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Viktorianz

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An air of mystery surrounds the hidden mountain Kingdom of Bhutan, that has been called many names including The Kingdom of Happiness, the Last Shangri-la, and the Land of the Thunder Dragon. Bhutan is a country that measures the prosperity of its citizens based on their Gross National Happiness, as opposed to the commonly used GDP; a country that believes that modernization doesn't necessarily mean westernization.

Spend 13 days riding from India into the Royal Kingdom of Bhutan, cruising through streets with no traffic lights, covering more than 2,000km on this curated tour from Viktorianz. If you are unable to get your own bike, Viktorianz is able to provide a rental Royal Enfield or KTM Duke 390, which will be transported from Delhi as good rentals are not available locally in Bhutan. The operator is also able to accommodate pillion riders and family members who would like to join the trip in an SUV.

Feel free to view this video by Nitin Das:10 Paths of Happiness

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ACTIVITY LEVEL
Medium
OPERATOR

Viktorianz

Itinerary

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Arrive at Bagdogra airport in the morning, from where you will be transferred for lunch at a hotel in Siliguri. Bikes will be allotted, followed by a ride brief and if everyone arrives by noon we will stage up to a retreat about 70 km into the Jungle. We'll ride through the thick forests of the famous Dooars - the foothills of the Himalayas. In the evening there will be some paperwork for your Bhutan Entry and we'll have an interesting Indian welcome dinner.
We depart early in the morning by 7 am to ride from your hotel to the border town of Phuntsholing. You'll ride through enchanting woods, rivers and streams and cross lush green plantations where Darjeeling tea is grown. We will stop for tea en route, then continuing through typical North Bengal towns we'll take a turn off the highway north at Hashimara to reach Jaigaon or Phuntsholing. We plan to reach Bhutan by 11 am. This is also the day to complete border formalities and vehicle permits. We stay overnight at a hotel in the border town of Phuntsholing where you will already distinctly notice that the culture has changed.
Today we ride with packed breakfasts, embarking on a journey through the mist and winding roads. It could rain during the ride, adding to the ambience of the mystical destination you are now entering. On the way we'll make a few stops at local tea houses and Dantak canteen. Permits will need to be stamped at a few places along the way. Once closer to Thimphu, we will slow down and ride into the capital city. We should be in our hotel by late afternoon, weather permitting. There are no traffic lights in Bhutan. Thimpu is also the place to obtain permits for your journey into central and eastern Bhutan in days to come.
After an early breakfast at the hotel, we will ride to some tourist spots in Thimphu and then in the afternoon we will ride to the beautiful Paro valley. We will check in to our hotel and take a trip to the National Museum in Paro. The rest of the evening is free to explore the local market, archery or dart games. Paro is a beautiful valley with some nice cafes and bars.
This is not a riding day, but a day to hike up the Tigress Nest and be back by afternoon - this is an activity we strongly recommend for everyone, as it is the number one thing to do in Bhutan and the most revered seat of Buddhism. For those who are not taking the trek- you could ride around the town and see Paro Dzong. Or just laze around the beautiful resort, sit by the gushing mountain stream, watch planes landing at Paro airport or just read a book.
Today begins with a good ride into the hills back to Thimphu on the way to Central Bhutan. This time we will not enter Thimphu but take a bypass road to Dochula. We will stop for some photos at Dorchula Pass - 108 Chortens - a war memorial built to commemorate the victory over Assamese insurgents. On a good day you get the best of Bhutan's Himalayan views from here. Afterwards, the ride is a little rough all the way to Punakha Dzong - the most photogenic Dzong in Bhutan. Before reaching Punakha we will take an interesting detour to the Temple of the Mad Lama - Chimi Lakhang - and listen to the story of flying phalluses. We will then ride along some nice village roads to reach the Punakha Dzong and hotel - time permitting we can see the Dzong this evening, or postpone it to the next morning. Our resort is about 4km up the hill, and has some of the finest views of Punakha valley.
Today is a rough riding day again, due to reconstruction and road widening happening in Central Bhutan, which may take another year or two to finish. We need to ride steadily to reach the Phobjikha valley. It is world famous for the rare black necked cranes that fly here in the winter from the Tibetan plateau. We spend a night here immersed in the pristine nature of the valley. In the evening you could walk up to the Gangtey Monastery and listen to the fable of black necked cranes.
After an early breakfast we ride towards Trongsa, the thin road that takes you to Central Bhutan. Trongsa has a beautiful Dzong that will become visible as we ride down the hill towards the town. There will be a stop for lunch and refueling at Trongsa. You could also stroll down the Dzong. We then quickly ride out to another lonely, winding road to reach Bumthang valley before evening. Spot the archery clubs as you ride. Bumthang valley is as lush as the Swiss countryside. It's a lovely ride through the day - the roads are mostly good - except at places where the widening of road is going on. If we are in good time we could ride straight to the famous Red Panda Beer Garden and see the Bumthang Micro Brewery. Overnight stay will be at a beautiful resort overlooking the Bumthang valley.
It's a long riding day today. The day will begin with an optional visit to one of the oldest temples in Bhutan. As you ride deeper into the less explored parts of Bhutan, you'll find solitude in the pristine natural environment. Do not miss the classic vistas of Ura Valley and the Cloud Valley. The entire day is spent riding along some of the most exotic valleys, roads and passes. The roads are mostly thin but nice today. You'll ride to the mountain top hamlet of Mongar to stay overnight.
We have a late morning start today. Before the ride, you can walk around the town in the morning, and see first-hand the simplicity of this bustling town, just coming to terms with modernism. On this day we ride out to the eastern most tip of Bhutan that borders Arunachal Pradesh. We cross the town to reach our resort - one of the best locations to spend the evening. We will stay overnight at the beautiful Lodge in Trashigang.
Today will be a long ride as you travel back to India, via the beautiful town of Deothang and Samdrup Jongkhar that borders Assam. The day will begin pretty early. During the course of the day, the weather goes from cold to cool to warm to somewhat hot and humid. Based on your itinerary and starting time there are various option for stops today - we may either stay at Somdrup Jongkhar or cross the border and then take a turn west on some broken village roads to Manas National Park. The road to the national park is not so good. Overnight stay could be at Manas National Park. We shall decide this before the start of the ride.
This is your last day of ride. We ride out in the morning and ride long stretches to be in Siliguri by afternoon. You would pass through some of the most beautiful landscapes of rural Assam and North Bengal. We would again take a route passing through the tea gardens. Overnight stay at the hotel in Siliguri.
Today we shall deposit our bikes and check into our hotel. Then we will transfer you to the airport for your flight back home. You could also take an add on tour to Darjeeling or Gangtok (Optional). Please let us know of this beforehand and we would be happy to organize everything for you. Our Bhutan expert Gp Capt Ram or 'Kat' can be reached on +91-7024 142 707 for any consultation, advice or customization.
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