Brotherhood Ride to Bhutan on Yamaha FZ25, Ray Z, and Royal Enfield Classic 500
Road Trip to Bhutan (Story Shared by Aamit Kumar): The day was 27th December, 2017 as far I can remember got an FB status from Riya Roy “Some one Please take me to the hills”.. Bhutan came in my mind first because Riya asked for a place where she can get some good amount of snow.
Initially plan chalked out and we planned to start our ride on 10th February 2018. But as the title of the Trip already tells about “Brotherhood” the name of another riding partner which came in my mind was Anjan Chakraborty because earlier I had done 3 long trips with him and we share a good bonding.
So I contacted him and asked if he can join Us? And Luckily got his Nod. Another Interesting part happened while planning was that his wife Riyasha Mukherjee will also join us and she will be his pillion on a Royal Enfield Classic 500.
It was their first ride after getting married on 22nd January, 2017. So it became their Honeymoon Ride as well, because honeymoon trip on Flight or Train is too mainstream. And as Anjan had visited Bhutan earlier on a motorcycle so he had good amount of information about hotels, permits and official formalities in Bhutan.
So according to our plan I took my Yamaha FZ25 and Riya Took Her Yamaha Ray Z and Anjan Took Royal Enfield Classic 500 for the trip. Anjan got his bike from Siliguri from XKMPH Destination Adventure Bike Rental Service. So our trip commenced and proceeded as follows:
Road Trip to Bhutan
We started for Siliguri from Asansol at around 6.30 AM. Road we took was NH60 and NH34 via Raniganj, Moregram, Malda, Dhantola, Islampur and managed to reach Siliguri at around 9.30 PM., where we met our fellow co rider Anjan and his brave heart Lady Pillion and wife Riyasha Mukherjee at our Hotel.
Road was smooth but because of very bad traffic jam inside Malda City we got stuck there for 1 hour 30 minutes. Note: You can take Malda bypass before entering Malda to avoid the traffic jam but as the bypass is under construction so you have to cross 1 km of off-road but that is okay than getting stuck in long traffic jam!!
We Started for Jaigaon bit late as we had to ride only 154 ODD Kms. Started at around 12 PM and managed to reach Jaigaon at 6.30 PM. Remember Jaigaon is Indo-Bhutan Border and Phuentsholing is the border city of Bhutan. As hotels are bit costly at phuentsholing so we decided to stay at Jaigaon only as we had to get the permits done Next Day.
We headed towards Bhutan Immigration Office by 8:30 AM (IST)/9:00 AM (BST) as they open by sharp 8:30 AM (IST) and pretty punctual about their timings. Office Remains open from 9 AM to 3 PM (BST). After getting our individual VISA from BHUTAN Immigration office we headed towards RST office from where we got out our Vehicles Permit done. Permit is available for Rs 100(INR)/Day.
Whole process took almost 3 Hours. and We Started for Thimphu at Around 3 PM which was not the ideal time to start as we had to cover almost 176 Kms to Reach Thimphu from Phuentsholing. So after riding 100 Kms we decided to stay at a home stay which is easily available at TSIMASHAM, CHUKHA. Highways Inside Bhutan is smooth and pure bliss to ride on.
We started for Thimphu at around 10 AM from TSIMASHAM from where Thimphu is Just 76 Kms which we completed by 5.30 PM. Because we couldn’t stop ourselves several times just to capture beautiful landscapes of Bhutan. They are really really amazing and treat to eyes and mind. We stayed in Hotel Nirmal Lodge, Olakha, Thimphu. You need to visit Thimphu because permits from Phuentsholing is issued for Thimphu and Paro only.
So if you want to explore Punakha, Chele La Pass (Highest Point of Bhutan and Dantak Project by BRO), Taktshang Monastery, Dochula Pass, Haa Valley you need your permit to be extended from Immigration office at Thimphu. Otherwise there is nothing to explore in Thimphu. After getting our permits extended we started for Punakha at 2.30 PM after having our Lunch at Thimphu.
On the way to Punakha we visited Dochula Pass. Luckily we got clear sky after reaching Dochula. Started from Dochula Pass at around 4:30 Pm and while going downhill to Punakha got huge amount of snowfall which was cherry on the cake. We reached Punakha at around 7:30 PM and checked into our resort “Damchen Resort” which was located at a beautiful location beside a hill and river.
We started from our resort at around 11 AM and visited Punakha Dzong which is a must visit in Punakha. You need to get a pass for INR 300 to visit Punakha Dzong. After visiting Punakha Dzong we visited Suspension Bridge and returned back to our resort by 7 PM.
Started from Punakha for Paro City at around 10 am and Via Dochula Pass and Thimphu reached Paro at around 5 Pm. The Highway to Paro From Punakha will make you go mad and mesmerized and you will think is it Bhutan or Europe?? Its that much beautiful. The Distance from Punakha to Paro is Around 110 ODD Kms. Our Stay at Paro was a Beautiful Resort Situated 4 Kms Away from Paro City.
This was the day I was waiting for a long period of time, Because it was a trekking day. Yes!! You need to trek almost 4 Kms Uphill to Visit Taktshang Monastery / Tigers Nest. and We Started trekking at around 12:30 PM and finished at around 3.30 Pm means almost 3 Hours to complete the trek uphill and came down by 5:30 PM. There was no energy left after the trek so we decided to return back to our resort and rest. The trek was full of adventure, excitement and thrill. I must mention Riyasha Mukherjee’s courage and effort because the way she trekked the whole way was just fantastic.
Oops!! I said I was waiting for the trekking to Tiger’s Nest on Day 7 but Day 8 was another day which filled with adventure and challenging situations for Riya’s Scooter and also a Milestone feat for Riya and her Scooter because she was the first lady rider to ride to Chelela Pass from India on a gear-less Scooter.
Distance from Paro to Chelela Pass is around 40 Kms (One way), Roads are not that good, few off road section is there and you will get black ice and snow as well en-route. The weather was chilly and sunny. We got -7 Degrees at Chelela Pass which was quite frizzing. While returning to hotel we visited local shops in Paro to buy some souvenir and gift items but remember you have to bargain hard to get the things in cheap rate.
We Started for Siliguri at around 10 AM and reached Siliguri by 8.30 Pm. En-route we got dense fog at GEDU (35 Kms before Phuentsholing/Jaigaon) for 4-5 kms which made situation tough to ride on hilly roads. It was almost ZERO visibility. Somehow both of us crossed that hurdle and rode fine and safely to Siliguri. Distance is approximately 325 Kms from Paro City to Siliguri.
This was the most painful day for our body as well as mind. Yes! the last day of the ride and we had to go through that pathetic conditions of NH34 and Malda City Traffic Jam but luckily we didn’t got any traffic at Malda but we got badly stuck in between Moregram to Raniganj (165 kms).
It took almost 5.5 Hours to cover a distance of 165 kms despite good and smooth highway!!! But our zeal and passion for riding couldn’t make us tired and bore and we successfully completed our ride for the day at 1 AM covering a distance of 525 Kms on ODO!! And Anjan and his wife started for Kolkata in their Car at around 9:30 AM and reached Kolkata at around 10:30 PM.
Hats off to the riding skills of Riya Roy and Pillion Riyasha Mukherjee because being an pillion its not as easy as it looks. One need huge mental strength and physical fitness as well to be a pillion. And to take the scooty uphill to Chelela Pass.
So the trip concluded with 2400 Kms of sweet memories and lots of experiences. Kindly note we don’t belong to any riding club but the bonding we share now after the ride and shared during the ride is priceless and unbreakable now.
Road Trip to Bhutan (Photos)