"Travel Addiction - A feeling of restlessness experienced by people who have seen something magical and cannot stop the desire for more."
I felt it, I lived it, right until - I had booked another ticket. You know that moment, when music is blaring out of radio for hours but one song manages to get your attention; That is a moment of consciousness when a song managed to reach you. Travel is that one song that reaches me. I was back from a month long trip to Himachal and no amount of Chamomile tea could keep me calm. Home is good, friends are lovely but it will be end of 2015 without any new country crossed from list was something, I was not ready for. I browsed and browsed aimlessly trying to find an easy escape to the unknown before New Year's Eve, that is also cheap; given the "brokedom" that prevailed. Thus I zeroed on Bhutan.
Factors to choose Bhutan:
1. Can be reached by roads and rails, flights not mandatory.
2. No currency exchange required. They love Indian Rupees, its of equivalent value.
3. Its gonna be December chances to see snow. (I love snow.)
4. Black necked cranes migrates to Phobjikha valley only in December.( This was my green signal from God to go for it!)
5. Less of tourist crowd also known as off season. So everything cheap. (I am a huge fan of off seasons).
6. Best reason - YOU DO NOT NEED A VISA. You get a permit on voters ID or passport.
Everything was great till I read the Godforsaken RULE – Single travelers (Indian Citizens) will no longer be issued permit to visit Bhutan. It seemed like a joke at first - Bhutan has Highest Gross happiness Quotient and since single people are apparently sad thus not allowed(:p). But it really was a thing. Nothing spoils a trip more than unwanted drama for me. I wanted to go there and I wanted to travel solo and guess what I did it!
1. If you are broke - Best way to reach is- a train to Hasimara station or New Alipurduar or Siliguri or Kolkata (In decreasing order of convenience.)
From all these places (except Hasimara that's just 20km away from Jaigaon), you can take a bus to Jaigaon that is Indo-Bhutan border town. Since I booked last minute I took a train to Kolkata and then to Siliguri and then a Bus to Phuentsholing from bus stand at New Jalpaiguri (taxi will take you from station to this bus stand). You can buy tickets on spot first bus leaves at 7:30am. Ticket Rs 140.