Bhutan Trip – Itinerary

After reading about my recent Bhutan trip, lot of people were asking me for my itinerary. I thought of sharing it here so that it is useful for other people who are also planning for a trip to Bhutan.

Day 1 (15-Sep-2012)

Bangalore -> Kolkata -> Bagdora -> Jaigaon

Took an early morning flight from Bangalore to Kolkata. In Kolkata, we had a layover for 5 hours. So we went to some near by places like Maha Lakshimi temple, Bellur Matt etc. From Kolkata we took a flight to Bagdora. After reaching Bagdora airport, we took a pre-paid taxi to Jaigaon, the Indian border town from the airport. Usually it should take you around 4-5 hours (around 180 Km) to reach but for us it took close to 8 hours because of huge traffic jam caused by a landslide. One important thing to note is that there is a 16 Km stretch near Jaigaon, where the road is extremely bad. It will take at least an hour to cross this stretch, of course with some severe back pain. We stayed overnight in a hotel in Jaigaon opposite to the India Bhutan border.

India-Bhutan Border

Day 2 (16-Sep-2012)

Jaigaon -> Phuentsholing -> Thimphu

We took the permit from the immigration office and crossed the India Bhutan border gate (which is just an arch) and reached Phuentsholing. The border town at the Indian side is called Jaigaon, while the border town at the Bhutan side is called Phuentsholing. From Phuentsholing we took a taxi to Thimphu, which is the capital of Bhutan. The ride will take you around 5 hours (around 180 Km). This stretch of the road is extremely scenic and there are around 5-6 major water falls on the way. We did the mistake of traveling there after dark, but found out what we missed on our way back. If you are planning to take this route, make sure you do it at day time and keep a camera handy. We reached Thimphu pretty late and stayed at a hotel in Norzin Lam.

It is also possible to go by public transport. The cost for the bus to Thimphu is around 200 Nu (Bhutan currency, which is almost equal to Indian currency) and you have bus every 30 minutes till 4:30 PM Bhutan time (GMT + 6 hours, which is 30 minutes ahead of Indian time)

Day 3 (17-Sep-2012)

Sight seeing in and around Thimphu.

Visited a couple of places like Telecom Tower, Dechen Lakhang, Archery stadium, Tashicho Dzong and Buddha Point which is present on top of hill. Out of all the places, I liked Buddha point a lot. The Buddha statue was massive and also the view from top of the hill was amazing.

Budha Point in Thimpu
From Buddha Point in Thimphu

Day 4 (18-Sep-2012)

Thimphu -> Paro

The permit that you get at Phuentsholing is valid only for 7 days and you can visit only Thimphu and Paro using it. In order to visit other places or stay longer you need to extend your permit at Thimphu. So we went to the immigration office in Norzin Lam to extend our permit and also to get permission to visit other places in Bhutan. It took us a couple of hours, since the officers were busy because of some meeting.

After getting the permit, we took a taxi to Paro. Paro is around 60 Km from Thimphu and it will take you around 2 hours to reach there. After reaching Paro, we stayed in a hotel in the main street of the town.

Paro is a very beautiful valley and you can catch a glimpse of it in the below photo.

Paro Valley

Day 5 (19-Sep-2012)

Sight seeing in and around Paro

The highlight of the day was the hike to Tiger’s Nest (Paro Taktsang). It is a Buddhist sacred site and temple complex located in a cliffside of the upper Paro valley. It took us about 3 hours to climb up and around 2 hours to climb down. It was really an amazing place and I might a separate blog post about this place.

Below are some photos of Tiger’s Nest.

Tiger's Nest
Tiger's Nest

Day 6 (20-Sep-2012)

Sight seeing in and around Paro

Visited a couple of places in the Paro valley like Drukgyel Dzong, Paro Rinpung Dzong, Kyichu Lhakhang and National Museum. Out of all these places, I liked Drukgyel Dzong, which is an old ruined fortress and Paro Rinpung Dzong, which is the main administrative office and monastery in Paro.

Most of these places are near to Paro and you can hire a taxi to reach these places from Paro.

Day 7 (21-Sep-2012)

Paro -> Cheli La -> Haa Valley

We hired a taxi for the next 8 days at 3000 Nu per day and left Paro to Haa Valley. On the way to Haa valley, we passed Cheli La, which is one of the highest mountain pass in Bhutan. It was very cold at Cheli La, and you could see the below photo, to find out how chill it was. After Cheli La, we reached Haa valley, a very small and cold town. We stayed overnight in Haa valley.

Cheli La
Cheli La

Day 8 (22-Sep-2012)

Haa Valley -> Thimphu -> Douch La -> Punakha

We visited the Indian Army camp (photo below) in Haa valley and then left to Punakha. To reach Punakha we had to go through Thimphu. Between Thimphu and Punakha we passed through Douch La. Reached Punakha a little late and found it difficult to get room, since the hotels are spread apart. This is was the only place, where we had little struggle to get the room.

Indian Army camp in Bhutan

Day 9 (23-Sep-2012)

Sight seeing around Punakha and Wangdue

Punakha was little hot when compared with other places. We went to Chimi Lhakhang (temple of the famous fertility king Drukpa Kinley), Punakha Dzong and to an Iron Bridge which was build over the Punakha river. We also witnessed Tsechu, the local festival in Wangdue. If you are interested in cultural dances etc, you will really like these festivals.

I liked the Iron bridge very much. It was a completely different experience to walk in the long, swinging hanging bridge. Checkout some of the photos which we took in the iron bridge.

Long Iron Bridge
Long Iron Bridge

Day 10 (24-Sep-2012)

Punakha -> Wangdue -> Pele La -> Trongsa -> Bumthang -> Jakar

We left Punakha a little early and reached Jakar down in Bumthang at around 4 PM. On the way we crossed Wangdue, Pele La and Trongsa. The entire drive was very beautiful and took about 9 hours. Bumthang was slightly hot during the day and cold during the night. Locals call Bumthang as second Switzerland and it lived up to its reputation.

Day 11 (25-Sep-2012)

Sight seeing around Bumthang and Jakar town.

We went to Jakar Dzong, Wangdichholing Dzong, Kurji Lakhang and then attended the Tsechu at the Tamshing Lakhang. Almost all places were very beautiful and picture perfect.

Day 12 (26-Sep-2012)

Sight seeing around Bumthang and Jakar town.

Went to Burning Lake, which is arond 13 Km from Jakar. It was very beautiful and we tried to get into the water, which was very cold even though the sun was very hot. After coming out of Burning Lake, we parked our car near a small bridge and got into the river. The water was very clean and cold and it was a very nice experience. We spent about 2 hours there in the river itself.

Aswin and Subbu did mountain biking for the entire day, while I did it only in the evening. There are lot of trails for doing mountain biking and you should definitely try it out if you are in Bumthang.

Day 13 (27-Sep-2012)

Bumthang -> Trongsa -> Pele La -> Punakha -> Douch La -> Thimphu

It was a long drive and it took us about 12 hours (257 Km) from Bumthang to Thimphu. The entire drive was very beautiful and on the way we entered Trongsa Dzong from the eastern gate. We reached Thimphu in the evening and went for shopping since almost every shop had a sale because of the local Tsechu festival.

Day 14 (28-Sep-2012)

Thimphu -> Phuentsholing -> Jaigoan -> Siliguri

The drive from Thimphu to Phuentsholing is very beautiful and you pass numerous majestic waterfalls on the way. There is a small stretch of road near Phuentsholing where it is always misty and you could witness lot of past landslide areas. We were both sad and glad, sad because it was our last day in Bhutan and glad that we did this trip. We crossed the border around 2 PM and you could immediately notice the cultural difference. We were greeted with heavy vehicle horn sounds as soon as stepping inside Jaigaon.

We had lunch in Jaigaon and took another taxi to Siliguri were we stayed overnight.

Day 15 (29-Sep-2012)

Siliguri -> Bagdora -> Kolkata -> Bangalore -> HOME

Our flight from Bagdora was at 2:40 PM, so in the morning we went around Siliguri, even though it was very hot. We went to “Hon Kong Market” which is a famous place to get cheap electronics stuff. After that we took a taxi to the Bagdora airport, took flight to Kolkata and then took our connecting flight to Bangalore. Reached home at around 10:30 PM and slept in my bed after around 15 days πŸ™‚

Itinerary Recommendation

If you have only a week to visit Bhutan then I would recommend you to visit Thimphu and Paro. If you have around 10 days then make sure you visit Thimphu, Paro, Haa valley and Punakha or if you have 15 days like us then you could also include Bumthang to the list.

Update

I have also written about the things that you should keep in mind while traveling to Bhutan.

Related posts

Tags: ,

153 Comments so far

Follow up comments through RSS Feed | Post a comment

  • Anonymous says:

    nice writeup about bhutan trip in your entire blog…it makes me feel that i should plan a trip there…

  • Ajay Murthy says:

    Hi Sudar,
    Firstly a very nice write up. The info you have shared helps me in preparing a good itinerary.
    I would require one info from you, is the immigration office in Phuentsoling open on all days ?
    I am an Indian national travelling from bangalore and will be reaching the border on saturday morning, so was worried if the visa office remains closed on weekdays.
    Kindly let me know about this and my mail id is ajay.dm@gmailDOTcom
    Thank you

  • Shankari says:

    Hi Sundar,

    Too beautifully explained with amazing photographs.Could kindly tell me how to get the permit to visit thimpu and paro please. We are planning a trip for 7 days but dont know how to get the specila permission.will be helpful if u reply us soon.

  • Sayan says:

    Nice Blog and Detailed information, thanks buddy… πŸ™‚

    I made my itinerary by reading your blog..can you do me a favour , it will be very helpful if you provide the hotel names or phone numbers you stayed in Punakha and Bumthang.

  • sahasajal97 says:

    Hi Sudar, Nice info and blog. Me and my wife planning a trip to Bhutan on Feb 2014 for max 7 days.
    We will cover only Thimpu and Paro. You have said $250 per day. Is it reqd for Indian Travelers also like us. And will our Indian Sim will work or it isnt(taking new SIM is Mandatory?). Thanks in advance

    • Sudar says:

      $250 is for non-India travelers. You don’t need to pay $250 if you are India. But do carry some government id card.

      India Sim will work only if you have enabled international roaming. Most operators charge very expensive rates for enabling international roaming. I would suggest getting a local sim. It is very easy to get once you have the permit. It is not mandatory to get a sim. You can get one if you need to call someone back home in India.

      All the best for your trip.

      • sahasajal97 says:

        Thanks very much for your quick response Sudar. Few more queries
        1. Currency Conversion required or not. If yes then where to exchange INR to nu
        2. our planning is for 7 days. Staying at Paro and visit Thimpu from Paro. Is it a good plan or Stayng at Thimpu is also a good choice?
        3. Please share the Cab price from Phuentsholing to Paro(or Thimpu).

        Once again Thanks

        ~ Sajal

        • Sudar says:

          Here are the answers

          1. Currency conversion is not required. We were able to use Indian rupees everywhere, even in central and eastern Bhutan. Exchange rate is almost equal. 1 NU ~ 0.999 RS. But for all practical purpose people use both Bhutan and Indian currency interchangingly.
          2. Thimpu and Paro is a good choice. First go to Thimpu and then go to Paro
          3. I don’t remember the exact price between Phuentsholing to Thimpu, but I think it was around 2500 or 500 per person if you are sharing the cab with someone else.
      • ANJAN BASAK says:

        You can get Tashi cell SIM cards from the main market in Phuntsilling by using a xerox copy of voter id card. The network connectivity is magnificient. International calls to India is Rs. 5 per minute.

  • sahasajal97 says:

    Sudar One more query. We are planning to carry Lappy and Datacard of Tata Photon over there. So will it work for internet? Thanks

    ~ Sajal

  • thanks for this amazing post about Tourist attractions in Bhutan. this sure is a great asset for all the upcoming tourists there.

  • GREAT POST! GLAD YOU HAD A GREAT TRIP πŸ™‚

  • GREAT ARTICLE! :)) Provides information on Bhutan hotels, restaurants, entertainment, shopping, sightseeing, and activities.

  • great article, i was planning to visit bhutan in a while, this article was great. THANKS!

  • Srinivasan says:

    Sundar , could you let me know the hotel choices both in thimpu and paro . What do they cost and which ones are best ?

    • Sudar says:

      It’s been nearly two years and I don’t remember the hotel names. But I do remember that there were a good options both in Thimpu and Paro and were easy to find. The average cost was around 2000 per room per night.

  • Sonya A. says:

    Hi,

    Just a query, Is it possible to exit from Samdrup after crossing Bumthang – Trashigang?

  • Sonya A. says:

    Thanks for the reply. I read many blogs regarding Bhutan travels, but couldnt find one from phuentsholing to Samdrup. People mostly return from Punakha or Bumthang! Why is it so?

    • Sudar says:

      Western Bhutan (Phuentsholing, Thimpu, Paro etc) is very well developed and there are lot of facilities. As you go towards central and eastern Bhutan you will realize that they are very rural and there aren’t much facilities. Also the only way of transport is to drive through the mountain and there are very few public buses. So you have to hire a taxi which will be costly. I guess that is one of the reason why most tourists don’t travel beyond Bumthang.

  • Jumon says:

    Hi,

    Great blog.
    Just some questions!
    1. I am going to Travel alone from Bangladesh. Do you think i can get any public transport to go Ha valley and Chele la from Paro or Thimpu.? Because Taxi would be really expensive for me, as i am traveling alone.
    2. Where can i find cheap budget hotel in Paro, Thimpu and Ha valley?

    Thanks in advance for your feedback

    • Sudar says:

      Hi Jumon,

      I am not sure if there are enough public transport. There may be some available but the frequency may be very limited.

      You will be able to find slightly cheaper hotels in Thimpu and Paro because it is famous and lot of tourists visit them. But in Ha valley if you want cheaper hotels you may have to find home stay.

  • Jumon says:

    Hi,

    Thanks for your feedback.

    Do you think i can extend my permission in one day (To go ha valley and chele la)? I will travel with sleeping bag, and other stuffs, so homestay won’t be a problem for me. Is it available in Bhutan? Because i am a very budget traveler, and traveling alone so need some tips πŸ™‚
    My plan is
    Paro-Thimpu-Punakha-Ha valley-Paro

    Do you think it’s a good idea or i should reconsider something else. As you know i can not get so much information about Bhutan from Online. Because Indian and Bangladeshi traveler can roam around independently. And Bangladeshi don’t go there so often.

    I really appreciate your support with information.

    Thanks again

    • Sudar says:

      I think it would be possible for you to extend the permission on the same day. But you have to reach Thimpu before the office closes.

      I did see homestays, especially in Punakha. We stayed in of those, but it was still called a hotel though πŸ™‚

  • Jumon says:

    Hi,

    Thanks man. Do you have the address of that homestay in Punakha? Or anyone name?

    By the way you are welcome to Bangladesh. I live in Chittagong.

    Have a visit your neighbor country.:)

    Thanks

    • Sudar says:

      Sorry Jumon, I don’t remember the name not have the address πŸ™

      I am planning to visit Bangladesh sometime in the next couple of years πŸ™‚

  • letzstepout says:

    Very Nice Information…!!! Thanks for sharing…

    Also visit @ http://letzstepout.com

  • Rishikashyam says:

    How much did this trip cost you?

  • Gururaj says:

    Hi this is Gururaj
    Your writing very nice. I am looking for rent bike from bagdora to Bhutan. Tell me that if went to Bhutan without hotel booking is it very difficult to get hotel or lodges there? If I went with my family is there any problems as we are facing in our land? Give me some hotel numbers to stay

    • Sudar says:

      Hello Gururaj,

      I think you can hire bikes in Bagdora but I am not sure, since we didn’t hire bikes. Confirm it with someone else before you go. But one thing is sure. If you have to ride Bhutan vehicle inside Bhutan then you need Bhutan license.

      You should be able to get hotels in Thimpu and Paro without booking. We didn’t book hotels for our entire trip. But make sure you go during day time and also make sure there is no festival on the day you are travelling. Hotels tends to get filled up on festival days.

      I don’t have any numbers with me now since it is almost 3 years.

  • Baljeet Kanwal says:

    Iam planning to go Bhutan on 14th March2015 (via train to NJP) on a very tight budget is prebooking of hotels required or you can get budget hotel accommodation once I arrive in Thimphu Via Phuentsholing.

    14/03 – NE express from New delhi to NJP
    15/03 arriving 09:00 am from there by bus to Jaigaon / Phuentsholing, stay in budget hotel and book Gvt Bhutan bus to (16/03Thimphu

    16/03 (early morning board govt bus to thimphu) reach after 2 or 3 and lookout for Budget hotel (hotel tandin / Khamsun inn cant be a budget hotel)

    17/03 Thimphu sight seeing (Local)
    18/03
    19/03 to Paro
    20/03
    21/03 paro to jaigaon, same day jaigaon to bagdogra
    22/03 have flight @12:35 to New delhi

    Please help me plan Itienrary. Reason for opting by air on return is as I have to join back office. I will be grateful for help on this

    • Sudar says:

      Your itinerary looks good. Public transport is available from Phuentsholing to Thimpu and to Paro. I think from Paro you may have to come to Thimpu before coming back to Phuentsholing. You may have to check it.

      Throughout my entire travel, we didn’t pre-book any hotel and we got some good and decent hotels for around Rs. 1000 per night. I am not sure what you mean by budget, but if you are thinking about Rs. 1000 per night then you will definitely be able to get them.

      Let me know how your travel goes.

  • Baljeet Kanwal says:

    yes by budget means till 1000/- not more than that, for online booking I tried by its above 2k. if you can guide as iam a solo traveler what to opt for local sight seeing 2500 – 3k is not a feasible option for me. Also pls let me know is it possible early morning checking out from Paro => Phuentsholing => back to Siliguri (NJP /Baghdogra) for sunday departure (22nD mar)

    • Sudar says:

      In Thimpu we did most of the site seeing by hiring a taxi. Taxi’s have pre-defined rates for each destination. Not sure if there is enough public transport within Thimpu itself.

      I think it should be possible for you to come from Para -> Phuentsholing => back to Siliguri in a single day if you hire a taxi. But again I am not sure if it would be possible to do it using pubic transport alone.

      We went in a group of 5 and so was able to hire taxi everywhere and share the expense. Not sure how things might work out for you if you are travelling alone.

  • Pls help me to inform can we get entry pass by 22nd Feb 2015 because I know Bhutan have holiday by 19th Feb 2015 to 23rd Feb 2015.

  • Rakeysh says:

    sir, i would be visiting thimphu by april 2015, here my question for you is that Rs. 15,000 for 2-3 days would be sufficient or not for two people there.

    • Sudar says:

      If you are visiting only Thimphu and Paro then I think you should be able to do it in 15,000. But this doesn’t include the tickets for you to reach Bhutan border.

  • C K Marak says:

    Hi,

    We are planning to visit Bhutan, upto Thimpu/Paro, for a week. As we are from Meghalaya, we plan to take our own car.

    Will the journey from Phuentsholing to the capital be suitable on small cars like Chevrolet Beat or Hyundai i10, based on road quality and gradient climb?

    • Sudar says:

      The road quality is good but there are lot of hair pin bends and if it is raining then it might be little tough to drive.

      If you are experienced in driving in hilly regions then I think you shouldn’t face much issues.

  • arif says:

    Dear Mr.Sudar,

    I read your beautiful blog on Bhutan trip.It was such a detail informative.I am Bangladeshi and i am interested to go to Bhutan from 17th to 27th April and would like to visit Paro-Thimpu- Bhumthang- Mongar.Is it possible to see those places within 10 days? Can you give me 2 star hotel address in those places cause i don’t find them in booking.com/agoda.There will be two couple with one kids like to go with me.They need 3star hotel and i need 2star. and my budget is 25000rs without airfare.is it fair enough?
    Thanks in advance.
    Arif.

    • Sudar says:

      Hello Arif,

      Nice to know that you like my blog post.

      Yes, it should be possible for you to visit all those places in 10 days.

      I don’t have any hotel address with me since I visited Bhutan more than 3 years ago. You can buy the latest version of the travel book by “Lonely Planet”, which might give you some address.

      Rs 25,000 for 10 days might be little tough, since you have to most probably use a taxi to visit all those places. But if you are sharing taxi costs then it might be possible.

  • Supneet Sarao says:

    Hey
    This is a really informative blog. Thankyou so much for the details.
    I am planning a visit to bhutan on 1 june.
    I just wanted to ask a few things about the bikes you rented.
    1.How long did you rent them for ?
    2.Were there any problems with the bikes?
    3. Were there any specific licence requirements for renting them?
    4.Were there any other formalities for the bike rentals?

    Any other information regarding the bikes will be very helpful …

    • Sudar says:

      Hello Supneet,

      No, we didn’t rent bikes.

      If you have to drive Bhutan registered vehicles then you need Bhutan license. With Indian license you can only drive Indian registered vehicles.

      So you can’t rent vehicles inside Bhutan and you may have to rent them inside India itself.

  • Supneet Sarao says:

    Thanks for the reply!
    I was asking about the mountain bikes you mentioned!

    • Sudar says:

      Ohh.. I thought you meant motor bikes

      Here are the answers to your questions

      1.How long did you rent them for ?

      For a day in Bhumtang

      2.Were there any problems with the bikes?

      We got really good ones.

      3. Were there any specific licence requirements for renting them?

      Nothing like that.

      4.Were there any other formalities for the bike rentals?

      We just had to show the permit to them. They also asked us the name of the hotel where we were staying.

  • Sumit Mukherjee says:

    Hi Sudar,

    Great post and will surely refer this while planning my mid-June trip without a tour operator too. I have couple of questions which I would be indebted if you could answer:

    1) I read somewhere that trekking to Taktsang requires a guide and that you can not trek on your own. Is this true? If yes, where can I find guides on a day/location basis?

    2) Is it better to go to the individual places and book hotels since I’m kind of going off season or should I play it safe and book hotels beforehand? Do these hotels provide guides/rented cars?

    Regards,
    Sumit M

    • Sudar says:

      Hello Sumit,

      Nice to know that you liked my post.

      1) Yes, you can trek only if you have a guide. The costs are quite high though (around $100-$150 a day types)

      2) We didn’t do any advance booking. We just went to the places and were able to do the bookings. Some hotels might provide guides, but not all. We just rented a cab ourself and our taxi driver became our guide πŸ™‚

  • keneth says:

    Hi Sudar,

    When you said that your total cost came to around rs.17,500, did it include travel tickets to jaigaon?

    • Sudar says:

      Yes.

      Rs. 17,500 includes all the expenses that happened after landing in Bagdora airport. It includes travel from Bagdora to Jaigaon and the return from Jaigaon to Bagdora.

      • kenneth says:

        Thanks for answering the query. Just a few more questions. Can I extend the travel permit in Thimpu before it expires?

        Is there a gov set passenger limit on the number of people a vehicle can carry? Example: if a SUMO can ‘fit’ 10 slim people, will drivers allow that or only accommodate the more generic 7 passengers?

        Also what was the weather like? You went in Sept, I would be travelling in November after Diwali. Just to get an idea.

        • Sudar says:

          Not a problem at all and I am glad that I am helpful.

          Yes, you can extend your permit in Thimpu. We extended our permit after entering.

          Yes, there is a limit and people in Bhutan follow the rules without exception. So you can’t accommodate more people.

          In Thimpu and Paro the weather should be good. Once you go beyond Paro it might get a little chill.

          • kenneth says:

            Thanks for being patient.

            You mentioned there was 5 of you traveling. In that case, did you get a bigger car? Because there would be 6 of us traveling, all adults.

            Lastly you mentioned “carry some government id card” for proof. Since one of my friends does not have either passport or voters card[he is an adult] will it work if he carries pan card or ration card?

            Thanks in advance.

            • Sudar says:

              Yes, we hired a 6 seater car.

              I know that passport is not required but you need to identify yourself using any government issued photo id card. I am not sure what are the accepted id cards.

              To be safe, carry as much id cards as possible.

              • kenneth says:

                Will do.

                Thank you Sudar for your immense help. I really appreciate it.

                Regards

                • Sudar says:

                  You are welcome and do enjoy your trip.

                  Also if possible once you are back from your trip, share your experience here so that it would be helpful to others.

  • Saira Niju says:

    Hi Sudhar,
    We are of group of six travelling next month , Could you please provide number of the taxi u used? Thank you.

    • Sudar says:

      I have sent an email to you with the drivers number.

      • Vipul Mahiman says:

        Hi Sudar,

        Can you share with me too the drivers number.
        We are 2 couples with 4 kids. So need an 8-seater. From Bagdogra to Phuentsholing and Phuentsholing to Bhutan and back Phuentsholing for 8 nights.

        If you have someone good, Let me know.

        Thanks.

        • baljeet Kanwal says:

          >its very easy , your half day will be consumed becoz of paper visa formality. if u ask CAB to drop u to taxi stand, they charge around 650 / – per person, if u family it would be cheaper if u can bargain. Only risk is if single male travelling u have to give Undertaking @ Bhutan visa office (Phuentsholing). I went all alone last march.

          SUdar’s blog helped me to travel all by mself. delhi => NjP = Local train (siliguri) to Hasmara crossed border. But stay over night. and than go by shared taxi 650/- person (bagpack trip)

          Regards,

          Baljeet

        • Sudar says:

          Hello Vipul,

          Looks like the driver changed his number, so I don’t have the new one.

  • Vinoth says:

    Hi Sudar,
    It would be great if you could share the taxi driver’s contact details, if you still have it. We are travelling to Bhutan in June and it would be helpful.

    Btw, your blog is very helpful and more than that I would like to appreciate your responses to all the queries being raised here. Its a great gesture. Thank you so much.

    • Sudar says:

      I have sent the number through email.

      Glad to know that you find my blog helpful πŸ™‚

      • DR NIGAM says:

        hi
        still reading your tour plan , its night 2 / 2 am
        its really informative
        i am dr. nigam and planing to visit in november / indian diwali festival , with family of 2 +2
        it would be really helpful if you can share the contact details of car which you had hired
        even we are planing to enter via road , and
        planing for 8 to 9 days ,, could you please guide us about places to visit

        its great help you are providing
        god bless you

        awaiting for reply

        • Sudar says:

          Hello,

          Nice to know that my blog was very informative to you.

          Send me an email (you can find it at http://sudarmuthu.com/contact/ ) and I will give the taxi drivers number. He was based out of Paro and we hired him from there.

          If you have 8-9 days, then I would recommend you to follow the same itinerary as mine.

          • Dr Nigam C Vira says:

            Hi
            Could you please email me the exact place in Thimphu to extend my trip for 14 days permit nigamvora@gmail.comas taking car INDIAN car n driver what n how many permit I requir

            • Sudar says:

              I don’t have the address for the immigration office in Thimphu but it is very small town and you should be able to find it.

              To take the Indian vehicle inside, you would require all the documents for the vehicle and also the driver license of the driver and his id card.

      • Vee Jay says:

        Hi Sundar,

        Planning to go to Bhutan between 11th to 21st Jun’16. It’s going to be me and a female friend. We generally backpack and stay at reasonable/budget hostels/hotels. Looking at your blog, I am assuming it should be fine.

        I wanted to cover all the areas you were able to cover in your trip. I wanted to check if you still have the number of the cab driver. If yes, could you please share the same on veejaysriks@gmail.com or Watsapp me on 9108-45-75-45?

        Thank you in advance.

        • Sudar says:

          It’s been more than 4 years. I don’t have the number of cab driver. But I am pretty sure you will be able to get good cab drivers there.

  • manmohan pai says:

    Please help me plan a short 1 week trip to bhutan.
    3 students travelling from guwhati.
    21-28th

    Will reach border on 20th June midnight.

    Want to visit park,thimpu and Punakha.

    Total budget per person fr the week would be 17500-18000 Max along with food stay transport and visiting places.

    Please help us…flighy,train tickets have been booked .

    Kindly do the needful…please

    • Sudar says:

      I am assuming you meant Paro instead of Park.

      One week and the budget you mentioned should be fine for you to visit Thimpu, Paro and Punakha.

      Do you have any specific questions?

  • Great work, love reading reading through your blogs…

  • Jyotsnaa Sharrma says:

    Hi,

    I have a query as I am planning to travel Bhutan in October that too solo. Would you be able to tell me some good homestays or reasonable places to stay there as the one I tried to contact are all sold out. I will be traveling from New Delhi to Bagdogra and from there further to Bhutan.

    Best Regards!
    Jyotsnaa

    • Sudar says:

      Hello Jyotsnaa,

      We travelled around 3-4 years ago and so most of the information that I have now would not be accurate.

      In which city in Bhutan are you looking for accommodation?

      • Jyotsnaa Sharrma says:

        Hi,

        Many thanks for your response. Well, I am looking accommodation in Thimpu and Paro. After so much of brainstorming I found that mostly places are booked in advance.

        Peace & Regards!
        Jyotsnaa

        • Sudar says:

          Hello Jyotsnaa,

          When we went in late 2012 we stayed in Bhutan for around 15 days and we didn’t do any bookings prior. We just went and were able to find decent hotels to stay in all the places. Not sure if things have changed now.

          Just check if there are any local festivals on the dates you are travelling. Hotels might get filled up if there is a local festival, otherwise we were able to just walkin and find hotels to stay.

          • Jyotsnaa Sharrma says:

            Hi,

            I am genuinely thankful to you for your responses πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

            Yeah, there are few festivals during that period.

            In that case I should book all the hotels in advance.

            Well, have you visited Haa Valley too.. is that worth visiting? I am planning to visit it too.

            Peace & Regards!
            Jyotsnaa

            • Sudar says:

              Yeah, there are few festivals during that period.

              That might explain the reason why the hotels are all pre-booked. In that case I guess it might be better for you to pre-book.

              Yes, we visited Haa Valley too. You can checkout my entire itinerary (just above) in the post on which you commented πŸ™‚

              Haa valley was very good and if you have time then it is worth visiting as well.

  • Jyotsnaa Sharrma says:

    Hi,

    I have a quick query, actually i have got the hotel in P/ling, Thimpu and Paro from one person only that’s from Hotel sinchula. He is asking to pay the whole amount is advance. Would you recommend to deposit the full money in advance. I mean is it okay.

    Peace & Regards!
    Jyotsnaa

    • Sudar says:

      I have not booked hotel in advance in Bhutan, so I am not sure what is the normal thing that people follow.

      Are you going to be paying to the hotel directly or to a 3rd party guy? If you are paying to the hotel directly then I guess you can go ahead, but if you are going to be paying through a 3rd party then I wouldn’t recommend it.

      • Jyotsnaa Sharrma says:

        Hi,

        To the Hotel directly. I spoke to the owner about it she said that mostly people first book and then do not turn up in between we get many bookings and we end up getting loss. Then she asked me to pay 50% amount in advance.

        I think it is okay.

        Peace & Regards!
        Jyotsnaa

        • Vee Jay says:

          Hi Jyotsna,

          How was your experience?

          Could you please share the contact details of the hotels you stayed in please? Planning my 10 day trip this year in June.

          Would really appreciate your help. You could also email me on veejaysriks@gmail.com or watsapp me on 9108-45-75-45

          Thank you.

  • Krittika says:

    Hi Sudar,
    Thanx for being such a help to all of us. We were a planning a honeymoon trip to bhutan next February. Can you be so kind to let me know what are the options of returning from pari to phuentsholing? And their respective costs. I also wanted you to know that your blog is very informative with your entries and all the conversations.
    thanx in advance.

    • Himanshu Shekhar says:

      Dear Krittika,

      Its Paro not Pari, any way you have to hire cab from Paro for Phuntsholing, the cost will be nearly 2-3k.

      Himanshu Shekhar
      phuntsholing, Bhutan
      9990596594

      • Seema Hegde says:

        Me and hubby planning a 7 day trip to Bhutan in May2016.Can you help us book a taxi from Paro airport for the entire length of our stay? What will be the charges per day?what is the rate per km? we are Indians

    • Sudar says:

      Hello Krittika,

      You can hire an entire cab, which might cost you around 2500 to 3000. You can also get a shared cab which might cost you around 500 per person.

      If you are adventurous, you can also use the public bus which will cost you less than 200.

  • Nisha Mitra says:

    Hi sudar
    Really thankful to read ur above post. . Its very helpful.. I m planning to visit Soon in November.. Can u plz guide me with some good hotels name..should I book after reaching or should I contact any agent. Plz guide me. .

    • Sudar says:

      Hello Nisha,

      When I went around 3 years ago we didn’t book any hotels in advance and were able to find hotels after we went there.

      But if you have kids or older people with you, then you may want to book hotels in advance.

      • Himanshu Shekhar says:

        Yes, If you need help in booking Hotels, i will help you out.

        Himanshu Shekhar
        9990495594, h.shekhar@outlook.com
        Phuntsholing, Bhutan

      • Himanshu Shekhar says:

        Yes, If you need help in booking Hotels, i will help you out.

        Himanshu Shekhar
        9990596594, h.shekhar@outlook.com
        Phuntsholing, Bhutan

        • shyamal kumar majumder says:

          me (age 63) and my wife is scheduled to arrive Phuntsoelling on 21st Oct 2015 afternoon and have a plan to visit thimpu and paro for 6 days.We are sceduled to catch Kolkata bound bus on 27th evening.We did not book any hotel so far.Can you guide us to prepare the itinerary.What shall be the hotel charge and the charge for a hired car for those days along.

          • Sudar says:

            I think with six days you can spend 2 days in Thimpu and 3 days in Paro and spend one day in travel.

            We paid around Rs. 1000 to Rs. 1500 per night for hotels around 3 years ago. Not sure what would be the current price. For cab we paid around Rs. 1500 per day.

  • Vinusha Priyanka says:

    Hi Sudar,

    Your writtings are too good.. More than that, the way you respond to others & the extra effort you take is really wonderful ! 😊

    We are planning for a visit next year. About the accommodation, is it possible to get a “Home-Stay” ? Because I see few websites listing out the details of the host families along with their contact details. And I really liked it and wanting to try that out. Can you please elaborate on that ?

    • Sudar says:

      Hello Vinusha,

      Nice to know that you found it to be useful πŸ™‚

      Unfortunately, since I didn’t stay in Home-stay I don’t have much info about it. But what I can say is that people in Bhutan are very friendly and if home stay option is available then you can take it.

    • Vee Jay says:

      Hi Vinusha,

      Were you able to visit Bhutan and experience the home stay option? I am planning a 10 day trip and wanted to use home stay option.

      Could you please help with your inputs?

      Vee Jay (from Bangalore, India)
      veejaysriks@gmail.com
      9108-45-75-45

  • Yuvraj Jain says:

    Hi , Nice and Informative Article.

    Please, suggest is it advisable to visit Bhutan in late January. We are planning for Jan 2016.

    • Sudar says:

      Glad to know that you like my article.

      I have not travelled in Jan, so I am not sure whether it is advisable or not. I have heard that it may get a little cold in Jan.

  • anu says:

    Hi Sudar,

    Can you please let me know if Indian currency notes of 500 are accepted in Bhutan? Also, are there any Indian bank ATMs there for withdrawal …do debit cards work?

    • Sudar says:

      Officially Indian currently will not work, but practically people will accept it. So it shouldn’t be a problem mostly.

      There are no Indian bank ATM as far as I know, but you can widthdraw cash in Bhutanese currently using Indian debit cards. But call your bank before you travel to confirm.

  • Prachi Damle says:

    Hi Sudar,

    Your article is really informative. Thank you for mentioning all the details of your journey. I had visited Thimphu, Paro and Gelephu in 2010, this time, me & my husband are planning to fly to Paro – Gangtey(Phobjikha) – Jakar (Bumthang) – Punakha – Thimphu and fly out of Paro. We have 15 days with us.

    However, I believe the frequency for buses will be very less between these towns. Would you know approximately how much taxi travel would cost us? And would we be able to take taxis between towns?Taking a taxi for the entire journey would prove to be very expensive as it is just 2 of us and we are on budget.

    Will be grateful for your help.

    • Sudar says:

      Nice to know that you found my articles useful.

      Yes the frequency of buses is less between these towns. I travelled around 3-4 years ago and I don’t know what are the current rates, but I do know that it would be possible for you to take taxi’s between towns. I think hiring a taxi for the entire trip could be easier for you since you will be able to use the same taxi for local sightseeing as well. But do check out the rates before hiring them.

  • anindita says:

    Hi, are there shared cabs from Bagdogra to Jaigaon/phuentsholing? How much do prepaid taxis cost?

    • Sudar says:

      When I went there around 4 years ago, there weren’t any shared cabs. But if you are a larger group then you can share a taxi.

      When we went the price was around Rs. 3000. But it could be high now.

  • Hi All

    We run Bhutan’s first online travel website for direct hotel bookings called http://www.bhutanbookings.com

    It is also integrated with Tripadvisor which means you can run a search on Tripadvisor for Bhutan Hotels and book directly with a credit card.

    Please write back if you need any help with this!

  • Tenzin Rai says:

    Wow, very beautiful post.Thank you for sharing with us.Bhutan is one of the best tourist spots for adventures biking, trekking, and watching the widespread mountain ranges, valleys and plains of Himalaya. Recently I visited Bhutan for 9 days with Bhutan Mahayana Tours and really this place is so beautiful and attractive. I enjoyed a lot with my family. Keep blogging!

  • Rakshitha says:

    Hi Sudar,

    Your article is v.informative πŸ™‚
    We are planning a road trip from Bangalore to Bhutan. Could you please suggest few of the important documents to be carried and how many days it would take to reach if we starts from Bangalore.

    Thanks in advance,
    Rakshitha

    • Sudar says:

      Hello Rakshitha,

      We went to Bhutan from Bangalore by flight. So I am not sure how long it will take you from Bangalore to Bhutan by bike alone.

  • Lakshmi says:

    Hello sir, I am very much impressed by your write up. My daughter and son in law have planned to visit Bhutan by the last week of April. I have some doubts.
    1. Is it necessary to book a trip through a tour operator because my son in law had already booked tickets from to bangalore to paro. If so will you advise me with a best tour operators.
    2. Is it advisable to engage a guide?
    I ve already gone through the bhutan govt. Website and they have mentioned so many tour operators and guides and we were confused.
    Thank you sir waiting for your reply.

    • Sudar says:

      If both of them are Indian citizens carrying proper Government issued ids then they don’t need to book a tour operator. They can explore on their own.

      We didn’t engage a guide and was happy with our trip. Since we didn’t engage one, I am not sure what are the advantages in hiring one.

  • Really informative – also read the other article on Bhutan. Thanks for sharing. I have a question – if we take a flight to Bhutan (they will stamp our passports) – do we still need to get a permit for Haa Valley and other such places.

    • Sudar says:

      The posts that I have written about Bhutan are all based on my experience. We entered Bhutan by road, so I am not sure what is the process if you enter by Air.

      You have to check with Bhutan immigration office to get correct information.

  • siddharth travels says:

    (SIDDHARTH TRAVELS) anyone intrested to go for a bhutan trip than i can manage a tour package for bhutan in cheapest price ,included with hotel and car rental.

    is anyone intrested than can inform me in this number +91 9679286391
    (Vijay Darjee)

  • Hari Krishna says:

    Thank you for the blog. This is a great piece of information and I enjoyed your writing!

    I am planning a trip and wondering if the travel is friendly to 70+ years people. Is there too much walking for them? Can you please advise?

    • Sudar says:

      There are some places where you may have to do lot of walking. But if you leave those places, you should still be able to visit most places without much walking.

  • Meenu says:

    ,
    Hi Sudar,

    Your article is v.informative
    We are planning a trip from Delhi to Bhutan. Could you please suggest me what clothes should i carry with me i mean the winter stuff or the summer one am very confused. Pls let me know .

    Thanks in advance,
    Meenu

    • Sudar says:

      When we went it was not that cold. So we were able to survive with normal clothes. But it did get chilly on top of mountains.

      Check the whether in the places that you are planning to visit and carry clothes accordingly.

  • Rajani Raman says:

    Hi sundar,
    Very informative article. Actually, we are visiting the Bhutan in the first week of June. I need some information regarding return journey. Our return train is from Hashimara to Howrah at 4:45 pm. When I have to leave the Paro in order to reach the Hashimara by the time. Is there any bus we can get or we have to book a taxi or something?? Please suggest.

  • Naveen Kumar says:

    Nice narration of the trip and very informative.

    I have booked my flight from Delhi to Bagdogra on 30 July 2016 and return on August 7, 2016 from Bagdogra to Delhi.

    We are 4 adults and 2 kids (3 years old).

    * Is it good season to visit to Bhutan

    * We will be reaching Bagdogra at 3:15 pm……..will it be wise to travel Jaigaon on the same day and it would be better to start journey from next day or one can stay at Jaigaon for a night.

    With seven days in hand ( 31 July- 6 August)…… as recommended we will cover only Thimpu and Paro…….I hope it can be doable without any hassles.

    * Will we have to take separate vehicle for each stoppage or one vehicle can remain with us for the entire journey starting from Bagdogra – Bhutan – Bagdogra.

    * Is one has to trek for Tiger Nest……is it manageable to climb with 3 years kids

    * Will pure vegetarian people can manage with the food available in Thimpu and Paro.

    I would be grateful, if could give your thoughts on my queries.

    • Sudar says:

      Is it good season to visit to Bhutan

      It is a good season, but it might be a little cold. Check the whether information.

      We will be reaching Bagdogra at 3:15 pm……..will it be wise to travel Jaigaon on the same day and it would be better to start journey from next day or one can stay at Jaigaon for a night.

      You should be able to start immediately to Jaigaon and stay the night there. You can get a cab directly from the airport itself.

      With seven days in hand ( 31 July- 6 August)…… as recommended we will cover only Thimpu and Paro…….I hope it can be doable without any hassles.

      7 days should be more than enough to explore Thimpu and Paro. If you want you can visit more places. Make that decision after reaching Paro.

      Will we have to take separate vehicle for each stoppage or one vehicle can remain with us for the entire journey starting from Bagdogra – Bhutan – Bagdogra.

      You can do both.

      Is one has to trek for Tiger Nest……is it manageable to climb with 3 years kids

      It may be difficult to climb with a 3 year old if you have to carry them.

      Will pure vegetarian people can manage with the food available in Thimpu and Paro.

      You shouldn’t have any issues. Make sure you ask for vegetarian food.

  • siddharth travels says:

    (SIDDHARTH TRAVELS) anyone intrested to go for a bhutan trip than i can manage a tour package for bhutan in cheapest price ,included with hotel and car rental.

    is anyone intrested than can inform me in this number +91 9679286391
    (Vijay Darjee)

    if any one having confussion for bhutan trip then kindly ask us…i will be very much pleased to help you all.

  • Somnaath aich says:

    Want to go Bhutan in November .we r 4 adults and 1 infant (1year).Need to ask some questions-
    Is it okay to visit Bhutan with 1 year baby?

    Do I need separate permission (other than entry permit) for visiting chele la pass and haa valley?

    • Sudar says:

      Travelling with a one year old baby may be a little tough. But I guess you should be able to manage it.

      Yes, you would require a separate permit to visit Chela La and Haa Valley.

  • P K Reddy says:

    Dear mr sudar,
    very informative and precise to the point and your patience is appreciable.We are visiting Thimpu and paro coming monday.Chennai to kolkata and Paro.what clothes do we need to carry apart from casual dress.weather report is daily showers.I realise that your visit was not in june.
    PK Reddy

    • Sudar says:

      From what I heard it will be very cold during June and if you are used to only Chennai whether (like me πŸ˜‰ ), then you definitely might have to carry some winter clothes.

  • Shreyas MJ says:

    Hi Sudar,

    Amazing blog.I and my friend are going for a trek in Sikkim and the trek ends on Tuesday and we reach Bagdogra by 6.30PM. So we were planning to visit Bhutan on Wednesday,Thursday and Planning to return back on Friday evening. Do you think we can make that plan in this short span of time and see some interesting places at Bhutan or is it better to drop this plan.

    Thanks
    Shreyas

    • Sudar says:

      If you have only 2 days then you can visit only Thimphu and Paro. I would recommend to spend more time and explore other parts of Bhutan. But if you can spare only 2 days then at least go upto Paro.

  • Nicks Kemps, Indian says:

    Hi Sudar,

    Thanks for the this detailed info… Keep it up!

    We were planning for max 9 days trip

    I need some info about the paro to Haa valley journey…

    What was the journey time between paro to haa valley?
    Hotels availability, approx charges?
    Any other transport options? (As u mentioned that you hired the taxi…)
    Any other places to see at haa valley?

    Sorry for disturbing you as there are too many questions? Which I had not gone through 😐

    • Sudar says:

      Paro to Haa Valley will take you about half a day. We went in taxi.

      The Hotel in Haa valley that we stayed was about Rs. 3000 per night I guess. I don’t remember it correctly.

      From Haa valley you can go to Punnaka.

  • VIJAY DARJEE says:

    hello people as roaming at new places and knowing their cultures are now part of our life.

    so taking care of that i vijay darjee owner of (siddharthtravels) would like to inform you all that we could manage hotels,cars and bhutan trip packages in less price and i promise you all guys that our price will be negotiable and as the season are coming near so people get ready for trip to bhutan with us.we will be pleased to serve you all.

    intrested people can contact us in this number +91 9679286391

    thankyou

  • بوΨͺΨ§Ω† says:

    Thanks for the nice blog. It was very useful for me. I’m happy I found this blog.

  • Hey Frens..if you planning to visit Bhutan and and on your journey or before if you need any help we would be happy to Help and guide you..you can call me on both India and Bhutan Numbers

    INDIA: +91-8116236978
    BHUTAN+975 -17778777

    REGARDS
    HARISH MORWANI

  • Aasiya Aslam says:

    Hi,

    Would you recommend doing the Tiger’s nest Monastery trek in the beginning of my trip, say, day 2? I’m flying into Paro from Kolkata and plan to exit from Phuentsholing.

    Thanks for your informative write-up, definitely very useful!

    • Sudar says:

      I would definitely recommend Tiger’s nest. It is one of the best places that we visited in Bhutan.

      • Aasiya Aslam says:

        Thanks, but I meant that lot of tour operators give 4- days to get adjusted to the altitude and arrange the trek on the last few days. But I won’t be able to do that as I will be in Paro/ Thimpu on day 2 and 3 and plan to finish the trek then.

        • Sudar says:

          I am from Chennai and we were not used to altitude. But we just did it on the second day without any issues. That was the first trek for my wife and she had no issues.

  • Aasiya Aslam says:

    Hi, Another quick question. Would I need a special permit to The Tiger Nest trek? Or will the one I get from Paro Airport suffice?.

    Also, I can’t decide between Haa Valley or Bumthang from Punakha. Which would you recommend? My next and final destination after this would be Phuentsholing from where I would exit.

    • Sudar says:

      You don’t need any special permit to visit Tiger Nest.

      Both are good places and it would be hard to choose one over the other.

1 Trackbacks/Pingbacks so far

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *