Bhutan - The Unexplored world

Bhutan, a small country between two large giants - India & China, has been a quiet Buddhist nation that kept its borders closed for a large part of the 20th century. Taking pride in its culture, modest ways of living, Bhutan has preserved its national reserves, the forests & the habitat for sustainable, eco-friendly tourism. Due to its distance from the nearest Indian airport, Bagdogra, 3 days in 7 Night / 8 Days tour just go in arrival & departures leaving you with 5 full days of tourism.

Phuntsholing (1 Night)

While getting into Bhutan seems easy for Indians with visas on arrival, it is far from so, especially in the tourist season. We reached the border town of Phuntsholing from Darjeeling in the evening and made way to the visa center early the next day morning. While generally there are about 100 people on any given day, this being a year-end, there were more than 500+  tourists. The facilities were very poor with no place to sit, extremely crowded counters, long queues and it took us 6 hours to get our passport stamped. We finally made our way to Thimpu reaching there by 8 PM.

Chaos at Phuntsholing Visa on Arrival

Thimphu (2 Nights)

After 2 days in being in Bhutan, this was our first official day out for tourism. We had a nice big Hyundai H1 car for ourselves for the tour. The driver was very friendly and also acted as our guide. We visited the folk museum enjoying a very local Bhutanese meal, some temples, and a visit to the world’s largest sitting Buddha. 

We took an impromptu break to see the local archery competition play out and it was quite an experience! In the evening, we strolled through the Thimpu market for some local shopping. We checked out the nightlife in Thimpu with a visit to a Karaoke pub and a local bar.

Archery Game with the locals
Game of Archery

Local Bhutanese food
Bhutanese Local Cuisine

Punakha (1 Night)
After breakfast, we drove towards Punakha crossing over Dochula pass (3200 mts) where we enjoyed a spectacularly breathtaking view of the highest mountain peaks of Bhutan and 108 stupas. After taking a short break at the fertility temple & quick lunch, we reached Punakha in the evening.  
At the Fertility Temple
The next day, we visited the marvelous Punakha Dzong – a well-maintained fortress with rich Buddhist history. Just 15 min walk, is the longest suspension bridge of Bhutan which offers a unique adrenaline experience crossing it amongst the wind and height. We then made our way to Paro where our hotel was directly overseeing the airport – one of the world’s most dangerous ones.
Breathtaking Punakha Dzong

On the suspension bridge

Paro (2 Nights)

Early morning, we drove to the base for the hike to Tiger’s Nest, the most revered temple in the country that literally hangs on a granite cliff overlooking the Paro valley. It was a strenuous 4 hour uphill climb followed by a tour of the temple and another 3 hours down. By the time we reached the hotel, we were completely exhausted.
The Tiger's Nest
Tiger's Nest

After breakfast, we visited the Ta dzong, an ancient watchtower, and Rimpung Dzong (Paro Dzong) We spent time shopping in the Paro market which has a lot of options for souvenirs, cafes, and local artifacts.  We reached Phuntsholing in the evening and left early next morning to Bagdogra to catch our flight back home.
Shaking  hands between Indian & Bhutan


  1. The State Department is also charged a fee for faster processing. The cost of using a private expediter might range from around $65 to $249 or more. Emergency passport


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