How to reach Bhutan
The national carrier of Bhutan is Drukair (Royal Bhutan Airlines). Drukair fly regularly to Paro, Bhutan’s only one airport, from Kathmandu 3 days in week and from Bangkok via India every day. Buddha air, a Nepalese private airline also started to fly from Kathmandu to Paro. Bhutan Airways also started to fly from Paro to KTM and to Bangkok.
Drukair operates Airbus A319 jets, offering economy and business class seating. These aircraft are extremely well suited for the alpine environment and your descent in to the Paro Valley will be among the highlights of your visit, particularly if you travel from Kathmandu and fly parallel with the Himalayas for much of the journey.
It is not possible to purchase Drukair tickets independently. These will be arranged on your behalf. Your actual air tickets are issued in advance in Bhutan and e-tickets will be forwarded to you. You will need to present your Bhutan Visa Authority Letter (which we Alpine Eco Trek provide) along with your e-tickets at the check-in counter on the day of travel. Although unusual this system works exceptionally well.
Important Note: Drukair only operates 2 aircraft and delays can occur due to weather or other operational requirements. We strongly advise visitors to Bhutan to factor in at least a 24 hour before connecting from other airline services to or from a Drukair flight.
There is only one authorized entry point by road for foreign tourists. This is from West Bengal in Northern India via the border town of Phuentsholing in Bhutan’s Southwest. The Indian town opposite Phuentsholing is Jaigaon. Travellers from Sikkim find this land entry point of most convenience although it is a 6 hour drive up to the capital Thimphu and most visitors prefer the Drukair option in and out of Paro Airport.
As at September 2006 it has become possible to enter or exit via a second road access point at Samdrup Jongkhar in the far Southeast of Bhutan. This option, bordering the Indian State of Assam, is useful for visitors who travel to the more remote Eastern side of the country (particularly for those interested in traditional Bhutanese weaving) and prefer to avoid the long drive back westwards to Paro.
Important Note: Driving in Bhutan, the roads are narrow and the driving speed in Bhutan is generally 30 kms per hour, courtesy of the high number of bends per kilometer (reputed to average 13).