Travel overland in Bhutan

Phuntsholing, Gelephu, and Samdrup Jongkhar are the only land border crossings open for international tourists. The town of Phunstsholing, bordering Jaigon in the Indian state of West Bengal, is located about 170 km (106 miles) east of the nearest Indian airport at Bagdogra. After making the crossing at Phuntsholing, your journey begins with an ascent into Bhutan’s mountainous interior via the winding road leading to Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan. The travel time for the 176 km (109 miles) stretches averages about six hours.

Gelephu, in south-central Bhutan, is another entry point located about 250 km (155 miles) from Thimphu. The journey from this border crossing will take you through the sub-tropical forest before entering the Alpine zone en route to the capital. Travel time across three districts typically takes about ten hours.

Samdrup Jongkhar is the only entry point in eastern Bhutan. The town borders with the Indian district of Darranga, in Assam. It is about 150 km (93 miles) distant from the nearest Indian airport in Guwahati, the state capital of Assam. The drive from the Guwahati airport takes about four hours. Visitors entering through Samdrup Jongkhar proceed to Trashigang, the largest district in the country, and from there, you will be guided along the lateral route to Mongar, Bumthang, Trongsa, Wangdue, Punakha, and finally into Bhutan’s capital city of Thimphu.

Based upon your planned itinerary, Off to Bhutan representatives are available to meet you and to facilitate the crossing at any of these designated entry points. As our honored guest, we will handle your baggage, offer refreshment after your long journey, and either help you settle into your accommodations or start your tour — your choice.

Click here to start your Bhutan adventure, and then leave the rest to us.