Duration: 7 Days / 6 Nights
Destination: Thimphu, Paro, Punakha, Wangdue
Immerse yourself in the natural heaven of Bhutan and experience the dramatic landscape, unique culture and unsurpassed beauty Bhutan on this 7 days mountain biking tour. This unique Himalayan Biking Tour in the Land of the Thunder Dragon is an escape into the vibrant living heritage and an opportunity to travel through a timeless Himalayan kingdom. Your guided tour begins in the enchanting Paro valley and takes you to Thimphu, the capital city and then all the way to the historical Punakha valley. This tour offers an in-depth look into these three regions, showing you not only the popular sites but also what is hidden between them. Biking over a dramatic mountain pass, rich fertile valley, spectacular scenery and unsurpassed beauty is what this tour deserved its reputation.
Day 01: Arrival Paro – Thimphu
Fly into Bhutan with the only privately owned Bhutan Airline. Your flight to Bhutan is the most spectacular of all mountain flights. Whether you are flying from Singapore or any other connecting destination, each flight to Bhutan is a mesmerizing feat and offers exciting descent to the Kingdoms airport. On your arrival, the representative from Wild Mountain Adventure will welcome you with the traditional Bhutanese way and drive you to the main parking lot below Paro Dzong for short briefing. Your biking adventure begins after considering the important guidelines given by the local tour leader. After the discussion bike/ride to visit Drukgyel Dzong through the narrowing valley, it takes around 16km and can be negotiable within half an hour. The ruined Drukgyel Dzong “Fortress of the Victorious Drukpa” marks the victory over the invading Tibetans in 1644. The dzong was built by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel in 1647. Unfortunately, the dzong was damaged by fire in 1985 and today only, the shell remains. After the dzong, ride back the same road to the main town of Paro for lunch, which has been pre ordered by your tour guide in the finest tourist restaurant. After the lunch, you will ride to Thimphu (7700ft/2350m) takes around 65km and easily negotiable within 2.5 hours. Your ride brings you to Chunzom following the Pa Chhu and then takes you following the Wang Chhu. The countryside from Chunzom to Thimphu is less forested and the valley widen into gentle slopes, through terrace of rice fields and lovely stands of conifer forest. Arrival in Thimphu, check in to your hotel and rest day at leisure.
Day 02: Thimphu Sightseeing
Today your day excursion involves a long ride in the morning. The ride takes you through the main town and after crossing SAARC Convention Centre, it is quite an uphill task till you reach your destination Cheri Goemba. On your arrival at Dodena Parking lot leave your bike and make a short hike uphill to Cheri Goemba. It takes around 1.5 hours walk and its worth climbing. The isolated and beautifully located Cheri Goemba was built by Zhabrdung Ngawang Namgyel in 1620 and is the place where Zhabdrung instituted the first monastic body. After Cheri Goemba walk downhill the same trail. If you have time or enthusiastic – we recommend an alternate visit to Tango Goemba. A walk from the parking lot to the Goemba is about 300m hike and takes around one hour. The goemba lies at the richly forested hills. Following the same trail return back to Thimphu for lunch. After lunch, instead of biking you will be using the vehicle for other available sightseeing in Thimphu including a visit to Tashichhoe Dzong. The dzong can be visited only after five or if you are here in the weekends its open during the day time. In the evening return to your hotel.
Day 03: Thimphu – Punakha
Today your excursion involves half-day bike and half-day drive. We suggest you making an early start, since on a clear day the view of the eastern Himalayan Mountain range from Dochu La Pass (10150ft/3100m) is possible one of the best in the country. Your drive to Dochu La takes around 22km and can be easily negotiable within 45 minutes. The drive takes you past Simtokha Dzong built in 1629 and takes you through rich field of apple orchards. Reaching the top it is unlike any of the pass that you will encounter in Bhutan. The pass has a lot to offer including the 108 victorious Chorten, the Druk Wangyel Lhakhang and beside this magnificent Chortens the view of the Himalayan Mountain range is at your sites if the weather is clear. From this lofty spot, it’s all the way downhill till you reach Punakha which lies somewhat at 4430ft/1351m. You can choose a downhill ride from this lofty spot. The descent takes you through stunning landscape, with rhododendron and magnolia blossoming trees in April. It takes you through terrace of rice fields and farmhouses. As you near Lobesa, the vegetation gives way to barren hills. Before you part to Punakha en-route visit the popular Chemi Lhakhang lies atop a hillside. It is only 40 minutes walk from the road head or you can ride till the parking lot through the village road. The temple was built by Ngawang Chogyel in 1499, built in honor and memory of his half brother Lama Drukpa Kuenley popularly known as the “Divine Mad Man”. After the temple bike down to the newly founded Khuruthang the main town of Punakha. It is only 8km and reaching the town stop for lunch. After good lunch, a leisurely rides to Wangduephodrang the close district of Punakha. The ride takes you through following Punatsang Chhu and the main town of Wangdue can be reached within 13km and can be negotiable within 45 minutes. Return via other opposite direction to Punakha and check in to your hotel.
Day 04: Punakha Sightseeing
Today you will be offered biking whole day. In the morning, you will bike to visit the newly built Chorten like temple, the Khamsum Yueley Namgyel Temple. The ride takes you pass several royal palaces and rich terrace of rice field with farmhouses dotted around the hillside, it takes you through the bank of Mo Chu River until you reach the parking spot below the temple. Leave your bike at the parking lot and hike for 1.5 hours to visit Khamsum Yueley Namgyel Temple. The walk takes you pass crossing the suspension bridge and through terrace of rice fields. Once you reach the top, it is unlike any of the temple that you will encounter in Bhutan. The three storied colorful temples was built for the peace of the world. Once entering the temple, you will be lead to the topmost floor where you will get the stunning view of the surrounding mountains and the valley below. Return to Khuruthang for lunch and after lunch bike to visit the magnificent Punakha Dzong. The dzong saddles the confluence of two main rivers and resembles a great battleship. Its full name is “Pungthang Dechen Phodrang” locally means the “Palace of Great Happiness”. Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel built this impressive and architectural masterpiece dzong in 1637. It was the second of the mightiest dzong built by Zhabdrung. After the dzong you can turn the other way round to reach Khuruthang via crossing the longest suspension bridge above the dzong. In the evening stroll around the main khuruthang town.
Day 05: Punakha – Paro
After your morning breakfast in the hotel, drive to Paro via following the same route back. Arrival in Thimphu, if time permits, visit Simtokha Dzong the oldest fortress of the kingdom built by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel built in 1629, today it house the school of religious studies. After Simtokha Dzong you can choose to bike to Paro via following the same road that you came on your arrival. Lunch will be served in Paro. After lunch, visit to explore some of the interesting sites like Paro Dzong, National Museum and Jangsa Dumtse Lhakhang.
Day 06: Hotel – Tiger’s Nest
It’s time to embark for your adventurous day hike to the famous Tiger’s Nest or Taktsang Goemba. We suggest you to make an early start as the Goemba lie at 3000ft/915m from the valley and 9700ft/2950m from sea level. After driving to the parking lot the trek to Tiger’s Nest is an uphill task and takes around 4-5 hours, at an average speed. The Goemba was built amazingly on the cliff side; it brings pride to the Bhutanese about the work of their ancestors. Locally it is said that Guru Rinpoche arrived here on the back of the tigress in eight century and meditated at the site for three months and hence it is called Tiger’s Nest. The site has been recognized as the most sacred and historical site and was visited by many permanent religious Saints and leaders including Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel in 1646. The fourth regent Druk Desi Tenzin Rabgyel built the Goemba in 1692. Sadly, the Goemba was destroyed by fire in 1998, which damaged the whole building. It was rebuilt to the same structure in the following year and renovated in 2005 to the present structure. After the Tiger’s Nest, return the same trail downhill to the halfway Cafeteria for lunch. After lunch walk down to the parking lot and drive to Paro. In the evening, stroll around the downtown of Paro for your last day shopping.
Day 07: Depart
A sensational take off towards your onward journey