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Day 4 – Punakha to Paro | Eight Days in Bhutan


As per Bhutan government’s policy, citizens of all countries, except from India, Bangladesh and Maldives, have to book their tour through a registered travel agent and pay US$250 per person, per day to be able to secure a permit or visa. This is mandatory!

Having said that, all expenses in this itinerary are for individual travel and does not apply to the mandated travel agency’s or tour operator’s costs. However, you can get an idea of costs, along with tips and details of places you’d like to visit.

After inquiring about the public transport to Paro the previous day, I was told that there are two buses that go to Thimphu (but nothing to Paro) – 08:30 and 14:00, takes 3 hours and costs BTN 100 one-way.

It was past 9:00 in the morning when I left the hotel in Khuruthang, so taking the 08:30 bus was out of question! So I headed out to the taxi stand for a shared taxi to Thimphu (since no shared taxis go to Paro directly, only private taxis do and costs BTN 3500-3800 one-way).

But first off was a quick stop to the post office to get the stamp in my Postal Stamps Travelogue book.

There are a lot of shared taxis leaving to Thimphu until 5pm. It costs BTN 350 per person, and takes 2 hours to reach Thimphu. But our fellow passengers needed to be dropped to Lobesa, so we had to take a detour, which mean an extra one hour to reach Thimphu.

[Highway in Bhutan]

[Highway in Bhutan]

I reached Thimphu’s taxi stand at almost 12:30pm, so walked up to the center at a local restaurant for lunch, before heading back to the taxi stand for the next ride to Paro. Ample taxis run all day from Thimphu to Paro & Phuentsholing. It costs BTN 250 per person, one way to Paro in a shared taxi and takes about 2 hours.

[A monastery in Thimphu across from the road from taxi stand to city center]

[Indian lunch at a local restaurant in Thimphu]

After a few halts on the way, I reached Paro at around 4:30pm. Checked in to the hotel and went out for a walk along the main “tourist” street to the famous “Mountain Cafe”. This is a great restaurant for India food, Bhutanese food and pasta or pizza. Although a bit expensive compared to other cafes and restaurants in Paro, it’s still a great place to hang out!


[First view of Rinpun Dzong in Paro]

It gets really cold in evening past sunset because of November weather, so I walked back to the hotel for a laid-back night.



Note: All values in USD, unless otherwise mentioned, are approximate and based on the exchange rate of USD 1 = BTN 71 at the time of publishing. Each cost is for one adult.

What Cost Notes
Coffee $0.35 BTN 25 at local restaurant.
Taxi (Shared) $4.93 BTN 350 one-way from Khuruthang to Thimphu.
Taxi (Shared) $3.52 BTN 250 one-way from Thimphu to Paro.
Lunch at Thimphu $3.24 BTN 230.
Dinner $4.50 BTN 320 at Mountain Cafe, Paro.
Total Daily Costs $16.54 Per person
Overall Costs $304.88 Per person


« PREVIOUS – Day 3

Punakha (Khuruthang)

Sights of Punakha Valley.

Day 4

Punakha to Paro

Travel from Punakha to Paro, via Thimphu.

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Day 5 – NEXT »


Sights of Paro.


Travel On The Dollar