We'll be visiting a world of pristine natural beauty during our Eastern Himalaya Bike Tour. A land of snowcapped mountains, deep, broad valleys with fertile rice paddies and orchards, tiny villages and bustling market towns. Spectacular mountains, rare plants and animals, the ancient walls of Buddhist monasteries and a mystical aura make Bhutan a unique, exclusive experience. And finally, our classic single-cylinder Royal Enfield Bullet 500cc motorcycles – relics of India’s colonial past that are still rolling off the production line today – will help make our bike tour through Sikkim and Bhutan truly unforgettable.
We have visited Bhutan 21 times with our groups on motorcycles since 1996. Our Bhutanese friends now travel with us, giving us a unique perspective on their country.
We ride new 500cc Royal Enfield Bullet Motorcycles featuring electric starters, 5-speed gearboxes with the gearshift on the left, front disk brakes, large, rugged leather saddlebags, crashbars and twin horns. If you would like to ride a Classic Bullet with a kickstarter, 4-speed gearbox and gearshift on the right, we can arrange that as well.
6 riders. As is always the case when traveling in exotic countries without advanced tourist infrastructure, it may become necessary to alter the Bhutan Motorcycle Tour program on the spot due to unforeseen circumstances.
|Day||Tour Route in Detail||Destination||Altitude||Distance|
|1||Flying independently to New Delhi.|
|2||Breakfast in Delhi, connecting flight to Bagdogra. we'll be taking our Enfield Bullet 500 motorcycles out for a warm-up ride on adventurous side roads through tea plantations. Welcome dinner in the hotel.||Bagdogra|
|3||After breakfast, along the border to Nepal to Darjeeling (2,150 m), the famous tea planter's bazaar high up in the Himalayan foothills. (approx. 90 km), Darjeeling (2,150 m). (approx. 90 km)||Darjeeling||2150m||90km|
|4||After breakfast, we start by heading steeply downhill through tea plantations to Great Rangeet River, crossing the border into Sikkim at Jorethang after about 30 km.
We’ll then continue on our bikes through serene forests and fields back uphill to the renowned Pemayangtse Gompa Buddhist monastery (2,085 m), built in 1705 by the Nyangmapa order. We'll spend the night in the exclusive Hotel in the small Pelling hill station (2,000 m), around 10 km further. The hotel has a stunning view of the Mt. Kanchenjunga massif (8,598 m). (approx. 90 km)
|5||Today we'll be taking narrow mountain roads through deep valleys and remote passes. After a long twisty motorcycle ride at various altitudes, we’ll reach the Gangtok–Siliguri national highway at Sigtam. From there, it’s not far to our destination for the day, Rumtek Gompa, the most renowned monastery in Sikkim. This large, wealthy monastery is the seat of the 17th Karmapa Lama, the head of the Tibetan Buddhist Kagyupa Order, who fled from Tibet to India via Mustang and Nepal under dramatic circumstances only three years ago at the age of 18. After dinner, we’ll gather around the campfire in the garden with the crew and have our first opportunity to sample the local fire water. (approx. 120 km)||Rumtek||1600m||80km|
|6||Day round trip Gangtok & round the hill.||Rumtek||1600m||80km|
|7||We’ll be leaving Sikkim via Melli and Rangpo Check Post. A long day’s bike riding will take us across Tiger Bridge, Mall Bazaar (where we’ll be having lunch), Binaguri, Jaldapara and Hashimar to the Bhutanese border at Phutsoling. We’ll be spending the night at Hotel, taking care of border formalities for ourselves and the bikes, and meeting our Bhutanese crew.||Phuntsoling||350m||80km|
|8||From Phuntsoling to Paro
From Phuntsoling, we’ll be taking our bikes up the initially steep – and for the first 60 km relatively busy – main road into the Western Bhutanese mountains. After 70 km and arriving at an altitude of 2,000 meters, our street turns into a quiet dream road through peaceful forests and fertile valleys to Paro. The road starts ascending just after the border crossing, winding its way through the wooded Himalayan foothills, past a hydroelectric station (electricity is Bhutan's main export), and on to Paro via the Changspa pass (3,000 m). Paro remains a quaint little town with ancient temples, the royal palace and Bhutan's only airport. We’ve allotted a maximum of six hours riding time to cover just over 200 km. The town itself is rather small, as most people live in the surrounding countryside, working the most fertile soil in the country. The road from the dzong to Paro is lined by very large chortens. The royal palace of Ugyen Pelri, built by Paro Penlop Tshering Panjor around 1930, is barely visible on the right, Cosy and rustic, with the option to enjoy the traditional Bhutanese "Hot Stone Bath" and the scenic Paro town and Dzong view from the bar and terrace.
|9||Today we'll take a short motorcycle tour of the Paro Valley in western Bhutan to the imposing ruins of the Drukgyel Dzong fortress monastery. The day will include time for sightseeing and shopping in the town of Paro, a settlement that was not established until 1985. As is so often the case in Bhutan, there is no village near the dzong. The houses along the main street are built in the traditional style and are painted with colorful patterns. The ground floors contain small shops typical of mountain villages that stock the basic essentials for the inhabitants. Alternatively, we can organize a memorable trek to the renowned Taktshang monastery (the "dragon's nest") – a Bhutanese national treasure with a stunning vista. (a 2-hour, 500-meter climb)||Paro||2100m||50km|
|10||Today we’ll be doing a fantastic climb up to the Cheli La pass (3,990 m) Bhutan´s highest road ! We'll then take the new main road into Thimphu, Bhutan's capital city. (2,400 m, approx. 50,000 inhabitants) Our accommodations for the night are in a rustic and cosy , scenic located local Resort. A speciality dinner is lined up for us in the evening, followed by a little tour of the capital's pubs, if you're up to it.||Thimpu||2550m||130km|
|11||A short sightseeing tour in the morning and time to change money and shop; at 11:00 am it's time for our next bike ride through the mountains. Just out of Thimphu, the road begins a steep, twisty climb to the Dochu La pass at 3,450 meters. The top of the pass is marked by a large Bhutanese chorten and prayer flags. The road down from Dochu La into the Punakha Valley and on to Wangdi Phodrang goes on for some distance, descending 1,700 meters to the valley floor. In Punaka, we'll visit the largest and mightiest dzong in Bhutan and spend the night either at the Resort (approx. 110 km)||Punaka||1600m||130km|
|12||We’ll then climb back up the winding Pele La pass (3,300 m), and take a detour into the wild Pubjika Valley, later enjoying a lunch stop during the descent near the imposing Chendebi Chorten. After four hours of winding our way through the mountains, we’ll catch our first glimpse of the dzong. Eight kilometers outside of Trongsa, the road takes a tight bend to the left around an outcrop and presents us with one of the most breathtaking vistas in Bhutan. Trongsa dzong, a fortress built in 1648, sprawls down a steep hillside. Like nearly all towns in Bhutan, Trongsa is dominated by a dzong that dwarfs the surrounding buildings. We'll take our time to have a look around. We stay at the comfortable Resort with a scenic view at the Dzong and the deep valley. We will enjoy a campfire in the evening !||Trongsa||2180m||140km|
|13||We'll continue after a sumptious breakfast climbing up and up, across the Yotong La pass (3,425 m) on our way riding our motorcycles, into the picturesque Bhumthang Valley. En route, we'll stop briefly to visit the Chumey Yathra weavers. (approx. 160 km, 6 hours in the saddle!)
We'll spend the afternoon hours exploring Choskhor Valley, with its grazing Brown Swiss cattle and Swiss-run dairy plant. Naturally, we're also interested in the Tanshing Gompa, one of Bhutan’s oldest monasteries, with an impressive temple dating back to the 15th century. We'll spend the night in the scenic and cosy Guest House Resort in Bhumthang, with attached beer brewery.
|14||From Bhumthang, we'll be heading east. Foreigners may be few and far between in western Bhutan, but virtually none make their way into the regions we'll be seeing today. On the way to Mongar (1,800 m), we'll be crossing the Tumsi La, on of Bhutan's highest road passes. During the motorcycle ride, we can observe the changes in the beautiful surrounding vegetation as we climb through the various climate zones. But first, we'll visit Ura, a village that is untypical for Bhutan. The houses are all built very close to one another, all facing in the same direction. (approx. 140 km). Overnight in the stylish Hotel in Mongar||Mongar||2050m||100km|
|15||Today we're going to cruise to Tashigang via Drametsi. We'll cross the Korila pass (2,490 m) and wind our way through refreshing evergreen forests in the Yadi Loops. From the hot Kanglung Chu valley, we'll ride up on our bikes to the quiet little mountain town of Tashigang (approx. 150 km). Our romantic hotel is is built like a small fortress and has more atmosphere than actual creature comforts, but we'll hardly miss them considering the spectacular views.||Tashigang||1300m||120km|
|16||Today we'll tackle the last leg of the Bhutan motorcycle tour, from Tashigang to Samdrup Jonghar. 30 km into the day, we'll reach Bhutan's only university in Kanglung. Later, in Khaling, we'll visit weavers, practitioners of a craft that's very popular here in eastern Bhutan. For the rest of the ride, we'll once again experience Bhutan as a true paradise for bikers, with endless winding roads through the mountains. We'll enjoy the view during our picnic lunch, then slowly descend to Samdrup Jongkhar, a town on the border to the Indian state of Assam, at an altitude of only 200 meters. And that's the end of the tour! Dinner will be served at Hotel a basic place, but the best one in town.||Jonkhar||1800m||180km|
|17||Today we return to India. Our AC deluxe bus will take us 130 km through the lush plains to the Assamese capital Guwahati on the Brahmaputra river. From there, we'll transfer straight to the airport for a short flight to Delhi in the afternoon and have our farewell dinner at the famous "Crossroads" Tandoori speciality restaurant in Delhi. Also we provide rooms in the attached Hotel till the airport transfer.||Hotel Delhi||140km|
|18||Flying independently from Delhi to your home or next destination.|