Bhutan
India & the Himalayas - Bhutan

Thunder Dragon Adventure

Discover the wonders of Bhutan on this Thunder Dragon Adventure, ride on cliff top passes shadowed by the magnificent Himalayan peaks, while in awe of the beauty of this un-spoilt country. Searching for wildlife and visiting fascinating monasteries are just a couple of the reasons why this tour is for you.

Map of Bhutan

Highlights

— Take in the beauty of valleys and mountains
— Visit the Takstang (Tiger’s Nest) Monastery
— Enjoy magnificent views of the Himalayan peaks
— View the ruins at the UNESCO site of Drukyel Dzong
— Ride Nikka Shu Road, carved out of the side of a cliff

  • Day 1

    Delhi

    On arrival in Delhi you will be transferred to your hotel. Relax and refresh or choose to enjoy an afternoon guided tour of Delhi. Tonight, offers a welcome dinner and your first chance to sample some local cuisine.

    Day 2

    Delhi – Siliguri

    Rising early, catch the morning flight to Bagdogra, West Bengal, and then on to Siliguri. After lunch 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 your bike and become familiar with starting procedures, control layouts and bike handling. Tonight, is the welcome dinner.

    Day 3

    Siliguri – Darjeeling (70 km)

    Escape the manic roads of the city and wind your way through West Bengali flatlands before starting to 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 70km takes much longer than expected and the crowded, picturesque streets of Darjeeling are a welcoming sight.

    Day 4

    Darjeeling – Phuntsholing (320 km)

    Ride down from Darjeeling through tea plantations on a steep blacktop lane through villages balanced on sides of hills. 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 you have ridden through, it complements the varied landscape

    Day 5

    Phuntsholing – Paro (260 km)

    After breakfast start early, allowing ample time to view the mountain scenery and distant waterfalls as you climb the first pass, Chapch-La. Descending to the beautiful Wangshu River Valley through dense forest, meet the confluence of the Paro River, where you cross the bridge and head up the secluded river valley road, to the iconic Taktsong, the Tiger’s Nest Monastery, perched high on the side of the cliff.

    Day 6

    Paro – Thimpu (60 km)

    Today’s short ride to Thimpu gives you a terrific opportunity for a morning hike to the Tiger’s Nest. Paro is also home to the famous Drukgyal Dzong an UNESCO World Heritage Site and the National Museum, housed in an old watchtower above the palace. Thimpu’s nightlife is not to be missed this evening!

    Day 7

    Thimphu – Wangdi (130 km)

    After exploring the capital city and a tour of Jigme Dorji Wangchuk Memorial Chorten with a Bhutanese guide this morning, have lunch in one of the local restaurants before climbing out of Thimphu to the Dochu La pass at 3100m. 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 1700m in 26km.

    Day 8

    Wangdi – Bumthang Valley (300 km)

    Continue east across the kingdom. The road flattens for 12km then begins the climb over Black Mountain and the next pass, Pele-La at 3300m, where you’ll see yaks grazing and views of the Chomolhari Range. A 1500m descent takes you to Nikka Shu bridge through forest and bamboo. The road is carved out of the side of the cliff above the Mangde Chu River, with the famous Trongsa Dzong visible 12km away.

    Day 9

    Bumthang Valley – Mongar (310 km)

    The longest day’s ride of the tour, and one of the most spectacular, as you “ride the high ridges” from Bumthang Valley to Mongar. Where most visitors to Bhutan rarely even make it as far as Bumthang Valley, you thump on past over the high passes to the 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.

    Day 10

    Mongar – Tashigang (80 km)

    Enjoy the morning exploring Mongar before heading the relatively short distance to Tashigang through dense forest with howling Gray langur monkeys to the jewel of eastern Bhutan, Tashigang. This is as far east as you will be able to travel in Bhutan, 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.

    Day 11

    Tashigang – Sumdruk (190 km)

    The day in Bhutan takes you back down through the many climate zones, reflected in the dramatic changes in flora and 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.

    Day 12

    Sumdruk – Guwahati (200 km)

    After checking out of Bhutan and back into India, ride 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 you head for the capital of Assam, Guwahati. The mighty Brahmaputra River runs through Guwahati – from the high plateau of Tibet it crashes down to Bangladesh and out into the sea.

    Day 13

    Guwahati – Delhi

    After breakfast fly back to Delhi arriving early afternoon, with the rest of the day free before your final farewell dinner.

    Day 14

    Delhi

    After breakfast this morning your tour ends, transfer to airport for your onward travel arrangements.

    Total Distance c. 2100 km

  • Bhutan Thunder Dragon Adventure
    Dates Rider Passenger Single room supplement
    14 Apr - 27 Apr 2019 £4,895.00 £4,395.00 £825.00
    03 Nov - 16 Nov 2019 £4,895.00 £4,395.00 £825.00
  • What's Included & What's Not
    Price Includes Price Excludes Taj Mahal Extension Tour:
    13 nights bed & breakfast accommodation
    11 days motorcycle hire, Royal Enfield 500 (left foot gear change) or 350 Bullet
    India domestic flights
    Fuel
    All dinners and selected lunches
    Soft/drinks and bottled water on tour
    Entrance fees
    Airport and local transfers
    4WD Support vehicle
    Bhutan tourism tax and visa
    English speaking tour guide and local support team
    US$500 refundable security/damage deposit to pay locally in cash
    Visa (c.£65)
    Personal items and expenses
    Additional activities
    Riding gear
    Insurance
    Flights, stopovers and additional accommodation which can be arranged through H-C Travel
    2 days, incl. 1 night in 5* hotel in Agra
    private car/driver/guide
    entrance fees to Taj Mahal
    Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri
    £295 per person
    Twin Share
  • Tour Guide AlemAlam Hussein, who started working for us a mechanic when he was 16, has been guiding tours since 2005. He has been on over 100 tours in India and the Himalayas as rider, mechanic or guide. Alam is no mean rider either. He participated in the Himalayan Raid Rally in 2004, 2005 and 2006, and came second in his class in 2005. And when not working to make your tour the best possible riding experience, Alam runs a motorcycle repair business and custom bike building shop in Dehredun that is famous throughout India.

    Alam’s team
    Without his reliable local support team, the logistics of running our tour programme in Northern India, Bhutan and Tibet would be well-nigh impossible. Our chief mechanic is Biru, who has worked on our tours since 2000, and our support/luggage vehicle driver is Bopinder, who joined in 2002. They are usually supported by two assistant mechanics.

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