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Entry Permit/Pass for Bhutan: Indian Tourists, VISA for bhutan, Bhutan entry, immigration and exit for Indians through Pheuntsholing Entering Bhutan by road, Extending entry permit for Bhutan, Bhutan Tourism,

Bhutan Entry Permit/Pass for Indian Tourists

Indian Tourists are required to obtain Entry Permit for entry to Bhutan and getting an Entry Permit becomes a key attribute of planning your trip. It becomes even more important since one has to obtain it on the spot prior to entering Bhutan. To help our fellow travelers, we are summarizing key questions about Bhutan Entry Permit below –

Q. Tourists from which countries require an Entry Permit for Bhutan?

Citizens of India, Bangladesh and Maldives are allowed to travel Bhutan by getting an Entry Permit/Pass and do not need a VISA. Tourists from all other countries require a Visa. Details in this blog apply for Indian tourists only. We hope process will remain same for citizens of Bangladesh and Maldives too.

Q. Places from where one can get the Entry Permit for Bhutan?

Indians coming to Bhutan by road are required to obtain an Entry Permit from the Immigration Office of Royal Government of Bhutan at Phuentsholing, located on the Indo-Bhutan border opposite Jaigaon, West Bengal (Nearest Railway Station: Hasimara, Nearest Airport: Bagdogra). In case, you are not carrying a valid travel document (Passport/Voter ID), you should approach the Indian Consulate Office in Phuentsholing and apply for the “Identification Slip” with proper proof of Indian nationality. Indians coming by air can get the Entry Permit at the Paro International Airport. Samdrup Jongkhar is another entry/exit point for Bhutan but it is not so frequently used as compared to Phuentsholing. We got our entry permit at Phuentsholing and all details pertain to this office only.

Q. Can I get an Entry Permit in advance?

Yes. You can get entry permits in advance from Bhutan High Commissioner’s Office at Delhi or Kolkata Bhutan Consulate. This may save you from any uncertainty of getting permit on last day but these offices usually take more than a week to give you a permit. One of the members from the travelling group should be compulsorily present to apply for Entry Permit of all members.

Q. On which days is Immigration office at Phuentsholing open? What are the timings?

Immigration office at Phuentsholing opens only on working days (Monday to Friday) from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM Bhutan Standard Time (9:30 AM to 5:30PM IST). Please check for Bhutan public holidays in advance as office remains closed on public holidays. Lunch hours are from 1 PM to 2 PM BST.

Please note that immigration office at Phuentsholing is no longer open on weekends as it used to be earlier (post Jan 2016). So, plan your travel accordingly to avoid a last minute delay in getting permit.

Entry Permit/Pass for Bhutan: Indian Tourists, VISA for bhutan, Bhutan entry, immigration and exit for Indians through Pheuntsholing Entering Bhutan by road, Extending entry permit for Bhutan, Bhutan Tourism,
Despite it being a busy day at Immigration Office, Pheuntsholing, process was swift

Q. How long does it take to get the permit? What is the process?

Usually it takes around 30 minutes to get all formalities done and get your permit. You need to fill in a form, attach your photographs and submit at first counter. You are asked basic questions about the purpose of your travel to Bhutan by an official here and then your form is queued up for next counter. Once your name is called at next counter, you need to reach there to get your picture clicked and provide finger prints. You can collect your Entry Permit from third counter in another 10 minutes, stamped and signed.

It may take longer time on Mondays as office remains closed on weekends. Bhutan officials usually refrain from issuing Entry Permits to solo travelers for safety concerns. However, in most of the cases, you will get permit if you convince them that you are fully capable of travelling solo and there are no concerns.

Q. What all documents are required to obtain the Entry Permit?

2 Photographs + Passport copy/Voter ID card (Please carry originals also for verification). In case, you are not carrying Passport/Voter ID card, you will be required to visit Indian Consulate Office, get an identification slip and then again go back to Bhutan Immigration Office to get your Entry Permit. This will certainly waste a lot of time and thus do remember to carry your Passport or Voter ID. For children below 18 years without valid passport, Birth Certificates and valid school ID are required to get Entry Permit. (both are required in case of school going kid)

Sometimes, Bhutan officials may accept Aadhar card also as identification proof, so do make a request in case you are not carrying passport. This may save you time and inconvenience of running around offices. During our trip, request from a couple was heeded by the officials 🙂

Entry Permit/Pass for Bhutan: Indian Tourists, VISA for bhutan, Bhutan entry, immigration and exit for Indians through Pheuntsholing Entering Bhutan by road, Extending entry permit for Bhutan, Bhutan Tourism,
Forms for permit extension at Immigration Office Thimphu

Important Update: You also need to show a confirmation of your hotel booking for initial days of stay in Bhutan. You have to carry the print out of email confirmation. Also, you need to present your itinerary for your stay in Bhutan. You may refer our blog for booking a Hotel in Bhutan  here.

For Booking your hotel in Bhutan, you may also consider using Booking.com. They do not require any upfront payment or card details for booking a hotel Booking.com

Q. How long and which places will this permit be applicable?

Entry Permit issued at Phuentsholing is applicable only for 7 days and visit to Paro and Thimphu.

Q. How do I extend my permit if  want to stay over 7 days or visit places beyond Paro and Thimphu?

You need to extend your permit both for stay over 7 days (up to a max 30 days) or visit places beyond Paro and Thimphu. To get extensions, you need to visit Immigration Office at Thimphu (9 AM to 4 PM BST, Mon to Fri, Closed on Bhutan Public Holidays) and fill extension request forms. Post submission of form and documents, you can collect your extension permits from the same office after 1 hour.

Documents Required for extension: A copy of Original Entry Permit, 1 photograph

Though there is an immigration office in Paro, but extension is provided only at Thimphu immigration office.

Entry Permit/Pass for Bhutan: Indian Tourists, VISA for bhutan, Bhutan entry, immigration and exit for Indians through Pheuntsholing Entering Bhutan by road, Extending entry permit for Bhutan, Bhutan Tourism,
Immigration office at Thimphu for extension of your stay or getting permit for restricted areas

Q. What happens if I enter Bhutan without Permit?

Illegal migrant :). Your entry pass is checked at multiple check posts through out Bhutan, one of them being just at 5 kms drive from Phuentsholing (Rinchending)

Q. What happens if I travel beyond Paro and Thimphu without getting permit extended for visit to restricted places?

There are immigration check posts at all routes and it is traveler’s responsibility to get his entry and extension passes stamped both during entry and return. In case you miss getting your pass stamped, there is a hefty fine (on daily basis) and also the chances that your permits may be confiscated by authorities. So, please do make sure to stop at all these check points both at entry and exit.

Dochula Pass, though only 20 kms east to Thimphu requires restricted areas entry pass. There is an immigration check post at Hongtsho just before Dochula Pass where your permits will be checked. So, please ensure to get the required extensions in advance to avoid any inconvenience.

Q. Is there any fee for getting Entry Permits and extension thereafter?

No, No fee is charged either for the Entry Permits or time and restricted area extension at Thimphu.

Q. Do I need to keep my Entry Permits with me all the time while travelling?

Yes, as your pass is checked at various immigration points while travelling between cities and also to enter in all key Dzongs and Monasteries including Paro, Punakha & Thimphu Dzongs and Tiger’s Nest Monastery.

Q. Can I keep my Entry Permit as a memorabilia for my Bhutan trip?

No. Entry Permits and extensions are submitted at last immigration point during exit. So, do take a picture of your permit with all the stamps for your memories like we did 🙂

Entry Permit/Pass for Bhutan: Indian Tourists, VISA for bhutan, Bhutan entry, immigration and exit for Indians through Pheuntsholing Entering Bhutan by road, Extending entry permit for Bhutan, Bhutan Tourism,
Our Entry Permits with all stamps and memories from Bhutan

Wish you an awesome exploration !! Still, if you have any queries, do write us or comment below. We will be happy to assist you.

Edit 1: Online Permit for Bhutan

Bhutan Government has recently launched an online permit facility too for tourists from India, Bangladesh and Maldives. Online permit application facility can be availed only through registered Bhutanese tour operators and TCB certified hotels. You may find more details here. This facility will be applicable for entry from Paro and Phuntsholing. – Inputs from one of our readers Jigme. Thanks so much, Jigme 🙂

Travel Date: 6th to 14th May, 2016

105 thoughts to “Bhutan Entry Permit/Pass for Indian Tourists”

  1. We are a group of 10 adults. Should all the travelers be physically present at Phuentsholing & Thimphu immigrations office? We need to visit the Thimphu office for extension & access to remote areas.

    1. Hi Narendra,
      To avail Entry pass at Phuentsholing, everybody needs to be physically present as individual photos and thumb impressions are taken by Bhutanese immigration officials for the entry pass.
      To avail extension and access to remote areas pass at Thimpu, only one person can take all the documents required.
      Please let us know if there are any other queries.
      Happy Exploration!

      1. With latest change in permit rules, permit will only be given when you have hotel bookings with itinerary

        1. Oh! were not aware about the same. Not a welcome move for backpackers.

          By the way, thanks a lot, Sumit!! Will update our blog to include this information also.

      2. Hi sir,I want to visit Bhutan alone nd would like to look for hotel after I reach there,is this possible?

        1. Not any longer Pranay. Last year, Bhutan made it mandatory to have prior hotel booking for issuing permit. You may show an email confirmation too.

  2. I am planning to visit Thimpu, Paro and Punakha in Feb’17 along with my wife. Can I apply to Bhutanese Embassy at Delhi fro the entry permit? When when I apply and are we both required to visit the Embassy to apply the permit?

    1. As far as we know, you can get your permit in advance from Bhutan embassy in Delhi and Kolkata, still we would recommend to give them a quick call and confirm. However, permit issued in India will be applicable only for Thimphu and Paro. For Punkaha, you will require an extension which can only be done at Thimphu.

  3. Hey Anuamar,

    Thanks for all the info buddy!
    We are a group of 5 travelling to Bhutan in Feb, all I wanted to know is that if there are any exit formalities and should they be done only on weekdays?? Coz our plan is to exit on a Saturday.

    Let me know if that’s possible?

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Akshay,

      There are no formal exit formalities. It is that your Entry Permit/Extension Permit are deposited at the last Exit check post in Bhutan as you enter to India. Since these check posts remain open all days 24×7, so you need not worry about your exit day.

  4. We will reach Phuentsholing in two groups. One group of 3 adults will reach on Sunday night and another group of 2 adults and 3 children will reach around Monday 11 am. Can the first group apply permit for the second group by the time the second one reaches and complete the remaining formalities.

    1. No, it will not be possible. Bhutan Officials at Phuentsholing capture finger prints and retina scan for each individual and every person is required to be present.

  5. Hii

    Daily fee of 250$ per night is applicable for Indians ? and is there any need to book travel package ? Or we can go for unplanned trip and look for hotel when we reach there ?

    The sightseeing can be done in shared tours ?

    I am asking this because I will be travelling with my small kid and dont want last minute surprise of not getting the accommodation.

    1. Hi Husain,

      Daily Fee is not applicable for Indians. You may go for an unplanned trip but there are limited hotels in Bhutan cities. At times, you may face issue for getting a decent accommodation at last moment. So, would recommend to book in advance, especially if you are with a kid. There are no shared tours for local sight-seeing and you have to book complete cab. For inter-city transfer, shared cabs are easily available and also the best option.

  6. Can we get travel permit on weekend if we reach paro by flight?
    I know at phuentsholing we don’t get permit on weekend but is it the same at the paro airport as well.

    Also we are planning to visit Bhutan during Aug 2016. What could be the challenges to travel during rainy season. The blogs I read suggest to avoid travelling on rainy season

    1. Hi Avinash, we are not aware about Paro working hours but it should work on weekends logically else where will anyone go post landing in Bhutan :). Also, Bhutan would be beautiful during rains but it would be difficult to commute around. So, you may take your call.

  7. I and my my family we are planning to visit Bhutan through Jongkhar but we have a problem my sisters both of them doesn’t have any ID as they are too small and haven’t cross the required age to make one as per Indian rule and even I neither have a passport or voter id(i have applied for one) I only have a pan card… Even in our state Assam Adhar Card haven’t came yet… can you please suggest

    1. Hi Trishna, Not very sure in this case. For Minors, School ID is accepted but for adults, Passport or Voter ID card are must.

  8. Hi, I’ve been trying to get some clear info on the permit process.
    I plan to enter through samdrup jhonkar and ride up to thimphu, stopping along the way. I plan to exit out of phuentsholing. We are Indian citizens and are riding through Bhutan for about 9 days.
    Any info would be helpful.

    Thanks
    David

    1. Hi David, we are not aware about entry process at Samdrup Jhonkar. We had entered through Phuentsholing and information in the blog is about the process at this entry point only. Though, process is expected to be the same at both but still would request to research more.

    2. Hello David,
      Are you a foreign citizen? If you are a traveler other than Indian or Bangladesh then there is a rule that a foreigner need to book the tour through registered tour operator and the entire package cost would be 250 USD per night per person. To enter Bhutan travelling to Phuntsholing would be the beat option because from Samdrup Jongkhar arriving to Thimphu is a long journey.

      Thanks,
      Dhan
      Watsapp: +97517230640

  9. Hi, I am travelling to Bhutan via Bagdogra in the second week of May from Mumbai. Could you please suggest some tour operators that will help in getting the permit beforehand. Will we be allowed to cross the Phuentsholing border post 8pm since we are landing in the evening at Bagdogra airport? Also any good and comfortable hotels to stay?

    Thanks

  10. Hi ANUAMAR,
    Thanks for the info shared here.
    While RETURNING from Bhutan to the Indian side, (1)Is there any formalities that needs to be done other than handing over the permit documents to them.(2) How much time would this take? (3)i’m planning to ride from Thimbu to Phuentsholing on a friday morning and stay there overnight. Will i be able to cross the border on Saturday morning?(4) At what time in the morning would they start allowing people to cross to the indian side. I will have to take a flight from Bagdogara at 1 PM the same day, hence the ask.
    TIA
    Regards,
    Kevin

    1. Hi Kevin, please find responses below –
      1) No, only permit submission is the step
      2) Not more than 10 minutes
      3) Yes in case you are Indian citizen
      4) Not sure around this

      Please note that these are applicable for Indian Citizens only.

  11. Hi,

    Thanks for this information, it is useful.

    I plan to reach Phuentsholing on Saturday evening, I know we can enter Phentsholing during the day, but would you know if we can stay overnight in Phuentsholing without a permit? If not, Ill plan my weekend stay over in Jaigaon instead

    Thanks
    Sowmya.

    1. As far as, we know, Indian citizens can visit Phuentsholing during the day time (without any pass) but have to return by 8 PM. Not completely sure around this. Will suggest to plan stay at Jaigaon only. Any how, during the day, you can cross to Bhutan side and visit Phuentsholing, if you want.

  12. Hey! I need to travel to Bhutan in June ,but not sure if I’ll get my voter id/passport before that. So,is it possible to get in with just Aadhar card as an identity proof?

    1. No Abhishek, Aadhar Card is not accepted as identity proof. Voter id/Passport are mandatory.

  13. Hi Anuamar! I will be reaching Bagdogra at 4PM. Is it possible to reach phuntsholing gate and cross over before closing time?

    1. hi Harish, it would be difficult to cross on the same day as it is certainly 3-4 hours. also, you need to get Permit at Phuentsholing and Office closes at 5 PM. No chance of your reaching Phuentsholing till 5. Even if you have got permit issued in advance and reach Phuentsholing by 8 PM, it will not be easy to get a cab/bus for Thimphu. So quite difficult from all aspects.

  14. Hi Anuamar. First of all a big thank you for such helpful information.We have a plan to travel Bhutan from 30th May to 5th June. But recently we had informed that due to the national census of Bhutan, the office that issue permit for Indian citizen at Jaigaon border will be closed for 3 days (30,31May & 1st June) & no permit will be issued for those days.
    So I am asking you that is this true? Waiting for your reply eagerly.

    1. Hi Sayak
      We are not aware of the current status. We will suggest you to post your question on Indiamike/Tripadvisor/Quora. There are people from Phuentsholing/Jaigaon who are active on these forums and always ready to help fellow travellers 🙂

  15. Indian Nationals Traveling to Bhutan
    Indian nationals planning to visit Bhutan should bring either (1) a Passport having validity of 6 months or (2) a Voters Identity Card, issued by the Election Commission of India.

    Indian nationals traveling to Bhutan via road (i.e. via Phuntsholing, Bhutan / Jaigong, India), can present their having their passport or voters Identity Card to the Regional Immigration Office, Royal Government of Bhutan, Phuntsholing to obtain entry permits for visiting Thimphu and Paro in Bhutan. There is no fee charged by the Royal Government of Bhutan for issuing the permits.

  16. Hello!

    We are reaching phuentsoling on friday and plan to take the permit there. However, we planned to travel to Punakha on Sunday. Is there any possibility that the restricted area permit in thimpu can be obtained beforehand?

    1. No Palash, Restricted Area Permit can not be obtained from anyplace in India. You can get it from Thimphu only. So no alternate option.

    1. Haha! No its not true. Noone asks about your marriage certificate. Actually Bhutan is very liberal in this aspect. Usually they are cautious to issue permit to solo travellers but even for them, they issue after some request.

  17. Hi Anuamar,

    I would be travelling from Phuentsholing (after obtaining permit for Paro n Thimphu) to Paro. Can I visit Clele La pass and Tiger’s nest through this permit?

    Thanks,
    Pratik

    1. Yes. This pass is valid for Paro and Thimphu. Just for Tiger’s Nest, please carry your pass and identity card as they check the same before entry.

  18. What is the procedure to entry and exit for a work holder? How many days i have to wait for a new pass after it’s submitted to down?

  19. Hi Anumar..
    could u please suggest if I can take my own car to Bhutan .. and any problems if I do the sightseeing m travelling in Bhutan through my own car .

    1. As far as we know, you can easily take your car to Bhutan by getting approval at the Permit office at Phuentsholing. Travelling within Bhutan with your own car would not be an issue as long as you have your own permit. Actually, it would be more comfortable as local conveyance in Bhutan cities is not easily available.

  20. Hello anuamar ,

    What are we supposed to fill up in the “address in Bhutan” field of the Entry permit application form?

    Consider we havnt booked our hotels in advance before reaching phuontshelling.

    Thanking you in advance

    1. You can fill any hotel details that you are planning to book. We too had not booked any hotel and had filled up the detail of one the hotels from our shortlisted list.

  21. Hi Anu,
    Thanks so much for these details.
    We are planning a bike ride to Bhutan. Are Indian vehicles allowed?
    Also, our plan at the moment is to enter through Samdrup Jongkhar. Can we get the permit on spot there?

    1. Yes Raghu, you can take your own vehicles and Indian vehicles are allowed. However, we are not sure about entry through Samdrup Jongkhar. Not certain if you can get on the spot permit there.

      1. Thanks again Anu. Also, is it possible to go around Bhutan with tents? I mean camping at various places.
        Or are there any restrictions for camping?

  22. Hi Anuamar,

    1. Can you pls clarify how long the visa office at Phuntsoling accepts applications on weekdays? I am getting mixed reviews of this with some saying they accept applications till 4 pm and others saying they close intakes at lunch time.

    2. A friend and I plan to take the train to Hasimara(reaching at 10:45 am) and then a cab to the border.. can you tell us if this is doable in terms of getting the visa on the same day?

    3. We will be reaching on a Friday. Worst case scenario we don’t get out permits on the same day, what are the other ways to get it the next day(can a travel agent help us?)

    4. Based on your latest comments on having a prior hotel booking and itinerary, I am not sure of our accommodation plans yet. What is the best way to go about it then?

    Thank you (in advance) for responding to such an elaborate question list. 🙂

    1. Hi Pushan

      Please find responses for your queries.

      1. They take applications as long as they can process it. So in case, they get a lot of applications, they hold the process till they process them. Usually they accept it till 4.
      2. Yes very much doable. We had done the same and had reached Thimphu same night after taking permit.
      3. Noone can help. Wait till Monday 🙂
      4. You do not have to book in advance. You can book on the spot. This is not required to get permit.

  23. From where the extension permit for Punakha is given by the Bhutanese govt? Please mention the address/ location

  24. I have passport but it’s validity expires before 6 month but I m planning to travel Bhutan before it expires. Also I have xerox voter I’d proof.
    Will I get entry permit at Bhutan on this?

    1. Not Sure Jaydeep if 6 month validity is required for Bhutan Entry Permit considering that Permit is only for 30 days. In our view, it is more from Identity document perspective. For Voter ID Card, you need original. Xerox will not work.

  25. Hi Anuamar,

    I recently heard that as of Aug 2017, even Indians are required to book and show hotel bookings in advance for the Bhutan travel permit. Is this the case?
    Also can you recommend some pocket friendly and nice places to stay in Paro and Thimphu?

    Thanks & Regards

  26. Hey Anuamar!

    We are are group of 8 people, planning to visit Bhutan in the month of February, between the dates 18 – 24. These dates coincide with the King’s Birthday Celebration. We wanted to enquire if all the tourist places will be open on said National Holidays.

    Also, is it possible for one person to take permits beforehand in Kolkata, for the rest of the group?
    And, if it is manageable, is it possible to enter the country with the already gotten permits on a national holiday?

    Thankyou!

    1. Hi Sayeeksha, Not sure about the opening of the tourist places during celebrations. We will suggest to enquire at Kolkata Office when you go for your permits. As far as we know, you can get permits for whole group at Kolkata even if one person goes provided all documents are in place. However, still not completely sure as rules keep on changing. Would be better to give a call to Kolkata office. As far as entering Bhutan is considered, that you can easily enter on any day provided you have valid permits.

    1. You can get permit on all days except Weekends (Sat and Sun) and Bhutan Public Holidays. Request to check for the same.

  27. I have been told that the entry permit is not given on Sundays at the paro airport. So if i go by air i will need to apply for an online permit in which case i have to take a local guide for 1500 bucks per day…Is that true?

  28. Hi, happened to read in your blog that we can get the permits to Bhutan from Consulate of Bhutan in Delhi? Any idea if anybody has done that before?

    1. Hi Kavitha, we read about few people’s experiences while planning our own trip. Will suggest if you can give them a call and confirm.

  29. Hi, your blog has useful info!
    Need your help. The below is our schedule
    5th and 6th Dec Thimphu
    7th Dec Punakha (come back to Thimphu)
    8th Dec Paro (come back to Thimphu)
    9th Dec Haa (go back to Phuntsholing)

    Planning to stay in Thimphu and travel around. Please advise if this schedule seems to be correct. Thanks in advance.

    1. Hi Ujwal,

      For 8th Dec, you need not come back to Thimphu. You can directly go Haa from Paro through Chele La Pass. and from Haa, again can go directly to Phuntsholing. You will save a lot of time if you decide to stay at Paro itself. Refer Directions here

  30. Can Indian nationals stay at Phuentsholing hotel with out Bhutan permit as I am reaching Phuentsholing by afternoon and I planned to stay at Phuentsholing and get permit next day morning.

    1. No Vishakh. Indian Nationals are required to return to Indian Side which is Jalgaon before closing of gate at night. So make your stay arrangements on Indian side only in case you think you would not be able to get permit on same day. Indian Nationals are allowed to roam around in Phuentsholing during the day time without permit but needs to return before gate closing.

      1. No permit required for staying in phuentsholing. You can stay without any problem. However the gate gets closed in the night. So you cannot come back to indian side after the gate is closed.

      2. Thanks for your reply, but please see the reply from Mr. MD Faisal, he said that there is no problem for staying. Incase I cannot stay at Phuentsholing, please refer me a good budget hotel at Jalgaon

        1. Yeah Vishakh, there seems to some confusion. Please update us with correct status after your trip so that we can write on our blog for fellow travellers :).
          For Hotels in Jaigaon – We do not have specific information as we had left for Thimphu after getting our Permit (around 4 PM) and had reached Thimphu at around 9 PM and stayed there. I checked online too but could not find anything on hotel booking websites. However Wikitravel – https://wikitravel.org/en/Jaigaon has listed 5 hotels including reviews too. You can try to find more about them. Hotel Kasturi and Hotel Devi seem to be god choice. We hope this helps 🙂

          1. Hi Anukumar,

            We are planning to arrange advance travel permit. In that case, do we still need to go immigration office for passport entry stamp/ permit entry stamp at phuentsholing ( our enrty point)?

            Also we plan to reach phuentsholing around 11pm from Paro. Will we be allowed to enter India at 11:00 pm to continue our journey.

            Thanks for the help in advance.

        2. Hi Vishakh,

          Were you able to stay at Phuentsholing. What time the gate closes. We have booked our stay at Phuentsholing but we will be reaching there by 9 pm. Will we be able to enter bhutan.

  31. Dear Anuamar, I have gone thru your various reply regarding quaries and would like to get some help for our planning to visit Bhutan of 5 adults and 1 kid ( 2 among them are senior citizens ). We are planning to reach Phuentsholing around 3rd week of May and after staying 1 night their for rest and other formalities would like to proceed for Paro & Thimpu – 2 nights at each stations.
    We are confused if with senior citizens reaching Punakha would be recommended or not. If not we may go to Haa and return back to Phuentsholing. We shall preferably stay another night in any station – Haa or Punakha.
    Your suggestion and advise would be appreciable.
    Sudeb Sanyal

    1. Hi Sudeb, It should not be an issue for any place with respect to senior citizens. As far as travel distance is concerned, both places are almost equally distant on opposite side. Will suggest to have your own vehicle so that you can take breaks on the way. Weather wise – Haa is colder compared to Punakha but in May, temperatures will not be high. So again that will not make much difference. You may choose anyone in our view (whichever place appeals to you) and it should not be a problem in terms of travel and weather for senior citizens.

  32. Hi AnuAmar, I have two questions, I will be reaching Hasimara at arround 10:45am (Monday).
    1) will I be able to complete the permit process the same day and proceed for Thimphu?
    2) I have planned to return back to Hasimara on Saturday, so will a be able to do my exit formalities on Saturday?

    1. Hi Shriparna – Please find answers below
      1. Yes – Even if you reach Phuentsholing by around 1 PM – You can easily get Permit on the same day. We had reached the same time and could easily manage to get our Permit. Only risk remains if your train gets late.
      2. Yes – For Exit, there is no restriction. Your permit is deposited on last checkpost while Exit and that remains open all days and all hours. You need not go back to immigration/Permit office at the time of Exit. So you can Exit anytime anyday.

    1. Hi Vijaya, from Phuentsholing, you will get Permit only for Paro and Thimphu. Once you reach Thimphu, you can visit Immigration office there to get extension for restricted places. Location of Thimphu immigration office is mentioned in our blog.

  33. Hi Anu Amar,
    I’m planning to travel in bhutan with my own car, (It’s a hatchback (Grand i10) ) i have two questions in particular.
    A. Can we get vehicle permit as well in Phuentsholing to travel to Paro and Thimpu, also i would like to know do we need extension of vehicle permits to visit punakha and other places.

    B. Also i heard, since it’s a hilly area can we take hatchback vehicles to places like chelela pass and paro?

    1. Hi vashista, sincere apologies but we do not have any information about vehicle permit. Had backpacked using public transport only. On Point B, yes you can easily take your vehicle to chelela Pass and Paro as roads are nice and gradient is manageable.

  34. Well explained about the process of traveling to Bhutan for regional Tourist. 🙂
    The Royal Government of Bhutan, now also has the online permit system, where you can obtain permits in advance of your trip. This definitely saves a lot of time. It has to be processed through a travel agent in Bhutan.

  35. hello,
    i am travelling to bhutan with my family in june and have booked tickets upto bagdogra.
    My frens have reached Phuentsoling yesterday and tried to get entry permit at immigration office.They were told that server is down. They observed there is a nexus between taxi drivers and immigration office and if u r willing to pay 3000 per day for as long as u stay in bhutan , they get u permits from back door. Is this the scenario?
    because if it is so, my trip is in doldrums then.Please help

    1. Neha, we do not think that you would face any issue. it is first time that we have heard so otherwise getting permit has never been an issue for any of our readers. In our view, Bhutanese officials seldom engage in corrupt practices and it may be a genuine case of server down. We will say that you should not worry about this . Also,if you are based in Delhi, you may also try with Bhutan embassy for getting a permit in advance. That would solve your problem to a large extent especially when u r travelling with family. Delhi and Kolkata embassies issue advance permits. Hope this helps.

  36. hi,
    We 4 friends are planning a Road trip from Mumbai to Bhutan. do you need a permit for your car. what are the charges? where can i get it? Best places to visit in bhutan

  37. we are planning to go to bhutan trip with a 7member team. among the members one had lost his voter card, a new voter card has been issued to him. but in the new one it is written as ‘Duplicate’. will that create problem during immigration or flight check in?

    1. Hi Jay, Not sure about this ‘Duplicate’ issue. However, for Permit, you may visit Indian Govtt office in Jaigaon, which is Indian side of Phuntsholing.

  38. Thanks for the detailed information. I am planning to Cycle and Trek in Bhutan (Jan End / Feb / March 2019) and Treks. Would you know if there is possibility to extend the Permits beyond 30 days? Also are they too restrictive on Solo Travellers

    1. Great plan Neeraj !! Yes Permit extension is possible. You can extend your permit beyond 30 days from the immigration office in Thimphu. So it should not be an issue. They discourage solo travellers for safety issues but usually allow if you take them into confidence. None of our readers have yet faced issue of permit denial for being solo traveller.

  39. Hi,

    We have booked our flight tickets to Bagdogra and we will land on Friday at 11.30 am on September 28. We will drive to Phuntsholing directly to get our immigration checks done. Now we have realised about the office timings and we do not know how to go about it. Time is till 5.30 pm and to top it off Weekends closed. Could you suggest a way out.

    1. Sorry Anisha, Does not seem to be a way out here. You may try to hop into a cab immediately after landing but reaching Phuntsholing before 5:30 PM from Bagdogra is quite difficult and as you said, immigration office remains closed on weekends. You may plan out your weekend at Siliguri and places around and can head to Phuntsholing Immigration Office on Monday.

Happy to hear from you

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