Bhutan Bicycle Tour
Straining every muscle to gain the high mountain pass or sailing downhill with the wind in your face, this is bicycling in Bhutan.
One moment along the twists and turns of a deep ravine along narrow mountain trails and the next with the vista of the majestic Himalayan ranges stretching to the horizons before you, this is bicycling in Bhutan. A Bhutan bicycle tour is a reminder of the ups and downs of life itself. The thrill of bicycling in the panoramic terrain of Bhutan is an adventure that beckons to every cyclist looking for something out of the ordinary.
Depending on the choice of route, one can traverse long and winding roads passing through low foothills, the higher river valleys and the high Himalayas, the three zones that comprise the geographical variations of the country. The drama of magnificent scenes and sights unfolding with every turn of the wheel is something to fulfill a cyclist's dream.
The best time for making the most of cycling in Bhutan are the spring months of March, April and May. Autumn months of September, October and November are equally excellent times as well. The following itinerary is a basic tour. Custom itinerary can be provided. Cyclist will be led and followed by two vehicles carrying baggage and mineral water at all times.
NOTE: Bicycle tours can be modified to your specifications and duration of time.
Day 1: Arrive Paro International Airport. If flying in from Delhi or Katmandu, you will experience majestic views of Mount Everest, Kanchenjunga and other Himalayan peaking including Bhutan's sacred Mount Jomolhari and Jichu Drake. Your are received by your tour representative after process of your visa. Your are then escorted to your hotel in Paro, altitude of 7,500 ft. After lunch you will bicycle to visit the Ta Dzong, National Museum of Bhutan. It was converted to the National Museum in 1968 and is located on a hill above the Paro Dzong, overlooking the Paro Valley.
En route you will visit the Paro Rinchen Pong Dzong. This massive fortress is located in Paro Valley and is approached by a gently sloping flagstone road and a beautiful covered wooden bridge. Today the Dzong is the administrative seat of the district of Paro and it also contains a state monastic community of approximately 200 monks. The central tower (Utse) of the Dzong, with its superb woodwork, is one of the most beautiful in Bhutan. This Dzong was built in 1645 A.D. Enjoy dinner and discuss itinerary with your guide. Overnight.
Day 2: After breakfast, bike to Thimphu, the capital city. Your ride meanders along the Paro and Thimphu river and takes approximately 2 hours. The gradient of the road is excellent for bicycling as there are no steep climbs or descents. Check into Hotel. After room check in, and shower, you enjoy a sumptuous lunch at the hotel. Then bike around Thimphu and visit the Memorial Chorten, (huge stupa) built in the memory of the third King of Bhutan, King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, who reigned from 1952 - 1972. Also visit the National Library where ancient manuscripts are preserved. Dinner and relax at your hotel.
Day 3: After hearty breakfast bike to the Semtokha Dzong, the oldest Dzong in the country (built in 1629 A.D.) You will have an opportunity to visit with some of the monks and observe life within the monastery. In the old days, the oldest son of every family was offered to a monastery where the child grew up as a monk. Even now, it is not uncommon for some families to continue the practice. Return to Thimphu and visit the Textile Museum, Folk Heritage Museum and Arts and Crafts School. In the evening you can bike around Thimphu town for shopping. Enjoy traditional/western dinner at a popular local restaurant. Overnight and rest up for your uphill adventure tomorrow.
Day 4: After early breakfast setout for Punakha and Wangdue. It's an uphill climb up to Dochula pass at 10,500 ft. When you reach the pass, you can take a long well deserved rest and enjoy spectacular views of the Eastern Himalayan mountain range. You will be served tea/coffee and snacks. Departing Dochula it is a downhill exhilarating ride all the way down to Punakha and Wangdue. Feel the Freedom! Enjoy your dinner and relax at Dragons Nest Resort, alongside a pristine river with gorgeous views and wonderful food and ambience.
Day 5: In the morning bike to Punakha Dzong, which houses the district administration offices. It is also the winter residence of the State Monastic Body and its Chief Abbot, the Je Khenpo. Punakha was the former capital of Bhutan. The Dzong lies between two rivers, the Pho Chhu (male) and the Mo Chhu (female). This Dzong was build in 1967 A.D. One the way back from Punakha leave your bikes on the main road guarded by your drivers and take a short hike to Chimi Lhakhang. This is a fertility temple visited by believers from all over the country. Overnight and dinner at Dragons Nest Resort.
Day 6: Spend the day exploring Wangdue and upper Punakha Valley on your bike. In the evening visit some traditional farmhouse and experience Bhutanese hospitality at its finest. Overnight at Hotel.
Day 7: Begin your return to Thimphu, You can choose to ride your bike or take the van. Photo stops along the way. Shopping in Thimphu if you like, or relax and unwind in the lounge. Dinner and overnight Thimphu.
Day 8: Depart Thimphu for your 2-hour drive to Paro. After check in at the hotel and lunch, prepare to bicycle through beautiful Paro Valley, pictured on this page. Leave your bikes with the drivers and take a hike to famous Taktsang Monastery, also known as Tiger's Nest; Taktsang means Tiger. The monastery is perched on a rocky ledge with a sheer drop of nearly 3000ft. It is said that in the second half of the 8th century, Guru Padma Sambbaava alighted here upon the back of a tigress. Picnic lunch at Taktsang cafeteria. The round trip hike takes about 3 hours. Return to Paro and enjoy one of Bhutan's most unique ancestral inventions, the hot stone bath at a farm house - a pastoral property where arrangements will be made for you to participate in building the fire that heats the rocks to a glowing red lava-like temperature. The stones are then placed in a wood lined tub dug into the rocky streambed and don your bathing suit for this Himalayan Jacuzzi! Overnight at your hotel.
Day 9: After breakfast take a day excursion on bicycle to Haa Valley crossing Chelila Pass. Haa Valley borders Tibet and was closed to tourists until recently. Enjoy picnic lunch on the way and in the evening drive back to Paro. Farewell dinner with your group. Overnight at Hotel in Paro.
Day 10: Prepare for your departure home.
Tashi Delek! ~top