Day 1: Arrive at Delhi
Flights arrival in Delhi. Afternoon meeting and briefing with the group at the hotel: (introduction to the country, motorbike riding in India, Bhutan and trip programme). Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 2: Delhi – Bagdogra – Phuentsholing (175kms)
Departure by domestic flight to Bagdogra where we will join the team that will assist us during our trip and have our first contact with our motorbikes. Our representative will be there to pick you up and transfer to Sevok 30 kms where the motorbikes will be waiting for us. First familiarize yourself with the motorbike and the traffic rules of India. We drive 175 kms to Phuentsholing in approx 4h30. The drive is beautiful and very green as we cross several small towns, villages and many Tea Gardens. On arrival in Jaigaon, checkout at Indian Immigration and proceed towards Phuentsholing Bhutan where you will have to process your visa permit and your motorbike’s permit. Later in the day, we visit crocodile farm which is near the town and familiarize yourself with the traffic rules of Bhutan. Dinner will be at the hotel.
Overnight at a Hotel in Phuentsholing
Day 3: Phuentsholing - Paro (175 kms)
After breakfast,we ride up the mountains towards Paro. On the way we will visit famous KharbandiGompa from where we will have the scenic view of the plains of India. We will have to stop at further checkpoints to register our vehicles and permit numbers at Rinchending. We cross several small settlements of Gedu, Chukha and Chunzom the confluence of Pa Chu and Wang Chu. The road climbs until Gedu and thereafter settles down and we can sight couple of huge waterfalls across the river. It is about 5-6 hours of leisure ride to reach the most beautiful valley in Bhutan, Paro. Later in the evening, walk around town, try some local bars and relax.
Overnight at a Hotel/ Resort in Paro
Day 4: Paro – Thimphu (65kms)
After breakfast ride up to DrugyalDzong ruins which is 14 kms from Paro, it’s on top of a small hill overlooking a small picturesque village. After that, we visit Tigers Nest, the most famous and sacred site among all the places in Bhutan. The walk is about 2h30 till the top. One hour into the climb there is a tea point from where you get a very good view of the monastery, they also serve lunch here. After lunch we go back down and visit National Museum and depart for the capital, Thimphu. The scenic ride along Pa Chu till we reach the confluence at Chunzom is a photographer’s delight.
Overnight at Hotel/ Resort in Thimphu.
Day 5: Thimphu Halt
After a leisurely breakfast go sightseeing to a few places of interest such as School of Arts & Crafts, National Library and the Takin Preserve to see the National animal of Bhutan. From the Takin preserve we can drive a bit further up to the BBS tower to get a bird’s eye view of Thimphu city. Then ride to KuenselPhodrang aka, the Buddha Point, the tallest ‘sitting Buddha’ statue from where we will get a panoramic view of Thimphu valley, the whole of north valley and the southeast valley. Drive down to town for lunch and relax. Free for the rest of the day, you can walk around town, visit shops and bars and relax.
Overnight at Hotel/ resort in Thimphu.
Day 6: Thimphu – PunakhaPhobjikha (155 kms)
After Breakfast ride to Punakha. Punakha was the old capital of Bhutan. En route visit the 108 DrukWangyelChortens at Dochula Pass (3100m), then further down we will visit ChimmiLhakhang, continue riding to PunakhaDzong, considered to be one of the most beautiful dzongs in the country. PunakhaDzong was the capital of Bhutan until 1965. After lunch at Punakha, we stop at Lobeysa to enjoy the local market which is full of incredible faces and food. Further we ride towards Phobjikha valley, the valley where the Black Necked Cranes fly in from Tibet for the winter, they start arriving by November and fly back by March.
Overnight at Hotel/ Guest house in Phobjikha valley.
Day 7: Phobjikha – Trongsa- Chumey (145 kms)
Ride towards Trongsa, on the way we will cross another pass, Pele La (3300m) which crosses the Black Mountains, traditional boundary between west and central Bhutan and we will descend towards pretty villages like Rukubji and Chendebji. We will have lunch at Trongsa with a beautiful view of TrongsaDzong and continue a very nice ride to Bumthang. After the Yotung la pass (3400m), the dramatic scenery changes to gentle spruce and fir covered slopes. Bumthang is known as the ‘Switzerland in Bhutan’. Our hotel is in the first valley overlooking DomkharTashicholing palace at Chumey Village.
Overnight at Chumey, Bumthang
Day 8: Chumey – Ura (75 kms)
Ride to Chamkhar valley. Have lunch in town and ride towards Mebartsho (The Burning Lake), it is not a lake as such but a small stream instead which gets collected into a small pool. Get down to the highway and continue riding further towards Ura valley. From among the four major valleys in Bumthang, Ura is the highest, widest, coldest and considered the most beautiful. The village is a fine example of a Bhutanese cluster settlement.
Overnight at Ura in comfortable dome tents.
Day 9: Ura – Mongar (145 kms)
Start riding after breakfast towards Mongar. On the way we will ride through Thrumshingla National Park (Red Pandas and Tigers have been sighted in this park) and then reach Thrumshingla pass (3750m). From there on the road gets a bit rough and it’s downhill all the way till KurichuZam bridge. On the way you will come across a few villages and settlements and it gets warmer and warmer as you go down, by the time you reach the bridge it will be quite hot. From the bridge it’s about another 25 kms till Mongar. The total time on the road will be around 7- 8 hours leisure drive.
Overnight at a hotel in Mongar.
Day 10: Mongar -TrashiYangtse-Trashigang (195kms)
First part of the ride is up to a small pass, Korila pass. From here it is downhill all the way to Sershong, along the way we ride along the slopes of the mountain and the switchback roads at Yadi. We go for an excursion to TrashiYangtse. Without many trees the ride along the slope is a wonderful experience as there is nothing to block your view. We reach TrashiYangtse, one of the remotest districts of Bhutan. Ride back to Trashigang after lunch and rest for the day.
Overnight at a Hotel in Trashigang
Day 11: Trashigang – SamdrupJongkhar (180kms)
It is a long and tiring day of drive but is also one of the best stretches to drive on as you ride up to the high mountain top and ride along the ridges with beautiful scenery of mountains, the road meandering along the slopes of mountains as you gradually descend in altitude and drive southwards to the sleepy town of Wamrong, valleys and the Himalayan foothills with interesting road sign posts by the Border Roads Organisation of the Indian Army. Once you arrive in SamdrupJongkhar, do an express check out at the Immigration check point at the Bhutan-India gate as we will have to leave early next morning. The total driving time for today will be about 8-9 hours.Overnight at a Hotel in SamdrupJongkhar
Road signs on the Eastern road
Day 12: SamdrupJongkhar – Indian border - Guwahati (180 kms)
Have early breakfast, leave your motorcycles at the hotel and exit Bhutan gate and enter Assam, India in a private Indian vehicle. About 4 kms from the Bhutan gate we will have to make an entry at the Indian Immigration check point. Then drive straight to Guwahati to catch your flight to Delhi.
Delhi – Home (flight)