Bhutan — Transportation
Bhutan Taxis and Car Rental
The cost of transportation by car with an experienced driver/guide is included in the daily tourism rate, making renting a self-drive vehicle through a local travel agency unnecessary. Visitors are not at present allowed to rent a car or drive in Bhutan. The condition of the single national highway and the mountain roads and passes means driving is best left to the locals while in Bhutan, leaving visitors to concentrate on the stunning 360-degree views!
Although taxis are found in the major tourist cities and areas, care should be taken as many are not regulated and few are metered. There is a tendency for drivers to hike fares beyond a reasonable rate, making taxi travel an expensive option. Additionally, drivers are not always reliable nor are their vehicles properly maintained so it’s best to stick with bus travel or the car and driver supplied as part of your visitor package for both longer and shorter trips.
Bhutan Trains and Buses
There are no trains in Bhutan, with public transport only available by bus service in districts where metalled roads exist. Buses are invariably crowded and uncomfortable, with poor road conditions making things worse. Bhutan Post Express and Dawa Transport are two of the many local firms which offer minibus services, or Karma Transport and Leksol Bus Services use the comfortable Toyota Coasters, a better bet for longer journeys.
In the east of the country, travelers have been known to arrive at the bus station to be confronted by an ancient truck with seats in the back! Four buses leave daily from Thimphu to Paro, Punakha, and Phuentsholing. Fares are very cheap, but using the car and driver provided with your tourism package is definitely still recommended and far more comfortable.