BHUTAN ROAD TRIP GUIDE
Indian nationalities can enter Bhutan without many challenges as compared to other nationalities. There are many tourist destinations in Bhutan, and if you have never been there before, then you need to plan for a road trip and enjoy nature. Bhutan country is one of the beautiful countries in Asia, and many people have always developed an interest in visiting the country.
Some of the outstanding things to watch out are good roads, rich culture, and a pleasant climate. Bhutan is 14, 824 square miles in the South of Asia. It’s a landlocked country which neighbors China on the North and all other directions neighbors India. The country has been independent since its formation, which has contributed immensely to its development. You can get Zoomcar in Siliguri and use the Phuentsholing route to get into Bhutan.
NEAREST PICKUP STATION NEAR BHUTAN BOARDERS
While you are in India and you want to take a trip to Bhutan on the road, there are various pick stations that you can use. They include the following:
Jaigaon – Phuentosholing Boarder
Jaigoan is one of the busy towns on the Indian side as you head to Bhutan and thus making it be a good pick- up station. On the other side of the border is Phuentsholing, which is one of the industrial hubs in the Chukha district. It usually serves as the primary entry point to Bhutan to those people using the road to enter the country.
It is a well – connected country with other parts of the country hence making it possible for you to travel to any part of the country which you wish to go to. There are regular buses that operate from Kolkata and Siliguri, which are operated by the government and offer commercial services to Bhutan. The bus would leave Kolkata’s Esplanade bus station and will take 24 hours to reach Phuentsholing
Bongargaon- Gelephu Border
Another major pick up station that you can use to enter Bhutan is this border, especially coming from Assam India. You will need to make good use of the train which will get you to the new Bongaigaon after which you can take a Zoomcar and drive to Gelephu boarder. The distance, which you will cover from New Bongaigaon to the Gelephu border, is 60 km and can take you about 2 hours. It’s a simple route that you can use and get to Bhutan within the shortest time without spending much time on the road. However, you need to be precautious on the road.
Darangamela – Samdrump Jongkhar
It’s another major pick up station which could lead you Bhutan. You will enter from Assam. You will need to reach the Rangiya Junction by train, after which you can opt to take a taxi, which would take you to Darranga then head to Samdrup Jongkhar border. The distance which would be covered is around 50 km and can take you about one hour.
HOW TO ENTER THE BHUTAN BOUNDARIES, AND WHAT WILL BE THE DOCUMENTS REQUIRED?
You can enter Bhutan using three main routes, which include the following. This route they can be traced back to West Bengal, India and they usually end at Thimpu
Gelephu entry points
The simplest routes which you can take from India to get to Bhutan are through Jaigaon- Phuentsholing point, which borders Bhutan from West Bengal. It’s the simplest route that you can take, and you can easily reach the capital city of Bhutan within a few hours.
KEY DOCUMENTS NEEDED WHEN TRAVELLING TO BHUTAN
Have a valid Indian Passport
It is the most common travel document which you will be needed to produce while crossing the Bhutan border from India to assist in identification. It should be valid for the last six months.
Have a valid Voter Identity card
You should carry with you a voter identity card which is issued by the Election Commission of India and also with a recent passport size photography.
Have a valid driver license
If you are driving a car, you should possess a valid driving car license that has a legal stamp from the relevant authorities in India.
Official documents of the car travelling with
You should also carry with you all the legal documents regarding the vehicle. It’s much needed to reduce cases where cars are stolen in India, and they get sneaked in the boarders of Bhutan.
Authorization permit for Transport Office Phuentsholing
You should also acquire the authorization permit, which is issued in Phuentsholing in the border of Bhutan and India by the transport office to allow you to drive in Bhutan.
PLACES YOU CAN VISIT IN BHUTAN
Once you are in Bhutan from India, there are places which you can visit and enjoy yourself. Here are a few places you can visit.
o Paro Town
It’s located in the Paro valley of Bhutan when you visit this place you can enjoy nature and other sacred places in the town. For instance, it hosts more than 155 temples and monasteries, which dates back to 14 centuries. Also, there is Paro Airport, which facilitates the connection to the town.
o Thimpu Town
It’s the capital city of Bhutan, and it hosts more than 80,000 people as it’s known to be the largest city in the country. The weather in the town is relatively mild and pleasant with picturesque surroundings, which makes the town to be more attractive. In addition to that, the town is also rich with modernity and even traditional, which makes the town attractive to tourists.
o Jakar Town
It’s found at the foothills of Choekhor valley, where the town is considered to be the most attractive valley in the country. It’s also referred to as “Little Switzerland.” In addition to that, it’s the administrative town of the district of Bumthang. It’s surrounded by tree-lined mountain ranges and also dotted with monasteries and very rich history of the buffs and nature lovers.
o Phuentsholing Town
It shares the border between India and Bhutan, and its a must attend town in Bhutan. It’s one of the economic hubs of Bhutan. It’s one of the urban centers in Bhutan, owing to its development. Besides that, the town has a natural touch, which offers an excellent tourist destination to many tourists. You can also learn about traditional artifacts while in the town.
o Wangdue Phodrang Tourism
It’s one of the largest districts in Bhutan, and the town has everything which you need as a tourist. For instance, it has a temple, monasteries, and wildlife, which you can watch while there. This place is different from others because of the subtropical forest, which is very cold and snow. In addition to that, there are also numerous animal species and plants. When you visit this place for the first time, you will be able to learn a lot and enjoy yourself at the same time.
o Haa Valley
It is one of the smallest towns in Bhutan, but it is one of the picturesque places which you can always admire to visit. It’s a wooded forest and nice paths which would give you a nice experience. Its relatively for hikers and also trekkers due to the climate in the town.
BHUTAN DRIVING RULES TO LOOK INTO
You should always drive on the left side of the road
The minimum age of driving a light vehicle is 18 years
Speed is always measured in kilometers per hour.
Every motorist on the road must wear helmets
Legal blood alcohol limit is 0.08%
You should always give way to emergencies cars and police
Drivers and all passengers should wear set- belts
Always give way to the pedestrians
You are not supposed to drive your car on neutral gear
HOW TO GET A ZOOM CAR IN SILIGURI AND GET INTO BHUTAN?
When you are ready to take a road trip to Bhutan via the road. You may take a flight to Siliguri where from there you can book a Zoomcar which would take you to Bhutan. They give their customers good deals which would improve the customer experience on the road. With the Zoomcar you can get the following
≥ All Fuel Cost is included
≥ No hidden charges
≥ Flexi pricing packages
≥ You can visit any town without restrictions
≥ 24*7 Road assistance
≥ Damage and Insurance on the road
PROCEDURE TO FOLLOW TO SECURE A ZOOM CAR
Enter the site and make the reservations
Upload your driver license and pay a small security deposit
Unlock your car via the ZoomCar App about 20 minutes before pickup
Zoom your car by filling the checklist in the Zoomcar app
Return the car to the same location where you filled them a checklist
While you are in Siliguri, there are three common sites that you can use and book your car. It includes Badbogra Airport site, New Jalpaiguri Railway Station, and Sevoke Road (Opp Hotel Tourist Inn). The most important thing will be to ensure that you have all the necessary documentation for you to enter Bhutan without any many challenges on the road.
DISTANCE COVERED FROM SILIGURI TO THIMPU VIA PHUENTSHOLING
From Siliguri to Phuentsholing
Getting to Bhutan via Phuentsholing is the simplest and fastest route that you can use. From Siliguri to Phuentsholing is about 157 kilometers. With your ZoomCar, you can take about five hours or less to get yourself to this border town. The good thing with the private car is that you can stop and take a photo to any destination which you like unlike when you are using the bus. The car will be loaded with a full tank to ensure your car does not run out of fuel.
From Phuentsholing to Thimpu, Bhutan
Once you get into Phuentsholling town, it would be much easier to connect to the capital city of Bhutan via the roads. All the road are all-season roads which ensure you get into the capital without many challenges. The distance from Phuentsholing to Thimpu is 165 kilometers, which would take you between five and six hours.
The total distance which would be covered throughout the trip is 322 kilometers, which translates to about 12 hours depending on the stopover or the speed you are driving at. There are other routes that you can also use to get to Thimpu, but they are much longer. For instance, using Bagdogra to Thimpu is 333 km, while from Kolkata to Thimpu, its 875 km.
RIGHT PACKAGE OF A RENTAL CAR AND TRIP EXPENSES FROM INDIA TO BHUTAN
If you are India and you wish to get to Bhutan, I would advise you to plan yourself. For instance, you can book a flight to Sulgil in advance and get the best deals to get you there. Once you get in Sulgil, the best rental package would hire a Zoom car because it comes with key benefits that would ensure you enjoy fully on your trip.
For instance, they would give you a full tank, and in case your refill on the way, they would refund you. Some of the trip expenses which you would incur include shopping, accommodation, other miscellaneous expenses.
IDEAL SUGGESTION CAR TO USE FROM INDIA TO BHUTAN
The best car which you can use to is Toyota Innova Crysta, make 2016. It’s a first-generation car that comes with key features that would ensure you get the best road trip experience.
• It’s a 2.8-liter engine which is an upgrade of the earlier 2.0-liter engine
• Wood- finished interior upgrades which ensure comfort
• It has standard rear air- conditioning outlet
• It can accommodate up to seven passengers together with the driver
• It’s a multi-purpose vehicle, which is also commonly known as SUV.
Due to the above features, it makes the vehicle to be ideal for the road trip. In addition to that, it’s also faster as compared to other SUV vehicles, which would save you time. Choose this vehicle, and you will enjoy the trip to Bhutan.