How to get into Bhutan

How to get into Bhutan

You can access Bhutan either by air or overland. As a landlocked country, Bhutan lacks waterway access. The most popular means of entry is by flight, although many travelers also arrive or depart by land, especially when combining their Bhutan trip with visits to nearby destinations like Darjeeling, Sikkim, and Assam.

By Air:

All international flights arrive and depart from Paro International Airport, the country’s sole international airport.

Currently, Druk Air and Bhutan Airlines are the only carriers operating flights to and from Bhutan. Flights connect Bhutan with Bangkok, Delhi, Kathmandu, Singapore, Kolkata, Dhaka, Bagdogra, and Guwahati. Daily flights are available from Bangkok and Delhi, with frequent services from Kathmandu. However, flights from other cities are limited to one or two per week.

By Land:

There are three main overland entry and exit points for travelers. The most widely used is Phuentsholing, situated in the southwest near the border. It’s just a four-hour drive to Bagdogra, the nearest Indian airport. Jaigaon, an Indian border town, serves as the exit point for Indian visa holders entering Bhutan and vice versa.

Another entry and exit point is Samdrup Jongkhar, located in the far southeast near the border with the Indian state of Assam. The nearest Indian airport is in Guwahati, approximately three hours away. Samdrup Jongkhar adjoins the small Indian border town of Daranga, which houses an Indian Immigration Checkpost for visa processing.

The third and final entry and exit point is Gelephu, situated in the mid-south region about 245 kilometers from the nearest Indian airport in Guwahati. The adjoining Indian border town of Dathghari facilitates Indian visa processing through an Indian Immigration Checkpost.

Bhutan e-Visas are stamped upon arrival at these border crossings. It’s important to note that all visitors traveling overland require an Indian visa.

Update: As of March 2024, Samdrup Jongkhar is open for tourist entry but not for exit, and Gelephu is currently closed for tourists.

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