My husband and I are almost at our one year wedding anniversary and we wanted to make it special by visiting a place that would fill our hearts with joy and give us the time we need with each other. And what better place to visit than our neighbor, Bhutan!!! Now why am I writing this article before our trip??? It’s because I will come up with a post travel article and compare the differences between the plan and the actual trip. This will show us how useful it is to plan a trip beforehand and what are the different things that we miss out on and should keep in mind the next time around…
How to travel to Bhutan from India:
By Air: Take a flight to Bagdogra and from there to Paro. (Approx. Rs. 25,000-35,000)
By Train/Road: This is the cheapest way to reach Bhutan. Take a flight to Bagdogra (Approx. Rs. 4,000-10,000) or train to NJP. You can either hire a taxi to Jaigaon (Approx. Rs. 2,500) which is the last city of India at the border or you can take a train to Hasimara from NJP (Approx. Rs. 140-200) and take an auto to Jaigaon (Approx. Rs. 25 – 50). And walk over to Phuentsholing which is the Bhutanese town at the border.
Permit to enter Bhutan:
If you arrive at Paro airport, you will receive a permit at the airport itself. If you are travelling by road, then you will have to get a permit from the office in Phuentsholing. To avoid traffic at the office it is advisable to be there early in the morning. The office is closed on Saturday and Sunday, so you should get your permits approved on weekdays. If you are on a tour package, your agent will do it for you. If not be sure to be there on a weekday and by 8 AM.
Documents required for submission are: A completed form, copy of your Passport/ID, a hotel booking voucher at Thimphu/Paro, your itinerary on an A4 Sheet and a passport size photo.
Day 1 – Travel to Bagdogra by air/train.
Proceed to Phuentsholing via Jaigaon. You will have to stay at Phuentsholing for a day to complete all the procedures and there is no night travel in Bhutan. All taxis run between 9 - 5 PM. After the permit process you can visit Karbandi Monastery and Zangtho Pelri Lhakhang. Stay overnight at Phuentsholing.
Hotels: Wangchuk homestay or Park hotel or Hotel Druk Phuentsholing