Embarking on a road trip to Bhutan from Siliguri is a journey that promises breathtaking landscapes, cultural richness, and a dash of adventure. Nestled in the eastern Himalayas, Bhutan is a land of enchanting beauty, known for its pristine environment, majestic monasteries, and warm-hearted people. The Road Trip Bhutan from Siliguri offers an unforgettable experience, taking travelers through picturesque valleys, dense forests, and charming villages. In this blog, we will explore how to plan the perfect Road Trip Bhutan from Siliguri and present an enticing itinerary to make your journey one for the books.
How to Reach Bhutan from Siliguri by Road?
Siliguri, a bustling town in the Indian state of West Bengal, serves as a convenient gateway to Bhutan. To begin your road trip, you can choose to drive from Siliguri to the India-Bhutan border at Jaigaon/Phuentsholing. The distance between Siliguri and Jaigaon is approximately 165 kilometres, and the journey takes around 4-5 hours by car, depending on road conditions and traffic.
Before starting your adventure, ensure you have the required travel permits for Bhutan, as they will be checked at the immigration office in Phuentsholing. Indian nationals do not require a visa to enter Bhutan but must obtain an entry permit.
How to Plan Road Trip Bhutan from Siliguri:-
A successful road trip requires meticulous planning and preparation. Here are some essential tips to ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey:-
- Vehicle and Documentation:- Choose a reliable vehicle that can handle the challenging mountain roads. Ensure your vehicle is in good condition and has all the necessary documents. Carry your driver’s licence, vehicle registration, insurance, and other identification papers.
- Travel Permits:- Obtain the required permits for Bhutan well in advance. Indian nationals need a permit, which is usually processed in Phuentsholing. International travellers must arrange their permits through a licensed Bhutanese tour operator.
- Route Selection:- Research and choose the route you want to take. The most common entry point from Siliguri is Phuentsholing. However, you can also enter through other border towns like Gelephu and Samdrup Jongkhar, depending on your travel plans and permits.
- Accommodation:- Book your accommodations in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons. Bhutan offers a wide range of options, from luxury hotels to budget-friendly guesthouses.
- Fuel and Supplies:- Carry extra fuel and essential supplies, as petrol pumps and convenience stores might be scarce in some remote areas.
- Weather and Road Conditions:- Be mindful of the weather conditions, as the roads in the mountains can be challenging, particularly during the monsoon season. Check for road closures or warnings before embarking on your journey.
- Respect Local Culture:- Bhutan is known for its rich cultural heritage and traditional values. Respect local customs, dress modestly, and be sensitive while photographing religious sites and people.
Best Bhutan Road Trip Itinerary from Siliguri:-
Day 1: Siliguri to Phuentsholing
- Start your journey early from Siliguri and drive to Phuentsholing.
- Complete the immigration formalities and obtain your travel permit.
- Explore the town, visit Zangtho Pelri Lhakhang, and indulge in local Bhutanese cuisine.
Day 2: Phuentsholing to Thimphu
- Drive to the capital city, Thimphu, after breakfast.
- Visit the Buddha Dordenma, Tashichho Dzong, and the Folk Heritage Museum.
- Experience the lively atmosphere of Thimphu’s main street in the evening.
Day 3: Thimphu Sightseeing
- Spend a full day exploring Thimphu.
- Visit the National Memorial Chorten, Motithang Takin Preserve, and Changangkha Lhakhang.
- Discover Bhutan’s traditional arts and crafts at the School of Traditional Arts.
Day 4: Thimphu to Punakha
- Drive to Punakha, known for its stunning Punakha Dzong and scenic beauty.
- Hike to Chimi Lhakhang, also known as the Temple of Fertility.
- Enjoy the serene ambiance of Punakha and its surrounding countryside.
Day 5: Punakha to Paro
- Head to Paro, home to the famous Taktsang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest).
- Hike to Taktsang Monastery, an iconic and spiritually significant site.
- Visit Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest temples in Bhutan.
Day 6: Paro Sightseeing
- Explore more of Paro’s cultural and historical sites.
- Visit the National Museum of Bhutan and Rinpung Dzong.
- Take a leisurely stroll through Paro town and shop for souvenirs.
Day 7: Paro to Siliguri
Bid farewell to Bhutan and drive back to Siliguri, cherishing the memories of your incredible journey.
A road trip to Bhutan from Siliguri is a dream come true for adventure seekers, nature enthusiasts, and cultural explorers. With its stunning landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and warm hospitality, Bhutan captivates travelers like no other destination. As you traverse through the Himalayan roads, immerse yourself in the beauty of Bhutan’s monasteries, traditional architecture, and pristine nature. Plan your journey carefully, embrace the unexpected, and let the magic of Bhutan leave an indelible mark on your soul. So, pack your bags, buckle up, and get ready for an unforgettable road trip that will be etched in your heart forever. Happy travels!
ANS:- Yes, it is possible to travel to Bhutan by road through certain entry points. Bhutan shares its borders with India, and there are designated entry points from India that allow travelers to enter Bhutan by road.
ANS:- Yes, you can travel to Bhutan by road from India. Bhutan has several entry points from India, including border crossings at Phuentsholing, Gelephu, and Samdrup Jongkhar. Indian nationals can obtain an entry permit upon arrival at these entry points, while foreign nationals may need to obtain a visa in advance.
ANS:- If you want to go to Bhutan by your own car, you can do so through the designated border crossings from India. Ensure that you have the necessary documents for yourself, your vehicle, and obtain the required permits for entry into Bhutan. Indian tourists can typically obtain an entry permit upon arrival, while foreign tourists may need to apply for a visa through the Bhutanese embassy or consulate in their home country.
ANS:- No, you cannot enter Bhutan by road without a passport. A valid passport is a mandatory requirement for all travelers, including Indian nationals, to enter Bhutan. Additionally, foreign nationals may require a visa in addition to their passport, depending on their country of origin.
ANS:- Taxi fares from Siliguri to Bhutan can vary depending on the type of taxi, the distance to your specific destination in Bhutan, and negotiations with the driver. It’s best to inquire with local taxi operators or travel agencies for the most up-to-date information on taxi fares.
ANS:- The distance from Siliguri, West Bengal, India, to the border town of Phuentsholing in Bhutan is approximately 160 kilometers (about 99 miles) by road. The travel time can vary depending on road conditions and traffic. From Phuentsholing, you can further explore Bhutan by road to reach various destinations within the country.