Riding the bus from the terminal in Bangkok, Suvarnabhumi Airport, the air-conditioning is cold, blowing hard against the heat of the city. For what seems like an hour, we ride to the far end of the runway to find our Bhutan Airlines plane waiting on the tarmac. Once the bus arrives, we climb the stairs to board the plane. Hopefully, it won’t be raining as we make our way onto the plane.
We are greeted with kind folk, welcoming us onto the flight and directing us to the proper seat. The excitement is at a fever pitch, imaging travel into one of the most remote kingdoms in the world, a trip very few have taken.
As we settle in, we get ready for our trip with a first stop in India and the final destination, Paro Bhutan. We take off and head around the Andaman Sea toward India, landing in Kolkata, a huge trade port in eastern India. The stop is short and we soon take off again to Bhutan.
If we are lucky, the clouds part enough for us to see Mt. Everest in the distance as we fly into far western Bhutan. The plane descends through the clouds flying just above the mountain tops into the country. Unlike many flights in the world, the Bhutan flights huge the mountainsides, following the contours of the mountains as the plane descends into the Paro valley. At the last minute, the plane makes a sharp descent to the runway and a very quick stop.
The flight is like nothing most folks have ever experienced and the exhilaration is real. We walk off the plane much like we came aboard, walking down stairs on the tarmac. We make our way into a small building and the customs check before walking into the kingdom of Bhutan for the first time.
After a brief bag and passport check, we exit the building and meet our guide, Namgay. For the next week or so, he will lead us across the country and to a wide variety of places that reveal the unusual and wonderful quality of Bhutan. By the time we are finished, we will never want to leave!
The flight into Bhutan is amazing! Take a look at this video and let me know what you think!