Samdrup: Bhutan border town visit from Guwahati

On my last day in Guwahati, I was contemplating visiting Kaziranga National Park, which is about 150 kms from Guwahati. But with an evening flight out of town, it looked a bit tight. RajivVerma suggested we can go to Bhutan border village instead, which is 100 kms from Guwahati. He was also kind enough to accompany me. Visiting Bhutan border was not on my original agenda and suddenly it looked like a great prospect, so opted try it out.

Checked out early, first went to Hajo, then headed towards Bhutan border town of Samdrup. Rajiv Verma joined enroute and we took off. The road was wide and nice, we passed through some villages and village markets. A bit of tea gardens were also seen on the way. Small goats wandering randomly on the highway were the sole hurdle to be cautious about.


Samdrup is not the border to use if you really intend to enter Bhutan and proceed to interiors, say capital Paro. Jaigon is the one, but that is 350 kms from Guwahati. I think Gelephu is another entry point.

Samdrup is a border town into which Indians and their vehicles can enter freely. Just need to show our driving license and one can go inside. Passengers need to get down and walk separately.

We roamed around, went to end of village, where there’s a separate check post to let vehicles further into Bhutan- only Bhutan residents and their vehicles can cross this check post. Indians are not allowed beyond this point. Indians need to use other two entry points
Next stopped at the monastery- photography was not allowed inside. A bright red Toyota Hilux pickup was welcoming us. Several students and monks reside in the campus. A court building was adjacent- learnt that Bhutan has very very low crime rate.


Next we went to the market. Apparently Tuesday is the weekly off for markets here- most shops were closed and streets were almost deserted. Few hotels were open, we went into one of them. Rajiv handpicked a supposed to be spicy local dish for me- I was asked if I prefer green chilly or red chilly. I opted for the later. The dish consisted rice, dal and this special spicy curry. I got some local currency as well- it is 1:1 and shops in this border town accept both Indian and Bhutan currency.


That’s it. Bhutan visit ended! Short and sweet. Of course there’s more to Bhutan- we should explore Paro and the rest of Bhutan to get better feel of it. Not sure when I will be able to do that- for now, this is good enough.

Another hour or so we were back in Guwahati!
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9 comments:

  1. Quite a short visit. Glad to know about this border town.

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  2. Nice peek into Bhutan. Possibly my next destination

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  3. I like this idea of grabbing unscheduled opportunities that come up . Travel is fun when it feeds your curiosity.
    Ashok

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  4. That's the beauty of travel! :-) A sudden change of plans and you are in a new place! Hope you get to Bhutan and explore it from coast to coast.

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  5. Had no idea about this border town... hope you get visit Bhutan soon :)

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  6. Wonderful Shrinidhi, though I do not know why I do not stop following you, each time you share your travels, I feel envious, I have request when ever you travel, just dedicate one photo to me, then I can claim to be an armchair traveller. :) Keep it up Shrinidhi proud of you.

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  7. Great to read. Beautiful pics. Thanks a lot for sharing.

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  8. @Rupam= Thanks

    @Sharmila Rao - I am not traveling much compared to many other travel bloggers... This is very little...

    @Swati- Technically I have visited Bhutan... Say hope I get to visit rest of Bhutan...

    @Renuka- I am sure a day will come to explore rest of Bhutan

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