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East By North-East - Added To My Linea's List!

Discussion in 'Travelogues & Experiences' started by J Ravi, May 2, 2012.

  1. sungoa2010


    Umia lake photo looks awesome.
    Linea is catching the heart of every person, no doubt why the police person remembered.
    What is lying on Linea's dash?The reflection of it is always on the windshield
    1 person likes this.
  2. J Ravi

    J Ravi Esperto

    We need to take entry permits for the people from Immigration Department and vehicle permit for our car from Road Safety & Transport Authority of Bhutan. I shall give the details in the next chapter.
    It is the anti-slip mat.
  3. J Ravi

    J Ravi Esperto

    Phuentsholing, Bhutan

    25 April 2012 [Wednesday]

    We got ready, breakfasted at the in-house restaurant of Hotel Centennial 2008 and walked to the nearby immigration office for obtaining entry permits for us. We carried the original and photocopies of our passports and photographs. I filled in the application forms for self and my wife, enclosed the original and photocopies of the passports, photographs and submitted to the staff at the counter. After scrutiny, he returned the original passports back to me. Our photographs were again scanned on their webcam. We were asked to wait and collect the entry permits. We got them after one hour totally free of cost.:)


    Now, armed with our entry permits, our next task was to get route permit for my Linea. We returned to our hotel, paid our bill by cash, checked out of the hotel and drove to the office of Road Safety & Transport Authority [RSTA], Phuentsholing, which was located at 2 km from Hotel Centennial 2008.


    We parked our Linea in the spacious parking lot and entered RSTA. I met the concerned officer and asked for the application form for route permit for my Linea. He told me to write a simple requisition and give it. I returned to his office, obtained a sheet of paper, wrote out a request, enclosed the photocopies of my Linea's documents/entry permits and gave it to him. He initialed it and asked me to meet his accountant. I went to his accountant. The accountant asked for the car's brand and model. I told him, 'FIAT Linea'. The accountant asked me to spell it. I clearly told him, 'F-I-A-T...L-I-N-E-A'. The accountant got confused. 'F-A-I-T?', he asked. I lost my patience. I wrote out the spelling and showed to him. Then, he wanted to know the cubic capacity of my Linea's engine. I told him. Then, he said, INR 187, which I paid. He gave me a receipt and directed me to another counter. I went to that counter, gave my letter, enclosures and the receipt. She prepared the route permit, gave it me and asked me to meet the concerned officer, obtain his signature and return it to her. I went back to the concerned officer, he signed the papers immediately, I returned to the counter and gave it to her. Then, she wanted a photocopy of that signed route permit. I took it, went to the ground floor, got a photocopy of it and gave it to her. She retained the photocopy and returned the original route permit to me. The entire process was over within half-hour. Can we hope to get these things done in our RTO or passport office so easily within one hour? Bhutan does not believe in bureaucratic red-tapism and is free from corruption. clap.gif


    We drove to Bharat Petroleum outlet, got my Linea's tank filled with petrol to the brim and started our journey for Thimphu by 12:30 pm.


    More to come.
    Last edited: May 18, 2012
    6 people like this.
  4. theblack

    theblack Esperto

    :clapping :clapping Finally bhutan.. Hooked onto this now!!
    1 person likes this.
  5. onlymakarand

    onlymakarand Amatore

    not in our wildest dreams..such a smooth process!!:wow Bhutan-> RESPECT !!
    1 person likes this.
  6. sungoa2010


    Ravi Sir, Finally we reached the destination almost a month later than you:)
    In functioning government administration our neighbor is way ahead of us. Why do we always look towards west. Some time it is better we look our neighbours.
    Looks like there are lot of Hyundai and Maruti in Bhutan. I think there is one Santa fe near the petrol pump and also one near immigration office!
    Hotel centennial looks so colourful.
    1 person likes this.
  7. J Ravi

    J Ravi Esperto

    Bhutan: Phuentsholing To Thimphu

    Departure: Bharat Petroleum outlet, Phuentsholing, Bhutan @ 12:30 pm on 25 April 2012

    Arrival: Hotel Singye, Norzin Lam, Thimphu, Bhutan @ 7 pm on 25 April 2012

    Distance covered and route: 172 km; Phuentsholing>Chukha>Thimphu

    Road condition: Very good 2 lane smooth road for about 100 km; the remaining distance consisted of narrow single lane road [many times, I had to back up my Linea to allow passing of trucks coming from the opposite direction] and stretches where road-widening works were in progress.


    is a constitutional monarchy, which was rated as the happiest country in Asia and the eighth-happiest in the world in 2006 based on a global survey by Business Week. The bilateral relationship between India and Bhutan has been traditionally close.


    We reached Norzin Lam, Thimphu at 7 pm with rain giving us company. Luckily, I got a parking slot for my Linea, where I parked her, took an umbrella and started walking looking for Hotel Singye. The reception was in the second floor. The ground and the first floors were shops. They showed me the only room available with them at the fourth floor. The building had no elevator. But, I did not want to go on exploring in that rain. They quoted indian-rupee-symbol.gif 1800 per night finally settled for indian-rupee-symbol.gif 1600. As regards to car parking, I was told to bring my Linea and park it in front of the hotel after 9:30 pm when the parking slots would be deserted! So, I walked back to my Linea, carried some essential luggage and came back with my wife to the hotel. After check-in formalities over, we occupied the room, which was good. We had our dinner, watched TV in our room till it was 9:30 pm, when I went back to my Linea, drove her and parked in front of the hotel at an empty parking slot, climbed back to the room and crashed to the bed! Climbing up and down four floors several times that evening really made me totally tired.

    More to come.
    5 people like this.
  8. ramjn

    ramjn Staff Member Janitor

    Linea 1.3
    Awesome Ravi Ji.

    - How about the road manners in Bhutan? Is it same like in India or they strictly follow the traffic rules :D?
    - How did you get the Rupee symbol? Is it newly introduced in TFI? I am still searching. :)
    Last edited: May 19, 2012
    1 person likes this.
  9. J Ravi

    J Ravi Esperto

    All the drivers - including the truck and cab drivers - follow the traffic rules to the letter and spirit. No honking, no road rage, no bad road-manners. Otherwise, stiff penalty including cancellation of their driving licence awaits the law-breakers. Though Jaigaon and Phuentsholing are continuous towns separated by an arch, people on Bhutan's side abide by the law and vice versa at Jaigaon! The same Bhutanese drivers, after entering Jaigaon, break the law happily! It is similar to Indians returning to India after visiting Singapore!:)
    Stop searching TFI, Ramesh. I copied and pasted from here since the INR symbol is not available in TFI.

    ---------- Post added May 20, 2012 at 08:25 AM ---------- Previous post was May 19, 2012 at 10:32 PM ----------

    My Linea had totally six bottom-scraping incidents within Bhutan territory. Notwithstanding the dreaded bad stretches of West Bengal roads, that state reported only 10 bottom-scrapings. All these 16 bottom-scrapings were just like caressing in nature. My Linea's engine guard plate did not require any flattening. During my Leh expedition, my Linea was subjected to 50+ bottom-scrapings, which required flattening of her engine guard plates at FIAT authorised service stations at Amritsar and Srinagar. Compared to that score, these 16 incidents are peanuts!:) Similarly, even West Bengal/Bhutan road conditions cannot be compared with that of Zojila and Khardungla of Ladakh, the former was definitely better to tackle than the latter.

    My Linea did a couple of off-the-road [OTR] drives in West Bengal!:) During the onward journey, there was a mother of all traffic jams between Siliguri and Islampur on a 4 lane NH. Some truck drivers and fellow-SUV drivers prompted me to do OTR as the jam seemed to be eternal. We got off the completed section of the highway, drove some distance on the lanes where work was still in progress and climbed an embankment to get back to the completed stretch! I followed two Scorpios to accomplish that task. While climbing on the steep embankment, my Linea got bottom-scraped.:( After joining the main highway, a policeman directed Scorpios and my Linea to take a perpendicular village road which would eventually join Siliguri! Of course, my MMI navigator guided me perfectly even on those village road until Siliguri! Those village roads were very good compared to other bad sections of NH of West Bengal!

    Similarly during the return journey, there was an unending traffic jam after crossing Dalkhola railway level-crossing. I parked my Linea on the shoulder of the road, switched it off and slept. Suddenly, I was awakened by a noisy private bus, which was seen overtaking all the trucks. Immediately, I too followed that bus in my Linea. The bus overtook hundreds of parked trucks, zigzagged in all available space and finally got off the road to a vast ground. I hesitated for a moment and took the plunge. I did not want to get stuck in my Linea in an unknown area at the ghostly hours. So, I maintained the momentum and followed the bus. The bus drove through the vast ground creating a trail of dust behind it. Finally, we completed the OTR and got back to the main highway after a few hundred metres.

    My Linea tolerated all the pressures successfully during these two OTR!:)
    5 people like this.
  10. sungoa2010


    Ravi Sir, Whenever you go for next car I feel Fiat should take your Linea and it deserve a place in Fiat Museum(if such thing exist). Your Linea is not like any other car, it is simply awesome car that has faced and overcame all kind of challenges. :D

    Was the level of engine oil low?

    The hotel looks like a piece of shining moon fall down on that raining day.So beautiful view.

    Usually the sign boards are on left side in India. In one photo the sign board is on right side of the road.

    Did you meet any indian tourists there?

    One thing noticed is that their nature is reflected in the simplicity of their building constructions. Lot of symmetry. Not complicated.
    sandeepsalimphilip and J Ravi like this.

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