The process of planning your visit to Bhutan can be divided into two steps, choosing your mode of entry and choosing a tour agency to arrange your hotel and Visa. We will cover the second part of choosing your land tour on the second article.
As a landlocked country, there is only two way to get into Bhutan, via a flight or a drive.
Flying into Bhutan with Drukair
This is the most convenient way to enter Bhutan, and most travellers enter Bhutan via this route. Drukair is the national carrier of Bhutan and links Bhutan to 5 other countries i.e. India, Nepal, Thailand, Singapore and Bangladesh. Bhutan has four airports, of which only one serve as main entry point for international travellers, Paro Airport while the remaining three airports serving just domestic routes.
With a small exception, Drukair usually departs early in the morning, about 0630 from Singapore and Thailand. This is because wind condition makes landing at Paro Airport after 12 p.m. more difficult. So Drukair would depart Singapore early in the morning, turn around and take off from Paro airport before 12 p.m. Below are the average departure and arrival time for Drukair in the various cities. The exact time may vary according to season so do consult us once you are ready to plan your trip.
Reserving Your Flight
We will be able to help you reserve your tickets for up to 30 days with no fee and penalty. Cancellation fee will only apply if you have issued your tickets. This reservation facility will allow you some time to confirm your connecting flight and plan your tour in Bhutan. You can also reschedule your visit if necessary. Once you have confirmed your land tour, you can drop us a note to issue your ticket. Issuance can only be done after we have received your payment for the ticket since cancellation after issuance will incur a cost.
Driving via India
Bhutan does not have an open border with China, so travellers can only drive into Bhutan from the southern side. There are two entries point, Phuentsoling, which is the main trade city in Bhutan and Samdrup Jongkar. It will take about 6 hours from these border towns to reach your first main town in Bhutan. This could be your choice of transport if your are planning just to visit Eastern Bhutan such as the Merak Sakteng Trek.
We would recommend that you contact an Indian travel agency to arrange your drive through India portion. Your guide and drive in Bhutan will usually meet you in one of the border town, Phuentsholing or Samdrup Jongkar. You are going to be driving through an area that is susceptible to strike by locals so your India agency will usually arrange a police escort if they think it’s necessary.
Frequently Asked Question
How can we travel to Bhutan from Lhasa?
Drukair has no direct link with any cities in China. The easier way is for you to fly to Kathmandu and then board a Drukair flight to Bhutan. Bhutan does not have an open border with China, so it is not possible to drive from Lhasa to Bhutan. A possible alternative is to drive from Lhasa to Nepal and then continue your journey to India and Bhutan. Kathmandu does not share a border with Bhutan so driving into Bhutan would require you to have India visa.