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Old 23rd July 2011, 04:29   #1
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Default Car Hire:Road trip- D'ling,Sikkim,Bhutan,Dooars,Kaziranga & probably Meghalaya

Hello to all TBhpians,

After going through & researching a couple of East-India travelogues penned by fellow BHPians, i am posting this query on behalf of my senior citizen friends, A couple, enthusiastic about travel and adventure, lets call em Kaka and Kaki !
Rough travel plan as follows
Embark around : September 16th'2011 ( Ahmedabad to N.Jalpaiguri ) by train
Reach NJP Sept 19th'2011 and the trip is as follows ( as proposed by a randomly picked travel agent from the internet
( Nature Beyond- naturebeyond - east himalaya Darjeeling, Sikkim, Bhutan tours)

Day 1: NJP/ Bagdogra to Darjeeling-90 kms in 3 hrs drive.O/N at Hotel
Day 2: Darjeeling sightseeing full day(3points & 7 points).O/N at Hotel
Day 3: Darjeeling to Pelling(West Sikkim)-120 kms in 4 hrs drive .O/N at Hotel
Day 4: Pelling sightseeing full day.O/N at Hotel
Day 5: Pelling to Gangtok-140 kms in 4 hrs drive.O/N at Hotel
Day 6: Gangtok sightseeing full day.O/N at Hotel
Day 7: Visit to Tsongo lake and Baba Mandir 50 kms one way 3 hrs drive .O/N at Hotel
Day 8: Gangtok to Kalimpong-95 kms in 3 hrs drive. Enjoy sightseeing at Kalimpong.O/N at Hotel
Day 9: Kalimpong to Phuentsholing(Bhutan border)-220 kms in 6hrs approx.O/N at Hotel
Day 10: After permit process proceed to Thimphu(capital of Bhutan) 180 kms in 6 hrs approx.O/N at Hotel
Day 11: Thimphu sightseeing full day.O/N at Hotel
Day 12: Drive to Punakha(Old capital) via Dochula Pass-85 Kms in 3 hrs approx.O/N at Hotel
Day 13: Punakha sightseeing and drive to Paro Valley-120kms in 5 hrs approx.O/N at Hotel
Day 14: Paro sightseeing full day.O/N at Hotel
Day 15: Paro to Jaldapara in Dooars via Phuentsholing-200Kms in 6hrs approx.O/N at Govt.Tourist Lodge
Day 16: Enjoy Elephant Ride, Jeep Safari as per the availability.O/N Govt.Tourist Lodge
Day 17: Check out form Jaldapara and drive -150 kms in 5 hrs drive approx to NJP/ Bagdogra for onward journey to Guwahati Assam. ( by train )
Day 18: Reception at Guwahati Airport/ Rly Station and transfer to Hotel.O/N at Hotel
Day 19: Drive to Kaziranga WildLife Sanctuary-6hrs.Enjoy Afternoon Jeep Safari as per availability.O/N at Hotel
Day 20: Morning enjoy Safari and Elephant Ride and Drive to Airport/ Rly Station as per your flight/ Train schedule. Farewell and Tour ends.

My query is
  • Is this route plan ok and cost effecient ?
  • Car hire charges roughly conveyed to me was approx Rs. 2500/day regardless of kms covered
  • Looking at the destinations planned, wont it be more convenient to fly or reach by train to Guwahati and start the journey from Guwahati? May be add another 4 days and also cover Meghalaya ( Shillong and sorroundings within a radius of 70 kms ) BY CAR Guwahati-Kaziranga and back and then Guwahati-Shillong & sorroundings- Guwahati
  • Take train frm Guwahati-NJP and start the other car hire travel to D'ling,Sikkim,Bhutan and back to NJP or Bagdogra A'port ?
  • Hotels and overnight stays enroute ? ( Please bear in mind we are talking about senior citizens who can bear a max. of 6 hours of travel at a stretch, with short breaks in between )
I will appreciate feedback/suggestions/advice from fellow hi-way junkie BHPians who are familiar with these above mentioned routes and hotel stay suggestions alo
Expecting feedback/suggestions/advice from HVK saab ( tussi great ho ), HarenTurtle ?? and other BHPians from the eastern part of India or from any part of india who have traversed this route.

Thanks a ton in advance,
Ravi.Dave

Note: No tickets have been booked , no advances have been paid, so all kind of feedback and advice is welcome, would appreciate reliable and trustworthy contacts of car hire agencies/travel agencies/hotels and stops en route, dangers expected etc....
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Old 24th July 2011, 22:34   #2
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Default Re: Car Hire:Road trip- D'ling,Sikkim,Bhutan,Dooars,Kaziranga & probably Meghalaya

^^^
I think your timings are optimistic.

Hired car:- Do NJP/ APDJ/ NQB - GHY by train.

PM HVK.

Regards
Sutripta
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Old 24th July 2011, 23:20   #3
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Default Re: Car Hire:Road trip- D'ling,Sikkim,Bhutan,Dooars,Kaziranga & probably Meghalaya

Quote:
Originally Posted by RDBull500 View Post
Day 12: Drive to Punakha(Old capital) via Dochula Pass-85 Kms in 3 hrs approx.O/N at Hotel
A separate permit is required to be issued at Thimphu for travel to Punakha. Also, check whether Indian taxis/commercial vehicles are currently being permitted into Bhutan - last year when we visited Bhutan (Gross Travelling Happiness - Bhutan, Sikkim, Darjeeling), even private India-registered vehicles were not being allowed past Phuentsholing.
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