Bhutan: Small tips that go a long way

Tripoto
2nd Jun 2017
Photo of Bhutan: Small tips that go a long way by Nayan Das

Travel tips:

1. Always, always try and book a ticket to Paro directly. It is way more convenient and you’ll avoid all the hassle from Phuentsholing. Plan your trip at least two months in advance and keep tracking the DrukAir website for the lowest prices. We were fortunate enough to get a really good deal just a week before our trip, but do not keep those bookings till the very end. Direct flights to Paro are available from Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai and Guwahati in India.

2. Indians require just an Aadhar card or passport to get through immigration at Paro. Keep your travel itinerary at hand for the check at the immigration counter – all of which takes not more than 15 minutes. Just board your flight from India without any other documents.

3. The flight to Paro is simply mesmerizing. The plane glides between steep mountains, banking from left to right before the landing strip suddenly appears out of nowhere. Don’t forget to ask for a window seat!

4. Cabs from Paro airport to Thimphu are a wee-bit expensive, like all other cabs in Bhutan. Given that there are limited buses and strict timings, those taxis are your best option, unless you plan on spending the first half of your trip in Paro. Be prepared to shell out anything between ₹1000 to ₹1500 for the ride. All Indian currencies are accepted. A shared ride may come up to anything around ₹250 to ₹350 per person. The drivers are quite reluctant to bargain with tourists though.

5. Go for an Airbnb stay if you are looking to avoid the noise and chaos of Thimphu – not that there is any! Homestays offer the liberty to roam tension free and come for almost the same price of a relatively well-off hotel.

Sitting on the soft grass at Royal Thimphu College (RTC), which was also where our Airbnb was.

Photo of Royal Thimphu College Guest House, Thimphu, Bhutan by Nayan Das

View from our room at RTC.

Photo of Royal Thimphu College Guest House, Thimphu, Bhutan by Nayan Das

The college campus and cafeteria basking under the warm June morning sun.

Photo of Royal Thimphu College Guest House, Thimphu, Bhutan by Nayan Das

A bird's eye view of Thimphu.

Photo of Thimphu, Bhutan by Nayan Das

Dochula Pass on the way to Punakha.

Photo of Dochula Chorten, Trashigang-Semtokha Highway, Hungtso, Bhutan by Nayan Das

The 108 chortens at Dochula.

Photo of Dochula Chorten, Trashigang-Semtokha Highway, Hungtso, Bhutan by Nayan Das

The Paro Dzong in the evening light.

Photo of Paro Dzongkhag, Bhutan by Nayan Das

Paro Valley as seen from the Paro Dzong.

Photo of Valleys Of Bhutan, Paro, Bhutan by Nayan Das

Chilled to the bones at 3900 metres at Chelela pass.

Photo of Chele La, Bhutan by Nayan Das

The Tiger's Nest or Takstang Monastery seen during our trek.

Photo of Tiger's Nest View Point, Taktsang Trail, Bhutan by Nayan Das
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