Vacation, 2200+ Kms motorbike tour in Northeastern India and Bhutan

Travelogue: 2200+km motorcycle road trip in Northeastern India.
August 2010

All photos are here (feel free to use them as you please). GPS plots and GPX files are also available. If you need them please drop me a line.

The plan

After having done the Manali – Leh trip (North India) two times, we thought it was time to give the Northeastern part of India and Bhutan a visit on a motorbike. I had read so many travel blogs about the beauty of Sikkim, Darjeeling and India’s neighboring country, Bhutan.

So, the plan was this. I would fly into Calcutta in West Bengal, India from Hong Kong and my friend Prashant would bring his own motorbike from Mumbai to Calutta by train. I would be renting a motorbike in Calcutta and we would start driving from there.

The execution:

Booking a plane ticket to Calcutta was simple enough. I used www.makemytrip.com which I would highly recommend. Very easy to use website for good deals. I got a ticket from HK – Bang Kok – Calcutta for HKD 3800.

The motorbike rental turned out to be a much greater challenge though. Having scoured the internet and having called many, many shops, we realized 2-3 days before the trip that getting a rental motorbike in Calcutta would be extremely difficult. The backup plan was to buy a second hand bike for 10 days and sell it back to the same shop we would buy it from for a discounted price. We weren’t sure if we could pull this off.

And this is what really happened:

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Vacation, Calcutta to Bhutan and back! [2010-08-20 to 2010-09-04]

The idea is to start in Kolkata (Calcutta), India, get a motorbike there and then drive to Bhutan and back.

The drive is intended to last well over 1500Kms [Calcutta -> Darjeeling -> Sikkim -> Bhutan and back]

Steps in the process:

a) Ticket from Hong Kong to Calcutta (cheapest one I could find was a HKD 3800 ticket. HK -> Bangkok (Thai Airways) -> Calcutta (Kingfisher Airlines)

b) Get a motorbike in Calcutta

Now, the status is that I don’t think getting a bike in Calcutta is going to be easy. Internet searches have turned up dry and the plan is to hit a few mechanic shops in Calcutta and try our luck there.

There is a saying: where is is money, there is a way. Idea is to find the way while spending as little money as possible!

Itinerary and details to follow.