Flying Dragons: a trip to Bhutan

16th May 2014

The four of us travelled out from Patna, going up to Darbhanga and then taking the fantastic expressway till forbesganj araria. From there, we took the state highway on to Siliguri(there is a good road and a bad road, we picked the latter because gooogle calculates shortest distance. Adter being pummeled by the atrocious road uses by trucks going to the northeast, we dropped anchor at birpara. For travellers ibrecommemd that you continue on to Phuentsholing,the border town on the Bhutanese side and stay the night there. Gives one a chance to see the lovely little town in the morning. Otherwise stay at New Jalpaiguri for a day or two to roam around in the reserve forests before heading up to Bhutan if you have the time Getting permits from Phuentsholing is fairly straightforward if you have an indian passport. But the office is little and often the net goes down so be prepared to be delayed in the morning. The road permit is made further down ar he transport office and make sure you have enough copies of PUC, car papers and drivers licence. We left finally at around two. The road to Thimphu is beautiful and easy to drive on for the most part being three laned but because the main highway is under construction , there is a segment which is two laned and a fairly edgy ride if you arent used to driving on the mountains. We arrived at Thimphu at around 8. Its a quiet little town with little going on outside of the main road. We found a budget hotel at 1000 per room per day which was fantastic and smelt of pine and the mountains. Many cater to an 8ndian clientele so food is generic at most places. Since e took our own car, we armed ourselves with a map(no intl smartphones with us) and decided to visit a few places. The tango monastery was about 8 kms out of town close to the jigme national park. We hiked up the 2kms up from the brook and found ourselves at the gorgeous 400year old site. Other sites are also fairly accessible and straightforward to get to if you ask often enough. The people are absolutely lovely and accomodating. Prices for food etc are a bit high though. The next day we went to Paro, and though we coulsnt make it to the tigers nest owing to paucity of time, we stopped for a few attractions en route before making thw drive back to thimphu. We broke our journey at siliguri at night before heading back to patna the same ay we came

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