Monday, December 17, 2012

Tips for driving to Bhutan

1 Make sure that the vehicle's papers(including PUC) are in order.

2 For immigration, there are two queues at the border town of Phuentsholing. Take the tourist line! The long one is for work permits.

3 The immigration process needs a couple of photos and an id proof and its copy. Takes around 1.5 hours to process. We used passport copies.

4 Bhutan time is 30 minutes ahead of IST. Most offices run from 9 to 4. Bear this in mind and start very early for immigration.

5 The road safety and transport authority issues permits for your vehicle based on your destination. This office closes at 3.30pm. If you miss it, you're stuck at the border.

6 Getting a new sim card is easy. Tashi and B mobile are the main vendors.

7 Indian rupee is welcome everywhere and fuel is cheaper than in India. There might be antifreeze in it though!

8 The roads are narrow and lovely and dangerous. Do not blow horn unless it is an emergency. No one uses horns in Bhutan. Or uses the wrong side.

9 Overtaking is another no no. Overtake only if the vehicle ahead moves to the shoulder and signals you. Makes sense in roads where a miss can land you in a two km free fall.

11 Stones, rocks, etc may fall on the road and your vehicle. Do not panic and swerve.

12 Parking charges are hefty in Thimphu. Starts from around 20 rupees.

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