Backpacking to Bhutan

Tripoto
13th May 2014

Traditional Bhutanese food at Folk Heritage M

Photo of Traditional Bhutanese food at Folk Heritage M by Apeksha J Poojary

Bhutan India Gate

Photo of Bhutan India Gate by Apeksha J Poojary

Hike up to Taksang

Photo of Hike up to Taksang by Apeksha J Poojary
Photo of by Apeksha J Poojary

The most important thing for solo travelers to Bhutan - they DO NOT allow single travelers. Luckily I was also doing a workshop at a school but even then the school principal had to fax a letter to immigration officer (they would not even accept email invites). So anyways, after the initial hiccup of entering the country from Jaigaon/ Phuentsholing gate the whole trip was wonderful with lots of breathtaking, peace inducing sights, learning about GNH (Gross National Happiness) and generous people. 

The highlights are:

National dish - ema datsi which is basically cheese and chillies. Try it once!

Buddha Point, Thimpu - I walked it up from the city centre and was worth it. You get to gradually view the Point, take pictures and appreciate the city view. It takes about 1.5 hours if you walk. 

Royal Textile Academy, Thimpu - The exhibitions are pretty good.

Taksang Monastery, Paro - It's a gorgeous 2 hour hike up. Worth every sweat! They serve black tea, biscuits and even lunch on the way! 

Tips:

The Bhutanese crafts are nice but very expensive in both Thimpu and Paro so I bought mine from Phuentsholing where it was relatively cheaper. 

I took the local transport (no cabs) which were very accessible and comfortable. It cost me only Nu 50 to get to Paro from Thimpu. In a share cab it would have been Nu 200. I was the only non local and it was pretty awesome to experience the locals!

Travel:

Train from Mumbai to Kolkata

Bhutan Postal Bus from Kolkatta to Phuentsholing

Coaster Bus from Phuentsholing to Thimpu

Local Bus from Thimpu to Paro

Coaster Bus from Paro to Phuentcholing

Bus from Phuentsholing to Kolkata

Train back to Mumbai

3 Comment(s)
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Photo of Rubina Aman
Rubina Aman
Hey Apeksha, loved your story ! About this solo travelling thing...how does one get a permit?
Sun 04 26 15, 02:59 · Reply · Edit · Delete ·
Photo of Karan Khosla
Karan Khosla
Hey, I am a travel photographer. Planning a trip in May. Where can i get in touch with you?
Mon 04 06 15, 13:31 · Reply · Edit · Delete ·
Photo of Aditi Pathak
Aditi Pathak
How to book the Bhutan Postal Bus for the journeys?
Sat 08 16 14, 03:30 · Reply · Edit · Delete ·