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The Ultimate Bhutan Tourist Map

February,19 2019 BY Kham Sang 0 COMMENTS

As one of the few remaining Himalaya kingdoms, Bhutan lies on the southern edge of the Himalayas, bordering with Tibet to the north and India to the south, east, and west. One of the most unique tourist destinations in Asia, Bhutan has a very unusual tourist industry, dedicated to eco-tourism and environmental protection, yet providing tourists with top of the range facilities and some of the best trekking locations in the world.

Bhutan Elevation/Altitude Map

Despite most of the kingdom being at altitudes of above 3,500 meters, it is only in the northernmost areas of the kingdom that the altitude reaches more than 5,000 meters. The terrain in Bhutan is much like that of Nepal, with high mountains topping 6,000 meters and 7,000 meters to the north, along the Tibetan border, and getting increasingly lower towards the center and south of the country.

Altitude rising higher increasingly from south Bhutan to its northern part
(Simple click to enlarge the map)
Altitude rising higher increasingly from south Bhutan to its northern part.

Most of the valleys in Bhutan are below 2,500 meters, and mountain passes are generally in the range of 3,000 to 3,500 meters, which makes the country ideal for trekking. The highest mountain ranges are normally found in the northwest, decreasing slightly as you travel east along the border with Tibet, and the lowest altitude area is on the southeast, where the hilly southern areas of Bhutan meet the flat plains of the Indian State of Assam.

Bhutan Climate Map

The climate in Bhutan depends heavily on the altitude, and in the northern areas where the higher mountains reside, the weather conditions are similar to those of the Arctic, with cold, dry winters and mild dry summers with little rain. As you move south the climate changes to that of a more alpine region, with milder winters and hot wet summers due to the effects of the Indian monsoon. In the south of the country, much of the area is sub-tropical, with few cold times throughout the year, and warm winters with hot humid summers.

Bhutan Climate Map(Simple click to enlarge the map)
Bhutan Climate Map

The monsoon rains in Bhutan are not as heavy in the north and central areas as they are in the south, and while the Indian monsoon affects most of the country, heavy rain is rare in the north, even in the peak months for the monsoon. Even in the central areas, there is less rain than the south, and most of the rain falls in the late afternoon and evenings, leaving the days warm and bright. The southern region of Bhutan is where the rain is heaviest, with long days of heavy rain interspersed with days of dry to mild rains hitting the region.

Bhutan City Distance, Tourist Road and Tourist Places Map

The main cities in Bhutan are Thimphu, the Bhutanese capital; Paro, the city where the only international airport is located; Phuentsholing, the border city in the south on the border with India; Gelephu, in Sarpang District on the souther border with India; Wangdue Phodrang; and Punakha, to name a few.

Bhutan City Distance, Tourist Road and Tourist Places Map(Simple click to enlarge the map)
Bhutan City Distance, Tourist Road and Tourist Places Map

Thimphu is the capital of Bhutan, and the most populous city in the kingdom, as well as being the center for tourism. Almost all tourists that enter Bhutan head for Thimphu at the start of their vacation, and with its altitude being in the higher northwestern area of Bhutan, this modern city can get cold in the winter.

Paro, the location of the only international airport, lies a short distance to the west of Thimphu, at a similar altitude. Road connections in this area are generally good, with paved roads to most of the other major towns and cities.

In the south, Phuentsholing is a major population center on the border with India. One of the major entry points to Bhutan, the road from Phuentsholing to Thimphu and Paro is good, and travel times are better than they used to be before tourism in the country.

The main route in the country is the East-West Highway, which is known locally as the “Lateral Road”, which begins in Phuentsholing in the southwest and runs to Trashigang in the far east of the kingdom. Spurs come of the highway to head to Paro, Thimphu, and Punakha.

Bhutan Airlines - Bhutan Airlines Route Map

Bhutan totally owes four airports: Paro, Bathpalathang, Trashigang and Gelephu airports and the Paro airport serves the only international airport in Bhutan.

Bhutan International Airlines to Bordering Countries from Paro on MapBhutan International Airlines to Bordering Countries from Paro on Map

Bhutan has two major airlines, Bhutan Airlines and Druk Air, both of which are wholly Bhutanese-owned carriers. These two airlines are also the most frequently used means of transportation to get from one area of Bhutan to another, with a huge number of domestic flights running daily.

>> Check more about Flights to Bhutan

How to reach Thimphu from Lhasa by air?

There is no direct route from Lhasa to Thimphu and travelers going from Tibet to Bhutan have to travel through Nepal to get there. For the first leg of the flights, you will need to get a flight from Lhasa Gonggar International Airport to Nepal’s Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu.

Lhasa Thimphu Flight on MapAir travel from Lhasa to Para through Kathmandu in Nepal

Flights from Lhasa to Kathmandu run four times a week in the low season and daily in the peak season, taking around 90 minutes to cross the 607 kilometers across the Himalayas to the Nepali capital.

From Nepal, you can then get the direct flight to Bhutan’s Paro International Airport, which takes around 1 hour 15 minutes. The flights run with Bhutan Airlines on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday at 3:00pm, and with Druk Air daily, departing at 8:55am and 1:25pm.

Is it possible to travel by train from Lhasa to Thimphu to make overland travel?

Bhutan has no railway lines that run into the country, and while there is a line that runs from Lhasa, it currently stops at Shigatse, in Tibet. Nepal has only a very limited train system, located in two places in the south of the country, and while they do link with the vast railway network of India, for much or the journey, flights, cars, or local buses must be used to get from Lhasa to Thimphu.

What is the shortest train route from Lhasa to Thimphu through India?

Since there are no rail links between Tibet and Nepal, and through Nepal or Bhutan, the only railway you can use is the one in India. The fastest and shortest railway to get to Bhutan runs from the town of Siliguri in West Bengal to the small town of Hasimara, close to the Bhutanese border. An easy trip on just one train, with no connections, it takes around 2 hours 45 minutes to make the trip.

Delhi to Bhutan Road Map

New Delhi to Bhutan Route MapEpic long ride from New Delhi to the border Phuentsholing of Bhutan

If you are planning to take a trip to Bhutan from Delhi by road, then this is a journey of epic proportions. The easiest and fastest road route is one of 1,591 kilometers, which would take around 31 hours of continuous driving. The route first follows the major highways from Delhi, through Agra, Lucknow, Faizabad, Darbhanga, Purnea, and Siliguri, to the border town of Jaigaon.

Bhutan Trekking Map

Trekking in Bhutan is one of the major reasons for tourists traveling to the kingdom, and with the unique high-altitude trekking locations, the stunning landscapes, and beautiful alpine scenery, it is easy to see why this country has become an important trekking location in Asia.

Druk Path Trek Maps

A great introductory trek to Bhutan, this 6-day trek takes you across the mountains between Paro and Thimphu, through stunning alpine forests and past several alpine lakes. Ascending to a high point of 4,200 meters, this trek is perfect for the great views of the country’s highest mountain Gangkhar Puensum.

Druk Path Trek MapClassic short Druk Path Trek from Paro to Thimphu on Map

Dagala Thousand Lakes Trek Maps

A challenging trek that takes you to some of the country’s most fabulous alpine lakes, this six-day trek has great views of the higher peaks of the Himalayas, including Mount Everest and Kanchenjunga. The lakes are also filled with trout, so it makes a great fishing tour as well.

Dagala Thousand Lakes Trek MapRoute Map of Dagala Thousand Lakes Trek

Bumthang Culture Trek Maps

A 3-day trek that takes you around the Choekhor and Tang Valleys in central Bhutan, in the Bumthang District, this trek is an ideal first-timer trek. Passing through remote villages and past ancient temples, including the only private museum in Bhutan, this is a great trek to start with when deciding to trek in Bhutan.

Bumthang Culture Trek MapMap of short Bumthang Culture Trek

Bumthang Owl Trek Maps

A short 3-day trek that is ideal for novice trekkers in Bhutan, this delightful route gives you great views of the high mountains and allows you to experience some of Bhutan’s rural cultures at first hand. It is also renowned for the huge number of owls that reside in the bamboo and rhododendron forests, which can be seen often as you trek.

Bumthang Owl Trek MapRoute Map of Bumthang Owl Trek

Jomolhari Trek Maps

One of the most popular treks in Bhutan, the Jomolhari Trek is an eight-day trek that crosses several passes over 4,000 meters and gives you the best views of Mount Jomolhari. Ideal for more experienced trekkers, this moderate trek can also coincide with the Jomolhari Mountain Festival in the local villages.

Jomolhari Trek MapRoute Map of Jomolhari Trek

Jomolhari Loop (Soi Yaksa) Trek Maps

The shortest of the Jomolhari Treks in Bhutan, the Jomolhari Loop Trek takes you through amazing forests of rhododendrons and blue pines to the stunning Jangothang Base Camp of Jomolhari. Easier versions can also be explored, which avoid the high passes for those who do not want to risk altitude sickness.

Jomolhari Loop (Soi Yaksa) Trek MapRoute Map of Jomolhari Loop (Soi Yaksa) Trek

Snowman Trek Maps

Snowman Trek MapRoute Map of Snowman Trek Trek

Snowman Trek MapRoute Map for the Most Arduous Snowman Trek in Bhutan

The world-famous Snowman trek across the northern border of Bhutan, this immense 31-day trek is only for the experienced trekkers, and is rated as the most difficult trek in the world. Starting in Paro in the west and ending in the area of Lunana in northern Bhutan, the trek includes 11 high passes, the highest of which reaches over 5,200 meters.

Kham Sang

About the Author - Kham Sang

Kham Sang is responsible and honest with more than six years of guide experience in Tibet.She has strong interpersonal skills and can communicate effectively with tourists.

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