Bhutan Cycling road
tashichhodzong at night
Bhutanese Cycling Trails
10 days mountain biking itinerary combined with interesting Bhutanese experiences and sightseeing, covering the valleys of Thimphu, Paro, Punakha/Wangdue and Gangtey/Phobjikha.
This gives you to ride both on road and off road and has been designed in such a way that you can well explore the western valleys of Thimphu, Paro, Punakha/Wangdue and Gangtey/Phobjikha.
DAY 1 – Arrive Paro/Drive to Thimphu
DAY 2 – Thimphu
DAY 3 – Thimphu – Gangtey/Phobjikha
DAY 4 – Gangtey/Phobjikha
DAY 5 – Gangtey – Punakha
DAY 6 – Punakha
DAY 7 – Punakha – Paro
DAY 8 – Paro
DAY 9 – Paro
DAY 10 – Departure
Distance: 65 km, Driving time: 1.5/2 Hrs, Paved Roads, well maintained and winding. few ascents and descents.
Flying to Paro gives you one of the most spectacular mountain views in the world, especially if you are traveling from Kathmandu. Another beauty is the adventure you can feel views of the mountains, valley and villages as the flight lands in Paro. Your guide from Find Bhutan shall receive you at the Airport with “Tashi Khadhar”. And then drive to Thimphu. Lunch in the hotel or one of the restaurants around.
After lunch, check your cycles and ride towards the Kuenselphodrang. The ride shall be through city traffic for sometime and then you shall ascent towards Kuenselphodrang and shall get good views of the Thimphu Valley. There is also a trail in the Kuenselphodrang riding through which shall be a good experience. Descent downwards till Druk School and then follow the road towards Changangkha, Motithang and via Zilukha. While in Zilukha, you shall see a good view of the Tashichhodzong. The view shall be better if it is getting dark with the lights on in Tashichhodzong. Return back to hotel and freshen up.
A private traditional cultural show before dinner.
Dinner and overnight in hotel.
Today is a sightseeing day. After a leisure breakfast visit the Sangaygang view point from where you can see the view of the whole of Thimphu Valley. The place also has a lot of prayer flags fluttering and the feel of Himalayan breeze feels blessed. Then visit the Taking Preserve Center, where you can see the Takin, the national animal of Bhutan. Visit the Changangkha Monastery that lies on a top of a hill overlooking the Thimphu valley. New born babies are brought to this temple to be blessed by a High Lama. Also visit the Folk Heritage Museum. The museum was founded by Her Majesty the Queenmother Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck and the museum portrays the lifestyle of a family in olden days.
Enjoy a typical Bhutanese lunch in the Folk Heritage Museum restaurant.
Afternoon, visit the Zorig Chusum, the institute of 13 arts and crafts. Then visit the Jungshi Handmade paper factory, where traditional Bhutanese paper is manufactured. Explore the crafts bazaar and then explore the Thimphu town for a while. In the Evening, visit the Tashichhodzong, the main administrative and monastic building in Bhutan and then visit the National Memorial Chhorten, built in the memory of the Third King of Bhutan, His Majesty the King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. Circumambulate the chhorten and light butter lamps. This shall be an amazing Bhutanese experience.
Dinner and overnight in hotel.
After breakfast, ride towards Dochula pass. The road widening work is going on and you shall be riding unpaved road in most places. It is a 22 km ride till Dochula pass with an ascent of 700 m. The ride through the winding roads shall first give you a good view of the Simtokha dzong and shall climb through pine forest and apple orchards till you reach the Hongtsho village, where there is an immigration check post. The road further shall bring you across temperate forest with abundance of rhododendron, magnolia and pine trees. If you are lucky you may spot a deer or monkeys on the way. Stop at Dochula Pass. If the weather is clear, enjoy the Panoramic views of higher mountains such as Gangkar Puensum, the highest Mountain in Bhutan.The beauty of the pass is also complemented by the 108 Druk Wangyel Chhortens and the prayer flags that flutter in the Pass. You can hang your own prayer flags in the Pass.
After a short stop and a tea break in Dochula Pass. ride downhill towards the Punakha and Wangdue valley. This is an incredible 50 km descent with a decrease in altitude to 1310 m from 3100 in Dochula Pass.The road shall bring you across lush forests, villages, fields and incredible views of mountains and valleys. While in Punakha stop at a hotel for freshen up and lunch. After lunch, we will load your cycles in the car and then drive to Gangtey/Phobjikha.
Dinner and overnight in hotel.
Phobjikha is considered one of the most beautiful glacial valleys in the Himalayas. It is also the winter roosting places for the endangered black-necked cranes. Before breakfast when the morning just starts take your cycles and take a ride along the road in Tabating area, the opportunity to see how the morning start in untouched Phobjikha valley and the to see the waking up of the valley shall be a good experience. The Phobjikha valley gives you a lot of opportunity to cycle around the unpaved roads in the valley. The roads may be dusty during the dry seasons, however could be a good adventure. Since there are a lot of options for hike or to cycle, discuss with your guide inregards to which route you want to choose for the day and have a wonderful day exploring the valley in your cycles.
Dinner and overnight in hotel.
After breakfast, cycle towards Punakha. The route from Gangtey/Phobjikha to Punakha be an ascent till the Lawala Pass where the mountain slopes are covered by dwarf bamboos. During the later spring and the summer, when the slopes are green, the beauty is fabulous. From Lawala Pass, there is a descent of almost 50 – 60 kms till you reach Punakha/Wangdue Valley.
While in Punakha check in hotel and freshen up and relax for sometime. After lunch visit the Punakha Dzong. This dzong is among the second oldest and second largest dzongs in Bhutan with its majestic features. The dzong is also listed in Bhutan’s Tentative List for UNESCO inclusion. Then visit the Chhimi Lhakhang, also known as the temple of fertility, built by Lama Drukpa Kuenlay, the Devine Madman. In the evening walk around the Punakha or the Wangdue valley and town. Dinner and overnight in hotel.
The whole day is kept for you to cover the Punakha Valley. Ride across the longest suspension bridge in Bhutan covering villages and also towards Tashithang in the north of Punakha which passes through lush forests, famous for rhododendron trees, birds and wild orchids. In the evening relax in the hotel.
Dinner and overnight in the hotel.
You could opt for ride or travel in the vehicle. We shall be returning the same road. Lunch at Thimphu. After lunch ride the well maintained winding road towards Paro.
In the evening, we shall take you to a village house where you can experience and see a village life in Bhutan. Enjoy a traditional hot stone bath in the village house. You can also choose to take a cooking lesson (traditional Bhutanese dishes) and have your dinner in the house with the family. Also taste the local Bhutanese alcohol, “Arra” here.
Overnight in hotel.
Start your day with a hike to the abode of gods and monks, the Taktshang Monastery (Tiger Nest). Reaching the top shall be worth the climb; the touch of the Himalayan breeze, the views of the valley below and temple on the rocky cliff shall be fascinating and shall let you feel the real freedom of mind and happiness. Surrounding the Guru Rinpochhe’s meditation cave, the primary lhakhang (Temple) was built by Gyaltse Tenzin Rabgye in the year 1684. This incredible clings to the edge of a sheer Rock cliff that plunges 900 meters into the valley below. Mythology The mystic myth is that legend has it that Guru Padmasambhava flew here on the back of a tigress which gives its name “Taktshang” meaning Tiger’s nest. The uphill hike takes approximately 2 to 3 hrs to reach the temple.
Picnic Lunch among the woods shall be another great experience. After lunch, visit the Kyichhu Lhakhang, one of the oldest temples in Bhutan and then visit the Drukgyal dzong. The dzong is in ruins now, however in 2016 the prime Minister of Bhutan announced that the Dzong will be rebuilt and reinstated to its former glory and ground breaking ceremony took place a day after the Prince was born.
In the evening explore the Paro Town or you could also opt for a Spa in the hotel. Dinner and overnight in hotel.
Today we shall fist drive along the road to Chelela Pass and take a farm road from below Dzongdrakha. Start your ride from here covering the villages and the Dzongdrakha temple till you reach the Bondey valley and then to hotel.
Afternoon free time to relax or explore Paro town shopping for souvenirs Or experience and archery match. Dinner and overnight in hotel.
After breakfast, drive to Paro Airport and bid farewell to Bhutan and take with you priceless experience and memories.
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