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Old 16th October 2013, 22:14   #31
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Default Re: The Last Shangri-La…at the last minute - Bhutan!

Just bumped into your travelogue. Real nice and crisp report ! Bhutan is such a clean and beautiful place. Jaigaon and phuentsholing, being so near are in stark contrast.
I am planning to drive to Thimphu and Paro in late november and all these information is very helpful.
I have a few questions for you..
How is the road condition from phuentsholing to Thimphu? And regarding the currency, is it possible to get our Rs converted to bhutanese nu in jaigaon itself or phuentsholing? And whats the procedure for that?
Thanks a lot.
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Old 3rd December 2013, 16:46   #32
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Default Re: The Last Shangri-La…at the last minute - Bhutan!

My apologies that I could not respond earlier despite being logged into TBHP all day. Somehow missed the thread coming up. Just hoping that though late, my answers will still be helpful to you guys


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Originally Posted by Abhnag View Post
Just amazing! Saket77, would you know the best way to go to Bhutan, in case we are not driving? I am wondering if there is any information available about tour guides, who should I go with etc?
Hello Abhnag! As I wrote in the travelogue itself, the best option is to travel upto Hasimara by railways. Hasimara is about 2.5 hours from Siliguri and a small station. There are autorickshaws plying between Jaigaon & Hasimara whose services you can avail for very reasonable cost. Jaigaon, 18 Kms & 0.5 hrs of travel time from Hasimara is the Indian side bordering the Bhutan border.

You can take the help of travel guides available in Jaigaon in plenty. However, from my experience, it is not really necessary.


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Originally Posted by motomaverick View Post
Ah! your travelogue has come at the right time and quite detailed for that matter. Why I say the right time is because there are talks among our group of doing a round of Bhutan sometime next year. Can you include the maps of what you covered.

Hey motomaverick! Hope your plans materialize soon. Where we traveled was only the capital city of Thimphu & the old city of Paro. The route is very simple as there is a single highway from the bordering town of Pheuntsholing
leading to Thimphu. The distance is about 175 Kms. For Paro, the road diverts just from a confluence point of 2 rivers which is hard to miss anyway. Thimphu is about 31 Kms from this point and Paro is about 24 Kms.

Will you guys drive on your own or hire a vehicle from Jaigaon?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pyrodrive View Post
Just bumped into your travelogue. Real nice and crisp report ! Bhutan is such a clean and beautiful place. Jaigaon and phuentsholing, being so near are in stark contrast.
I am planning to drive to Thimphu and Paro in late november and all these information is very helpful.
I have a few questions for you..
How is the road condition from phuentsholing to Thimphu? And regarding the currency, is it possible to get our Rs converted to bhutanese nu in jaigaon itself or phuentsholing? And whats the procedure for that?
Thanks a lot.
I think I am late to answer it and hopeful that you have had a great & enjoyable drive (or may be in the tour mid-way).

The road conditions last year, when I traveled was good except for a moderate stretch where road widening was in process. Though that particular section was bad, but should not be a deterrent as with some skills, it is negotiable. I would love to get an update from you or anyone who has traveled recently on this route. At many places, the road will be single lane and hence be careful as the terrain is hilly and has a lot of bends & curves throughout.

For currency conversion, most hotels at the border town of Jaigaon can exchange INR to Nu hand to hand including Rs. 500 & 1K notes. However, do not risk carrying 500 & 1000 INR denominations to Bhutan as by a rule, they are not acceptable. All other denominations are acceptable at par with Ngultrum everywhere in Bhutan. In my experience, many accepted Rs. 500/- notes too; but just to be on the safer side, change at border or withdraw some money from Bhutanese ATMs in Pheuntsholing. There is no conversion charge.
Hope it helps!

Regards,
Saket

Last edited by saket77 : 3rd December 2013 at 16:49.
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Old 5th February 2014, 00:40   #33
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Default Re: The Last Shangri-La…at the last minute - Bhutan!

A very well written travelogue saket

You have paid attention to all minute details and the travelogue feels like it truly has come from the heart.

Your style of writing coupled with the subtle undertones of humour was gun to read and quite enjoyable. Will wait until your next holiday around the next new year's period.

PS: I have read your Thailand travelogue too and enjoyed it immensely, and also noted that you have on both occasions been travelling at the turn of the year. Coincidence?
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Old 6th February 2014, 16:05   #34
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Default Re: The Last Shangri-La…at the last minute - Bhutan!

Just bumped into this Travelogue while doing some research. Very nicely written Travelogue Saket I did week long Bhutan Trip (Thimpu, Wangdue, Punakha, Paro) from Mumbai couple of years ago. The memories are still so fresh in mind. I'm considering doing self drive trip to Bhutan in future wherein one gets in through Phunetsholing and gets out from Galephu.
BTW, How did you manage to miss Tiger's nest trek in Paro? It's really adventurous and amazing.

Last edited by TSIched'Out : 6th February 2014 at 16:12.
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Old 6th February 2014, 17:58   #35
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Default Re: The Last Shangri-La…at the last minute - Bhutan!

Quote:
Originally Posted by laferrari View Post
A very well written travelogue saket.
PS: I have read your Thailand travelogue too and enjoyed it immensely, and also noted that you have on both occasions been travelling at the turn of the year. Coincidence?
Thanks a lot for your admiration. And more so, as you have had the patience to read the really long travelogue!

Regarding the travelling times, we don't have any such plans to take a holiday during the year end...may be just there is something in the air during the new year which plays a catalyst! However, we also planned a road trip to Shantiniketan in WB during last January. In case, you want to give it a read, it's here: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...ul-ranchi.html (Road Trip To Shantiniketan & Deul from Ranchi)

Quote:
Originally Posted by TSIched'Out View Post
Just bumped into this Travelogue while doing some research. Very nicely written Travelogue Saket ...BTW, How did you manage to miss Tiger's nest trek in Paro? It's really adventurous and amazing.
Thanks a lot for your kind words. Yes, traveling to Bhutan was really refreshing. It's still fresh in our minds too. Probably, I have never had such a nice feeling traveling, as I had in Bhutan.
Regarding the trek, it was given a miss because of the time constraint we had. In case, we travel to the wonderful country again, I will surely not miss it this time.

Thanks & regards,
Saket
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