Ways of getting into Bhutan
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Other Ways of getting to Bhutan – Entering by Land
Other airports which are close to Bhutan are
- Bagdogra Airport (code IXB), near Siliguri, WB, India: Several flights from Bagdogra fly to Delhi, Kolkata or Guwahati. Bagdogra is around 3-4hrs drive from Phuentsholing.
- Guwahati airport (code GAU) in Assam, India: Several flights from Guwahati operate direct or via Bagdogra to Delhi and Kolkata. Guwahati airport is around 3-4 hrs drive from the the south eastern border town of Samdrup Jongkhar in eastern Bhutan.
- Bhadrapur airport (code BDP) located in Nepal, is just across the border with Siliguri or Bagdogra. It takes around 1hr from Bagdogra or around 5 hours from Phuntsholing. Provision around 2 hrs for immigration and customs on India/Nepal border Kakarbitta. Small aircraft carrier flies from here to Kathmandu daily. Much larger airport is located 2hrs further west in Biratnagar.
Train Stations – Railways near Bhutan
The only really practical train station is located near the town of Siliguri, WB, India. The station is called NJP or New Jalpaiguri. NJP is around 3 hours south of Darjeeling, around 4 hours south of Gangtok, around half hour from Bagdogra and around 4hrs from Phuentsholing. Trains run east towards Guwahati and further interior north east. Trains from Kolkata in the south take around 12hrs and usually there are overnight trains from or to go there. There are several trains though Varanasi or nearby station (Mughalserai) to Delhi, which take much longer. However due to stiff competition in the airfares, sometimes it is cheaper to travel by flight, than by train between Kolkata or Delhi to Bagdogra.
The costs of all accommodations are included in tour costs. In the major towns of Thimphu, Paro, and Phuentsholing, comfortable hotels are available for the visitor. In smaller towns, modest, but adequate, hotels, lodges and guest houses are readily available. We will ensure that the best available accommodations are arranged for you. The Department of Tourism (formerly known as Tourism Authority of Bhutan: TAB) regulates hotel standards and all travel regulations in Bhutan.
Food and Drink:
Traditional Bhutanese food is hot and spicy. For our visitors, however, Chinese, Indian, and Continental fares are served. The more adventurous can try the local delicacies like the tasty and fiery the national dish of Bhutan, Emma Datshi which is made with chilies and Local Bhutanese cheese. Meals are normally served buffet style in the hotels. On trekking tours a trained cook will accompany your group to provide simple but nutritious dishes. All meals while you trek or visit in Bhutan are also included in the daily tour cost. Other services include trekking arrangements. Your only extra expenses will be, liquor, laundry, souvenirs and tips if you choose.
Again, all ground transportation is already included in your daily tariff. We use only clean, comfortable and well maintained cars, vans and coaches to transport our guests. Our experienced drivers are trained and licensed by the DOT and the Road Safety and Transport Authority. You will be at ease riding in the mountains of Bhutan unlike the experiences you will have had in Nepal and India. Sanity on the road prevails, and drivers are courteous to each other.