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Old 25th August 2016, 19:42   #46
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Default Re: Ecstatic Bhutan and lush green Dooars in a Toyota Etios

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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
You surpass yourself each time you set out to write a travelogue. I would certainly hope that folks from this side of the border maintain road and traffic discipline inside Bhutan, unlike the usual behaviour while driving on Indian roads.
!
Thanks a ton.

I have seen that Indian drivers do drive properly in Bhutan. They abide by the law. Now that may be because Bhutan police is very strict! But the end results are good.

Every one in Bhutan is law abiding except few local trucks! Seen them driving rashly on narrow roads and not even honking where they have put up signs to honk, for eg in blind curves. The worst stretch was around the Chukha check post. Had to swerve head on more than once for the unruly truck drivers.
I can understand in narrow roads maintaining lane for them can get difficult at times, but driving a bit slower wont harm!

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Originally Posted by petrolhead_neel View Post
Samba Da,

I am totally speechless here. Amazing, amazing writeup and fabulous frames. Was totally awestruck by the time I finished reading.

I loved it so very much that I decided to show it to my family. My family is going through some very tough times right now and the TL brought in a breeze of happiness and hope for us. My grandmother was really overjoyed by seeing these pictures. My Dad, who recently suffered from an accident, is raring to get fit again and hit the road (on two wheels, though). It really did wonders!

l
Thanks a lot.

Wish your dad a speedy recovery. In case you need any kind of help for your family, we are always beside you. Please do not hesitate to ask.


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Originally Posted by hothatchaway View Post
Dada,

I will refrain from adding any more superlatives to the ones already mentioned by others and aptly so. You should compile all your TLs, from Srinagar to West Sikkim and now Bhutan and publish a guide!
Thanks a ton !


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Originally Posted by hothatchaway View Post
For folks who are not residents of Calcutta, can the permits for tourists alone be done directly at Phuntsholing? Is there a risk it could be denied? I had traveled in a car to Bhutan more than two decades back and if memory serves me right, the permits were done at the checkpost.
Yes you can get it right from Phuntsholing. I have not heard, any one was denied for the permits.
You have to get the permits for the people done from Bhutan immigration office at Phuntsholing and for the bike from RSTA office Phuntsholing. Check posts wont issue you permits.

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Originally Posted by hothatchaway View Post
Is the procedure at RSTA same for motorcycles as it is for cars? Does the documentation remain the same for 2 wheelers and also what is your take on how it would be on a motorcycle given the road conditions? May plan a motorcycle trip next month
Yes the process is same. Your R15S will just glide through the roads of Bhutan. You will enjoy it! The delta box chassis backed up by the legendary Yamaha handling will definitely add some extra 's to your face!


Quote:
Originally Posted by hothatchaway View Post
Question to both Samba and AJ, is the form available at the checkpost at Phuntsholing? Any additional paperwork needed if one is not applying for the permit through the Bhutanese embassy at Calcutta and getting it done at the time of entry instead?

TIA
As i mentioned above - You wont get permits from the check posts.
For people it will be from Bhutan Immigration office at Phuntsholing.
For bike it will be from RSTA office at Phuntsholing.

The paper works will be same every where. Applying from Bhutan Embassy Kolkata prior to the trip saved some time for me in Phuntsholing. In tourist seasons the rush in these office's will be very high and it may even take a whole day for the process.

As you are planning next month, let me tell you, for September and October there will be heavy rush in Bhutan. So keep a day extra at Phuntsholing for the permits and do book your hotels in advance.

Last edited by Samba : 25th August 2016 at 19:52.
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Old 28th August 2016, 01:14   #47
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Default Re: Ecstatic Bhutan and lush green Dooars in a Toyota Etios

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Originally Posted by Samba View Post

Few small bits from the trip-

How to get the permits-

For the people traveling-

For vehicle-

Extension of permits-

For the people traveling-

For the car-

Few rules in Bhutan-

Signing off, thanks for reading. For any query please feel free to ask.
Hey BHPians, don't you think itís a Bhutan Trip Guide for us?


So the way we all dream to travel to different places in India, with this informative Travelogue from Samba now we all can easily plan an International Trip.


Jokes apart, I must admit that I am too late to praise your Photos and narration but after going through this beautiful Travelogue I am remembering my 12 year old trip to Bhutan.
The only thing I want to ask is why you have skipped the Tiger Nest Monastery trek. We all are missing the probable exhilarating snaps.

I tried to plan this trip last year December as I wanted to enjoy the fall colors of Bhutan, but unfortunately thing didnít fall in place, hope to make it a success this year if the luck favors.
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Old 29th August 2016, 00:57   #48
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Default Re: Ecstatic Bhutan and lush green Dooars in a Toyota Etios

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Hey BHPians, don't you think it’s a Bhutan Trip Guide for us?
So the way we all dream to travel to different places in India, with this informative Travelogue from Samba now we all can easily plan an International Trip.
The only thing I want to ask is why you have skipped the Tiger Nest Monastery trek. We all are missing the probable exhilarating snaps.
Thanks a ton. Hope you visit Bhutan soon.

The reasons for skipping Tigers nest monastery were -

Paro is at an altitude of approximately 7,500 feet. Generally at higher altitude we feel breathlessness much faster than in plain lands. On top of it Tigers nest is a good 3 to 4 hours up hill trek over this altitude and none of us had much experience in trekking. So with out much experience, i didn't want to take any risk specially because i was with my parents. Have it been a trip with friends, i would have definitely given it a try. Plus its a full one day programme and with the number of days we could afford, in that one day we preferred visiting Punakha. In short as it was a family trip, we wanted to keep it as easy as possible with out any hectic schedules.

Last edited by Samba : 29th August 2016 at 01:09.
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Old 29th August 2016, 14:56   #49
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Default Re: Ecstatic Bhutan and lush green Dooars in a Toyota Etios

Superb TL Samba. The pictures as usual are mesmerizing. Really very beautiful. The last post especially, very informative. This is going to be bookmarked for my future reference. Too tempting a destination to be missed.

Thanks,
Navtej
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Old 29th August 2016, 22:57   #50
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Default Re: Ecstatic Bhutan and lush green Dooars in a Toyota Etios

Samba Da this was a travelogue plus guided tour to Bhutan I feel. The amount of details covered and useful tips throughout is simply mind boggling. Will help any noob to plan for a Bhutan trip. Rating the travelogue 5star. If it had more I'd have given more.

However one very noob question if I may ask is how are the roads in the Eastern part of Bhutan. Are they motorable??? If yes then are they motorable enough for cars with low ground clearance. As in if someone comes from guwahati side or goes from West Bhutan towards guwahati will they be able to do it in a low ground clearance vehicle.

Regards,
Subhra

Last edited by tacho9000 : 29th August 2016 at 23:02.
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Old 30th August 2016, 00:53   #51
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Default Re: Ecstatic Bhutan and lush green Dooars in a Toyota Etios

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Originally Posted by navsjab View Post
Superb TL Samba. The pictures as usual are mesmerizing. Really very beautiful. The last post especially, very informative. This is going to be bookmarked for my future reference. Too tempting a destination to be missed.

Thanks,
Navtej
Thanks lot. Will be waiting for your this years Ladakh road trip travelogue.

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Originally Posted by tacho9000 View Post
Samba Da this was a travelogue plus guided tour to Bhutan I feel.
Thanks a ton.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tacho9000 View Post
However one very noob question if I may ask is how are the roads in the Eastern part of Bhutan. Are they motorable??? If yes then are they motorable enough for cars with low ground clearance. As in if someone comes from guwahati side or goes from West Bhutan towards guwahati will they be able to do it in a low ground clearance vehicle.
Regards,
Subhra
Its not a noob question! Actually this information can be helpful for any one planning to travel from West to East.

Starting from west the route should be like -
Phuntsholing- Paro - Thimpu- Punakha/Wangdue - Phobjika Valley - Trongsa - Jakar - Mongar - Trashigang - Samdrup jongkhar and then exit near Guwahati.

In monsoon road conditions till Punakha was okay except 17kms of slushy road which was under construction. Road widening work is in progress.

I hired a cab at Thimpu for local sight seeings and had a chat with the driver. His village is Trashigang. It takes him around 2 days to reach his village from Thimpu in his Wagon R. In day 1 he targets Bhumthang and in day 2 he targets the rest of his journey. If there are no landslides and roads are open he do it in 2 days else it takes him more than that. According to him road widening works are going on in full swing and should be done by 2018. So by then roads should be great. As of now small cars or sedans can do this route provided its not raining.

Between the WagonR we hired had 280,000kms in its odometer and the car was doing absolutely fine with no reworks done to the engine. According to its driver who himself is the owner too, he just did the regular maintenance plus clutch plate, shock absorber changes on time & the car was doing great. I couldn't hear any rattles too! That's actually great considering the fact, the car is driven on hills and rough roads.

Last edited by Samba : 30th August 2016 at 01:08.
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Old 30th August 2016, 15:11   #52
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Default Re: Ecstatic Bhutan and lush green Dooars in a Toyota Etios

Wonderful trip, travelogue and pics, Samba. Your promptness in bringing this to the forum is what I like best.
I am still struggling with my mid-2015 travelogue posting.
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Old 5th September 2016, 08:49   #53
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Default Re: Ecstatic Bhutan and lush green Dooars in a Toyota Etios

Finally got time to go through your TL. What a fantastic write up Samba. The pictures are amazing as usual & the amount of information this TL provides sets new benchmark. I just made a trip to Bhutan through your travelogue.

Keep traveling & keep writing. Rating 5 *.

Regards,

Pawan
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Old 11th January 2017, 15:44   #54
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Default Re: Ecstatic Bhutan and lush green Dooars in a Toyota Etios

Fantastic travelogue again, sir! I was surprised how I hadn't read this till now.
The photos in your travelogues are some of the best ones on TBHP.
Your Etios is one reliable workhorse. Takes everything in its stride.
Keep up the picturesque drives.
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Old 11th January 2017, 23:41   #55
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Default Re: Ecstatic Bhutan and lush green Dooars in a Toyota Etios

Awesome pics and a very nicely written travelogue.I have bookmarked this thread for future purpose.
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Old 2nd July 2017, 13:55   #56
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Default Re: Ecstatic Bhutan and lush green Dooars in a Toyota Etios

Thanks for the travelogue. I am also planning for a road trip to Bhutan and this comes as a ready reckoner!

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Originally Posted by Nagato710 View Post
I am very glad that you had a good time here in Bhutan. However, i would like to request you all to please refrain from travelling to Bhutan in Summers. Just a few weeks back i had a narrow escape when a large boulder hit my car and shoved me towards a cliff. The visibility was near zero and it was raining. After a few days later, a merc GL was crushed by another boulder in the same route.
The best time to visit Bhutan is in the Autumn and Spring. There will be many festivals during those times and the weather and road conditions will be good as well.
@Nagato, I am planning for a road trip to Bhutan in the last week of September. Will the weather and road conditions be okay to drive? Please suggest.
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