Information about how getting around in Bhutan

Information about how getting around in Bhutan

In this travel tip you'll get some informations about traveling through Bhutan.

Permits
Route permits are required to travel around Bhutan, and there are check posts in most districts east and north of Thimphu where you are required to produce these documents in order to proceed. These permits are issued by the immigration office in Thimphu (Northern end of Norzin Lam).

By bus or car
The roads that cross the country are characterized by their twists, turns, and steep inclines, but despite the difficult topography, they are generally very well-maintained and safe. Local and inter-district bus services are not so comfortable and stop frequently. Tourists usually prefer to travel by a 4 wheeler-offroad or mini bus, which can be reserved through a tour operator. However, traveling by local or inter-district bus allows the traveler to meet Bhutanese people first hand and get more of a "feel" for really being in Bhutan.

Hitchhiking
As the public transport running between towns in Bhutan is infrequent, hitching is a very common way to get around. The thumb in the air symbol, however, is not recognized, and you will need to flag down a passing vehicle in order to get one to stop.
Note: As some drivers pick up passengers as a means of supplementing their incomes, it is customary to offer payment when getting out of the vehicle (the amount depends roughly on the distance, but it will be comparable to the cost of traveling by bus). However, most drivers require nothing, and are more than happy just to have some company and the opportunity to make a new friend. If you plan to hitch a lot (and in some rural areas there is no other way to get around), it is a good idea to take a few small gifts to offer the drivers as an expression of your appreciation.

Roads
Due to the mountainous terrain, roads are frequently blocked by rock falls during the summer monsoon season. Therefore, it is best to avoid traveling long distances from the beginning of June to the end of August. However, if you must travel at this time, carry ample bottled water and snacks because if the landslide is substantial it could take some time to clear the road.

At an altitude of 3750 meters, the section of road that runs through the Thrumshingla Pass connecting Bumthang and Mongar is the highest in the country and offers some spectacular scenery. However, due to the steep sides of the valley it is especially susceptible to rock falls, so be prepared for long waits during the monsoon period in particular.

Food and refreshment
While there are ample restaurants on highways between main towns and the hygiene standards at such places is acceptable, the quality of the food is very low and the choice of dishes limited. In addition, the dinning halls offer an environment no better than a bus station waiting room. Therefore, it is generally better to prepare food and refreshment for the journey at the point of departure.

By tour
Several tour companies operate in Bhutan. Each is unique in services offered but most operate with safety in mind.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.Based on a work at Wikitravel.org & Traveldudes.org.

Location

no map

Follow Interests