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Getting Around in Bhutan

By Air

There are no domestic airline routes within Bhutan.

By Road

Traffic drives on the left in Bhutan. The country has a fairly good internal road network with well over 3,000 km (1,800 miles) of surfaced road. The average speed is less than 40 kph (25 mph). The main routes run north from Phuentsholing to the western regions of Paro and Thimphu, and west-east, across the Pele La Pass and Thrumshing La Pass to the central valleys and eastern regions. The northern regions of the High Himalayas have no roads. Tour operators will arrange all internal travel for tourists, which will usually be by road.

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.


Buses are often crowded and journeys slow due to the mountainous terrain. Yaks, ponies and mules are still a main form of transportation in remote areas. The main routes are from Phuentsholing to Thimphu, Thimphu to Bumthang, Bumthang to Tashigang, Tashigang to Samdrup Jongkar and from Tongsa to Gaylegphug but as a rule, local buses are not for tourists.

Urban Transportation

In Thimphu, there is a set rate for taxis plying city routes. There are taxi ranks on Norzin Lam (across from the cinema hall) and at the inter-district bus station. Taxis also cruise and can be hailed at any point.

The city operates an efficient, albeit infrequent, public bus service connecting the down town with outer suburbs. The station for local buses is located just east of the the stadium on Chang Lam.





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