The Paro International Airport is the only airport in Bhutan. It is located in the south-west of the country and caters only to Druk Air with flights connecting Bangkok, Delhi, Kolkata, Bodhgaya, Bagdogra, Guwahati, Kathmandu and Dhaka to Bhutan. The fares are a little steep. However, it is also widely considered to be one of the toughest airports in the world to land.
Bhutan has three other domestic airports. In the south-central region is the Gelephu Airport, Yonphulla Airport is located in the eastern side of Bhutan, and the Bathpalangthag Airport is in the central part of Bhutan. However, flight operations are now permanently closed in Yonphulla and Bathpalathag airports.
Druk Air is the official air carrier of Bhutan and is also the only airline which operates regular flights to and from Bhutan (Paro) to Delhi, Bagdogra, Kolkata, Bangkok, Gaya, Dhaka and Kathmandu. For the ones who wish to travel to Bhutan should be aware that Bagdogra is the nearest airport in India to Paro and it is situated in the Indian state of West Bengal.
Bhutan can be reached by bus too. Buses are available from Kolkata > Siliguri > Hasimara to Jaigaon-Phuentsholing point in the border. The ticket prices range from BTN 300 to 700 approximately.
There are no railways in Bhutan. Travellers, therefore, has to reach the nearest railway station and then take local transport or a bus or cab to reach Bhutan. The most convenient, and also the best, option out of all is entering Bhutan from Siliguri, New Alipurduar, Hasimara or New Jalpaiguri in India. Hasimara is situated at a distance of 15 km from Jaigaon, the border town on the Indian side of the border (near Phuentsholing).
So, you can reach Hasimara by train, and then take a cab to Phuentsholing, where you will have to take a permit from the check-post to enter places like Paro and Thimpu in Bhutan. New Alipurduar railway station (North Bengal) is situated at a distance of 60 km from Jaigaon. You can take a bus ride or a taxi ride from New Alipurduar to Jaigaon.
There are three land border crossings located along the southern border that is linked to India only. Phuentsholing, Gelephu and Samdrup Jongkhar. Road permits are required if you wish to get in by road. These permits can, however, be processed along with your visa.
There are no waterways in Bhutan.
Jaigaon is the Indian town touching Indo-Bhutan Border, and Phuentsholing is on the other side. All the formalities to get a permit to enter Bhutan, are carried out here at the immigration office.
One can take a flight until Bagdogra from anywhere in India. After landing in Bagdogra, hire a taxi to Jaigaon (Approximate fare - INR 2500). One can also take a bus to Jaigaon from Siliguri or Kolkata. It takes approximately four to five hours to reach Jaigaon from Bagdogra. You can easily walk from Jalgaon to Phuentsholing and back without a permit. Phuentsholing and Jaigaon offer an array of accommodation options for a break journey.
Another way to reach is to take a train from Siliguri to Hasimara junction which is accessible from Jaigaon via local transport (Rickshaw). The train takes approximately 2.5 hours to reach Hasimara from Siliguri.
The gate remains open from 8:00 AM IST to around 11:00 PM IST. The immigration office in Phuentsholing is only 100 m away from the gate.
Take a taxi to Thimphu, which will cost around Nu 2500. Alternatively, you can also take a small coaster bus from Phuentsholing bust stop for which the fare is around 230. There is also an option of taking a shared taxi which will cost around Nu 600. Thimpu is at a distance of 176 km from there. Taxis are available at Phuentsholing Bus stop and a few from Jaigaon. If you take a taxi from Jaigaon, a separate vehicle permit will be required.
Driving your own car/motorbike
You can obtain the permit for your vehicle from the Regional Transport Office in Phuentsholing by paying a fee of INR 100-200.
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