1. Phuentsholing To Paro by Bus
Meto and Dhug Transport are the popular bus companies operating 20-seater buses Like Toyota Coasters from Phuentsholing to Paro. The public buses are availed by local people and those who want a budget tour. Although costing 50% less than the private buses, the government-run minibuses like those run by Bhutan Post Express, however, tend to be congested and uncomfortable for tourists, especially those with a tendency to motion sickness.
Keep your identification documents and travel permits ready for checking by the border security and make sure to get your lunch when the bus stops at any pit shop because the journey is long. The buses are regularized and getting one isn't difficult.
Bus Options Available
1. Meto Transport –Runs daily, departs at 8:30 AM and reaches at 2:30 PM
2. Dhug Transport –Runs daily, departs at 9 AM and reaches at 2:30 PM
Time Taken: 5-6 hours maximum, depending on the traffic.
Cost: 300 BTN approximately for private buses. The government-run buses can be more affordable options as they cost nearly half as that of private mini buses.
2. Phuentsholing to Paro By Car
One of the best options to reach Paro from Phuentsholing, apart from taking a bus would be to hire a taxi or take your own car. Without a visa, you are permitted to drive up to 5 kilometers into Phuentsholing but in case you are driving your own car, a separate permit is required that will let you travel further. Those who are planning on hiring a local taxi from the Phuentsholing border should get off at Jaigaon from Hasimara.
Via Phuentsholing-Thimphu Highway (143 Kilometers)
During the first half, you will cover 83.6 kilometers which will take roughly 3 hours, crossing Rinchendling village and Peling Resort & Spa. Soak in the mountain views and if you want, stop at any viewpoint to stretch your limbs and get some pictures. Lhamu Restaurant & Bar can be a pit stop at Gedu, approximately 45 Kilometers from Phuentsholing –you can reach here in one and a half hours. Another stoppage can be at Sorchen village where you will find a viewpoint on the way to Paro. After covering nearly 107.3 Kilometers, you will find the Phuentsholing-Thimphu Highway taking a left turn, continue for around 15 minutes on this route to cover 12.3 kilometers and then continue along the Paro-Thimphu Highway to reach your destination.
Time Taken: 4-5 hours approximately and more if you are getting a breakfast or lunch break on the way.
Cost: 3000 BTN approximately for a full SUV cab and 2500 BTN approximately for smaller cars. If you are getting a shared taxi, the cost will be around 500 BTN.
The 142.7 kilometers Highway run by the Border Road Organization is in excellent condition and the roads are winding at many places, traversing through the verdant hilly slopes. The traffic is less to moderate and the cars can run at not more than 60 Km/h speed. En route to Paro, you will find a check post where you have to show the Identity Cards like Voter Id card, PAN card, driving license or passport. As an Indian, you do not require a visa but a travel permit issued from Thimphu should be produced mandatorily. There are a few pit-stops where you can enjoy traditional Bhutanese food.