Bhutan: Suggested Itinerary
As I mentioned in my previous post, I visited Bhutan in March 2018, and it was one hell of an experience. Being a traveler, I know the importance of reading suggested itineraries before planning a trip. If you are traveling to Bhutan from India, there are two ways to enter the country, viz. via the road, and by flight. Here are the suggested itineraries for your Bhutan trip in either of the aforementioned cases:
India to Bhutan by road:
If you travel to Bhutan via road, the best way is to cross the border from Jaigaon to Phuentsholing.
Indians do not need visa for visiting Bhutan, just getting a permit is sufficient.
- Day 0 – Siliguri – Hashimara – Jaigaon – Phuentsholing
- Day 1- Phuentsholing-Thimphu
- Day 2 – Apply for Punakha Permit and go for Thimphu local sightseeing.
- Day 3 – Go to Dochula Pass, and then back to Thimphu.
- Day 4- Thimphu-Punakha-Punakha Sightseeing
- Day 5- Punakha-Thimphu-Paro-Paro Sightseeing
- Day 6- Tiger’s Nest
- Day 7- Paro – Phuentsholing
Documents required for Indians to enter Bhutan by road – Photo ID Proof (either passport or voter id card), 1 picture (keep two, just to be on the safer side), confirmed hotel booking in Bhutan for a stay of at least one night. You will have to fill an entry permit application form which you will get in Phuentsholing itself.
Permit offices in Phuentsholing and other parts of Bhutan are usually closed on every Saturday and Sunday.
I entered Bhutan by crossing the border. It is amazing how just 30 steps can take you to a completely new country. Well that is the thing with life too; just a few steps out of your comfort zone and your life can become brand new.
On day one, board a bus from Phuentsholing to Thimphu and reach your hotel to get some rest.
On day two, apply for the Punakha Permit in Thimphu immigration office and go for Thimphu Local Sightseeing. It has so much to offer: Thimphu Town, Clock Tower, Regal Forts, Centenary Park, Buddha Point, and what not!
On day three, you can collect the Punakha permit, and either visit Dochula Pass and come back to Thimphu, or take a reserved cab to Punakha and take a stop at Dochula Pass on the way. Dochula Pass is a beautiful pass, which provides a panoramic view of the snow covered Himalayan Mountain Range and has 108 stupas.
On day four, you can visit Punakha, Punakha Dzong, and Suspended Bridge. Punakha Dzong is a beautiful structure built on the confluence of the rivers Po Chhu and Mo Chhu. Suspension Bridge is the longest suspension bridge in Bhutan. Punakha is a very serene place.
On day five, to go to Paro, you would first need to reach Thimphu from Punakha, and then take a shared cab or a bus from Thimphu to Paro. Spend the day exploring Paro and places like Rinpung Dzong and Ta Dzong National Museum.
On day six, visit Tiger’s Nest. Tiger’s Nest should be visited towards the end of your Bhutan trip to acclimatize you to the altitude levels. Tiger’s Nest is a collection of a beautiful monastery along with its temples perched into a cliff in the valley above Paro.
On day seven, travel back to Phuentsholing from Paro.
If you are flying to Paro: In this case, you can start your Bhutan trip with Paro, then go to Thimphu, then Punakha, and come back to Paro in the end. Anyhow, the hike to the Tiger’s Nest should be reserved for the end of your trip in this case too.
The approximate cost of my Bhutan Trip was around 11K.
Bhutan is indeed a heaven, a must visit place. If you have any queries about planning your Bhutan trip, please comment below.