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1 How to reach Bhutan from India?

By Air: It is quite easy to fly from India to Bhutan. There are two direct airlines, namely, Drukkar and Bhutan Airlines, which operate flights from Delhi, Gaya, Bagdogra, Kolkata, Mumbai and Guwahati to Paro, Bhutan's only international airport. Indian passengers may be offered special fares at Drucare if the airline is contacted via email.

By Rail: The cheapest way to reach Bhutan from India is by rail route. Hasimara is the nearest railway station to the Indian city of Jaigaon on the Indo-Bhutan border. It is located at a distance of 17 km from Jaigaon. There are trains going from Kolkata (690 km), Delhi (1663 km), Ranchi (749 km), and Kanpur (1197 km) to Hasimara. Another station which provides a good connectivity is located at New Jalpaiguri. Tickets and timetables are available on the IRCTC website of the Indian Railways. Although trains take longer, they are quite economical and ideal for budget travelers.

By Road: The most common way to enter Bhutan from India by road is from the Jaigaon city of West Bengal. It is just 4.3 kilometers from the border town of Bhutan, Phuntsholing. Private taxis are available between the two locations. People can avail cab services by landing in Bagdogra (by flight) or New Jalpaiguri (by train). There are also prepaid taxis at the airport of Bagdogra. However, for those traveling on a budget, a taxi can be hired by entering into a direct agreement with the cab drivers.

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2 Currency information

The Bhutanese currency is called Ngultrum, which is equivalent to the value of the Indian currency, i.e. INR 1 = Ng 1. The notes of Indian denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 are widely used in Bhutan, however , Note 500 and 2000 are not valid in the country.

3 What to pack for Bhutan?

A shawl / jacket or a shrug: These are compulsory for both men and women when entering the place of worship.

Raincoat and Umbrella: If you are traveling in monsoon, then these two things will be required.

Pack light clothes for summer and monsoon and travel to Bhutan in winter.

Swimwear: If you want to experience a traditional hot stone bath or hot springs. A pair of comfortable flat shoes and trainers / hiking shoes Motion sickness

medicine: there are winding roads for the country

4 What to see and do in Bhutan?

On a typical Bhutan Tourist Permit, you can travel to three tourist destinations, namely Thimphu, Paro and Punakha, as well as skip Phuntsholing, which you can also visit without a permit.

Top Places to Visit in Paro

  • Rinpung Dzong
  • Taktsang Lhakhang or Tiger’s Nest
  • Ta Dzong
  • Drukgyel Dzong
  • Kyichu Lhakhang
  • Farm House (traditional village house)
  • Druk Choeding Temple
  • Dungtse Lhakhang
  • Ugyen Pelri Palace

Places Around Paro

  • Haa Valley
  • Chele La
  • Dzongdrakha Goemba
Photo by Aaron Santelices / Unsplash

Top Places to Visit in Thimphu

  • Memorial Chorten: In case you have not booked this tour with a travel company, about Ng 300 will be charged as an entry fee.
  • Kuensel Phodrang (Buddha Point)
  • Trashichhoedzong/Tashichho Dzong
  • Simtokha Dzong
  • National Library
  • Institute for Zorig Chusum
  • Traditional Medicine Institute
  • The Folk Heritage Museum (Phelchey Toenkhyim)
  • National Textile Museum
  • Handicrafts Shops
  • Changangkha Lhakhang
  • Craft Bazaar: Organized on Tuesday and Wednesday
  • Weekend Market: Saturday and Sunday
  • Junghi Handmade Paper Factory
  • Zangthopelri Lhakhang
  • Simply Bhutan Museum
  • Takin Reserve
Masked dance of Dochula Tsechu in Thimphu, Bhutan
Photo by Pema Gyamtsho / Unsplash

5 How is the connectivity from Phuntholing to the rest of Bhutan?

The border city of Bhutan, Phuntsholing is a reflection of what the country really is about. Clean place, sound traffic system, orderly houses and shops and smiling and polite looking person. Phuntsholing is a small town and has very few attractions, which can be covered in a day. The major tourist attraction here is the Karabandi Monastery, from which one can get a breathtaking view of the plains of Bengal and the city of Phuntsoling. The monastery is popular among locals as a place where prayers are asked for the child's reproduction / care. Another place to see in the town is located in Zangtho Pelari Lakhangang, a Buddhist temple dedicated to Guru Rinpoche. There is also a Crocodile Breeding Center, called Amo Choo which can be an interesting place to visit. In addition, Phuentsholing has a foreign goods shop, where clothes can be purchased at very low prices. There are many restaurants in Phuentsholing which serve Bhutanese, Chinese and Indian dishes. One can also find dance and singing bars which are enough to experience.

Distance with major places in Bhutan

From Phuntsholing to Thimphu: 164 km

Phuntsholing to Paro: 160 km

Phuntsholing to Bagdogra: 164 km

Phuntsholing for Siliguri: 155 km

6 How good is the Transport Availability?

Phuentsholing Bus Station, that is under Road Safety and Transport Authority of Bhutan (RSTA) from where one can find buses for several cities / towns in Bhutan. The buses are usually small, and are mainly Toyota Coaster buses, however few Eichers can also be seen. Just outside the Bus Station is the Taxi Stand, from where one can hire full cabs or shared ones instantly.