The easiest way for visitors to enter Bhutan is by air. Druk Air – Royal Bhutan Airlines is Bhutan’s national carrier and the only airline operating in Bhutan. Druk Air ‘s fleet consists of two modern Airbus A319 which are perfectly designed and crafted for high altitude landings and take offs. The pilots are especially trained and internationally licensed for mountain flying. Druk air has an impeccable safety record, without a single mishap since its inception in 1983.
On clear days the flight to Bhutan offers spectacular views of the Great Himalayas, Mt Everest, Mt Kanchenjunga, Chomo Lhari, Kula Gangri and you can also catch a glimpse of the Great Tibetan Plateau and its grandeur stretching in the distance.
Current flight schedules are available at Druk Air website – www.drukair.com.bt
Drukyul Holidays will book your tickets well in advance avoiding the last minute rush during the peak seasons without the added commission that outside travel agents charge. To do this you need to confirm your trip especially during the rush of Spring and the Autumn festivals atleast 3 or 4 weeks in advance.
Phuentsholing and Samdrup Jongkhar in eastern Bhutan are the only land border areas open for international tourists. The town of Phuentsholing is located approximately 170 km east of the Indian national airport Bagdogra. After crossing Phuentsholing, 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.
It has two domestic flights which flies within Bhutan. It flies to Yonphula which is in the eastern Bhutan and Bumthang in central Bhutan. The other mode of transport within Bhutan is by road. All the major towns in the 20 districts of Bhutan are accessible by road. Despite high mountains, steep slopes and the deepest valleys, Bhutan has a relatively well developed network of roads.
You will be endorsed by the immigration officers upon your arrival before you are issued with a permit. Make sure you go personally. You may have to carry your passport (also some passport photographs) or voter’s registration card. If you plan to travel by road, the endorsement is done at the entry points in Phuentsholing and Samdrup Jongkhar. If by flight, you will enter from the Paro Airport.