There are only two ways of entering Bhutan: by air to Paro International Airport and by road to the the border towns of Phuentsholing, Samdrup Jongkhar and Gelephu via India.
Flying to Bhutan
Bhutan’s aviation industry began on 14 January 1983 with an 18-seater Dornier 228-200. Paro International Airport, located in a deep valley at an elevation of 2,245m (7,300ft) and surrounded by mountains as high as 5,500m (18,000ft), is the only international airport in Bhutan. It is 5-km from Paro town on the bank of the Pachhu River and 54-km from the capital city, Thimphu. The airport has very limited apron spaces for parking and can accommodate only up to five Airbus 319s.
Flying into Paro in western Bhutan is the most breathtaking experience with spectacular views of the Himalayan ranges, including Mt. Everest, Mt. Kanchenjunga and Mt. Gangkar Puensum (the highest mountain in Bhutan and the highest unconquered mountain in the world!)
Only two airlines, namely Drukair (state-owned) and Bhutan Airlines (private) operate scheduled flights from Paro International Airport in Bhutan to the following destinations:
- Changi Airport, Singapore
- Suvarnabhumi International Airport, Bangkok, Thailand
- Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu, Nepal
- Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, Dhaka, Bangladesh
- Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi, India
- Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport, Kolkata, India
- Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport, Guwahati, India
- Bagdogra Airport, Bagdora, India
- Gaya Airport, Gaya, India
Domestic Flight Services
Drukair provides scheduled domestic flights from Paro International Airport to Bumthang in the central, Gelephu in the south and Yonphula in the east. Bumthang Domestic Airport (also known as Bathpalathang) at an elevation of 2,587m/8,466ft is located 2-km from Chamkhar town. Gelephu Domestic Airport (300m/987ft) is located about 2-km from Gelephu town. Yonphula Domestic Airport (2,580m/8,442ft) is located some 30-km drive north of Tashigang town.
Travel by Land
You can also enter Bhutan by road from the border towns of Phuentsholing, Samdrup Jongkhar and Gelephu via India. Phuentsholing is in southwest Bhutan, located adjacent to the border town of Jaigaon in the state of West Bengal, India. Samdrup Jongkhar is in southeast Bhutan and Gelephu is in central southern Bhutan, both bordering the northeastern Indian State of Assam (Guwahati). [If you are planning a visit to Bhutan with some time in India, travelling overland via Bhutan or India is the perfect way to combine your trip].