1. Thimphu To Paro by Bus
The route from Thimphu to Paro is a short one and comfortable enough not to trigger motion sickness. Many people take a break journey of a bus from Phuentsholing to Thimphu and Paro from there, but as the private buses from Dhug Transport run both in the morning and at noon, the affordable and convenient option will be to take the direct bus between Thimphu and Paro.
Cost: If you are not up for spending some bucks for a private cab, take the bus for not more than 200 BTN.
Bus Options Available
1. Dhug Transport –Runs Either 30-seater buses daily. Departs at 9 AM and 2 PM, reaches at 11:30 AM and 4:30 PM respectively.
Time Taken: 2 hours and 30 minutes maximum.
2. Thimphu to Paro By Car
Private cars and taxis are the most convenient options to reach from Thimphu to Paro apart from the buses. Apart from the government-run taxis, you will find Toyota cars in abundance. Prados and Land Cruiser are also quite common in Bhutan while the border areas have a few Mahindra cars offering pickups.
Via Phuentsholing-Thimphu Highway And Paro-Thimphu Highway (50.7 Kilometers)
From Dzongchhen Lam and Doeboom Lam in Thimphu, you have to cross Norzin Lam 1 and Chang Lam 1 to find the Babesa-Thimphu Expressway after Chhogyal Lam. In moderate traffic, this 1.4 kilometres route can be completed in only 5 minutes. Cross 6.1 kilometres on Babesa-Thimphu Expressway until you stumble upon a roundabout. From here drive straight along Paro-Thimphu Highway and continue along the Phuentsholing-Thimphu Highway for 20 kilometres approximately. Drive 23.2 kilometres farther for about half an hour to reach your destination.
Time Taken: Approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes
Cost: 600 BTN approximately to cover around 50 kilometres. If you are taking a taxi to Paro International Airport, the cost will be around 850 BTN for a private car, 1050 BTN for a Sumo car, 1350 BTN for an Innova or Tavera and 1650 BTN for 10-seater Scorpio, Traveller and other large cars.
The two-lane blacktop highway from Thimphu to Paro International Airport is considered as one of the most-used and most beautiful roads in the entire country. The smooth roads paved with asphalt are improved and make way for easy driving. You will find sharp hairpin bends and roads winding, going up and down along the mountainous slopes and valleys which make driving not only dangerous but also picturesque if you are on the speed limit and cautious.
There is no service centre or mechanic facility in between Thimphu and Paro –it is better to carry a spare tire, compressor and basic toolkit if you are driving your own car so that you can repair your car in case it breaks down or the tire is inflated. Also, get your tank full before starting for Paro as you might not find one on the way, but there are plenty in Thimphu.
3. Tips For Travelling From Thimphu to Paro
While travelling from Thimphu to Paro, there are a few points that you should be cautious about –
- Many car insurance providers in India do not have coverage for Bhutan. So, if you are driving your vehicle registered from India, make sure to get car insurance from Bhutan.
- Bhutanese Ngultrum amount the same as Indian Rupee. Indian credit cards are not valid in Bhutan, carry enough cash. Indian currency is accepted everywhere in Bhutan. Border towns like Phuentsholing and large towns like Paro and Thimphu also return change in Indian currency. However, you will get Ngultrum as a change to the interior villages.
- The maximum speed for driving is 50 kilometres per hour, and unnecessary honking is not entertained.
- While driving in winter, beware of snow and black ice. Although traffic is not much between Thimphu and Paro, you should drive cautiously while taking hairpin bends and sharp turns.