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8 Day Guided Essential Bhutan Motorcycle Tour

Dooars, Jalpaiguri, Jalpaiguri District, West Bengal, India

The Fabled Land of Bhutan Motorcycle Tour

The fabled land of Bhutan - the land of Thunder Dragon - is known for its natural heritage, dense forests, mountains, and extraordinarily pristine environment. Contentment and happiness are in harmony with nature everywhere you go in Bhutan. There is nothing like a simple journey through Bhutan, and on a motorcycle - well there is no match to that. If you are a person who is looking for an offbeat holiday destination, with family or solo, Bhutan is an exceptional destination for a week.

Key Information

  • Terrain: mix of off-road track and asphalt
  • Bike: rental (Royal Enfield)
  • Mileage: more than 1,000 kilometers / 621 miles
  • Daily rides: 150 - 200 kilometers / 93 - 124 miles
  • Meals: 7 breakfasts and lunches en route

Highlights

  • Starts and ends in Siliguri
  • Ride through the thick forests of the Dooars
  • Cross lush green tea plantations known as Darjeeling tea
  • Take a trip to the National Museum of Bhutan
  • Stopover at Dochula Pass for some photos
  • Trek and hike up to the Tiger's Nest
  • 7 nights' accommodation
  • Airport transfers

Skill level

  • Intermediate

Styles


6 riding days
Airport transfer included: Bagdogra Airport
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Accommodation

Your accommodation for twelve nights will be in a twin sharing basis at good mid-range hotels.

Program

Day 1: Bagdogra Airport (IXB) - Arrival, briefing, and a ride to Dooars

This is the day when you will be picked up at Bagdogra Airport (IXB) and brought to a hotel in Siliguri. Once everyone has arrived, Viktorianz Bespoke Adventure Travels allots the bikes, your horse for the next two weeks or so.

You then do a ride and traffic briefing. After that, you ride through the thick forests of the famous Himalayan foothills, the Dooars. In the evening, Viktorianz Bespoke Adventure Travels does some essential paperwork for your Bhutan immigration formalities. An interesting Indian dinner awaits you today.

Day 2: Siliguri to Phuntsholing

The ride starts early, by 7 a.m., and sees you ride from the hotel to the border town of Phuentsholing. Today, you ride through the thick jungles of the famous Dooars - the foothills of Himalayas. You’ll ride through enchanting woods, rivers, and streams and cross lush green tea plantations - known around the world as the Darjeeling Tea Estates. You will stop for some local tea flavors en route, and then ride through typical North Bengal towns to reach Jaigaon or Phuntsholing - the border towns of Bhutan. The plan is to reach Phontsholing by 10 a.m.

On this day, you will also complete border formalities and vehicle permits. You will stay overnight at a hotel in Phuntsholing. The change in culture and, of course, traffic conditions could drastically change as you step into Bhutan. You are in a kingdom that is just not in a hurry.

Day 3: Phuntsholing to Paro

Today, you’ll embark on a journey through misty and winding roads. Note that it could rain and be foggy for some or most of your ride, but this will only add to the mystical and nature filled destination you are now entering. On the way, you’ll make a few stops at local teahouses and Dantak food canteen. There are a few places your permits will be stamped. All going well and with the weather on your side, winding through the mountain roads, you should be in your hotel in the beautiful valley of Paro by late afternoon or evening.

Day 4: Paro - Tiger's Nest trek, trekking day

This is not a riding day; instead, you’ll trek up to the Taktsang Palphug Monastery, more popularly known as the Tiger’s Nest. This is one activity we strongly recommend for everyone. It is the number 1 'thing to do' in Bhutan and the most revered seat of Buddhism. Guru Padmasambhava meditated here, who is believed to have introduced Buddhism in Bhutan.

Those who are not joining the trek can do the halfway walk to a beautiful café where they can savor Godly views of Taktsang instead. In the evening, just ride around the town or go and see the Drukgyal Dzong (built in 1647).

Day 5: Ride to Thimphu and local tour

After a relaxed morning and breakfast at the hotel, you ride out to the capital city of Thimphu. There are no traffic lights in Bhutan, hence some circuitous routes to your hotel will be necessary. You visit the memorial Chorten built in the memory of the late King and also ride to the Shakyamuni Buddha statue - Buddha Dordenema, which was built to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the fourth King, Jigme Singye Wangchuck.

In the afternoon, you visit Motithang Zoo to see Takin, the national animal of Bhutan (a goat and a cow cross, found only in this part of the world). On the way back from the zoo, you can take a walk around the majestic Thimphu Dzong and local market place.

Day 6: Thimphu to Punakha

Today, it’s a good ride through the beautiful Dorchula Pass, also known as the gateway to Central Bhutan. You’ll stop for some photo ops at the Pass and the 108 Chortens (a war memorial built to commemorate the victory of Bhutan Army over the Assamese insurgents). On a good day, you’ll get the best of Himalayan views from here. It’s then a nice ride all the way to Punakha Dzong, also known as Pungtang Dewa Chhenbi Phodrang (meaning a place of great happiness or bliss), which was built by Ngawang Namgyal, 1st Zhabdrug Rinpoche in 1637-38. It is the most photogenic Dzong in Bhutan. Your resort is about 4 kilometers up the hill, affording you some of the finest views of Punakha Valley.

Day 7: Punakha to Dooars

Today, you begin retracing your steps with a long ride back to Phuntsholing on the way to Dooars. You should be in the local North Bengal town of Chalsa, by late afternoon for a stay in a serene hotel in the Himalayan foothills. This is your last night of the ride, so do some catch up of the days gone by.

Day 8: Ride to Siliguri and fly out

It’s a couple of hours ride doing just about 100 kilometers. You will leave the hotel in the late morning and reach the busy town of Siliguri by noon. The bikes are returned and you’re free to fly out at a time that suits you. Viktorianz shall arrange your drop to the airport.

Notes

From Viktorianz Bespoke Adventure Travels' vast mileage in Bhutan, this is one of the best plans to immerse in the un-paralleled Himalayan landscape. Viktorianz Bespoke Adventure Travels is, however, open to handcraft a travel plan for you to suit your needs. This tour is family friendly. The ladies are most welcome to join in.

Location

This tour will take place in Bhutan. Bhutan as a country has always remained elusive and there is an air of mysticism about this hidden mountain of Himalaya Kingdom.

Here, Viktorianz Bespoke Adventure Travels is then, on Viktorianz Bespoke Adventure Travels' signature ride to the Kingdom of Happiness, the Last Shangri-La, the Land of Thunder Dragon, nation that prefers Gross National Happiness to GDP, the nation that believes modernization need not be westernization, the nation that has no traffic lights, and the nation whose priority is to promote village and community culture.

There is contentment, happiness, compassion, and in harmony with natural elements, everywhere. Well, many in the world believe that every nation in the world should aspire to be Bhutan. There is nothing like a simple journey through Bhutan and on a motorcycle ride, well, there is no match to that.

Food

You will be served twelve breakfasts at the hotels and lunches en route.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Drinks

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

  • Archery
  • Dart games
  • Exploring the local market in Thimphu
  • Riding around Paro and seeing the Paro Dzong
  • Visiting one of the oldest temples in Bhutan

What's included

  • 7 nights stay in good, mid-range hotels with breakfast
  • Motorcycle hire (500cc Royal Enfield) for the duration of the ride
  • A tour leader on a motorcycle
  • Fuel
  • Repair and maintenance support with fast running spare parts (like punctures, etc)
  • Transfers at Bagdogra Airport to the ride start point
  • Border permits and motorcycle immigration fees at Phuentsholing and inner area permits at Thimphu
  • Tickets to tourist places as per itinerary

What's not included

  • 5% GST or royalty to non-Indian tourists
  • All lunches and dinners
  • Personal, medical or travel insurances (Viktorianz recommends you do it yourself)
  • Laundry, tips, souvenirs, tea, snacks, personal expenses
  • Costs arising out of unforeseen circumstances
  • Any damages to the motorcycle are to be paid for by the rider

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Bagdogra Airport (IXB). Transfer from and to the airport is included. Viktorianz Bespoke Adventure Travels will pick you up from the airport.

Airport: Bagdogra Airport Airport transfer included: Bagdogra Airport No additional charges. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 30% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid on arrival.

Value for money
Accommodation & facilities
Food
Location
Quality of activity
8 days / 7 nights
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Availability

Start: Tuesday November 10, 2020
End: Tuesday November 17, 2020

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