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.
Here we are then, far away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life on our signature 8 day Essential Bhutan tour to the Kingdom of Happiness. “The Last Shangri-La”, the nation that prefers Gross National Happiness to GDP, the nation that believes modernisation need not be westernisation, the nation that has no traffic lights and the nation whose priority is to promote village and community culture.
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 bike rides are an exceptional destination for a week. Check out this video about our motorcycle tour to Bhutan:
If you have a pillion or family who wants to come along in a car or a SUV, we can arrange that for you. From our vast mileage in Bhutan, this is one of the best tours to immerse yourself in the unparalleled Himalayan landscape. We are open to hand craft an Essential Bhutan travel plan for you. This Bhutan bike trip is family friendly - the ladies and children are most welcome to join in.
Start - Bagdogra, Siliguri
Finish - Bagdogra, Siliguri
Riders will be received at Bagdogra Airport and brought to their hotel in Siliguri. Once everyone has arrived, bikes will be allotted - your horse for next week or so. We then do an introduction to your bikes and traffic, a small ride and a tour briefing. In the evening, we’ll complete some essential paperwork for Bhutan immigration formalities.
The ride starts early (by 7am), and sees us 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. We will stop for some local tea flavours en route, and then ride through typical North Bengal towns to reach Jaigaon or Phuntsholing - the border towns of Bhutan. We plan to reach Phontsholing by 10am.
On this day, we will also complete border formalities and vehicle permits. We 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.
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, we’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 our side, winding through the mountain roads, we should be in our hotel in the beautiful valley of Paro by late afternoon or evening.
This is not a riding day; instead, we’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 savour Godly views of Taktsang instead. In the evening, just ride around the town or go and see the Drukgyal Dzong (built in 1647).
After a relaxed morning and breakfast at the hotel, we 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.
We 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, we 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, we can take a walk around the majestic Thimphu Dzong and local market place.
Today, it’s a good ride through the beautiful Dorchula Pass, also known as the gateway to Central Bhutan. We’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 Ngwang Namgyal, 1st Zhabdrug Rinpoche in 1637-38. It is the most photogenic Dzong in Bhutan. Our resort is about 4kms up the hill, affording you some of the finest views of Punakha Valley.
Today, we begin retracing our steps with a long ride back to Phuntsholing on the way to Dooars. We 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.
It’s a couple of hours ride doing just about 100kms. We 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. We shall arrange your drop to the airport.
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- 7 nights stay in good, mid range hotels with breakfast
- Motorcycle hire (500 cc Royal Enfield) for the duration of the ride
- A tour leader on motorcycle
- 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
- 5% GST or royalty to non Indian tourists.
- All lunches and dinners
- Personal, medical or travel insurances (we recommend 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
- Ride with own Bike : INR 60,000 + GST
- Pillion Rider or Seat in Back Up SUV : INR 55,000 + GST
- Add on Standard Royal Enfield 500 cc with Fuel : +INR 20,000 + GST
- Add on for RE Himalayan with Fuel : +INR 23,000 + GST
- Seat in a Chauffeur Driven SUV : INR 55,000 + GST