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Bike Across Bhutan


it is time to get prepared for your tour!

details, suggestions & more

General Information

What we need you to do

  • Fill out your Guest Questionnaire
  • Fill out your Bhutan Visa Form
  • Make sure you have the necessary visas for India and any transit points
  • Spend a little time warming up for the tour

Guides

All of your crew on the Bike Across Bhutan are from Bhutan. Pedalers believes strongly that local guides can provide much more insight into a country's culture, daily life, cuisine and history, then any imported guide, no matter how well they have been trained.

You will be getting a pre-tour email regarding your guide team prior to departure. In addition to basic info, such as their name, it will also have phone contacts should you need to reach them while in transit or if you can't seem to connect in the airport. You can also relay messages via our main office if you get delayed enroute.

Tipping

While tipping is not mandatory, it is always a nice way to say thanks for a job well done and greatly appreciated by your crew. While Pedalers pays our guides well above local standards, it is still low compared to what workers get in your home country (and low compared to what you may spend for souvenirs and post ride beers).

We would like to offer the following suggested amounts for your crew members, of course subject to how well or how far above the call of duty they went. Tipping in local currency is suggested and amounts listed are per guest per staff.
    Bike Guides: 4000 Nu
    Support Drivers: 2500 Nu

Itinerary

Download Itinerary PDF

Travel Needs

Meeting Point & Time

Your guides will meet you and your fellow guests upon your arrival at the Guwahati Airport.

Your guides will be waiting after you clear immigration and customs, either at or just outside the front door of the terminal.

Flight Requirements

The Bike Across Bhutan tour uses Guwahati Airport (India) as its arrival airport and Paro Airport (Bhutan) as the departing airport.

    Arrive: Guwahati Airport (GAU) before 12 noon on Day 1
    Depart: Paro Airport (PBH) after 10 am on Day 16

Paro is served only by Druk Air, the national airline of Bhutan, with flights connecting to Bangkok, Delhi, Calcutta and Singapore. Guwahati can be reached via Druk Air with flights from Bangkok. Guwahati also is served by a number of Indian Airlines from Delhi and Calcutta.

Pedalers can arrange for the necessary flights on Druk Air to reach India and Bhutan. Druk Air also now offers online booking, if you prefer to handle your own flights.

Visa and Passport needs

Visas are required for all guests joining the Bike Across Bhutan. Visas to visit Bhutan can only be obtained through an authorized tour company. The Visa Fee is included in our tour price and Pedalers will submit your documents for processing.

Visas for India are also required for all guests. It is the guest's responsibility to obtain this visa, Pedalers can not and will not obtain India visas on your behalf. Please contact the India Embassy in your country for the current rules and procedures.

Your passport should have at least 6 months validity left on the date your trip starts. Most airlines will not let you board without.

Bhutan Visa process:

Guests must fill out the Bhutan Visa Form listed in the links to the right in its entirety. We ask that you do this through our secure form, as we must transmit this data electronically to the Bhutanese Government.

In addition to submitting the form we will need a scanned color copy of the first page of your passport (the one with your photo on it). Please save the scan as a JPEG file and email it as an attachment to: tours@pedalers.travel (list your booking id in the email message area). If you have control over your scanner's set up, please use 100 to 150 dpi setting and disable auto-cropping. Please note that poor quality scans maybe rejected by the Bhutanese Government, do not scan a photocopy, scan the actual passport.

You will be sent by email, a Visa Authorization Letter prior to departure that you will need to print a copy of to show to Immigration Officials upon arrival in Bhutan. It never hurts to print an extra copy as well.

Please be aware that the government does not send us these Visa Authorization Letters until a week or two before your trip starts. But the government reviews your visa application as soon as we submit it, so if there are any issues they can be addressed well in advance. Bhutan approves most every visa application for folks traveling on tours.

Please note that Pedalers arranges ONLY for your Bhutan visa. Guests are responsible to obtain their Transit Visa for the travel through India on Day 1. Also any visas required for transit points departing from Bhutan (Thailand, India, Nepal or Singapore) are the responsibility of the guests.

Vaccinations & Health needs

No specialty inoculations or vaccinations are required for visiting Bhutan, other than the usual travel suggestions (tetanus, etc).

Destination Info

Currency, Exchange & ATMs

Bhutan uses the Ngultrum as its currency. The approximate value is 60 Ngultrum to 1 US Dollar. Paper money comes in 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 Ngultrum notes, coins come in 1 Ngultrum and 25, 50 Chetrum denominations (100 Chetrums = 1 Ngultrum).

When bringing cash, be sure it is the newest version of your home currency and in good shape (no torn or worn out bills). Asian banks are quite finicky about exchanging worn money due to counterfieting.

ATMs are available in the bigger cities in Bhutan. Most take a wide range of cards, Visa, MasterCard, Cirrus, Plus.

A few things to keep in mind though:
  • Your bank back home may also charge a fee for using the ATM.
  • If you have multiple accounts tied to a single debit card, international ATMs will usually default to your current or checking account.

Cell Phones & Internet

Cellular phone service in Bhutan is based on the global GSM frequencies (900 / 1800 mHz). Local prepaid SIM cards can be obtained, should you desire a local number for more economical calling. Travelers coming from the USA & Canada, need to check if their phone accommodates "international" frequencies, as North American systems use the 800 / 1900 mHz bands. 3G cellular data service is available in some locations.

Some of our hotels provide wifi access to the internet (central and western Bhutan mostly). This service is free at some stops and at extra cost at others. While decent speeds will be available in the bigger cities, in the countryside it will be much slower. We suggest that you not plan on any video streaming or other such hi-speed oriented downloads.

Power

Bhutan has 220 V 50Hz power. The outlets are set up to use the round pin plugs common in Europe.

Most modern electronics now accommodate voltage ranges from 110V to 220V, so a power convertor usually is not necessary if your camera, phone, laptop, tablet have been built within the last 5 to 10 years.

Hotel List

Hotel List

Samdrup Jongkhar
Tashi Longched Trokhang Hotel
phone: 975-7-251470
fax: 975-7-251188

Morong
camp*

Khaling
camp*

Tashigang
Hotel Druk Deothjung
phone: 975-4-521214
fax: 975-4-521269

Mongar
Wangchuk Hotel
phone: 975-4-641416
fax: 975-4-641291

Ura
camp*

Jakar
Kaila Guesthouse
phone: 975-3-631219
fax: 975-3-631247

Trongsa
Yangkhil Resort
phone: 975-3-521417
fax: 975-3-521420

Gangtey Goenpa
Hotel Dewachen
phone: 975-2-490007

Wangdue / Punakha
Meri Puensum Resort
phone: 975-17-777771
fax: 975-2-584203

Thimphu
Hotel Druk
Clock Tower Square
Wogzin Lham, Thimphu
phone: 975-7719-8819
fax: 975-2-322677

Paro
Zhiwaling Resort
phone: 975-8-271277
fax: 975-8-271456



* For emergency contact when the tour is camping, call the phone number for your guide (provided by email prior to departure). Please note that cellular coverage in the regions where we camp is not the best so callers may need to keep trying.

Bhutan's country code is 975. To call these numbers from inside of Bhutan replace the 975 with 0. English is spoken to a reasonable degree by the front desk personnel that would be answering incoming calls.

The hotels listed here are our first choice properties, but may not be available for all departures. If a substitution is necessary it will be of similar or better quality.


Bicycle Info

Using Our Bike

Please note that Pedalers does not provide helmets or waterbottles. Due to the warmer & humid climates in which our tours travel, we don't feel that loaner helmets can be adequately cleaned between uses, so we request you bring your own from home. If you don't have a helmet, they can be easily purchased at most of our touring gateways.

We suggest bringing one large waterbottle to use. Our support vehicles carry plenty of water to refill during the day.

If you ride regularly at home and use clip in pedals or have a favorite comfortable saddle, feel free to bring those with you and our guides will be happy to swap them out for you.

To help our guides have the correct size bikes available, we will need an accurate measurement of your height and inseam. Height should measured while barefooted. Your inseam should also be measured in bare feet and please note that the inseam value listed on your pants is not accurate for sizing a bike, follow the directions below.

Stand with your back against a wall, your bare feet 6 inches (15 cm) apart on a hard floor, looking straight ahead. Place a book between your legs with one edge against the wall, and pull it up firmly into your crotch, simulating the pressure of your saddle while riding. Have a friend measure from the top edge of the book to the floor. Repeat two or three times, for consistency, and average the results to get your inseam length.

Bringing Your Personal Bike for the Tour

If your bicycle hasn't had its annual overhaul, now is the time to do it !!

We expect that your bike will be in suitable shape for this tour when you arrive, as we strike out on tour the morning after you arrive and don't have time to overhaul your bike for you. Take your bike into your favorite shop and ask them to do a complete overhaul, so you can enjoy your tour with us.

Some items that they should be doing during the overhaul:

  • Check, clean & repack all bearings
  • Check tires, replace if dry-rotted or bare treaded
  • Check, adjust or replace all brake and shift cables
  • Check, clean & oil chain
  • Check, clean & adjust brakes
  • Check all nuts and bolts holding accessories

While our guide teams try to have a wide variety of spares, such as cables, inner tubes, etc, it is always advisable to bring at least two or three spare inner tubes that fit you bike with you to the tour.

To prepare your bike for the flight, first shift your front and rear derailleurs to their inner most position (smallest gear in front, largest cog in back). This brings the derailleurs inside the protection of the frame.

Next loosen both your stem and handlebars, so that you can turn them to the right and then rotate the handlebars down, so that they end up curling inside your frame. Then retighten the bolts. This will protect your brake levers during shipping. Finally, loosen and remove your pedals. We suggest putting them in a plastic bag and packing them in your luggage.

In this form your bike will fit inside the boxes provided by the airlines or will fly as is (our guides send their bikes without boxes this way quite often). If your airline does not provide boxes and will not accept the bike unboxed (check when your book your tickets), then ask your local bike shop for a box (as big of one as they have). Disassemble the bike as little as possible, hopefully you can get away with only removing the front wheel and seat/seatpost. If you have to remove the wheel(s) take out the quick release skewers, as they will get bent otherwise. Be sure to put any small parts in a plastic bag and attach it to the bike frame.

Clothing & Equipment

To Wear

Cycling Gear
  • Cycling Shorts
  • Jerseys / T-shirts
  • Socks
  • Cycling Gloves
  • Cycling Shoes
  • Rain Jacket
  • Helmet
  • Waterbottle

Cool Weather Cycling Gear
  • Tights or Leggings
  • Pile vest
  • Lightweight Gloves (poly-pro, pile or wool)
  • Wind or Rain Pants

After Riding Clothes(casual wear)
  • Pants / Shorts / Skirts
  • Shirts
  • Comfortable Shoes
  • Undergarments
  • Lightweight Pile Jacket or Sweater


To Use

  • Helmet
  • Waterbottle (large for bike)
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Camera & spare batteries
  • Memory Cards
  • Favorite Energy Snack
  • Binoculars
  • Notepad or journal
  • Mosquito Repellent
  • Scarf or Bandanna
  • Medications and Hygiene needs
  • Swiss Army Knife
  • Travel Clock
  • Guide books and/or Language guides

Baggage
  • Duffel or softside suitcase
  • Fanny Pack or Day Pack
  • Passport wallet


To Camp

Most of the necessary gear to camp is provided. Our camp set up provides roomy tents, cots with sleeping bags and blankets, folding chairs and dining utensils.
  • Wash cloth
  • Fast drying towel
  • Small Bottle of Hand Sanitizer


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