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A Trip to the Land Of Thunder Dragon, Bhutan from Kolkata


Tripoto.com
Duration: 5 Days
Expenditure 5000
DAY 1

Most of my friends know that I am a Travel freak. I was planning for Bhutan trip for last 3-4 month.

Anil and Alok joined me from Kolkata in my trip.

We reached at Dakshineswar and had Dinner. Then we reached station to catch our train. Train was on time. We started our train journey from Dakshineswar kolkata by kanchankanya Express (13149) in evening. Train Ticket Cost- 370/-

DAY 2

We woke up at New Jalpaiguri. Train halted here for 15-20 min. We bought Dosa and Chips from FoodTrax. From here real fun started. Train route from here is single, so for every crossing train use to stop for more than 20 to 30 min. Journey from Siliguri to Hasimara is like journey to Hogwart in Harry Potter. You will witness rich flora and fauna during this short journey. First time I saw farm of pineapple in route.

Photos of Hashimara, पश्चिम बंगाल, भारत 1/3 by Pratul Chandra Jha
Photos of Hashimara, पश्चिम बंगाल, भारत 2/3 by Pratul Chandra Jha
Photos of Hashimara, पश्चिम बंगाल, भारत 3/3 by Pratul Chandra Jha

We reached Hasimara around 12 noon. It is a small-town station without proper infrastructure. We took share auto from Hasimara to Boarder town Jaigaon. Way from Hasimara to Jaigaon passes through Tea Estate. Whole route is amazing. We took lots of picture here. You can also see tea processing factory in mid-way. It took 30 Rs to reach Jaigaon by share auto.

Photos of Jaigaon, West Bengal, Bhutan 1/1 by Pratul Chandra Jha

You can cross the border by walking. At border, you can easily see differences between two countries. Indian side was very dirty and full of mud and just across the border gate at Phuentsholing, you can see proper shopping places and clean street. Phuentsholing is a very beautiful town from colorful surrounding too beautiful monastery. Tourist use to stay here for 1 night.

Now, we reached immigration office to obtain our permit. It is just 100 meters walk from entry gate. To obtain permit you need to fill a form, attach a copy of your ID Card and 2 Pcs of Photograph. Keep in mind that only passport and voter Id is allowed as valid ID card. From here you will get permit for Thimphu and Paro only. For further permit you need to reach Thimphu office. And individual person is not allowed to visit Bhutan. Here we met with Praveen, He was travelling alone. After short conversation, He became a part of our small group. Staffs at immigration office were very friendly and cooperative. Within 45 min we got our permit (It is free) and get set to visit Bhutan.

Photos of Phuentsholing, Chhukha, Bhutan 1/2 by Pratul Chandra Jha
Photos of Phuentsholing, Chhukha, Bhutan 2/2 by Pratul Chandra Jha

Now it was time to keep our mobile alive. We brought 2 Tashi Sim card with 250 RS talk time value and 1 GB 3G Data pack in each. Total cost for sim card was 900 Rs. Value of Bhutanese Ngultrum is equal to Indian Rupees. And Indian Rupees are accepted across the Bhutan so no need to do money exchange. They will return money in Bhutanese currency, so before leaving you can expand all remaining currency there.

Photos of Phuentsholing, Chhukha, Bhutan 1/1 by Pratul Chandra Jha

Now we head to Phuentsholing bus stand to catch bus for Thimphu. It is just 5- 10 min walk from immigration office. We reached their around 3 pm. We got our ticket in Last bus leaving at 4 pm. Ticket cost was 370 Rs each. It was a non-ac bus. Bus started on time and start climbing to hill road. After 15-20 minutes journey, we halted at first check post. We got first stamp on our permit. It took only 10 minutes. Bus started again and in bus we met with a beautiful girl Meera. Her hometown was Thimphu. She helped us in booking hotel room at Thimphu. While conversation we got to know more about Bhutanese culture, rule and regulation. few are worth mentioning.

1.Smoking is not allowed. But as tourist you can bring it with you by paying tax.

2.Crossing of road is allowed through zebra crossing only. Otherwise you will get fined.

3.Honking is not allowed in Bhutan.

Our bus stopped at a road side hotel around 8 pm. It was our dinner time. We ordered rice with Ema datshi. Ema means chili in Bhutanese and datshi means cheese. It was a very tasty white color cheese dish. After dinner break bus started again. We took a nap while journey.

Photos of Phuentsholing Bus Station, Norgay lam, Phuentsholing, Chhukha, Bhutan 1/1 by Pratul Chandra Jha

Around 10.30 PM, we reached Thimphu, Capital of Bhutan. It was looking beautiful in night. We were tired from long journey. So, we head toward our hotel, Hotel Grand. It was just 100 meters from bus stop at Norzin Lam. It is a pure veg hotel. Hotel owner was a lady. She was very nice. We did check inn process in 10 min. We took 2 rooms on double occupancy at 1200 including breakfast. Thanked to Meera for her assistance and help.

Room was very beautiful with all facility. All walls and floor was covered with woodwork. In next 15 minutes, we freshen up. Except me, everyone was exited to explore nightlife of Thimphu. They went to Karaoke Bar for some fun and beer. I choose to stay at hotel. They comeback by 3 AM.

Photos of Thimphu, Bhutan 1/3 by Pratul Chandra Jha
Photos of Thimphu, Bhutan 2/3 by Pratul Chandra Jha
Photos of Thimphu, Bhutan 3/3 by Pratul Chandra Jha
DAY 3

I woke up earlier in morning to explore Thimphu's morning Life. There I found school kids going to school in Gho, there traditional dress. Then witness to archery. Archery is very famous in Bhutan. I was amaze to see their accuracy in archery. After roaming around, I looked for some bites. First time I tried Sel Roti. Around 8.30 am, I returned to hotel. And we had breakfast. At breakfast, first time I tried Suja. It is a traditional drink of Bhutan.

Photos of Thimphu, Bhutan 1/3 by Pratul Chandra Jha
Photos of Thimphu, Bhutan 2/3 by Pratul Chandra Jha
Photos of Thimphu, Bhutan 3/3 by Pratul Chandra Jha

Now we came on street to explore city together. We took a taxi for Buddha Dordenma Statue. Taxi driver charged us 150 Rs for both side journey. It is a 25-min drive from city center. When we reached their, we found amazing Giant Golden Buddha Statue. We were amaze to see the beauty of place. We were out of word to describe that place.

Photos of Thimphu, Bhutan 1/6 by Pratul Chandra Jha
Photos of Thimphu, Bhutan 2/6 by Pratul Chandra Jha
Photos of Thimphu, Bhutan 3/6 by Pratul Chandra Jha
Photos of Thimphu, Bhutan 4/6 by Pratul Chandra Jha
Photos of Thimphu, Bhutan 5/6 by Pratul Chandra Jha
Photos of Thimphu, Bhutan 6/6 by Pratul Chandra Jha

Now we head to King's Palace. But due to high entry fee, we decide to skip this place. From there we walked towards local children's Park. At children's Park, we saw beautiful colorful fishes and enjoyed the place very much. It was just behind the Palace.

Photos of Thimphu, Bhutan 1/4 by Pratul Chandra Jha
Photos of Thimphu, Bhutan 2/4 by Pratul Chandra Jha
Photos of Thimphu, Bhutan 3/4 by Pratul Chandra Jha
Photos of Thimphu, Bhutan 4/4 by Pratul Chandra Jha

Then we walked to our hotel. And just opposite to our hotel at Norzin Lam. There was a cultural event and cross country cycling finale. We enjoyed it a lot and did some Air Gun Balloon Shooting. Grabbed some cuppa noodle. Cuppa noodle is very famous here, almost at every corner you will find it. At evening, we tried Momo here and fell in love with it. I think, that was best Momo's I tried ever.

Photos of Thimphu, Bhutan 1/2 by Pratul Chandra Jha
Photos of Thimphu, Bhutan 2/2 by Pratul Chandra Jha

At late evening, we decided to have pizza. And our search for pizzeria started. We roam for almost 30-45 minutes for it. Finally, we found a Pizzeria. There we ordered for large pizza that was also amazing.

Photos of Thimphu, Bhutan 1/2 by Pratul Chandra Jha
Photos of Thimphu, Bhutan 2/2 by Pratul Chandra Jha

We were tired but decided to go to karaoke bar. It was my first time in a karaoke Bar. Their crowd was all youth. They were very friendly, we made friends very quickly. And we enjoyed a lot there. It is a must visit place.

Photos of Thimphu, Bhutan 1/1 by Pratul Chandra Jha

Finally, at 2 am we reached our hotel and crashed.

DAY 4

We started our day at 8 am and after taking breakfast we checked out from hotel at 9 am. It was my dream day, because we reserved this day for Tiger Nest Monastery. It is also known as Paro Taktsang. It is situated on cliff of mountain and known as place where guru Rinpoche meditated for four months.

We took share cab from Thimphu taxi stand for Paro. It costs us 200 Rs per person. Road to Paro was nice. We reached Paro at 12 noon.

Photos of Paro, Bhutan 1/1 by Pratul Chandra Jha

Taxi person helped us to find a hotel at 1000 Rs for double occupancy. After keeping our luggage at hotel, we had lunch. It was very tasty local style chicken gravy and rice.

We took taxi to Taktsang taxi stand. Taxi charged us 200 Rs. There was lots of pony to hire. But we decided to climb by foot. Place was very beautiful with full of natural surroundings. Way to monastery was all raw. There was no stair in most of part and climb was very steep. We met with several group while climbing. One group was from Canada. Another was from India. At mid-way, we took a halt for some water and snakes at Taktsang Cafeteria.

Photos of Paro, Bhutan 1/6 by Pratul Chandra Jha
Photos of Paro, Bhutan 2/6 by Pratul Chandra Jha
Photos of Paro, Bhutan 3/6 by Pratul Chandra Jha
Photos of Paro, Bhutan 4/6 by Pratul Chandra Jha
Photos of Paro, Bhutan 5/6 by Pratul Chandra Jha
Photos of Paro, Bhutan 6/6 by Pratul Chandra Jha

It is the place where you will get first glimpse of Tiger Nest Monastery. It was looking like postcard image. You can't forget that view. After a short break, we started again. We reached the highest point of our climb. From there we got stair to reach monastery. Just before the monastery, you will find a very beautiful waterfall.

Photos of Paro, Bhutan 1/5 by Pratul Chandra Jha
Photos of Paro, Bhutan 2/5 by Pratul Chandra Jha
Photos of Paro, Bhutan 3/5 by Pratul Chandra Jha
Photos of Paro, Bhutan 4/5 by Pratul Chandra Jha
Photos of Paro, Bhutan 5/5 by Pratul Chandra Jha

Finally, we reached our destination. It was a wonderful place. I was feeling blessed to be there. While planning for a visit to Tiger Nest Monastery, please keep in mind that T-shirt is not allowed. and here you can donate chips, cookies or other savory items. And also, you won't find any shops on the way for water and snacks. Only Taktsang Cafeteria is an option on the way and it is overpriced.

While returning we got delayed. After reaching at starting point, we found that any share taxi or cab was not available there. Luckily, we met with a very nice guy Mr. Vijay. He offered us lift till city. We reached city around 7 pm. While roaming on street we had very tasty sweet corn. And did some shopping. Finally, we reached hotel and had dinner and went for sleep.

DAY 5

It was our last day at Bhutan. We started our day early and had breakfast. Then we reached to taxi stand. We hired a taxi for Phuentsholing at 400 per person. And we reached their around 2 pm. While returning our permit got submitted at last check point before Phuentsholing.

We took auto for Hasimara. In mid-way to Hasimara we took a break to see Tea processing factory from inside. But we were not lucky. Manager was not available, so guard didn't give permission for visit. Anyway, we were very happy to see tea estate. We reached Hasimara at 4 pm. Our train was on time. We boarded Kanchankanya Express with heavy hearted and said a goodbye to Bhutan.

Photos of Hashimara, पश्चिम बंगाल, भारत 1/2 by Pratul Chandra Jha
Photos of Hashimara, पश्चिम बंगाल, भारत 2/2 by Pratul Chandra Jha

Rest of our journey completed with stories of past few days. Next day we reached Sealdah and departed to our home.

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