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Old 25th May 2012, 14:23   #31
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Default Re: Bhutan : Escapades from the daily grind on 2 wheels & 4

Great TL and excellent photographs! I really enjoyed each on of the snaps! I had seen an earlier thread about Bhutan where they had visited in the winter and i was a bit disappointed with the barren brownness of the landscape.

Your pics show Bhutan in a different (greener) light

Approx 1000/- per head per day is great value for money!! I hope i can do the trip someday too!

Cheers!
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Old 25th May 2012, 14:33   #32
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Very nice travelogue and lovely pictures.

Reminds me of the trip I made with some friends in 1996. The costs were very less at that time. We stayed a total of seven days in Phuntsholling and Thimpu, and went on a day trip to Paro. We used local taxis and buses throughout and the total cost was like Rs. 2,200 per head including food and lodging.

The owner of the hotel that we stayed in Thimpu was so nice that he showed us all of Thimpu in his personal car , Mitsubishi Pajero Mini I think.
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Old 25th May 2012, 16:42   #33
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Lovely travelogue and nice photos too!!

But boy! Was your Scorpio packed!! A fully loaded Scorpio pic would be appreciated!!

Last edited by neel385 : 25th May 2012 at 16:45.
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Old 26th May 2012, 00:24   #34
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Lovely travelogue and nice photos too!!

But boy! Was your Scorpio packed!! A fully loaded Scorpio pic would be appreciated!!
You just go through the video posted in the first page. You can have a look at the parked/overloaded Scorpio.
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Old 28th May 2012, 12:11   #35
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Some more interesting Pics from this Heavenly Country

Paro Dzong



View of Phobjhika Valley from the hotel



Our youngest Driver



On the way to Namling



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Old 28th May 2012, 15:34   #36
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Wow! Lovely TL i must say, and nice pictures to complement it. Bhutan is surely on my radar now. However, will need a longer holiday than usual if i am to drive from Hyderabad.
Will have to plan much in adavnce. Any idea if the roads are drivable/open during the winters? Say, October to Jan?
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Old 28th May 2012, 15:38   #37
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Will have to plan much in adavnce. Any idea if the roads are drivable/open during the winters? Say, October to Jan?
Roads are open throughout the year, although there may be some dislocation at Trumsingla and Dochu la, two of the highest passes on the Thimphu-Trashigang East_West highway.

Avoid Bhutan during Jun-Sep, when it rains heavily and sees landslides even on the Phuntsoling-Thimphu road. Ideal time is April-May. Winter time will be very dry, mountains shorn of greenery and bitter cold (in the MInus)

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Old 28th May 2012, 15:45   #38
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Roads are open throughout the year, although there may be some dislocation at Trumsingla and Dochu la, two of the highest passes on the Thimphu-Trashigang East_West highway.

Avoid Bhutan during Jun-Sep, when it rains heavily and sees landslides even on the Phuntsoling-Thimphu road. Ideal time is April-May. Winter time will be very dry, mountains shorn of greenery and bitter cold (in the MInus)
Thanks HVK; shall keep this in mind while planing!
Another question: Is this purely a SUV/MUV kind of a route? I have a Baleno - was wondering if it would be an issues for a low slung car on these roads?

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Old 28th May 2012, 15:57   #39
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Thanks HVK; shall keep this in mind while planing!
Another question: Is this purely a SUV/MUV kind of a route? I have a Baleno - was wondering if it would be an issues for a low slung car on these roads?
Highways in Bhutan are outstanding. The only reason for some bad roads are because highways were being widened in the Phuntsolung-Thimphu and Trashigang-Samdrup Jhonkar sectors, both highways leading to India.

The East-West highway is fantastic despite it goes up and down several high passes.

The only bad roads you will encounter are in the India side approaching and exiting Bhutan.

In Bhutan, almost all the small cars are Alto, Santro, Getz, and the SUVs are all high-end Santa Fes, Prados and LC.
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Old 29th May 2012, 11:58   #40
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Amazing travelogue. Thank you for sharing.

Any idea if GPS systems work well in Bhutan? If we load GMaps or take a Nuvi over there, would that help?
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Old 29th May 2012, 12:03   #41
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Amazing travelogue. Thank you for sharing.

Any idea if GPS systems work well in Bhutan? If we load GMaps or take a Nuvi over there, would that help?
GPS maps work everywhere there is satellite connectivity! And BHutan has no problems with that.

None of the maps you buy in India have maps of BHutan roads.

The road network in Bhutan is so meagre, there is no need for any GMaps!
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Old 29th May 2012, 12:29   #42
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HVK was bang on target about the road. We have faced worst road condition in Gedu between Ph'tsolling and Thimpu and roads before Samdrup. Road condition worsens as you move eastern part of the country but even then they are very well maintained.
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Old 29th May 2012, 14:01   #43
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Awesome, can you share your research material - route & hotel information. We had been planning to do the same trip from Bangalore and I would definitely appreciate pointers - specially on the permit stuff.
Hi SR71.
PFA the tour plan. Cars are 2 Scorps 4WD, 1 LR Discovery 4, 1 Endaevour, 1 Thar 4WD. The last one, I am not so sure, yet. I have a ex-para brigadier, up north, planning out the whole expedition. We have a guide from Bhutan meeting us at Phuentsholing and taking care of all formalities such as permits etc. In fact we are sending the vehicle papers, our ID and photos and other details by next month itself.
2011 June, we did Ladakh in a similar fashion and it went of like a dream.
Attached Files
File Type: docx tour plan.docx (14.2 KB, 211 views)
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Old 29th May 2012, 14:06   #44
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Hi Chetan68 though we have lots of plan and as usual it was thrown into the bin (we were late everyday by minimum one hour and is normal if you have 3 Better Halves and a kid in the team). The most important phase of this journey is to reach Phuntsolling before 8:00 (make sure it is not a holiday for them), make two teams, one for permission for people and another for your car. Remember permission for your car would be made only after the permission for the people is finished. In Phuntsholing Indian SIM would work so try to coordinate your team between two places.

Second thing that I would suggest is to take a Bhutan mobile SIM while in Thimphu. You would need some help from hotel people in this (Indians cannot have SIM in their name easily).

The following link contains a sheet which presents our planning (Time lines are not met), Expenses etc.

http://bit.ly/Bhutan2009

Just to arouse your interest sharing a photograph of Phobjikha Valley
Thanks very much for the download. Will go through it and refine our supplies. In fact we have a seperate sweeper vehicle which is fully equipped. Will contact you for any clarifications.
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Old 29th May 2012, 14:49   #45
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Hi SR71.
PFA the tour plan. Cars are 2 Scorps 4WD, 1 LR Discovery 4, 1 Endaevour, 1 Thar 4WD. The last one, I am not so sure, yet. I have a ex-para brigadier, up north, planning out the whole expedition. We have a guide from Bhutan meeting us at Phuentsholing and taking care of all formalities such as permits etc. In fact we are sending the vehicle papers, our ID and photos and other details by next month itself.
2011 June, we did Ladakh in a similar fashion and it went of like a dream.
You are not going to Bumthang & the rest of Central & East Bhutan?
Or climbing up to Taktsang Gompa near Paro?
I think it will be a great idea to extend the drive till at least Jakar.

On your onward journey, NH34 from Calcutta via Krsihnanagar is a bad idea during day time because of its heavy traffic congestion. Maybe a better idea to go via Siuri. Expect roads to be broken badly in Bengal in October after the rains.
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