Bhutan On Your Own Part 2


So far we know how to reach Bhutan and how to get permits done.Check the previous post for the details
Bhutan On Your Own

Lonely Planet has recently launched their Bhutan edition.For details on transport,you can also check:
Lonely Planet Getting Around Bhutan

For Bike Rides And Details,check forum:
Team Bhp India-Bhutan Trip

Reaching Thimpu

After having our lunch at hotel Druk,we started our journey towards Thimpu.We had rented  a car,for us,it was as economical as a bus as we were 4 people.And with the car,we had our liberty to stop and click pictures where ever we felt like.The journey was well worth it.However,for people travelling alone,bus would prove to be more budgeted option.It takes around 7 hours to reach Thimpu.The roads were all in good condition but mountainous.There wasn't any plain road before reaching Thimpu.For folks who suffer from mountain sickness,please do take your medicines.

There is a small stream of water or a narrow waterfall on the road.We did stop for 10-15 minutes to get our pics clicked.Just opposite to this waterfall,we have another,but at a distance we can never reach.The fall looks huge,though its covered with thick forests and certainly not accessible.There are two checkpoints,along this road.We stopped at hotel Damview for our afternoon staple.From the backside of hotel dam view is the dam.The food here is not that great.We had ordered noodles,but it was very oily and heavy to our stomach.The owner's small naughty kid kept us busy,as with every guest who was entering the hotel,he was the first one to say "Hi".There is also a highest point of Phuentsholing-Thimpu road on the way.Have you ever seen a green river?Well if you haven't so far,you would on this road,the color of the river is green due to forests all around ..and it looks beautiful,it changes color to the normal old blue when we see less of trees.

While we were travelling by the car on the Phuntsholing-Thimpu,our driver stopped midway many times to get the local datse(cow's milk cheese) as it's very common in bhutan to make datse with chillies as their popular dish.It tasted like paneer but sour.According to him,the datse at the roads are more fresh and his wife liked it.Also,we saw a very striking rotating prayer wheel in front of his car,which was rotating continuously,with solar energy.He told us we get it for Rs 250 in Phuentsholing,at Thimpu it'll be costly.

Once you have traveled the 6 hours in Bhutan,you see the huge Thimpu gate,just along the checkpoint.That's a very common point where people click their pics.Next we enter the great city,a city unperturbed by life,but that doesn't deter it from commercialisation.The city has no traffic lights,is clean to the core,and so different from India.There are strict rules and people abide by it.In my stay of 4-5 days,I never found it to be overcrowded or even crowded for that matter.People are smartly dressed,a place so near to India,and yet gives an international feel.For stay in Thimpu,Hotel Tandin on Norzin Lam (Road in Dzongkha), which is the main market place of Thimphu is the best bet.The room tariff is usually 700/- +10% tax. The room has wall to wall carpet, two single beds, a two-seater sofa, a cupboard, a colour television and a dressing table.The Indian food served here is excellent.Tuesday is a dry day in Bhutan,though you can enjoy liquor at all other days.In peak season,they usually hike the price,so its better to bargain if possible.

For further travel and permits to Punakha you need to go to the Immigration Office at the end of Norzin Lam towards the Tashichho Dzong.From Hotel Tandin to Immigration Office,it takes 60 Rs by taxi.For permits,they require a photocopy of the Thimpu permit,which can be done from  photocopy cum stationary shop just opposite the Bhutan Development Bank.It takes around 1-1.5 hours to get your permits done.We did it,on our first day visit to Thimpu.

Some interesting facts about Bhutan and their Food

-The most popular drink is sud-ja (tea served with salt and butter).
-Cheese is a very popular ingredient in dishes and the most popular cheeses are datse (cow’s milk cheese), often served in a dish with fresh chillies (emadatsi).
-Another favourite is mushroom and chilli with cheese.
-Look out for the excellent Red Rice!
-Unusual ingredients such as nettles, ferns and orchids may also appear in traditional Bhutanese vegetarian dishes.
-Bhutan's alcoholic drinks include chang (brewed from fermented cereals) and arra, which is stronger and distilled from either rice, barley or wheat.

Pan Asian: Bhutanese Spicy Chicken Recipe


  1. Nice to see the part 2 of the story and food. Did you visit any forests there?

  2. Glad to know some facts about Bhutan..This post will help us to plan our trip..Thanks.

  3. @Sabyasachi:Not really forest,but we visited Motithang Takin Preserve(a zoo),and got a chance to see a very new animal called Takin.

  4. @Avanish:More to come,don't forget to visit the tiger's nest and punakha zong.They are must for eveyone who visit Bhutan!


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