Bhutan Biking Tour
The rugged, mountainous landscape of Bhutan lends itself well to both on-road or off-road mountain biking and the sport is seeing increasing popularity among both visitors and Bhutanese alike. There is a variety of biking routes available ranging from smooth journeys on paved roads to challenging off-road dirt trails that wind through rough terrain. The sport offers a certain intimacy with the environment that is seldom experienced in vehicles. With better roads replacing the old and the increasing number of off-road roads, biking is now becoming a very unique and original way of seeing and interacting with the country, people and the Bhutanese environment.
Most biking trips go through well paved roads while others trail on to dirt roads and trails. Traffic is still relatively very light and the experience very intimate. The more adventurous have the option of making side excursions for more “off-the-road” ventures if prefer. The trails accommodate most types of frames: including MTB, Hybrid, and Road, depending on your cycling style and experience. Biking trails mostly meander through small towns and villages and rural areas; it’s just you, your bike, the tour group and the agrarian and natural scenery.
There are also numerous opportunities for optional hikes with a bit of climbing thrown in. There are some challenging climbs with one in particular that is more than seven hours. You peddle the pads over two miles (3,400 meters) above sea level. Your effort is rewarded with a breathtaking view and an unforgettable experience. Riders should have an adequate level of fitness and stamina and be experienced enough in the art of mountain biking. Tours are fully supported by a van following riders. The van allows riders to rest should they require it. Many of the biking trails lead through small villages and temples which can provide interesting and informative diversions should you wish to take a break.
*** Sample Itinerary of Bhutan Biking Tour (07 Nights / 08 Days) ***
At your arrival at Paro International Airport and completing your custom formalities, you will then met by our local representative at the exit door and transfer you to your hotel for short refreshment. After the refreshment our local representative will give you some important guidelines on road condition and traffic rules. After assembling your bike and following your local leader you can spend half day biking in Paro valley, beginning with Paro Ta Dzong, Paro Dzong and Jangsa Dumtse Lhakhang that lies just outside of the town.
Today you will leave Paro in the morning on your bike to Haa valley following Chelela Pass. In the morning hour it is quite an uphill task and takes around 40km till you reach the top. If you are not fit for uphill ride choose to drive. The pass lies at a cool crisp 3720m and your route takes you through a spectacular lovely forest of pine, oak and rhododendrons that a ablaze with red and pink blooms in April and May. The top is one of the highest motor roads in Bhutan and it’s unlike any other pass that offers a scenic valley view of both Paro and Haa valley. Importantly, if the weather is clear one can view the sacred Mt. Jomolari and Jichu Drakey on the northern border of the valley. After the pass it is the entire way downhill ride until you reach Haa Valley.
After your early breakfast in the hotel, leave Haa on your bike following the winding road beside the Haa Chhu River. You can choose half-day or full-day bike. The route offers an impressive view of the valley, traditional settlements and farmhouses. The valley between Thimphu and Haa that has a charming landscape with evergreen forest of pine, oak, rhododendron. The valley is also dotted with scattered settlement with many golden roofed temples dotted on the hilltop. As you near Chundzom the confluence, you will then slowly enter the charming valley of Thimphu. The countryside from Chundzom to Thimphu is less forested than what you have been seeing so far and the valley are narrow except for two sections where it is widen into gentle slope.
In the morning ride further north end of Thimphu valley to visit Cheri and Tango Goemba. The ride takes you through crossing the SAARC Convention Center and then Dechencholing Palace, which serves as the residence of the royal grandmother and then through Pangrizampa. The road ends at Dodena and from there you are allowed to hike for 1.5 hour to Cheri Goemba through crossing the historical wooden bridge. Return for lunch in Thimphu. After lunch, we recommend you to visit the Kuensel Phodrang where the giant Buddha Dodrelma stands overlooking the valley below. The spot offers an overall view of the Thimphu city. Returning back stop at National Memorial Chorten, which is one of the most visited site in all of Thimphu.
We suggest you making an early start, since the view of the eastern Himalayan Mountain range from Dochu La Pass (10150ft/3100m) are one of the best in the country. In the morning hour, the ride is quite an uphill task, takes around 22km to reach to the past, and can be negotiable within 1.5 hours. It takes you through rich pine forest and apple orchards. The pass is further enhanced by 108 Druk Wangyel Chortens built in 2004. From this lofty pass it is all the way downhill bike for around 38km till you reach Punakha (4430ft/1351m). The descent takes you through broad-leaved forest, terrace of rice fields and settlements. As you near Lobesa, stops to visit the popular Chemi Lhakhang. The temple was built in 1499 by Lama Ngawang Chogyel.
Today before you depart to Paro, make a short visit to the impressive Punakha Dzong. Punakha serves as the capital of Bhutan until 1955. The Punakha Dzong saddles between the confluence of two rivers Pho Chhu River and Mo Chhu River. It was built by Zhabdrund Ngawang Namgyel in 1637, and was the second largest Dzong built by him. After spending good time in exploring the dzong return back to Khuruthang for lunch. After the lunch, you will be transferred to Paro via following the same route that you came.
We suggest you to making an early start in the morning. The hike to Taktsang is quite an uphill task and takes around 3-4 hours walk at an average speed. The goemba perched on the cliff side is believed to be the most important historical sites in all over Himalaya. To get to the goemba you have to ride from your hotel passing the main Paro town for around 11km to the parking lot of Taktsang. It is believed that in the eight century Guru Rinpoche visited the site flying on the back of the tigress from the eastern Bhutan. The fourth Druk Desi Tenzin Rabgyel built the goemba in 1692. Unfortunately, the whole structure of Tiger’s Nest has been damaged by fire in 1998. It was rebuilt in the same year to the present structure and renovated in 2005.
Departure (Altitude 2280 m): Early morning, drive to the Airport and Farewell.
Note: The Bhutan tour package includes:
a. All Meals [Breakfast /Lunch/Dinner]
b. Accommodation [Twin Sharing] Single Room Supplement Extra.
c. All transportation within the country including airport transfers.
d. Royalty & Govt. Taxes.
e. Entrance fees for Museums and Monuments.
f. Visa Fee.
g. English speaking Local guide.
i. Bottled water.