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  #1  
Old 25 Jul 2011
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Two week tour in Bhutan - starting October 1st

I am heading out for a 2 week tour in Bhutan, Assam, and West Bengal . I am flying from Kathmandu to Paro and driving west to east through Bhutan, crossing into West Bengal and driving east to west through the Indian plains.

Unfortunately the only way to tour in Bhutan is with a guide on a fully supported tour. I would prefer to do this on my own but it is not possible in Bhutan.

So I have booked a tour with a Bhutanese company that arranges tours on KTM 640 Adventure bikes (not Enfileds). I will arrive in Bhutan on October 1st and travel for 14 days. Since the trip is fully supported it is not cheap but it is an amazing opportunity. I live in Nepal and I know that you cannot possibly have this type of an experience in Nepal. Bhutan is similar in geography but it is sparsely populated with only 700,000 people. It has well maintained roads through the mountains (including passes over 12,000ft) with no crowds, no trash, and no pollution. Nepal has a population of over 30 million people and the only east-west motorable road is in the plains where more than 55% of the populations resides. This road is crowded, polluted and busy with truck traffic and no visibility of the mountains. The only way to see big mountains in Nepal is by trekking on foot, not on a motorcycle.

I am a private person looking for others to join me on this trip. I can tell you lots more about the trip if you send me an email. I don't want to be accused of promoting a tour agency so contact me for details if this interests you. At that point I can tell you the name of the company I am booked with along with details about the itinerary.

Last edited by fierstf; 27 Jul 2011 at 02:51.
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Old 26 Jul 2011
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Bhutan

Sounds interesting, can you give any indication of cost or is it dependent on the number of people in the party?
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Old 26 Jul 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robtho View Post
Sounds interesting, can you give any indication of cost or is it dependent on the number of people in the party?
Itinerary: Paro-Haa-Thimphu-Punakha-Phobjikha-Bumthang-Mongar-Lhuentse-Trashigang-Yangtsi-Samdrup Jongkhar-Manas Wildlife sanctuary(India Assam), West Bengal Chalsa over 14 days.

The cost is USD 4240/person - tour is fully supported with guide, mechanic and support vehicle that will transport luggage.
Single room supplement USD 490/person.
USD 2550/person pillion or using the support vehicle.

Price includes
• Motorcycle KTM 640CC Adventure rental with maintenance.
• A grade Hotels and resorts in all places approved by Tourism council of Bhutan.
• A mechanic will follow.
• A back up vehicle.
• Accommodation on twin sharing basis in tourist standard hotels. [Single room supplement as mentioned]
• All meals - breakfast - lunch - dinner.
• All sightseeing with fluent English speaking knowledgeable Guide.
• Entry fees to sights.
• Cold drinks, mineral water on transfers
• All transfers.
• Bhutan visa and permits.

Extras
• Laundry, phone & all other bills of personal nature.
• Bar bills
• Fuel for bikes allotted budget about USD 150 for entire tour.
• Tipping.
• Insurance including helicopter evacuation.
• Flights to Paro.
• Bike insurance. You bend it you mend it!

If you send me your email address, I can send you a PDF that fully describes the route, the things you will see en-route, etc. I can also send you a google map that shows the route and roads we will travel.
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Old 2 Mar 2012
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fierstf,

I'm currently researching options in Bhutan and this is one of the companies I came across. I'm curious if your trip went through and if so, could you elaborate on your experience?


Cheers,
boarder
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  #5  
Old 2 Mar 2012
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Although I had a great time overall touring Bhutan, I would not recommend this company. I probably had a unique experience, but I do not trust this tour operator.

He did not have trips planned in October so he agreed to book the tour according my dates and then he advertised the trip to get others to join me. He gave me a price assuming that there would be a group of people. In the end, no one else joined and he spent the whole trip trying to cut corners and save himself money that he really impacted my trip.

For instance, the motorcycles were supposed to be a the hotel when I arrived in Paro. The owner told the guide to pick me up in a car and take me around for the first 4 days in a truck. He said we could start riding motorcycle on day 5 when we departed Thimpu. He assumed that I would be OK with spending the first 4 days of a 14 days trip NOT riding a motorcycle.

He also gave me the itinerary promised above. At the end of the trip when I was about to depart Samdrup Jongkhar to enter India to visit the Manas Wildlife sanctuary, the guide told me that there has been a long term insurgency going on in the region. He said that locals had been beheaded by insurgent groups so it was not safe to visit the Sanctuary. So I still don't understand why it was promised to me in my itinerary months before I ever entered the country. Since I no longer had a reason to stop over in India, I drove the 400 kms through the Indian plains and I had no choice but to end my trip a day early. That is not what you want to learn when you have come half way around the world on a once in a life time trip. To say that I was severely disappointed is an understatement.

So I could go on and on, but my recommendation is to find another tour operator. I did enjoy Bhutan and I would encourage people to visit. It is a great country to see by motorcycle. If you want more info, please feel free to message me.
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  #6  
Old 4 Mar 2012
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fierstf,
Thanks very much for your honest feedback. I'm planning ahead for 2013. Do you have any thoughts on doing a circuit in spring rather than fall? Obviously you have done it in October. Was that OK weather and visibility wise?


Cheers,
boarder
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  #7  
Old 21 Mar 2012
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Spring or fall you should be fine. Just avoid the summer monsoons and you should have a great time.
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  #8  
Old 21 Mar 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fierstf View Post
Although I had a great time overall touring Bhutan, I would not recommend this company. I probably had a unique experience, but I do not trust this tour operator.

He did not have trips planned in October so he agreed to book the tour according my dates and then he advertised the trip to get others to join me. He gave me a price assuming that there would be a group of people. In the end, no one else joined and he spent the whole trip trying to cut corners and save himself money that he really impacted my trip.

For instance, the motorcycles were supposed to be a the hotel when I arrived in Paro. The owner told the guide to pick me up in a car and take me around for the first 4 days in a truck. He said we could start riding motorcycle on day 5 when we departed Thimpu. He assumed that I would be OK with spending the first 4 days of a 14 days trip NOT riding a motorcycle.

He also gave me the itinerary promised above. At the end of the trip when I was about to depart Samdrup Jongkhar to enter India to visit the Manas Wildlife sanctuary, the guide told me that there has been a long term insurgency going on in the region. He said that locals had been beheaded by insurgent groups so it was not safe to visit the Sanctuary. So I still don't understand why it was promised to me in my itinerary months before I ever entered the country. Since I no longer had a reason to stop over in India, I drove the 400 kms through the Indian plains and I had no choice but to end my trip a day early. That is not what you want to learn when you have come half way around the world on a once in a life time trip. To say that I was severely disappointed is an understatement.

So I could go on and on, but my recommendation is to find another tour operator. I did enjoy Bhutan and I would encourage people to visit. It is a great country to see by motorcycle. If you want more info, please feel free to message me.
Hi,
I heartily recommend that you make a cut and paste report about your tour experiences into the "tour" forum - it is a located a bit lower down in the HUBB.
Actually, it is here: http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/tours/
Apart from that, how do you find Nepal nowadays? I have been reading about it in preparation for a back-packing trip.
Sorry, so (from Bhutan) but I guess Nepal feedback could be posted into a specific thread about Nepal!!

Thanks
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