Prior to recently, when it began to welcome visitors from around the world, Bhutan had traditionally been isolated from the rest of the world. Only the northern and southern entry points offered access to the nation. The southern route passed through the plains of either Assam or West Bengal, while the northern track passed through Tibet and through high mountain passes.
Bhutan is now accessible to tourists both by air and land. Bhutan's only international airport at Paro has a considerable influx of tourists during the two busiest seasons of the year, which are from September through November and from February through April. The majority of foreign tourists visit Bhutan, Tibet, Nepal, and India during their travels.
Paro, the only international airport in the nation, is encircled by mountains rising to a height of 16, 000 feet and is located at 7,300 feet above sea level. Both Bhutan Airlines and Druk Air, the country's flag airline, have flights scheduled to places including New Delhi, Bagdogra, Bodh Gaya, Dhaka, Kolkata, Bangkok, Kathmandu, Guwahati, Mumbai, and Singapore. The only destinations offered by Bhutan Airlines are Bangkok, Delhi, Kolkata, and Kathmandu.
Direct flights from the US, UK, Canada, or Australia do not exist to Paro. In actuality, only Bhutan Airlines and the nation's flag airline Druk Air offer international service to Bhutan. Therefore, the majority of tourists must first go to a place where they may connect to a flight to Bhutan, such as India, Nepal, Thailand, Bangladesh, or Singapore, before flying into Bhutan.
One of the most well-known and thrilling flights offers breathtaking views of four of the world's highest mountains as you travel between Kathmandu and Paro.
Phuentsholing, Gelephu, and Samdrup Jongkhar are tourist-accessible land bordering regions. Phuentsholing, in the southwest, is the most popular border town for road entry. It has a border with the Indian state of West Bengal and is located around 170 kilometers (106 miles) from Thimphu, the capital of the nation. Travelers would prefer to enter and exit through Phuentsholing if they wanted to visit Sikkim or Darjeeling either before or after visiting Bhutan. It takes six hours to travel by car from Thimphu to Phuentsholing. From here, it will take another 6-hour drive to go to Sikkim and Darjeeling.
Another entrance to Bhutan is at Gelephu, which is in the country's south-central area. It is roughly 250 kilometers (155 mi) away from Thimphu. The journey takes about 10 hours and passes through three districts, including subtropical and alpine regions. Similarly, Samdrup Jongkhar in the southeast, which is located about 150 km/93 mi from Guwahati, is an access point adjoining Darranga in Assam. Travelers must pass through Trashigang, Mongar, Bumthang, Trongsa, and Wangdue Phodrang to get to the capital of Bhutan from this entrance point, a journey that will take at least three days and cover a total distance of roughly 700 kilometers (435 mi).
Bhutan Airlines and Druk Air, the nation's flag carrier, both fly international routes into Paro, the country's sole airport, which is about an hour and a half drive from Thimphu, the capital city. The national airline serves Bhutan from the following airports with a fleet of contemporary Airbus A-319 and ATR aircraft:
- Bangkok (BKK) – Thailand
- Kathmandu (KTM) – Nepal
- New Delhi (DEL) – India
- Bodh Gaya (GAY) – India
- Dhaka (DAC) – Bangladesh
- Mumbai (BOM) – India
- Guwahati (GAU) – India
- Kolkata (CCU) – India
- Changi (SIN) – Singapore
- Bagdogra (IXB) – India
Since 2013, Bhutan Airlines has been operating international flights, with destinations such as Bangkok (BKK) in Thailand, Delhi (DEL) in India, Kathmandu (KTM) in Nepal, and Kolkata (CCU) in India.