Sunday 11 August 2019

Samdrup Jongkhar: A small town near Indo-Bhutan Border

Today is 11th August 2019 and without having any previous planning me and my family decided to visit Samdrup Jongkhar, the Gateway to Eastern Bhutan is a small town in Bhutan near the Indo-Bhutan border. The location is approximately 110 km away from Guwahati, Assam and takes around 2.5 hours to reach by road. Although the place is in Bhutan, you need no pass/permit or passport to cross the border and you can enter the town without any hassle. You will only require to register your name address, vehicle details, and some basic information at the border gate. Make sure you are carrying a valid driving license and the documents of the vehicle you are driving. Unlike India the rules in Bhutan are strict and here are few of them that the border security mentioned to us during our visit:
  • Do not drink and drive.
  • Do not honk unnecessarily.
  • Do not overtake from the left-hand side while driving.
  • Park your vehicle in a proper parking area only.
  • Do not enter a 'one-way' road in the wrong direction. Ask for directions to the locals or the officials if you are confused.
  • Do not litter the place. Throw trash in the garbage bins only. Bhutanese people strictly believe in "Clean Bhutan, Green Bhutan".

As soon as you enter into Bhutan it becomes prominent that the place is noticeably silent and clean. You will not find even a piece of paper on the road and there are plenty of garbage bins in every corner of the streets. Even though it is not India people of Bhutan can speak almost fluent Hindi language and also the Indian Rupee is widely accepted there as well. The locals here are really friendly and polite.

Since we were on a short one day trip, we could not enter further into Bhutan as it requires pass/permit to cross the 'immigration gate'. Passes can be obtained from the border gate itself. The difference between both countries is huge and can be noticed as soon as you cross the border. It is something that you can only experience when you visit Bhutan yourself.

Location: Guwahati, Assam, India


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