Thimphu truly well may be the land that time forgot. Lush valleys encircled by misty mountains and the mighty Wang Chu River running alongside the city. With only the smallest bit of modernity creeping into an otherwise traditional society, the tiny kingdom of Bhutan is big on charms.
The only international airport in Bhutan is located in Paro, amid spectacular settings at a height of 2,225 metres above sea level and about 56km from Thimphu. This airport is currently serviced only by two carriers, Drukair and Bhutan Airlines with flights to select Asian destinations like India, Thailand and Singapore.
As Bhutan has no rail service, Thimphu doesn’t have a railway station. The closest railhead is at Hasimara in India, about three hours from the border town of Phuentsholing in Thimphu. Another option is New Jalpaiguri in India, which is about 300km away. The border gates are open from 6am to 8pm, and you will require a permit to enter Thimphu overland.
Located at the southern end of town, the long-distance bus station is below the east end of the bridge. Buses ply daily between the border town of Phuentsholing and Thimphu as well as between Paro and Thimphu. From Phuentsholing, you can connect to the Indian cities of Kolkata and Siliguri.
The only border towns open to visitors from India are Phuentsholing, Gelephu and Samdrup Jongkhar. Of these, Phuentsholing, about 170km away, is the closest to Thimphu, while Gelephu is about 250km from Thimphu and Samdrup Jongkhar is the farthest at about 700km. Travel within Bhutan must be organised by a local operator.