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Thread: The land of the Thunder Dragon: Bhutan!

  1. #1
    Rusted vickks's Avatar
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    Default The land of the Thunder Dragon: Bhutan!

    Known to be the last authentic place on earth; Bhutan has always been a traveler's delight.

    A paradise in the mountains, well preserved tradition, having a strong cultural presence caught my interest for the destination to be covered for my next ride.

    And I swear, it couldn't have been any better! The charming Bhutanese people with their simplicity, honesty, friendly nature is something for which I promised- This place will be the destination for my next ride again!

    Some teaser pics for now!

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    Details will be posted... soon!
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  2. #2
    Moderator B7ACKTHORN's Avatar
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    Default Re: The land of the Thunder Dragon: Bhutan!

    Log Approved

    Cheers!
    VJ
    Once upon a time, a guy asked a girl 'Will you marry me?'
    The girl said, 'NO!'


    And the guy lived happily ever after and rode motorcycles and watched sport on a big screen TV, went fishing and surfing, and played golf a lot, and drank beer and scotch and had tons of money in the bank and left the toilet seat up and farted whenever he wanted.


    THE END

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    Default Re: The land of the Thunder Dragon: Bhutan!

    Lovely pics. Waiting for the rest of the log and the pics.
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    Keyboard Warrior chaosaddict's Avatar
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    Default Re: The land of the Thunder Dragon: Bhutan!

    Nice,,,, awaiting the rest with baited breath.
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    Rusted vickks's Avatar
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    Default Re: The land of the Thunder Dragon: Bhutan!

    Prologue:

    April 2014: We 3 friends were trying to make the most out of our laziness- sitting in a hotel room at Gangtok, Sikkim. It was just the previous day we had been to Nathu-la. Relaxing, for the next day we need to return back again to the monotonous morning to late evening work. My mind started searching for the next holiday destination, during the Durga Puja. We were getting extended weekend from 1st to 5th Oct and some trip can be easily done within that time. Bhutan it is!

    September 2014: I started out: are you guys still on for Bhutan? Both of them had the excitement missing! Their parents' won't let them be away from home during the pujas (its celebrated religiously, same as in Bengal). Final plan was chalked out, but that would need us to take leaves! It was approved from our offices and the date was fixed as 5th to 10th October.

    Day 1: 5th Oct:

    The route was decided as the same we took for Gangtok: Guwahati- Nalbari- Bongaigaon- Kokrajhar- Alipurduar- Hasimara, take diversion towards Phuentsoling.

    That's the farthest of all among the routes from Guwahati to Bhutan, but looking at the security conditions of other routes, we proceeded for it.

    We had made a calculation that when we had left at 5am from Guwahati, we had reached Gangtok by 8pm, covering 550 kms. Phuentsoling is way lesser at 350kms and we can start our day easy. Started off at 5:30am, picked Nilotpal (R15) from Tihu, 110 kms from Guwahati and by 11am we were in Kokrajhar, covering well above 200 kms. The 4 laning is almost complete till Bongaigaon. The Kokrajhar district part is the worst with lots of diversions, gravel in most of the parts. We stopped by a dhaba for breakfast. These dhabas can offer good tandoori roti and dal tadka!!

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    After an hour, we took the horrible road again and reached the WB border at Srirampur. Roads opened up to 4 lane again and the rev happy bikes could now breathe!
    4 checkposts manned by 2-3 policemen each and taking our lead was the R15 with his Race Concepts exhaust, went past it screaming at 120kmph! Followed by the Duke 390 and me trailing, the look on the police's face was worth watching! Just when the sound of the R15 appears from around 100m, the cops would look at the approaching traffic, and its gone! Confused, they try looking back at the other sounds and by then we were gone too!

    It was 12:30pm we stopped for some rest after the speed run.

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    The route towards Hasimara (NH37C) passes though the Dooars forest, scenic with some good roads.

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    By 4pm we were in Phuentsoling. The first reaction I had after we stepped off from India was "Sh**, we are in foreign land with our bikes, who knows what the rules of this country are!"

    To my surprise, the locals were too polite and helpful to show our way to the parking lot and necessary places to visit for our permits.

    The immigration office is just at the entrance, we made our permits but due to heavy tourist rush, it took almost 2 hours for the processing. And for those 2 hours, our bikes were there unattended, out of sight with gloves, helmet and all just kept on it. Not a single thing was touched. The parking attendant smiled when we asked about it and said "if anything would go missing, I will end up in jail". We paid him happily, double the parking charges and decided to go back to India and retire for the night, coz tobacco is banned in Bhutan and we didn't want to end up having problem on the first day itself! Later we realized its easy for foreigners.
    Due to the heavy rush, most of the hotels were having "No Vacancy" board in their entrance and finally we found a decent room, suitable for 2 persons for 650 bucks.
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    Rusted krishna77's Avatar
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    Default Re: The land of the Thunder Dragon: Bhutan!

    Nice so far. Waiting for the rest.

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    Rusted vickks's Avatar
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    Default Re: The land of the Thunder Dragon: Bhutan!

    Day 2: 6th October:

    The city of Jaygaon was gearing up with school children, office goers and tourists by the time we woke up!
    After breakfast, we checked out and reached the RSTA (Road Safety and Transport Authority) office in Phuentsoling by 11am.

    We need to take permits for our bikes here to ride further into Bhutan. Procedure is simple and permits are issued within half an hour.

    Procedure is:

    An application citing the names of the tourists, address, purpose of visit, duration of stay, places to visit and vehicle registration numbers needs to be placed along with a copy of the entry permit issued by the Immigration Office for every individual, vehicle RC, Insurance, PUC and DL. It involves 2 rooms to be visited 5 times on the 1st and 2nd floors along with a visit to the accounts department to pay the entry tax of Nu.70 and get the permits.

    To mention here, value of both Indian currency and Bhutanese is same. Indian Rupee is accepted.

    We were done with it and was about to leave that I realized my bike's key is missing.

    Search operation turned negative and we moved with the extra key.

    Within 4-5 kms is the 1st checkpost. They check the vehicle and individual's permits.

    And after that..... its all you need... take corners, practice fast-in, slow-out or vice versa, test the roll-on acceleration or simply admire the beauty, cruising along. Let the photos do the talking!

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    At the RSTA Campus, for the key!

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    Hills and Maggi... everywhere!

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    We met many bikers on the way, some having completely organised tour with backup van and all.

    It was around 6pm we reached Thimphu.

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    The welcome is really amazing -- A board saying max speed limit is 50kmph and after 100m, a digital board displays your speed! Cops were present shortly after that.

    We reached the business hub of Thimphu- Norjin Lam. While I awaited at the parking lot, my co-riders went to search for a hotel.
    And they came with... tragedy I would say! A room 10feet by 8feet, without any windows, a double bed and a TV, attached bath for 1050 bucks!
    All hotels were full. The streets were filled mainly of tourists than local people!
    Somehow we managed to get some sleep.

    That was only for 1 night as we shifted to a better, larger 4 bedded room the next morning as the transit tourists left.
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    Rusted krishna77's Avatar
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    Default Re: The land of the Thunder Dragon: Bhutan!

    Yes, we need to learn some little things from Bhutan.

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    Keyboard Warrior chaosaddict's Avatar
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    Default Re: The land of the Thunder Dragon: Bhutan!

    Fantastic; how was the climate?
    How did the bikes fair? - the R15 with RC exhaust at such an altitude, any fueling issues?
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    Rusted vickks's Avatar
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    Default Re: The land of the Thunder Dragon: Bhutan!

    Quote Originally Posted by krishna77 View Post
    Yes, we need to learn some little things from Bhutan.
    Its really amazing how people respect tourists. So co-operative, friendly and humane! They don't even blow horn when the vehicle in front stops to drop a passenger! And traffic sense is something we should be really ashamed of. Will post a detailed note soon!

    Quote Originally Posted by chaosaddict View Post
    Fantastic; how was the climate?
    How did the bikes fair? - the R15 with RC exhaust at such an altitude, any fueling issues?
    It is the best season to visit. Rains got over and winter was yet to arrive. Bright sunshine in mild cold weather. Next best is April.
    Bikes were all good!! The R15 along with the P220 has done far worse locations like tawang, nathula, gurdongmar! In Bhutan he had put on the db killer as sound pollution is an issue there!

    Sent from my C5502 using xBhp Connect mobile app
    Last edited by vickks; 10-29-2014 at 06:50 PM.
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