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The First Step to a Holiday of a Lifetime

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Bhutan - Thunder Dragon Adventure


BUT - 6to7
This has been an amazing trip! Bhutan is a truly fascinating country ...and we had some fantastic motorcycle riding - sometimes a bit hairy! The accommodation was far better than I had anticipated, and everyone we met was very friendly. Much of the success of the trip is due to our excellent guide, Alam. He was always cheerful, always helpful and he had a very strong feeling of responsibility for the group. His knowledge of the country and its culture, and him speaking the language helped a lot. We learned a lot about India from him. Also our Bhutanese guide, Bhim, was a cheerful and positive chap, who freely gave from his vast knowledge about Bhutan. So this trip has been one of my best journeys - so far... I just might come back for more!

Ulf Leander, Sweden, 2010

It seems a lifetime ago that I was treated like a Lord by your team. I have nothing but praise. Perhaps the roads could have been a little rougher but then I never fell off! All in all a trip to remember. The most money I have ever spent on a holiday but with what we got it was a bargain. God willing I will be back.

John Stone, UK, 2008

Highlights

  • The unspoilt forests, valleys and mountains.
  • Abundant wildlife including rare Himalayan species
  • Takstang (Tiger’s Nest) monastery
  • Drukyel Dzong
  • Magnificent views of the Himalayan peaks
  • Nikka Shu road, carved out of the side of a cliff overlooking the Mangde Chu River.
  • Local culture – the gracious Bhutanese have kept their identity over the centuries.

Itinerary

DAY 1 ARRIVE DELHI. After your overnight flight, we will greet you personally upon your arrival and drive you to our airport hotel in an A/C minibus. Relax and refresh after your long international flight. Welcome dinner party tonight . Metropolitan Hotel.

DAY 2 DELHI - SILIGURI. Rising early we catch the morning flight to Bagdogra, West Bengal, and then on to our hotel in Siliguri. After lunch we'll meet the tour crew waiting with the motorcycles and have a briefing to cover safety precautions, touring style, road conditions, and check personal equipment, with time to select our bikes and become familiar with starting procedures, control layouts and bike handling. We'll discuss our tour route and give you map/info packets at dinner together tonight. Cindrella Hotel. 

DAY 3 SILIGURI - DARJEELING (70 km). After a leisurely breakfast we head out for our first day on the bikes, We soon escape the manic roads of the city and wend our way through West Bengali flatlands before starting our climb up and off the plains and into the cooler, wetter heights of the Himalaya foothills. The roads to Darjeeling are well paved and rife with bend after hairpin bend! The short 70 km takes much longer than expected and the crowded, picturesque streets of Darjeeling are a welcoming sight. Darjeeling is known as the "queen of the hill stations," famous as a trading post and hill station retreat of the British Raj, made all the more famous for the many tea plantations on its flanks, and most importantly the mighty views of the Himalaya and especially K2 to the northwest. We stay in the centre of the busiest market right to the top of the ridge where there are views of the Himalaya from our hotel windows again. A night on the town of old Darjeeling in one of their night dinner clubs with live music on the summit of the ridge mall. Himalayan Resort.

DAY 4 DARJEELING – PHUNTSHOLING (320 km). We ride down from Darjeeling through tea plantations on an incredibly steep blacktop lane through villages balanced on sides of hills. We descend to the Teesta River again and across the plains of West Bengal. Resembling southeast Asia more than northern India, this area has herds of wild elephant and leopards. As a contrast to the vast mountain regions we have ridden through, it complements the varied landscape covered on this tour.  Overnight on the border town of India and Bhutan, Arriving in Phuntsholing, we start the visa formalities to cross the border in the morning and start our ride through the Thunder Dragon kingdom. Lhaki Hotel.

IND - Bhutan PoliceDAY 5 PHUNTSHOLING - PARO (260 km).  After breakfast we start early, allowing ample time to view the mountain scenery and distant waterfalls as we climb our first pass, Chapch-La. Descending to the beautiful Wangshu River Valley through dense forest, we meet the confluence of the Paro River, where we cross the bridge and head up the secluded river valley road, past the only international airport in the country, to the iconic taktsong, the Tiger’s Nest Monastery, perched high on the side of the cliff. Dechen Hill Resort. 

DAY 6 PARO – THIMPU (60 km). Today’s short ride to Thimpu gives us a terrific opportunity for a morning hike to the Tiger’s Nest. Paro is also home to the famous Drukgyal Dzong and the National Museum, housed in an old watchtower above the palace. Thimpu’s nightlife is not to be missed this evening! Phuntsho Pelri.

DAY 7 THIMPHU - WANGDI (130 km). After exploring the capital city and a tour of Jigme Dorji Wangchuk Memorial Chorten with our Bhutanese guide this morning, we have lunch in one of the local Bhutanese restaurants before climbing out of Thimphu to the Dochu La pass at 3100 m . There are prayer flags everywhere on the summit and views of the magnificent Himalaya  panorama and the giant peaks of Lunana. The road then descends over 1700 m in 26 km as we pass first temperate forest, then semi-tropical with orange, banana and bamboo.  We arrive at the busy town of Wangdi, perched on a spur at the confluence of the rivers, with a mighty Dzong fortress built on the rocks above town, and our cozy guest house in the centre of the market. Dragon’s Nest Hotel..BUT - 9to10

DAY 8 WANGDI - BUMTHANG VALLEY (300 km). After a hearty breakfast we continue our way east across the length of Bhutan on the only road across the kingdom. The road flattens for 12 km then begins the climb over Black Mountain and our next pass, Pele-La at 3300 m, where we'll see yaks grazing and views of the Chomolhari Range in Western Bhutan. Another 1500 m descent takes us to Nikka Shu bridge through forest and dwarf bamboo. The road is carved out of the side of the cliff above the Mangde Chu River and there is forest for as far as the eye can see, with the famous Trongsa Dzong visible 12 km away. We ride to our lunch and a quick visit to Trongsa Dzong, the largest in the country, before heading over the last smaller pass to Jakar, our destination in the beautiful Bumthang Valley. Enjoying the hospitality of our famous guest house, we settle into a country home dinner and the blazing wood stoves. Wangdicholing Hotel.

DAY 9 BUMTHANG – MONGAR (310 km). The longest day’s ride of the tour, and one of the most spectacular, as we "ride the high ridges" from Bumthang Valley to Mongar. Where most visitors to Bhutan rarely even make it as far as Bumthang Valley, we intrepid explorers thump on past over the high passes to the very centre of the kingdom. Vast forests for as far as the eye can see in every direction, mixed with extraordinary views of the high Himalayan snow-capped peaks, reward us for our ride through Shangri-La. Our cozy guest house is in the centre of town. Wangchuck Hotel. 

DAY 10 MONGAR - TASHIGANG (80 km). We have the morning to explore Mongar and surrounds before heading the relatively short distance to Tashigang through dense forest with howling Grey Langur monkeys to the jewel of eastern Bhutan, Tashigang. This is as far east as we will be able to travel in Bhutan at this time, after Tashigang the roads become less maintained and grown over, the people are tribal and all becomes wilder. Most traffic is by horse and on trails.  The town has a new university where many students from all over Bhutan study. We stay in a Bhutanese style guest house at the very top of town with views over the valleys below. Druk Deothjung Hotel.

DAY 11 TASHIGANG - SUMDRUK (190 km). Our last days ride in Bhutan takes us back down through the many climate zones, reflected in the dramatic changes in flora & fauna, becoming again almost sub-tropical. The border town of Sumdruk is clean and ordered, busy as all border towns can be, but quiet. A contrast between Indian and Bhutanese cultures, the mix of this border is unique. Our hotel is small and clean in the middle of town. TLT Hotel. IND - Bhutam Riders

DAY 12  SUMDRUK - GUWAHATI (200 km). After checking out of Bhutan and back into India our ride takes us through densely populated villages on flat steamy plains with bamboo groves. You’ll notice the relatively busy traffic of India compared to the lack of any traffic in Bhutan as we head for the capital of Assam, Guwahati. The mighty Brahmaputra River runs through Guwahati - from the high plateau of Tibet it crashes down to Bangaladesh and out into the sea at Calcutta. Our journey is almost over, we check into our 4* hotel before our farewell dinner party with our India & Bhutanese crew. Rajmahal Hotel.

DAY 13 GUWAHATI - DELHI. After breakfast we prepare for our flight to Delhi, arriving early afternoon to the comfort of our Delhi hotel and our farewell dinner party. Metropolitan Hotel.

DAY 14 DEPART DELHI, ARRIVE UK. After breakfast this morning our tour ends, transfer to Gandhi International Airport is in an A/C minibus. Most flights arrive in the UK the same day

Total distance     c. 2100 km

Bhutan Thunder Dragon Adventure 

Dates

Rider

Passenger

Sgl rm suppl.

16 Apr - 29 Apr 2017

£4,625.00

£4,145.00

£795.00

06 Nov - 19 Nov 2017

£4,625.00

£4,145.00

£795.00

 

Ready to book? Please click here

Price includes: 11 days motorcycle hire; petrol, oil and maintenance; jeep support vehicle, trailer and spares; tour guide with medical kit/training; Enfield mechanic and local guides, Indian domestic flights; airport transfers; any border procedures; entrance fees to monuments / parks / reserves; 13 nts hotel accommodation; all breakfasts and dinners and most lunches; soft drinks/bottled mineral water on tour; Bhutan tourism tax; road maps/information pack.

Price excludes: US$500 refundable security/damage deposit, to pay locally in cash; Indian visa (c. £90); alcoholic beverages; laundry service; tips / gratuities; international flights from the UK and  travel insurance, both available from H-C Travel.

Extension Tours (can be arranged through H-C Travel either before or after our Thunder Dragon Adventure):

Taj Mahal 2 days, incl. 1 nt in 5* hotel in Agra, private car/driver/guide, entrance fees to Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri, £295/person twinshare.

Indian wildlife reserve tours can also be arranged.

Any questions? Please click here

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