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Sikkim-Bhutan Bike Tour

EXHAUSTIVE ITINERARY
Day 1
– Flight to Bagdogra.
Day 2
– Drive via Siliguri to the Mirik (1,760 m) – 50 kms
Day 3
– Mirik – Darjeeling (2,150 m) – 90 km
– Tiger hill, Tea garden, Toy train.
Day 4
– Darjeeling – Jorethang – Pemayangtse Gompa (2,085 m) – Pelling (2,000 m) – Pemagyantse – 120 km
Day 5
– Pemagyantse – Gangtok–Siliguri national highway – Rumtek – 80 km
Day 6
– Roundtrip Rumtek – Gangtok – Phodong Monastery – Rumtek – 120 km
Day 7
– Rumtek – Melli and Rangpo Check Post – Phutsoling. Border formalities – 280 km
Day 8
– Phuntsoling – Changspa pass (3,000 m) – Paro- 200 km
Day 9
– Tour of the Paro Valley – Drukgyel Dzong fortress monastery. Royal palace of Ugyen Pelri, Tiger’s Nest, Sightseeing and shopping in Paro – Taktshang monastery – Paro – 50 kms
Day 10
– Paro – Cheli La pass (3,990 m) – Thimphu – 130 kms
Day 11
– Sightseeing (The Folk Heritage Museum, Handicrafts Shops) – Dochu La pass (3,450 m) – Punakha Valley – Wangdi Phodrang – Punakha – Wangdoe – 140 kms
Day 12
– Wangdoe – Pele La pass (3,300 m) – Pubjika Valley – Chendebi Chorten – Trongsa dzong – 140 kms
Day 12
– Trongsa – Yotong La pass (3,425 m) – Explore Choskhor Valley – Tanshing Gompa – Jakar, Bhumthang – 110 kms
Day 13
– Bhumthang – Mongar (1,800 m) – Tumsi La – Ura – Mongar – 100 kms
Day 14
– Mongar – Tashigang via Drametsi – Korila pass (2,490 m) – Kanglung Chu valley – Tashigang – 120 kms
Day 15
– Tashigang – Samdrup Jonghar – University in Kanglung – Samdrup Jongkhar – 180 kms
Day 16
– Samdrup Jongkhar – Guwahati – 140 kms – Flight back home.

Total: 2050 kms

Extra: If you want to go to Lake Tsongmo, add one more day to the above. It is around 40 kms from Gangtok. For going to Gurudongmar Lake, add three more days. Gurudongmar Lake is approx 175 kms from Gangtok but terrain is not easy. You will have to stay the night at Lachen from where the lake is around 60 kms. Next day you can go to the lake and stay the night again at Lachen and go back to Gangtok or Rumtek the day after.
Note: Even for Indian Nationals, a Protected Area Permit (PAP) is required to be obtained to go to both these lakes. Indians can obtain the permits tourist information Centre which is situated at MG road in Gangtok or at Police Check Posts.

This is an exhaustive itinerary and can be customized as per your choice. Various legs can be clubbed into one to save days. Depending on on your plans and moods, you may choose to leave out some places if you wish to. However, if you have time, it would be a sin to leave out anything.

TIME FOR THE TRIP
– Typically the best time is October-November and March-May. It is dry that time with no rains. It would be a little cold, but not that cold. Carry warm clothes, especially if you plan to visit the high altitude lakes. It would be very cold at those heights.

ESSENTIAL THINGS TO CARRY
Personal Items
– Camera+Charger+Memory Stick +Tripod, extra batteries etc
– Phone + Charger
– Power Bank (Optional)
– Bungee Ropes
– Elbow and Knee Guards
– Biking Gloves
– Warm Jackets etc
– Warm Gloves
– Woolen head gear to cover neck and ears
– Inner Thermals (Upper and Lower)
– Spare Light Shoes (For Emergency)
– Slippers (Optional)
– 3 Pairs of Woolen socks (Depends on Individual/Optional)
– UV Protection Sunglasses
– Rucksack/Haversack
– Waterproof Bag cover
– Rain coat
– Waist Straps to keep Cash, Phones etc (Optional)
– Sun Screen Lotion, Moisturizers, Moov/Iodex/Pain Relief Sprays
– 1 Torch
– Extra bag/rucksack/haversack
– 5 medium Poly Bags + 5 Large Poly Bags
– Small Air Tight container to keep medicines
– Locks for Bags
– Multiplug
– Itinerary Printout
– Map Print out
– Other General Items
– Toothbrush, Paste, Lip balm, Facewash, Soaps, Deos, Shampoo pouches, Razor, Blades, Foam/Gel, Aftershave, Handkerchiefs, Tissues, Towels
– Thermos

Medicines/Eatables
– Chocolates
– Dry fruits
– Biscuits

– Soframycin/ Betadine ointment for cuts and bruises
– Savlon/Dettol for cuts and bruises
– Bandaids for cuts and brusies
– Cotton and Crepe Bandage
– General Meds for headaches, stomach aches – Dispirin 1 strip, Aspirin – 1 strip
– Small Scissor
– Fever medicines Like Crocin, Paracetamol, Combiflam – 1 strip each
– Medicines for cold and cough – Dcold-1 strip, Honeytus-1 Bottle, Vicks Lozenges – 20

Documents
– Passport
– UID (Advisable)
– Voters ID (Advisable)
– Driving License
– All Bike Documents (Insurance, Pollution and RC in Original)
– 5 Copies of each document (Just to be sure)

Bike Spares
– Spare tube
– Puncture kit
– Clutch wire
– Brake wire
– Chain lock
– Engine oil
– Spark plugs
– Toolkit
– Spare Clutch and Brake Levers (Advisable)
– Spare Handle Bars (Advisable)

PERMITS FOR BHUTAN
If you only plan to go to Thimpu and Paro, only the “Part 1” is relevant. If however, you wish to go to interiors of Bhutan beyond Thimpu and Paro as outlined in the Possible Itinerary, then both “Part 1” and “Part 2” are relevant. Also, if you are going by your vehicle, then each of these two parts are further divided into two parts.

PART 1 (Permits for only Thimphu and Paro)
ENTRY PERMIT (Sub Part 1)
Location
– Permit office ( Immigration Office) is around 200 mtrs or so on the right after entering Bhutan gate in Phuentsholing.
– The Office is on 1st floor above Customs & clearance office and opens at 9 AM
Documents
-Filled permit form
– Copy of passport
– 2-4 Passport size photos
Procedure
– Get the entry permit form from the internet or from the office itself. Be at the office sometime before it opens.
– Submit the filled form and copy of passport at the Tourist Route Permit Counter. (Ask someone for where to submit, to be sure)
– Official at the counter will reveiw the docs and see original passport. They will take a photograph after that.
– Permits will be issued.
– It is advisable to carry few passport size photos, as sometimes they might ask for additional photos.
– If you do not have original passport with you, you will have to go to the Indian Embassy nearby to get a verification certificate of being an Indian National

Note: Preference is given to Tourist , so if you find the counter crowded check with them telling them that you are tourist and they might process your docs first

VEHICLE (ROUTE) PERMIT (Sub Part 2)
Location
– Go straight on the road from the permit office take a left from the dead end circle
– Ask for Phuentsholing main bus stand , its located on the second floor of the bus stand
Documents
– Application letter mentioning the places you plan to visit (Only Thimphu and Paro permits are issued from here) along with Vehicle Number and Owner Information
– Copy of Insurance
– Copy of RC
– Copy of DL
Procedure
– Take the documents and get it endrosed by RSTA inchagre who sits in room 1 ( check with Counter 5 before you go to room 1)
– After the Senior offical reviews and signs on your application form take it to counter 5
– After the offical at counter 5 endroses the application, go to pay the nominal permit fee
– Go back to counter 5 with recipt of payment and get permit form
– Take the form to counter(room 1) for final endorsement
– Take copy of the same ( 1st floor ) and give one copy to counter 5
– Vehicle Permit is complete

PART 2 (This would be in addition to the “Part 1” process)
ENTRY PERMIT EXTENSION FROM THIMPHU FOR INTERIOR AREAS (Sub Part 1)
This can take up to half a day or more
Location
– Its in the opposite direction to Clock Tower ( same road) Norzim Lam
– Its around 10-15 mins walk from clock tower to this office
– Opens at 9 am
Documents
– Fill up a form given by them for stay extension
– Previous permit document
Procedure
– Provide the filled up form along with pervious permit document.
– Permits will be issued
– After receiving the extension, another form needs to be filled with detailed itinerary for visiting all the areas with dates of travel to those parts
– After some time, permit for other places will also be issued

VEHICLE PERMIT FOR INTERIOR AREAS (Sub Part 2)
Location
– RSTA is located near the Archery stadium
– Its located above the Bigger bus stand (Main Bus Stand)
Documents
– Application Letter mentioning the places to be vistied, including the vehicle number and owner info
– Previous Vehicle Permit
– Extension and new permit for interior places issued from Immigration in Thimpu
Procedure
– Take the documents to RSTA offical who sits in ” Base Office/ room”
– Just ask at any counter where to go to renew your vehicle permit
– Show all the documents to the officer who sits in the small room, he will check and give an extension then and there.
– Nothing further required

Download The Part 1 Entry Permit Form

NOTE: – In Bhutan its mandatory for pillion rider to wear a helmet so make sure you have an helmet for your pillion

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