Bhutan Intensive2023-01-16T09:04:01+00:00

Bhutan Intensive Motorcycle Tour

Bhutan – the “Land of the Thunder Dragon” – is no ordinary country! With its mighty Himalayan peaks, impressive monasteries and centuries-old traditions, it’s a hidden jewel tucked in between China and India. Deep gorges and dense forests cover the kingdom, which is roughly the size of Switzerland. That may sound small, but the winding roads over lofty mountain passes and through dense tropical jungles offer breathtaking vistas and showcase the country in its unheard-of diversity. Pristine nature and a unique culture that developed in isolation make Bhutan a very special motorcycling experience.

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On our 11-day Royal Enfield motorcycle tour through Bhutan, you can look forward to winding roads, no traffic worth mentioning, the Trumshing La (3,789 meters) and Chele La (3,988 meters) passes and truly stunning views. Ride with us through the remote kingdom and experience a Buddhist culture where people have recognized happiness as the supreme good in the world and ancient tra-ditions live on today.
Our discovery tour starts with your arrival in Delhi and a connecting flight to Bagdogra. In Jaigaon in Sikkim we get on our bikes, cross the border to Bhutan and enjoy all the impressions that the land of the thunder dragon with its mighty Himalayan mountains has to offer. Winding roads and breathtaking views will be the order of the day as we travel westward. We’ll tackle the highest passes of Bhutan on our Royal Enfield Bullets, explore the “Switzerland of Bhutan” in Bumthang Valley, roam the alleys of the capital Thimphu, and of course sample the local brew. A must-see near the end of the guided Bhutan motorcycle trip is the iconic Taktshang or “Tiger’s Nest” monastery in Paro, perched majestically on a steep mountainside – an image that adorns virtually every Bhutan travel guide. The Bhutan Intensive Motorcycle Tour wraps up with a flight from Paro to Delhi and a farewell dinner.
Our Bhutan motorcycle tour delivers unforgettable experiences and insights into a country that has stayed under the radar of mass tourism. We take time not only for its magnificent landscapes but also meet its wonderful, friendly people. Bhutan is waiting for you to discover it!

AT A GLANCE

AT A GLANCE

22.10. – 01.11.2023
05.11. – 15.11.2023
Enfield Bullet 500: 6.900€
Enfield Himalayan 411: 6.900€
Pillion 5.900€
Single Room +390€

RE Himalayan on special request

11 days / 10 nights / 8 riding days
Overnight stays in hotels of the middle class and in guesthouses.
24.03. – 03.04.2024
20.10. – 30.10.2024 
03.11. – 13.11.2024
Enfield Bullet 500: 6.900€
Enfield Himalayan 411: 6.900€
Pillion 5.900€
Single Room +390€

RE Himalayan on special request

13 days / 12 nights / 10 riding days
Overnight stays in hotels of the middle class and in guesthouses.

Highlights of the Guided Royal Enfield Tour Of Bhutan

  • From east to west: the gamut and highlights of Bhutan’s landscapes, from a steamy jungle filled with wildlife to Himalayan peaks and steep, dizzying passes
  • The ride to the iconic Taktshang “Tiger’s Nest” monastery near Paro
  • The rugged tracks of the unknown east of Bhutan, with Trumshing La Pass (3,789 meters)
  • Chele La Pass – at 3,988 meters, Bhutan’s highest motorable pass
  • The capital Thimphu, with its historical and cultural highlights and Bhutan’s best bars
  • Bhutan’s best boutique accommodation – places of beauty and character
  • The mystical town of Bumthang, the “Switzerland of Bhutan” and the valley of black-necked cranes
  • All new roads and regions that have only recently been opened and allow a unique loop through Bhutan
  • Visits to Bhutan’s oldest and most beautiful temples
  • A visit to a Bhutanese wheat beer brewery


We will cross 7 passes on this motorcycle tour:

3.780 m | Tumsi La – Pass
3.425 m | Yotang La – Pass
3.300 m | Pele La – Pass
3.450 m | Dochu La – Pass
3.500 m | Ura La – Pass
3.789 m | Trumshing La – Pass
3.990 m | Chele La – Pass – Der höchste Pass in Bhutan

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Bhutan Intensive Motorcycle Tour Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival to Delhi and flight to Bagdogra

Arrive at Delhi Airport by 02:30 AM. The domestic flight to Bagdogra takes place around 06:30.

Our Bhutan motorcycle tour begins with an early morning arrival in Delhi from where we take a flight to Bagdogra in West Bengal in eastern India. We then continue by taxi to Jaigaon on the western Bhutanese border. We have time in the hotel to relax and acclimatize, get to know the team and fellow riders and enjoy the “Welcome Dinner”. We stay overnight in Jaigaon.

Trashigang in eastern Bhutan

Day 2: To the capital of Bhutan – Timphu

In the early morning we cross the border into Bhutan at Phoentsoling after a short ride of a few kilometers. After the border formalities, things really get going, because the roads immediately become very winding, and we gain altitude. Soon we are at an altitude of over 2,000 meters and are following the Wang Chu River, which forms a dreamlike gorge landscape. We follow the riverbank to the north and enjoy the panorama from several striking vantage points. Along monasteries and ancient fortresses, we ride to the high valley of Timphu, the capital of Bhutan, where we spend the night at 2,330 meters. After dinner in a specialty restaurant, we can enjoy ourselves during little bar tour through what is perhaps the smallest capital in the world.

Distance covered: approx. 180 km

Day 3: From Timphu to the Valley of the Black Cranes

In the morning, for the best views, we head to the Golden Buddha Dordenma statue, which at 54 meters tall is the tallest statue in Bhutan. The viewpoint offers wonderful views of the Timphu Valley and the surrounding mountains. Afterwards we visit the Semthoka Dzong, a mighty fortress, then we leave the Timphu valley. After that, the road begins to climb rapidly with many switchbacks up to the Dochu La Pass, which is at an altitude of 3,450 meters. The top of the pass is marked by a large Bhutanese chorten, a prayer flagpole, and small prayer flags that local pilgrims hang here. We then leave the main road for a short detour to the Valley of the Black Cranes and Gangtey Monastery. We spend the night in the Phubjika valley at 2,800 meters. In the afternoon there may be the opportunity for a short hike – depending on our arrival time.

Distance covered: approx. 140 km

Trashigang to Mongar road
Bumthang Valley

Day 4: Bumthang, the Switzerland of Bhutan

We start the day with one of the most beautiful stages: an hour-long curve tango and motorcycling at its best in the “Black Forest of Bhutan”, the Black Forest Mountains. We climb up again. Never-ending curves lead us to the “Pele La Pass” at 3,300 meters. We cross the pass and make a short stop near the impressive “Chendebij Choerten” on the descent. Shortly after, we reach the extremely scenic Bumthang Valley via the Yotong La Pass (3,425 meters high). We explore Bumthang, where Swiss run a dairy and cheese factory. Of course, we are also interested in the “Jambay Lhakhang”, the second oldest Bhudda temple in Bhutan, built in the 7th century by Songtsen Gampo, the then king of Tibet.

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Tamshing Gompa is also worth a visit, one of Bhutan’s oldest monasteries with an impressive 15th-century temple. Afterwards we can visit the small wheat beer brewery of the Swiss. Of course, a beer and cheese tasting will not be missing here. After a delicious dinner we enjoy the evening at the crackling campfire under a starry sky. We spend the night in Bumthang at an altitude of 2,550 meters.

Distance covered: approx. 160 km

Day 5: The wild east of Bhutan

Today we will cross two mountain passes! From Bumthang we first head east. If Bhutan is hardly visited, even less tourists visit this remote area. We cross the wild Trumshing La Pass, which at 3,789 meters is one of the highest road passes in Bhutan and also leads us through different climate zones with beautiful, constantly changing vegetation. On the way, during a short tea stop, we take a look at the small farming village of Ura, which is built quite atypically by Bhutanese standards, and we don’t miss the Ura Pass (3,500m).

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With a bit of luck we will have fantastic views of the snow giant Jhomolhari (7,326m) from here. The houses in Ura are very close together so that the farming families can easily help each other. Also, remarkably, all the houses here face the same direction! We stay overnight in Trongsa where a short visit to the Chumey Yathra weavers and the Dzong, the local fortress, is planned. The Trongsa Dzong, a Buddhist monastic castle, is a monument of particular beauty, radiating the strength and power of the former prince of central Bhutan.

Distance covered: approx. 200 km

Jambay Lhakhang Buddhist temple
Trongsa Dzong, a Buddhist monastery castle

Day 6: Tracks, Passes & Remote Areas

We start early because today the longest riding day of the Bhutan motorcycle tour awaits us. Newly constructed roads and smaller passes lead to one of the most remote areas of Bhutan. Good roads alternate with dirt roads and the roads sometimes narrow to a single lane. We lose altitude shortly before our destination, as our destination Gelephu is right on the Indian border on the Manas River, which forms a river delta here. It seems as if we made it to a different climate zone, because the vegetation is characterized by palm trees and banana plants.

Distance covered: approx. 190 km

Day 7: Golden Monkeys & the Lhotshampa Territory

Shortly after our descent, we gain altitude again and ride north across hundreds of curves. Today we ride constantly up and down, moving between 1,300 and 1,800 meters in altitude. We reach Tsirang, where a Nepalese tribe has settled – the Lhotshampa, which translates to “Southern Borderlanders”. In this remote area one may be lucky enough to see golden langur monkeys along the road, wearing golden fur around their black heads. After about 5 hours of curve tango at its finest, we see the Punaka Dzong for the first time. This fortress is considered to be the most impressive in all of Bhutan and was built from 1637 onwards. It is also the winter seat of the Bhutanese government to this day.  We have ample opportunity to marvel at this monumental building, which is located directly on the river and invites you to take wonderful photos. It is believed that the structure will soon be inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

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In the evening we enjoy a delicious dinner and then a cozy campfire with our guest house host.

Distance covered: approx. 190 km

Gangtey monastery
Punaka

Day 8: Into the Haa Valley via the 3,990m Chele La Pass

Today, many curves awaits us in western Bhutan as we ride across Bhutan’s highest pass at 3,988 meters, the Chele La Pass. From here we have a wonderful view of the Haa Valley and Dobj Monastery. The roads that leads from the bridge of the monastery to Paro is lined with very large chortens. Barely visible to the right is Ugyen Pelri’s Royal Palace, built around 1930 by Paro Penlop Tshering Panjor. The town of Paro is small, as most of the people live near their fields where they cultivate their crops. Overnight in a beautiful boutique hotel.

Distance covered: approx. 180 km

Day 9: The Tiger Nest of Paro

In the morning we organize a fantastic trekking tour for you to the famous and extremely impressive Taktshang Monastery (“Tiger’s Nest”). It is one of the most important national shrines of Bhutan and a spectacular vantage point on a rocky outcrop (expenditure: four to five hours ascent, over 500 meters in altitude). If you are not up for the hike, we are happy to arrange a short tour of Paro Valley and the imposing ruins of the Drukgyel Dzong monastery. There is also the opportunity for sightseeing and shopping in the urban settlement of Paro, which only came into being here in 1985. As so often in Bhutan, there was no village in the immediate vicinity of the monastery. The houses that now stand on the main street are built in the traditional style and painted with colorful patterns. On the ground floor there are small shops typical of a mountain village, which provide the residents with the most important goods. Recently, more and more handicraft and souvenir shops popped up and sell often unique products.

Hot springs of Gaza
Dochu La Pass summit

Day 10: Ride back to India

Along the Wang Chu River, we take another road back to India. Arriving at the resort on the Indian border, we enjoy a goodbye dinner together and toast to the unforgettable memories.

Distance covered: approx. 160 km

Day 11: Flight to Delhi

Morning private taxi transfer to Bagdogra, connecting flight to Delhi around noon. The international return flight home can take place from 8 p.m.

Alternatively, you can extend your stay individually because India has a lot to offer. Nearby is India’s tea capital, Darjeeling in Sikkim, a charming city built in British Colonial style. From here there are beautiful views of snow-capped peaks, and the surrounding area is perfect for trekking and exploring. Alternatively, a beach holiday in tropical Goa can be added – there are numerous possibilities.

Through Haa Valley

Don’t Miss Out On a Wonderful Experience

Book your Tour Now – Bhutan Intensive Motorcycle Tour

We can accommodate only 14 motorbikes on this tour.

Since our tours get filled up fast, please book our Bhutan Intensive Tour now to avoid disappointment.

Our Next available tours are as follows:

2023
22.10. – 01.11.
05.11. – 15.11.

2024
24.03. – 03.04.
20.10. – 30.10.
03.11. – 13.11.

Book Now

Included Services

  • Domestic flights Delhi-Bagdogra and Bagdogra-Delhi
  • US$ 200 per person per day Tourist Tax Bhutan (Sustainable Development Fee)
  • 10 nights in selected mid-range hotels and guesthouses
  • Breakfast, lunch, dinner including non-alcoholic drinks
  • Rental motorcycle Royal Enfield Bullet incl. petrol
  • All lubricants for the motorcycles including oil, spare parts
  • Experienced English speaking tour guide throughout the trip on own motorcycle
  • Support vehicle for luggage transport and co-driver. Each pillion has a guaranteed seat in the vehicle.
  • Local mechanic in support vehicle, also available as backup rider
  • All the necessary permits for the motorcycles, the recognition of your international driving license by the Bhutanese government
  • Entrance fees to all sights mentioned in the itinerary
  • Special permit fees for road use, bridge tolls, etc.
  • Private transfer Bagdogra-Jaigaon and Jaigaon-Bagdogra
  • A road map of Bhutan
  • All airport transfers
  • Visa for Bhutan

Excluded Services

  • International flights to/from Delhi
  • Lunch on Day 11
  • India Double Entry Visa Fees
  • Travel cancellation insurance & international health insurance
  • Personal expenses such as alcoholic beverages

Questions & Answers

What do I need to bring along for a motorcycle tour?2020-01-06T11:30:46+00:00

You will definitely want to bring your riding suit with protectors and a helmet. You will also need motorcycle boots or lighter riding shoes and gloves. While your gear should be breathable in hot climates, you need to be ready for anything at high altitudes and in the Himalayas. We recommend winter gloves, warm socks, liners for jackets and trousers, a scarf and face protection. Rain gear is a good idea if your riding suit is not waterproof.
Please note that we do not hire out clothing. We believe that your own riding gear will fit best and thus give you the best protection. If you forget anything, we’ll find a solution, however. We often have spare gear with us, or we can point you in the direction of a shop.

Do I need travel insurance and travel health insurance?2019-12-18T06:24:21+00:00

We always recommend that you take out travel insurance to cover costs incurred if you need to cancel the trip due to illness or other reasons. When shopping for travel health insurance, make sure the policy covers the potentially high cost of medical evacuation to your home country. Both forms of insurance can save you a lot of money in an emergency and we recommend them unreservedly. In many countries, your national motoring organization can provide the coverage you need.

What should I keep in mind when riding with a passenger?2019-12-18T06:24:20+00:00

Riding two-up is almost always possible. In difficult terrain or on rough tracks, every passenger has a guaranteed seat in the support vehicle to keep things relaxed for both rider and pillion.

Do pillion passengers have a guaranteed seat in the support vehicle?2019-12-18T06:24:16+00:00

Yes, all passengers have a guaranteed seat. In bad weather or challenging riding conditions, they can switch to the support vehicle at any time – and back to the bike when conditions improve.

How big are the groups? What’s the minimum number of participants?2019-12-18T06:24:15+00:00

Groups generally consist of 8 to 14 riders and 2 to 6 passengers. The minimum number of participants is 6 riders.

What’s the Classic Bike Adventure travel team like?2022-04-14T10:41:11+00:00

Our European tour guides are skilled motorcyclists and inveterate travelers who love India. They’re resilient in the face of stress and know the history and culture of the regions they cover. Our Indian mechanics are experienced Enfield specialists who all speak English and are happy to help with any technical problem, great or small.
A stand-in rider is always available. More information on our travel concept is available here.

What kind of bikes will we ride?2019-12-18T06:24:12+00:00

We ride 500cc Royal Enfield Bullets manufactured from 2014 to 2017 that feature electric starters, 5-speed gearboxes with the gearshift on the left, front disk brakes, roomy and rugged leather saddlebags, crashbars, 19” tires and twin horns.

What do I need in the way of documents?2019-12-18T06:24:09+00:00

You will need your passport, national driving license, international driving license and flight ticket. Please be sure to make photocopies of all of your important travel documents and carry them separately. They can be invaluable in an emergency.

Do I need a driving license?2019-12-18T06:24:05+00:00

All riders must have a valid motorcycle driving license issued in their home country. An international driving license is also required. Be sure to contact the relevant authorities in your home country well in advance for more information on obtaining an international driving license.

Will I need maps?2019-12-18T06:31:37+00:00

Simple street maps are often available locally. The best road maps are available from the German publishers Reise Know How and Nelles. These are only available in specialized bookstores or online.

Where can I stow my bags?2019-12-18T06:24:02+00:00

Your baggage will be carried by the support vehicle. Please don’t pack too much – remember: less is more. From time to time, we’ll have to carry our baggage over short distances to the hotel. Baggage is not insured, so please be sure to purchase your own baggage insurance for the trip if necessary. Your personal items for the day are best kept in the saddlebags or your daypack. Tank bags – including magnetic ones – can be used on the Enfields, but we don’t provide them.

How much is the deposit for the bike?2019-12-18T06:24:00+00:00

Riders must make a deposit of USD/EUR 500.00 in cash for their bikes. The deposit will be refunded when the bike is returned in good condition. The deposit corresponds to the comprehensive insurance deductible for damage to the rented bike and damage or injuries to third parties caused by the rider.
(The deductible is payable in such cases!)

Important note: The deductible also applies to damage or injury to third parties. In practice, the rider is initially liable for the full damages. The costs are later refunded by the insurance company, minus the deductible.

What are the specs of the bikes?2019-12-18T06:23:59+00:00

Technical specifications: Single-cylinder four-stroke, 499 cc, 16 kW (28 bhp) at 4,600 rpm, 178 kg, 80 cm seat height, 123 kph max.

Our Enfields were manufactured from 2013 to 2017 and are well-maintained. Naturally, some of them bear the minor battle scars typical of touring motorcycles. Technically, they are all in top shape and perfectly suited to the planned tours. They’re tremendous fun to ride, and their handling is safe and predictable after a brief familiarization period. Our average speeds on the tour range from 40 to 60 kph, depending on the road conditions and traffic.

What’s a typical day on the road like?2019-12-18T06:22:49+00:00

A travel day normally begins at 8 am with breakfast. Around 9 am, after a short briefing by the road captain, it’s time for the day’s riding, the mileage of which can vary quite a bit. Plenty of time will be available for lunch and coffee breaks, of course. Depending on the day’s mileage, we’ll reach the destination hotel between 3 and 4 pm.
Since our tours vary considerably, we may also hit the road at 8 am on high-mileage days – which is also nice, because then we have the whole day ahead of us.

Why is Bhutan more expensive than other destinations?2020-01-29T09:21:48+00:00

If you want to travel to Bhutan, there is a minimum rate of $ 250 that a tourist has to pay each day for his Bhutan trip. Most of the money goes directly to Bhutan’s health and school system. The minimum rate set by the Bhutanese government doesn’t include local and international guides, mechanics, bike transport or other motorcycle tour related items.
Even if the prices are a bit more expensive compared to other tour prices, Bhutan is definitely worth it. A tour of Bhutan awaits you, where you will experience a hidden country, a new culture and unique adventures.

How do I get to Bhutan?2020-01-29T09:21:02+00:00

Via Delhi by plane to Thimphu, the capital. Or by motorcycle across the border at Samdruk near Guwahati (in the east of the country) or in the west at Phuentsholing.

What vaccinations and medications do I need for Bhutan?2020-01-29T09:20:41+00:00

Everyone who travels to Bhutan should of course have the standard vaccinations. These include hepatitis A and B, tetanus, diphtheria, measles and pertussis.
A vaccination against hepatitis A and B or its refreshment is generally recommended. In addition to medication for personal use, remedies for stomach problems, diarrhea, insect bites, fever and colds are recommended.
Some doctors may recommend taking malaria prophylaxis, but there is little risk of developing malaria in Bhutan. No participant has had to fight malaria on any of our tours. It is best to speak to your doctor about this. This also applies to the vaccinations recommended above.
For emergencies, our medicine chest is already a small treasure chest. We are prepared for (almost) every ailment. For the other cases, we organize everything necessary quickly and conscientiously with professional routine. However, every tour participant should bring good health and general fitness with them. It is important in any case that you take care of it in good time so that you do not get all the vaccines injected at the same time!
In the event of current dangers from epidemics or the risk of plague, we will react and inform you immediately. However, this has not happened in the past ten years.

Do I need a visa for Bhutan?2020-01-29T09:20:33+00:00

Yes, everyone who travels to Bhutan needs a visa. We will organize a visa for you.

How are the roads in Bhutan?2020-01-29T09:20:29+00:00

The whole country is made up of curves only, on average we count 10 per kilometer. There is hardly any traffic, even the capital Timphu does not need traffic lights! We experience small mountain roads in different conditions. The ride will never be boring – wonderful landscapes take away the joy of “driving fast”. Pure enjoyment and the real classic Royal Enfield Bullets, made for cruising at a speed of 30-70km / h.

Tour Concept by RC Peter

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