Bhutan Transportation

How to Get to Bhutan

Trains are not available in Bhutan now. Visitors can get to the country by plane or by bus. Undoubtedly, taking a plane is the fastest and the most comfortable way.

1. By Plane
Paro Airport is the only international airport in the country, which is about 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) from the city center of Paro. Flights from Bagdogra, Delhi, Calcutta and Guwahati of India, Bangkok of Thailand, Dacca of Bangladesh, Katmandu of Nepal, and Singapore land here. You can visit Bhutan by plane from the above countries. Flights between Bangkok and Bhutan are available everyday, but it takes 3.5 hours. It only takes 45 minutes if flying from Katmandu and tourists can overlook the beautiful snow mountains in the Himalayas; however flights are not scheduled on Wednesday and Sunday. Tourists can choose suitable air routes according to their time.

Druk Air and Bhutan Airlines are the major carriers in the country and tourists can book flight tickets on the websites of the two airlines. Considering the possibility of ticket change or refund, tourists are advised to book flight tickets through Bhutanese travel agencies.

2. By Bus
Taking bus is another option. There are two land border crossings in Bhutan. One is Phuntsholing in southwest Bhutan, which borders on West Bengal in India. You can take buses in Calcutta or Darjeeling to Jaigon, a border town in India, where you can enter Phuntsholing. The other crossing is Samdrup Jongkhar in southeastern Bhutan, which is contiguous to Assam of India. You can fly first to Guwahati, the capital of Assam, and then take buses to Samdrup Jongkhar.

Domestic Transportation Overview

Bhutanese domestic aviation is less developed, and flights between cities are very few. There are no subway and railway in the country, so bus transport dominates the transportation system. The total mileage of highway in the country is about 8,400 kilometers (5,219.5 miles), and the highway linking Thimphu to Phuntsholing and the East-West Highway are two major highways, which separately link Bhutan to India, and the major cities in Bhutan. Tourists also can rent a car or bicycle, or take taxies to travel around.

1. Planes
Paro Airport, Bathpalathang Airport in Jakar, Yongphulla Airport in Trashigang District and Gelephu Airport in Samtenling Gewog are four airports in Bhutan. Flights among Paro, Bumthang and Trashigang are operated, but there are only several flights every week; therefore you should keep an eye on the flight schedule.

2. Buses
In general, Bhutanese travel agencies will provide comfortable minibuses or SUV for tourists. Daily buses among Thimphu, Paro, Phuentsholing, Punakha and other big cities only run three times a day with poor vehicle condition, but the fare is cheap. The fare from Thimphu to Paro is about 40Nu.

3. Rental Car or Bicycle
There are many bicycle rental companies in Thimphu, so it is convenient for visitors to rent one bicycle. If you want to rent a car, you should have good driving skill and be careful, because most roads in Bhutan are twisting.

4. Taxies
The number of taxi is small and drivers seldom calculate fare by the meters, so you need to reach an agreement on price with the taxi driver before taking taxies.

Further Reading: 

Bhutan Weather  Things to Do in Bhutan   Useful Travel Tips