Bhutan by Enfield – Nov 2017

Come and join World Horizons Matthew Swait aboard a classic 500cc Royal Enfield, as we ride from the Assamese town of Guwahati to the rich & fertile valley of Paro in the exotic West of Bhutan, through the most spectacular mountain roads in the Himalaya.

Riders: $6995
Pillions or Traveling in the Support Vehicle: $6195
Single Room Supplement: $690


  • All Meals
  • All Accommodation
  • Bhutan Visa
  • Support Vehicles & Staff (Truck & 8 Seater Toyota Hiace)
  • Full use of a 500cc Royal Enfield with gear shift on the lefthand side
  • Bike mechanic (travels with the tour to make sure your bike is always running at its best)
  • All fuel
  • Repairs, maintenance and spare parts
  • Government Royalty and Taxes
  • Comprehensive emergency first-aid equipment and medical supplies
  • WH Tour Leader with First Aid Qualifications
  • English Speaking Bhutanese Guide
  • All Entrance Fees
  • Internal Flight Calcutta to Guwahati
  • Drinking Water Throughout

Not Included: International Flights, Travel insurance, Drinks & your Indian Visa.

  • Day 1: Arrive Calcutta (Sat 4th Nov)

All we need is your flight details, and we’ll have a car to pick you up from the airport in Calcutta and take you straight to the Fairlawn Hotel in Sudder St. If you arrive late your guide, Matthew Swait, will meet you tomorrow morning, otherwise he’ll be there to greet you and share a meal with you at the hotel this evening.

  • Day 2: Calcutta (Sun 5th)

Without doubt, Calcutta is one of India’s most famous and populous cities. There is so much to do and you are right in the centre of it all! The Fairlawn Hotel is itself a living showcase of a bygone era that was once Imperial India. You’ll have more fun here than you can imagine and we guarantee your stay at the hotel will be quite an experience.

  • Day 3: Calcutta to Samdrup Jongkhar (Mon 6th)

We catch a mid morning flight from Calcutta and arrive in the Assamese town of Guwahati just after midday. From here it’s a 2 hour drive to the border with Bhutan, and then a 20 minute drive to our hotel in Samdrup Jongkhar. At the hotel we’ll set you up on your Royal Enfield and give you plenty of time to test ride your bike on the quite streets surrounding the hotel.

  • Day 4: Samdrup Jongkhar to Trashingang (Tue 7th – 160kms)

Samdrup Jongkhar is only 150m above sea level, so you’ll notice a big difference in vegetation and climate today as we ascend rapidly from the plains into in the foothills of the Himalaya. Be ready for a few spots this morning where road works are under way – so expect a little dust. Tonight we stay in a picturesque hotel in amongst an apple orchard, just outside the township of Trashingang.

  • Day 5: Trashingang to Mongar (Wed 8th – 95kms)

At only 1100m Trashingang clings to a steep hillside above the Gamri River and is the principal township of the largest and most populated district in Bhutan. After spending time exploring the town we’ll visit Trashingang Dzong, standing at the extreme end of a rocky outcrop far above the river gorge. We’ll then ride the bends down to the riverside check-post before meandering along the banks of the river and then climb up through a beautiful forest toward the Kori La at 2450m. From here it’s a fabulous ride down into Mongar through paddy fields of corn and rice.

  • Day 6: Mongar to Jakar (Thu 9th – 198kms)

This is a remarkable day’s ride on a fantastic road! From Mongar at 1600m the road plunges dramatically to an astonishingly low 650m. From the bridge over of the Kurichu River we start an amazing climb that will take us to the top of the Thrumsing La at 3750m – our first major Himalayan pass in Bhutan. From this amazing vantage point we ride on to Ura – one of the highest of Bhumthang’s four valleys, and believed by some to have been the home of the earliest inhabitants of Bhutan. We then descend into Jakar and the incredibly beautiful Bhumthang Valley. With an average altitude of 2600m, Bhumthang has a charm that seems to separate it from all other regions in Bhutan. Comprised of four stunning valleys, this deeply spiritual region is shrouded in religious legend. Our home tonight is the very charming Swiss Cottage.

  • Day 7: In Bhumthang District (Fri 10th)

After yesterdays long ride we’ll take it a little easier today with a short trip up the valley to the village of Nasiphel to try our hand at the most popular sport in Bhutan – archery. You’ll also sample some of the amazing local organic cuisine here during lunch, as well as learn a little of the farming techniques in this region.

  • Day 8: Jakar to Trongsa (Sat 11th – 70kms)

After a leisurely start we ride past water-driven prayer wheels and colourful rock carvings as we leave the Bhumthang district crossing the Yotong La at 3425m. On our way up to the pass this morning we’ll also catch a glimpse of the stunning golden-roofed Jakar Dzong. Known as the Castle of the White Bird it commands a dramatic position with the Chamkar River cascading in one continuous waterfall through the valley below. We then ride another great road of fantastic bends and curves before arriving mid afternoon at our hotel in Trongsa.

  • Day 9: Trongsa to Punakha (Sun 12th – 140kms)

After an hour or so we reach the small village of Gangtey then ride on and over the Pele La at 3420m. On a good day you can see some of the highest peaks in Bhutan from here, and marks the boundary between western and central Bhutan as well as the western border of Jigme Singye Wangchuk National Park. Just before the pass is the Longte Valley, site of the famous Trongsa Dzong built in 1645. In 2008 the Watch Tower was converted into a Royal Museum that has a number of fascinating items on display that were used by members of the Wangchuk Dynasty. During our visit you can also see the Raven Crown that was worn by their first King in 1907. On arrival in Punakha we settle into our hotel only a short distance from the river and the world renowned Punakha Dzong.

  • Day 10: Punakha to Thimphu (Mon 13th – 77kms)

A trip to Punakha wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the stunning Dzong that sits on the confluence of two beautiful rivers. For many the tour through this magnificent building is one of the highlights of the trip. From the Dzong we ride a great set of bends that winds its way through a landscape of cacti, banana trees, poinsettias, and other semi-tropical plants before a dramatic change as we reach the 3140m pass of Doch La. From this pass, on a good day, you’ll get a sensational 180 degree panorama of distant Himalayan peaks to the east and west. Today we’ll also travel through the interesting town of Chimed Lhakhang in the Lobesa Valley. Here you’ll see many houses painted with graphic phallic images. Apparently these artworks are dedicated to a local saint know as the “Divine Madman”, and are a way of warding off evil deities. At any rate they certainly make for an interesting photo opportunity! Tonight our home is the Kisa Hotel right in the centre of downtown Thimphu.

  • Day 11: Around Thimphu (Tue 14th)

This morning we’ll ride for about 45mins and then it’s a beautiful walk up to the Tango Goemba Monastery. Tango is one of Bhutan’s most important Buddhist colleges. Its name, meaning ‘horse’s head’, is derived from the shape of the rock near the top of the monastery. Here we’ll meet with some of the monks and learn a little of their daily life in such a place. After lunch back in Thimphu you’re free to explore on your own. The local football ground is a great place to see archers in action, trying to hit ridiculously small targets from some 120 metres away! There are also a myriad of temples, monasteries and other remarkable buildings you might also want to visit and look through at your own pace.

  • Day 12: Thimphu to Paro via the Haa Valley (Wed 15th – 130kms)

It’s a fantastic ride today via the Haa Valley on our way to Paro, through forests of blue pine, fir, oak and rhododendrons till we reach the Chelila Pass at 3900m. From the pass it’s a short walk up to the main peak of Chelila at 4000m for an amazing view of the Northern and Western Himalayan ranges including Mt Jumolhari. From here you also get a great view down onto the Paro & Haa Valleys. From the pass we ride down into Paro Valley and your home for the next two days – the Naksel Resort. This wonderful hotel blends the heritage of traditional Bhutanese architecture with the comfort of modern amenities. The traditional windows, mud-bricks, framework and even furniture were all made locally and crafted in the nearby village of Ngoba. From your room you’ll have a wonderful view of Bhutan’s famous Mount Jumolhari. The Naksel Resort is also famous for its traditional hot stone baths – a favourite with all riders after a few long days in the saddle.

  • Day 13: Around Paro (Thu 16th)

Today you’ll visit one of the most spectacularly positioned monasteries in the world – Tiger Nest Monastery. Legend has it that Padma Sambhava, commonly known as the second Buddha in Bhutan, came here in the 8th century on a flying tigress to subdue the demons who were trying to stop the spread of Buddhism in Bhutan. It’s a good walk so make sure you leave a little energy for this wonderful excursion. Tonight our farewell dinner is at the hotel.

  • Day 14: Depart Paro (Fri 17th Nov)

Tour services end today and we have arranged transfers for all clients to the airport for your onward flights. If you would like to stay on at the Naksel Resort for a day or two longer do let us know and we will organise it for you.

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