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Old 5th December 2013, 20:33   #31
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Default Re: Bangalore to Bhutan (via Gangtok & Kolkata)

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Hi,
Will you please give an idea what may be the room charges in Thimpu and Paro, in a budget type hotel? May I get a double bedded room within Rs 2500/- per day? I am also told that food is a bit expensive in Bhutan, is it true?
Dear Rahul,

We stayed at IMTRAT but did have lunch at Hotel Pedling and the suites there are below Nu 3000 (Rs 3000) and it was filled with Americans. Seen one of the suites -good standard with all the frills. Also snacked at the Swiss Bakery, a landmark place in Thimphu, and the prices are as good as Indian Bakeries. There are numerous outlets serving Bhutanese fare-you cannot get more reasonable priced food any where else.

Cost of food is not expensive-we had three dishes and cold drinks at Hotel Pedling and it was just Nu 550 which is more then reasonable. Even went to the Heritage Restaurant-one of the swankier places and was pretty happy with bill at the end. Do not buy cloth or artifacts at Thimphu, if you can avoid it, or go to smaller shops in the lanes. If visiting Paro after Thimphu would suggest buying curios from Tiger's trail. as per our local friends these hawkers do not pay taxes or its tax free for them so the cost are reduced by 15-20%. Do your other purchases from Phuentsholling-this is as per advice of the locals.

Jude

Last edited by Judemayne : 5th December 2013 at 20:35.
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Old 5th December 2013, 21:28   #32
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Default Re: Bangalore to Bhutan (via Gangtok & Kolkata)

Fantastic TL, Col. Jude. I could figure out that you both had a whale of a time!

It's ironic that you had a flat tyre at your hometown, but perhaps that is Cuttack's way of welcoming you.

Looking forward to more pictures. And please do post information on the car, its performance, F.E. etc.

As regards Vizag bypass from Anakapalli, it is fairly decent, though the road condition is not as good as the NH5. But if you're crossing Vizag in the evening hours, it is worth taking that bypass, as crossing NAD Jn after Vizag airport on NH5 could take more than half an hour. It used to take only 5 minutes around a decade back, when I used to live in Vizag.
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Old 6th December 2013, 07:31   #33
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Default Re: Bangalore to Bhutan (via Gangtok & Kolkata)

Lots of dedication to complete the 6K drive! hats off to you.

What all activities did you do in Thimpu/Paro? How many days spent in Bhutan?
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Old 6th December 2013, 13:11   #34
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Default Re: Bangalore to Bhutan (via Gangtok & Kolkata)

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Thanks. But did you book in advance? It is even difficult to call them up, because of steep ISD call charges. How do I get a confirmed reservation?
No, we did not book in advance. We went there, looked around and negotiated the prices. That's the best possible option for me. I very rarely book in advance.
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Old 6th December 2013, 14:50   #35
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Default Re: Bangalore to Bhutan (via Gangtok & Kolkata)

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Lots of dedication to complete the 6K drive! hats off to you.

What all activities did you do in Thimpu/Paro? How many days spent in Bhutan?
Thank you Tuarean Bull. We spent 5 days there sight seeing and accompanying the wife on her shopping. Being winter it gets real dark by about 1645 to 1700 hrs and bitterly cold so we used to be back in our rooms latest by 6 pm or even earlier.
At Paro driving, to Tiger's Nest and Drugyel Fort, takes up most of the time as the roads are either being done up or broadened which drastically increases your driving time.
In mornings took long walks, soaking in the the peace, beauty and mountain air, which in itself was an activity apart!!!
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Old 7th December 2013, 01:45   #36
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Fantastic travelogue Judemayne.
Completing a drive of over 6k kms is a wonderful achievement . We look forward to more such trips and write ups from you. I hope to retire next year and am planning a drive thru Sikkim & Bhutan along with my better half.
Regards,
Ashok
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Old 9th December 2013, 13:30   #37
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Default Re: Bangalore to Bhutan (via Gangtok & Kolkata)

WoW Jude Sir! What an inspiring T-Log. Only a real petrol head would be able to do what you did, 6000 kms through the good, bad, ugly roads that we have, that too with family.

Been planning a North East drive for some time, but not happening, your T-log is very useful to get back ground material for the drive. The reral challenge of driving is in India, takes a lot of courage, conditioned cars and conditioned drivers with supportive families to do long distance drives.

Thanks for sharing.

Ramky
======

Last edited by ramkya1 : 9th December 2013 at 13:31.
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Old 11th December 2013, 20:35   #38
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Default Bangalore to Bhutan (via Gangtok & Kolkata)

A few more pictures of our wonderful journey.

A snail on the sea bed-it looked so vulnerable.
Bangalore to Bhutan (via Gangtok & Kolkata)-img_7443.jpg

On the way to Thimphu-a scenic drive
Bangalore to Bhutan (via Gangtok & Kolkata)-img_7526.jpg

The Heritage Restaurant & Museum
Bangalore to Bhutan (via Gangtok & Kolkata)-img_7561.jpg

Our Ritz all iced up
Bangalore to Bhutan (via Gangtok & Kolkata)-img_7598.jpg

A very fascinating sight, look closely there is this elderly gent in a yellowish "Gho", who had the pigeons flocking around him where ever he went??Bangalore to Bhutan (via Gangtok & Kolkata)-img_7612.jpg

En-route to Paro-one of the most beautiful valleys I have driven through, it was Deja vu Scotland!
Bangalore to Bhutan (via Gangtok & Kolkata)-img_7654.jpg

The standing/Striding Buddha, majestic
Bangalore to Bhutan (via Gangtok & Kolkata)-img_7627.jpg

The Clock Tower Square, its the place for Thimphu's cultural events
Bangalore to Bhutan (via Gangtok & Kolkata)-img_7617.jpg

The initial 15 to 20 kms to Sikkim consisted of roads that were literally non existent
Bangalore to Bhutan (via Gangtok & Kolkata)-img_7736.jpg

The mighty and awe inspiring Teesta!
Bangalore to Bhutan (via Gangtok & Kolkata)-img_7742.jpg
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Old 12th December 2013, 10:39   #39
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Wow what a trip. I really liked your travelogue, very accurate and the right information. Just the way one would expect from a defence personel. Congratulations and Belated wishes on your B'Day. 60th B'day with a 6000 km drive, was it intended? Few months back I completed a 3000 km drive to south india with my 1 yr old twins, this is something I can look up to next. I had a question for you - did you make any advance reservations at any of the hotel, is it needed?

It was good to read that the berhampur-bhuvneswar strech is compelete. I hail from berhampur and we have moved to bhuvneswar, so you can understand the excitement in me to see the road complete.

Thanks for sharing your experience with us.
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Old 12th December 2013, 11:49   #40
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Default Bangalore to Bhutan (via Gangtok & Kolkata)

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I had a question for you - did you make any advance reservations at any of the hotel, is it needed?

It was good to read that the berhampur-bhuvneswar strech is compelete. I hail from berhampur and we have moved to bhuvneswar, so you can understand the excitement in me to see the road complete.

Thanks for sharing your experience with us.
Dear Funda,

As far as the Hotels were concerned, on all our drives, North, South or this drive, no advance bookings whatsoever. Yes, had in case of the Officers Messes all over-but was prepared to move to Hotels in case the Mess were booked. Went to two hotels in Thimphu and enquired, they had vacant rooms. Its in April & October, tourist season in Bhutan, that there will be an issue but even then, the hotiliers stated, that one could get a room.

Regards

Jude
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Old 18th December 2013, 13:03   #41
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Default Re: Bangalore to Bhutan (via Gangtok & Kolkata)

Hey your thread is just awesome.
I dont have words to say more.
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Old 18th December 2013, 20:59   #42
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Default Re: Bangalore to Bhutan (via Gangtok & Kolkata)

Quote:
Originally Posted by rahul4640 View Post
Hi,
Will you please give an idea what may be the room charges in Thimpu and Paro, in a budget type hotel? May I get a double bedded room within Rs 2500/- per day? I am also told that food is a bit expensive in Bhutan, is it true?
Depends on what time of the year you are planning to go. If you are not particularly inclined to stay in the heart of the city, send me a PM and I shall get you in touch with someone who can provide very good accommodation with in your budget.

Jude Sir: Kudos. I did not know you turned 60. Belated Happy Birthday. Was away on a TD so missed this thread earlier. Seeing your picture I did not believe but then upon reading that you lost way a couple of times, I believe the age is indeed catching up with the Gunner. LOL.
Great pictures, great effort, Hats off to you and Mam.
Regards.
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Old 19th December 2013, 11:19   #43
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Default Re: Bangalore to Bhutan (via Gangtok & Kolkata)

Quote:
Originally Posted by rahul4640 View Post
Hi,
Will you please give an idea what may be the room charges in Thimpu and Paro, in a budget type hotel? May I get a double bedded room within Rs 2500/- per day? I am also told that food is a bit expensive in Bhutan, is it true?
Dear Rahulji,

You can get a good, clean & basic room for less than Rs. 2K in Thimphu which should include a room heater and hot water supply/geyser. In Paro, I found accommodation a tad cheaper than Thimphu.

Regarding food, I did not find it expensive at all. We found them priced at par with our Indian moderately priced restaurants. We, 2 of us, dined at Hotel Tandin once and the food was fantastic. If I remember correctly, bill was less than Rs. 500/- Paro was little expensive when it came to fooding, but only when compared to Thimphu. Rest assured, not exorbitant at all.
However, vegetables like potatoes, carrots etc. were retailing at Rs. 55-60/KG since they were exported from India as December was not the ideal time for vegetation in Bhutan & apart from some aaloo parathas in breakfast, we mostly had Bhutanese dishes only. If you are a non-vegetarian, then it's no problem at all but veggies might have to hunt around a bit for their food.

Without the risk of hijacking this thread, you can read my experience of Bhutan here: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...te-bhutan.html (The Last Shangri-La…at the last minute - Bhutan!)

Regards,
Saket

Last edited by saket77 : 19th December 2013 at 11:22.
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Old 20th December 2013, 13:33   #44
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Default Re: Bangalore to Bhutan (via Gangtok & Kolkata)

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Jude Sir: Kudos. I did not know you turned 60. Belated Happy Birthday. Was away on a TD so missed this thread earlier. Seeing your picture I did not believe but then upon reading that you lost way a couple of times, I believe the age is indeed catching up with the Gunner. LOL.
Great pictures, great effort, Hats off to you and Mam.
Regards.
Dear Vikram,

Lost my way because of sheer stupid confidence of being a "Gunner' and the arrogance of Map reading being my Forte!!! Missed the Vikramshilasetu turn as was overtaking two or three trucks at that crucial moment of turning left.

Age is not catching up as trying my best to stay a few 'year" steps behind???

Regards

Jude
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Old 4th January 2014, 14:27   #45
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Default Re: Bangalore to Bhutan (via Gangtok & Kolkata)

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Sorry about the mileage, yet to calculate the same, will post the figures as soon as possible.
Any luck with this request?
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