Location: Places >> Central Asia >> Bhutan
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Full tour of Bhutan on my own
Posted September 3rd, 2012 - 5:45 pm by from Hyderabad, India (Permalink)

I am from India and lucky that I need not pay the $250 daily tarrif. Planning for a 15-20days full tour of Bhutan. I would be entering from Phuentsholing and exiting via Samdrup Jongkhar.

My map would be something like :
Phuentsholing --> Thimphu --> Paro --> Haa --> Thimphu --> Punakha --> Wangdue Phodrang --> Trongsa --> Bumthang --> Monggar --> Trashigang --> Trashiyangste --> Samdrup Jongkhar

Do you think this is possible?? I known accomodation and transport would not be a problem in western Bhutan, any information about accommodation and transportation wrt to central and eastern Bhutan would be helpful. I am not traveling via any agent so I have to arrange them myself.

Any other information would also be valueable.

Posted September 4th, 2012 - 7:09 am from Hyderabad, India
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Posted September 4th, 2012 - 9:41 am by from Reading, England (Permalink)

I did your route in 2009 and had no problems. See the flagged post section and you can find my notes at the top.

Accomodation options remain pretty much the same in central and eastern Bhutan. You will find lesser and lesser people speaking or understanding Hindi as you travel to the east, so get ready for some fun. I could easily find accomodation in most of the towns and I always found this after some scouting after I landed. Temperatures drop dramatically in the Bumthang / Mongar region in the evenings, so its essential that you reach these places early well in time to find an accomodation. Hotels in some regions could be very basic - there could be no hot water, the rooms could be really tiny and the toilets will be shared.

Transport options will be limited, especially since all public buses which travel towards eastern Bhutan originate from Thimphu. Most of these tickets will be booked from Thimphu itself, so there may not be any free seats. I made a bargain with the driver to travel by sitting on a bucket inside the bus and this worked out for about 15 hours of travel, so there are still ways out! Shared taxis also ply very infrequently on these routes, so that could be another option. I hitchiked in a truck once from Wangdi, so that remains another option if nothing else works out.

Trashigang to Trashi Yangste is a lesser travelled route and only open trucks simulating as buses plied in this route when I was in Trashigang.

Also: no ATMs worked for me in Bhutan. Once you cross Wangdi, there is no turning back - so make sure that you have enough money to go all the way to the Indian border at Samdrup Jonkhar.

Have fun!


Posted September 8th, 2012 - 1:32 pm by from San Francisco, United States (Permalink)
Confirming Rajesh's warning to solo travelers. I just entered (on an Indian passport) a few days ago. Was told initially that they do not issue permits to solo travelers anymore - i got all sorts of responses as to why. Anyways, be prepared to explain your travel route and plan of stay etc, & if you have any, show your travel credentials/published materials. I got a 10-day permit,but took almost an hour and talking to 3 different officials. I was told that I was lucky to get 10 days (i had asked for 20) since most get just 7 days. It is extendable by a similar duration in the capital.

Posted September 25th, 2012 - 5:55 am by from Hyderabad, India (Permalink)
I travelled with a friend and had no problems with the immigration officials. But I had to cut short my trip only till Punakha. Next time I go Bhutan, I would definetly take a 4WD car.