger's Nest, Paro, Paro, Bhutan by Hemlata Gab

Bhutan's most iconic landmark,The Taktsang Monastery (The Tiger's Nest) is located approximately 10 km north of Paro town at an altitude of 3120 meters.Trip to Bhutan would not be complete without seeing the 'Tiger's Nest'. It's a 2-3 hour uphill trek through the pine forests. In 2015 there was no entry fee to visit the monastery but on our second visit in 2018 we had to pay an entrance fees of Rs. 500 per person and for students the entry fees was Rs. 250 per person.

Ibisbill on the banks of river Paro

Photo of Paro, Bhutan by Hemlata Gab

Ibisbills are highly sought after by birders,if you are lucky enough you can spot this bird on the banks of river Paro Chhu.

Paro airport

Photo of Paro Airport Bird's Eye View Point, Paro, Bhutan by Hemlata Gab

International airport in Paro on the bank of the river Paro Chhu is one of the most dangerous airports in the world,the runway is small and the airplane cuts pretty close to the mountains during landing.

No matter where you live in this world,Bhutan is an incredible place to visit. It is for sure 'The Last Shangri-La'.

There are some places you would love to visit again and again and Bhutan is one of them....