Getting to Bhutan

Visa

Visas are required for traveling to Bhutan. Tourist visas have to be approved prior to your arrival in Bhutan. We process visa on behalf of our guests and ensure that visa number reaches Druk Air (national airline) office at the airports where our guests meets his/her flights to Bhutan.

While actual visa is issued at the port of entry, it is required that you know your visa number while boarding your flight to Bhutan. The actual visa is stamped on your passport either at Paro airport or at Phuentsholing or Samdrup Jongkhar (if by road), where you need to pay US$ 20 and two passport sized photos are also required. We will process visa extensions for you if it is required. Your Passport has to have a validity of at least six months.

Your visa will be applied for once your trip to Bhutan is confirmed. We need the following details for processing your visa at least 5-6 weeks prior to the date of your travel.

  1. Your full name (as it appears in your passport)
  2. scanned copy of your passport sized photo
  3. Occupation
  4. Nationality
  5. Passport No.
  6. Date of issue
  7. Date of expiry
  8. Place of Issue
  9. Date of birth
  10. Place of birth
  11. Permanent address

Entry

Bhutan can be entered either by air or land. The national airline Druk Air flies from Bangkok, Delhi, Dhaka, Kathmandu and Kolkata. The main points of entry by land are through Phuentsholing in the south that links Bhutan with the Indian plains of West Bengal and through Samdrup Jongkhar that links with the Indian state of Assam.

Travel by Air

The country has so far only one airport that caters to the needs of visitors coming in through flight. However, an international airport is under construction in Gelephu that will eventually provide passengers with a choice of their entry to Bhutan. The Bhutan’s only international airport at Paro, is located at a height of 7300 ft above sea level and surrounded by mountains and hills as high as 16,000 feet. It flies to destinations that include Bangkok, Delhi, Kolkata, Bodh Gaya, Dhaka, Kathmandu and Guwahati in Assam.

The flight between Paro and Kathmandu is one of the most exciting ones as the aircraft passes over 4 of the 5 highest mountains in the world. In fine weather, as you soar higher up, you can enjoy the spectacular display of Mt. Everest, Lhotse, Makalu and Kangchenjunga at their best.

Travel by Land

Phuntsholing and Samdrup Jongkhar in eastern Bhutan are the only land border areas open for international tourists. The town of Phuntsholing is located approximately 170 km east of the Indian national airport Bagdogra. After crossing Phuntsholing, your journey then begins its mountainous climb through endless turns and hair-pin bends till you enter Thimphu, the capital city. The travel time for the 176 km stretch can be more than 6 hours.

Samdrup Jongkhar is the only entry point in eastern Bhutan. The town borders the Indian district of Darranga, Assam and is approximately 150 kms away from Guwahati, the capital city of Assam. The journey from Guwahati is about three hours. Tourists entering Bhutan through Samdrup Jongkhar will take you to Trashigang, the largest District in the country, and from there over the lateral route to Mongar, Bumthang, Trongsa, Wangde Phodrang and then finally into capital, Thimphu. The distance is about 700 kms and will take you a minimum of three days to reach Thimphu.