There are few options when it comes to traveling to Bhutan or getting around the country. For first-timers, read through the info below so you can make the most adequate plans for your trip!
Getting in and around Bhutan is straightforward as you’ll probably be designated with a local guide and a local driver. If there are moments when you want to explore on your own, they can provide you with adequate information. In general, your options are limited since the country isn’t as developed with modern trains or subway systems. Here’s a quick transportation breakdown:
GETTING TO BHUTAN:
*Before arriving to Bhutan, be sure you have the correct documents and have prepared every entry requirements, including: your visa (which is issued after you’ve fully paid for your trip to the Tourism Council of Bhutan.) Read more details here: Bhutan Tips & Tricks: Every FYI You Need To Know.
You’ll most likely be landing in Paro International Airport (PBH/VQPR) because it is the only way to enter Bhutan by plane. You’ll most likely be on Bhutan’s national flag carrier Druk Air, which only flies to 4 planes and to the following cities: Bangkok, Delhi, Kolkata, Bangkok, Delhi, Kolkata, Bodhgay/Gaya, Bagdogra, Guwahati (India), Kathmandu (Nepal), Dhaka (Bangladesh). Paro airport is very small, but orderly.
A domestic airport located in southern central region, Gelephu Airport is close to India with flights available from Singapore and Mumbai.
GETTING AROUND Bhutan:
If you’ve been researching and planning your trip to Bhutan, you already know about the daily tariff required to visit the country. The USD $250 daily tariff includes internal transport (excluding flights). If you’ve been working with a travel agency, they’ve probably designated a local driver for your trip which is the most convenient and easiest way to get around.
The only people who are excluded from the daily tariff are travelers from India, Bangladesh and Maldives. Everyone else will need to know that daily tariff covers:
- A minimum of 3 star accommodation – Luxury hotels may incur an additional fee
- All meals – Breakfast, lunch, dinner
- A licensed Bhutanese Tour Guide for the extent of the stay
- All internal transport – excluding any internal flights
- Camping equipment and haulage for trekking tours
- All internal taxes and charges
- A royalty of USD $65
PS. Roads in Bhutan pass through hours of mountainous regions. If you’re prone to car sickness, be sure to take appropriate medicines to prevent from headaches or vomiting.
There are three cities in Bhutan where you’ll see lines of taxis: Thimphu, Paro and Phuentsholing. Drivers do not tend to use meters, so negotiate before getting inside the cab. Here are average rates:
- Trips within Thimphu – Nu 60 (USD $0.90)
- One day trip within Thimphu – Nu 800 (USD $12)
- Thimphu to Phuentsholing – Nu 2600 (USD $40)
Even if you have a local driver, there may be times that you want to explore on your own and want to take the bus, which your local guide will provide safe instructions. Expect the Bhutan bus systems are not as comfortable and make many stops. Again, if you’re prone to car sickness, make sure to take some tablets with you.
How did you get around in Bhutan? Any additional tips? Let us know in the comments.