When my college best friend Jamyang inivted me to her wedding in Bhutan, I excitedly said yes. My parents, however, were less than enthused. My dad, preceeding the days leading to my departure, showed me videos on YouTube of flights landing and taking offfrom Paro Airport. “Look at how steep the mountains are!” he said. As an adrenaline junkie, I was secretly looking forward to the experience.
On the day of my flight, I was excited, albeit stressed by the workweek and impending airport transfers. A flight to Bhutan can only take offfrom either India or Bangkok, so I chose the Bangkok route from Suvarnabhumi Airport. I landed in Bangkok at night, and like a true millennial traveler, spent the night in Hotel Boxtel at Suvarnabhumi Airport. The room was a little bigger than the bed and the bathroom was the public airport toilet, but the bed was softand the sheets were clean, and it was a better option than sleeping in an airport chair or leaving the terminal for another hotel.
Because of Bhutan’s mountainous region, flights to and from are restricted from sunset to sunrise. My Bhutan Airlines was the early morning option, just in time for Jamyang’s religious ceremony. The flight was smooth sailing, with a tasty Indian dish for breakfast. Jamyang reassured me that Prince William and Kate Middleton, on their trip to the landlocked Himalayan region, had no problems landing. Indeed, the pilots who fly Bhutan Airlines and Druk Air (the other national airline) are some of the very best in the world, with training specifically geared for the mountainous area.