Phuentsoling is the second largest city in Bhutan after Thimphu. Being the border town of Bhutan, the town further stands as the administrative seat of the Chukha District which falls under the southern province. The town is widely known for its phenomenal Bhutan Gate that stands as a prominent landmark of separation between the two countries (India and Bhutan).
For the people who are traveling to Bhutan via roadways, Phuentsholing serves as the “point of entry and exit”. The town even serves as the center for obtaining entry permits/permit renewal for the tourists. Contrary to the other cities and places in Bhutan, Phuentsoling has modernized planning systems without Dzongs. (Dzongs are a massive fortress with a distinctive architectural style, commonly found in Bhutan. Example- Punakha Dzong, Ringpung Dzong, Wangdue Phodrang Dzong, etc.)
Due to its close proximity with the neighboring Indian town Jaigaon the town earns importance as a mercantile hub. It serves as a crux trading hub for exporting and importing goods to and from the country. Once you cross the border, you will be bewildered to find the difference between the two cities-Jaigaon and Phuentsoling. The latter is far more peaceful, hygienic, systematic, disciplined, well-planned well-maintained as compared to the former.
Every day, hundreds of Bhutanese and Indians cross the border. In fact, Phuentsoling is a good place to mingle with the locals. The Bhutan Gate is the most photographed place of attraction in Phutensholing, which is reasonable due to its uniqueness and appeal.
Phuentsholing has few interesting places of attractions that include Zangto Pelri Lhakhang- which is located in the middle of the town and can be accessible by walking just a short distance. Another one is Amo Chhu Crocodile Breeding Centre reachable after a 20 minutes distance from the town. Karbandi Monastery, Chukha Hydropower Plant, Phuentsholing Viewpoint, Phuentsholing Market, and the Phuentsholing Gate are some of the major attractions of Phuentsholing.
You can explore these places simply in a day’s extent. Apart from exploring the city, you can indulge in shopping and try lip smacking Bhutanese cuisine. If you are looking for seclusion and peaceful ambience, then you shouldn’t miss visiting Phuentsholing Park, which is perfectly maintained and serves as a prompt getaway for recreation. The Park remains as one of the oldest and famous parks in town. If you’re seeking for an element of spirituality, Zangto Pelri Lhakhang serves your quest.
The town serves as a perfect weekend getaway destination for the people who find it tough to deal with the cold climatic conditions of the lofty regions like Thimphu and Paro.
Also Read: Samtse, Bhutan
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No. You cannot enter into Phuentsholing without a permit, so staying without one is impossible. The second largest town in Bhutan after Thimphu, Phuentsholing lies adjacent to Jaigaon. It is the only gateway town to access Bhutan via roadways
The distance between Phuentsholing and Hasimara is 19.6km. It takes about 37 minutes by a car to reach Phuentsholing from Hasimara via NH317A.
Jaigaon is an Indian border town. It lies close to Phuentsholing bordered just by a wall and the eye-catching Phuentsholing Gate.
The distance between Thimphu and Phuentsholing is 146.8 km. It takes about 4hours drive from Phuntsholing via Thimphu Highway to reach the Capital and the largest city of Bhutan.
Indian Currency is accepted in Bhutan. However, one cannot be certain about the new currency notes of 500 and 2000. You can carry up to 25,000 INR in cash.
You can hire a private taxi or, opt for a car rental service in Siliguri to reach Jaigaon. You can even board public buses and jeeps to get to Jaigaon from Siliguri Junction. Once you reach Jaigaon, go to the immigration office to get your entry permits made because you cannot enter into Bhutan without it.
Make sure to carry more than 4 passport size photos and photocopies of your Voter ID/Aadhar Card/PAN Card to get an entry permit to Bhutan.