Duration: 15 Days / 14 Nights
Destination: Thimphu, Paro, Punakha, Wangdue, Trongsa, Bumthang, Mongar, T/Gang, T/Yangtse, S/Jongkhar
A fascinating mountain biking adventure covering all the major towns of West, Central and Eastern Circuit. This mountain biking tour takes you through some of the scenic landscape of Bhutan and you will love every bit of your Himalayan mountain adventure tour with you selected biking gears. This tour highlights all types of biking routs available prioritizing both off-road mountain biking and on-road mountain biking adventure depending upon the fitness and stamina of the individual riders. Beginning from the enchanting Paro valley to the eastern end region of Tashigang our on-road biking will be designed to set depending upon the weather condition and elevation climb. The tour will be escorted with a 4WD vehicle and a mechanic.
Day 01: Arrival In Paro (Biking to the Ruined Drukgyel Dzong)
Your incoming flight to Bhutan from any sector provides the most spectacular view of all the Himalayan flights. Whether you are flying from Bangkok or from Kathmandu or from the southern foot hills of Indian each flight is the mesmerizing feat that offer incredible view of the mountain valleys along with the high raised Himalayan peaks with an exciting landing into the kingdoms only airport. At your arrival, our local tour representative with the traditional Bhutanese welcoming way will welcome you and after short introduction, you will be transfer to your hotel. After short break your day biking begins with a visit to the ruin Drukgyel Dzong biking through a narrow valley for about 16km lies at the end of Paro valley. This ruin Drukgyel Dzong was built in 1649 to commemorate the victory of Bhutanese over the allied Tibetan-Mongolian forces. Return back the same route to the town, your next stop is the Dumtse Lhakhang that lies just out of the town, crossing the river en-route to the National Museum. This chorten like temple is built in 1421 and was built by the Tibetan saint Thong Tong Gyelpo “Iron Chain Bridge Builder”, who came to Bhutan in search of iron ore. After the temple, your ride takes you with a gentle steep climb through scattered farmhouses and apple orchard to visit the National Museum or Ta Dzong. It was built as a watch tower of Paro Dzong and now turned into a museum housing collections of Bhutanese treasures and art works. Enjoy the scenic view of the valley below. Returning the same road until you finally see the signboard that shows the direction towards the Paro Dzong. You can ride until you reach the parking lot above the dzong. The awesome and impressive introduction of the world of dzongs that lies ahead of the valley was built in 1646 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel. Detail information can be shared by your guide. After the dzong return back the same road and finally ride to your hotel. Rest day at leisure.
Day 02: Paro – Thimphu
Today after your morning breakfast you will be led by our biking tour guide and ride to Thimphu. The trail takes you through the main expressway until you reach the capital city of Thimphu. Your ride is mostly through plane road and with gentle slope after crossing the confluence of Pa Cuuh River and Wang Chhu River taking you through terrace of rice fields and lovely stands of conifer forest. The pleasant ride takes you through the countryside dotted with elegant farmhouses and traditional homes that are considered the most beautiful in the country. The ride to Thimphu takes around 2-3 hr and is only 55km. Having entered Thimphu, ride straight to your hotel and check in. After lunch, you will be using the vehicle for your sightseeing program in Thimphu.
- National Memorial Chorten
- Textile Museum
- National Institute of 13 Arts & Crafts
- Changangkha Lhakhang
- Buddha Point
- Tashichhoe Dzong
Day 03: Thimphu – Punakha (75km, 3 -4 hr)
Today before you depart to Punakha, you will short sightseeing in Thimphu by your tour bus. In the morning hour visit the Memorial Chorten, built in 1974 built in memory of the third king of Bhutan. It is one of the most visited public places in Thimphu. Your next stop is the Golden Buddha Statue built very recently and the surrounding provides an immense view of the Thimphu valley. Returning back drive to visit Changangkha Lhakhang, which is considered the oldest temple in Thimphu dated back to 12th century. Drive to visit the National Institute of Painting School, which provides a six-year course in painting and other art form. You will stop for lunch in the capital. After lunch drive to reach your destination by taking a 22km drive up, hill past Semtokha Dzong. The drive takes you through rich forest of pine, fields of apple orchards and villages and finally takes you to the top Dochu La Pass ( 1050ft/3100m). The top is unlike any of the pass that you will encounter in Bhutan and notably anywhere in the world. It is surrounded by 108 beautiful memorial chorten built in 2004. The pass not only provides with this many magnificent chortens, it also provides the panoramic view of the magnificent eastern Himalayan peaks ranging from left like Mount. Masa Gang (23512ft/7165m), Mount. Tsenden Gang (23288ft/7300m), Mount. Teri Gang (23944ft/7300m), Mount. Jejegnagphu Gang, Mount. Kangphu Gang, Mount. Zongaphu Gang (all above 23288ft/7100m), Mount Gangkar Puensum (24735ft/7541m). From this lofty spot it’s all the way downhill and you will be set out with your downhill biking all till you rich the small village of Lobesa before you turn to your final destination. It lies at a somewhat lowly 4430ft/1315m. The descent is mainly through virgin forest of magnolia and rhododendron that are ablaze in the month of April to May. It offers a charming look into the landscape dotted with farmhouses and valley filled with terrace of rice fields. Reaching Lobesa we suggest you making a short 30 minutes walk to visit the historical Chhemi Lhakhang which lies on the barren hill. It is one of the most visited temples in Punakha, dated back to 1499, and was built by Lama Ngawang Chogyel built in memory of his brother Lama Drukpa Kuenley. After the temple ride to your hotel for night, halt.
Day 04: Punakha – Wangdue (Biking to Kabjisa & to Wangdue)
In the morning exploring some of the interesting sites in Punakha on biking tour. In the morning, ride further north of Punakha to visit the magnificently built Khamsum Yueli Namgyel Temple. Your route takes you through the bank of Mo Chhu River passing through several farmlands and farmhouses en-route. It takes you near a suspension bridge in Yebesa village and leaving your bike in the parking you will then cross the suspension bridge and wave up through the terrace rice field of Yebesa. It takes around 1 hr to reach to the top. Once your reach the top the view of the magnificent valley is at your site. Visit the interior of the temple that provides an interesting look into the Bhutanese artwork and paintings. Following the same trail to the parking spot, you then continue riding downhill until you reach Punakha Dzong. The historical Punakha Dzong was built magnificently on the confluence of two rivers the Pho Chhu (Male River) and the MO Chhu (Female River). This fortress functions as the main seat of the governmence until 1955. It was the second largest dzong built by Zhabdrung in 1637. After the dzong, ride to the newly founded town of Khuruthang for lunch. Completion of your lunch, ride to Lobesa we suggest you making a short 30 minutes walk to visit the historical Chhemi Lhakhang which lies on the barren hill. It is one of the most visited temples in Punakha, dated back to 1499, and was built by Lama Ngawang Chogyel built in memory of his brother Lama Drukpa Kuenley. After the temple ride to explore the Wangdue region.
Day 05: Punakha – Phobjikha (Half day Biking)
Today your journey undoubtedly transports you from 4400ft to 9840ft taking you from the historical architectural splendor to savor the enchanting pristine natural beauty of the enchanting glacier Phobjikha valley the winter roosting home for the endangered Black-necked Crain. You will be using both bike and vehicle as the road takes you through high-rise uphill ridge with many twist and turn until you reach the crested ridge of Lawala Pass at 10800ft/3293m. Your first 8km takes you through high above Dang Chhu River through grassy slope until you reach Teke Zanpa, which is almost level to Dang Chhu River. From there the steady steep ascents until Lawala Pass and the road cling tenaciously to the very edge of the valley and some time with unnerving. You can choose to drive from Teke Zampa. Your first glimpses as you enter Phobjikha valley is the only place of historical importance the Gangtay Goemba. We suggest you making a short visit to the monastery. After the monastery, the ride takes you all the way downhill until you finally enter the glacier valley of Phobjikha. Check in to your hotel.
- Gangtay Goempa
- Black-necked Crane Educational & Information Center
- Tongphu Shing Trail biking (01hr from the Gangtay Goemba)
Day 06: Phobjikha Valley – Trongsa (Biking)
Today you have a long journey and we will be combining your day tour with part biking and part driving as you head for Trongsa. It takes around 82km and en-route you will be stopping to visit some of the historical figure and interesting sites. In the morning after the breakfast, you will be driving to Pele La Pass (11070ft/3375m), which is marked by a small chorten surrounded by beautiful Buddhist prayer flags. From the lofty pass the black mountain region the road descend downhill passing through dwarf bamboo, yak pasture and through groove of fir trees to the evergreen and then finally through the broad-leaved forest. You can choose to ride your bike from the pass until you reach Trongsa (6800ft/2073m. En-route stops at Chendebji Chorten for lunch. After lunch, your ride takes you through broad-leaved forest with scenic landscape through gentle plain road and less traffic. From Trongs the road steeply climbs above the Trongsa town and we suggest driving rather than biking.
Day Attraction En-route
- Chendebji Chorten
- Trongsa Dzong
- Ta Dzong
- Yathra Weaving Centre
Day 07: Trongsa – Bumthang (Biking Starts from the Pass)
Since from the inception of monarchy until present, Trongsa has been a significant seat of successive monarchs of Bhutan. The history unfolds the fact that Trongsa was a crucial place from where the unification of eastern region was brought to fruition. Today the prominent cultural icons of this place are Trongsa Dzong, watchtower (Ta-Dzong). At completion of your sightseeing in Trongsa we suggest you to take a ride on your tour bus until you reached Yotong La Pass (11000ft/3354m), the pass between Trongsa and Bumthang. From the pass, you can carry on with your bike. The route takes you through fir, rhododendron and then through pine forest. En-route stop at Yathra weaving centre in Chummey, just before arrival to Chhamkahar town, your final destination.
Day 08: Bumthang – Tang- Bumthang (Biking Full Day)
Today you will be offered with full day biking opportunity in Bumthang. The valley lies between 2600-4500m, Bumthang is a spiritual heartland of Bhutan and home to epic and legends. The prominent Jambay Lhakhang built in sixth century and Kurjay Lhakhang built in 19th century are permanent attractions to thousand of devotees from Bhutan and overseas. Besides, myriads of other Buddhist temples and monasteries, national parks, spiritual lakes and legendary valleys with wide open landscape makes Bumthang unique from rest of the destination in the country. You will have good time riding through the gentle slopping hillside. While you are in Bumthang, visit to all the cultural sites including Jakar Dzong, Jambay Lhakhang, and Kurjay Lhakhang, Tamshing monastery, Mebar Tsho (mythical burning lake) and honey production centre.
Other option in Bumthang (Excursion Ride to Tang Valley)
After breakfast, your ride takes you to another beautiful valley of Tang. Your trails take you through the Tang Rinpoche’s Monastery and pass the Member Tsho (the mythical burning lake) and finally lead you to the sixteen-century Ugyen Choeling Palace, which was restored in nineteenth century. Today this privately owned house has been turned into a museum depicting the life of Bhutanese nobility and serve as a retreat for those engaged in religious studies. The museum also offers all kind of traditional artifacts. After you visit to the museum, ride downhill and soon you will reach the main road where your car and driver or further continue riding your bike back to Jakar for your night halt accommodation in the hotel.
Day 09: Bumthang – Mongar (Biking Optional)
We suggest you making an early start since, your journey is bit long but the route is quite scenic. Your drive takes you via crossing Ura Valley (10168ft/3100m) taking you through rich conifer and rhododendron forest and then Thrumshing La Pass (12000ft/3659m) which is usually wreathed in swirling vaporous mists. You ride will be mostly taken from after crossing Thrumshing La and it is more gentle downhill. The downhill biking takes you from a breath taking height above the tree line down to balmy semi-tropical jungle and then through thick forest. Today’s biking ride is one of the most beautiful in the country and at your arrival at Mongar the charming town of Monagar is one of the biggest town in the eastern region and mark as the beginning of eastern Bhutan. Arrival at your hotel check in and rest day at leisure.
Day 10: Mongar – Trashi Gang
Today you will be riding full day depending upon your fitness, the morning first-hour ride is quite an uphill task and if you want you can chose to ride on your tour bus. The road hugs the tight contours of steep tree-covered mountain slopes and ascending sharply to Korila Pass (7800ft/2373m), it takes 20km from the main town of Mongar. You can choose to ride from the pass; the road leads quite downhill and takes you through a beautiful village of Yadi (4900ft/1494m). The ride takes you past several villages and finally drops you to Dangme Chhu. From Dangme Chhu there is another pick-up and you can choose riding on your tour bus. After driving up crossing several village and terrace of rice field you then choose riding you bike which offers several downhill ride and gentle plain following upward Kuri Chhu. The lovely ride finally ends here in the junction of Gamri Chhu. After packing up your bike drive to Trashigang for your night, halt. The lovely Trashi Gang lies at an altitude of 1151m and is one of the largest districts in the eastern Bhutan.
Day 11: Trashi Gang – Trashi Yangtes Excursion
Today you will be doing full day biking and the trail stretch out from Trashigang to Trashi Yangtes the closest district of Trashi Gang. It offers a pleasant ride with slight ups and takes around 52km and negotiable within 2-3hr. The valley of Trashi Yangtse lies at an elevation of 1830m and it’s home to the Black Necked Crane and is one of the eastern most district in Bhutan sharing border with Arunachal Pradesh (India). Your route takes you through following the Gomri Chhu following Gom Kora Chorten. It takes you through scenic barren landscape conifer forest and mostly pine tree raising above the ridge. Reaching Trashi Yangtes you will be lead to one of the finest restaurant in the town for lunch. After lunch you can walk down to visit one of the notorious temple in the eastern region and most historical Chorten Kora which, lies just at the root of Trashi Yangtse town. You can also ride up the hill to visit the Trashi Yangtse Dzong and also to Bumdeling Wildlife Sanctuary. After exploring Trashi Yangtse you can ride back to your destination following the same route. Rest day at leisure.
Day 12: Trashi Gang – Mongar
After your early morning check out and drive to Mongar en route you can stop to visit some of the sightseeing you have missed while taking this rout in your previous day. Your drive takes you through some of the breathtaking landscapes and stunning vistas. The road hugs the tight contours of steep tree-covered mountain slopes and ascends sharply to Kori La Pass at 7800ft/2378m. The pass is marked by gaily fluttering prayer flags and a prayer wheel. Pass through the lofty Kori La you then enter through the forest of rhododendron and several other altitude species plants. Your drive finally reaches to Mongar.
Day 13: Mongar – Bumthang
Today your drive takes you back to Bumthang through the same road ascending the slope that surround Thrumsing La National Park and Thrumshing La Pass (12000ft/3659m) and the beautiful Ura Valley (10168ft/3100m). You can choose to ride your bike from the beautiful Pass of Thrumshing La until you finally reached to Chamkhar your todays destination.
Day 14: Bumthang – Punakha
At your early, check out in the hotel drive to Punakha, which lies at an altitude of 4430ft/1351m. You will be offered with half day biking and the route takes you through virgin forest with magnolia tree blossoming in April. Reaching Lobesa a comparatively barren hill lies notably a pleasant forty-minute hike through the cultivated field to Chhemi Lhakha “no dogs temple” dated back to 1499 and was built by lama Drukpa Kuenley’s half brother Ngawang Chhogyel built in honor and memory of Lama Drukpa Kuenley. Rest day at leisure
Day 15: Punakha – Paro
Today you will drive all the way back to Paro, stop for lunch in one of the finest restaurant in Paro and after good lunch in the restaurant drive further eleven kilometer from the main town to the base of Tiger’s Nest where you will stop and embark on your adventurous hike to an important Buddhist Pilgrimage site in the Himalayas, with its stunning vistas and spectacular architecture against the backdrop of sheer granite cliff face. Your hike ascends about 3000ft/915m from the valley and 9700ft/2950m from the sea level. The trail is quite an uphill task and it takes around 3-4 hours walk at an average speed. Dropping back from Taktsang Goempa, visit Kyichu Lhakhang or otherwise drive further northern end of the valley to visit the ruined Drukgyel Dzong, which means “victorious fort” which was built in seventeen century and built to commemorate the victory over the Tibetan invasion. It is worth visiting with its background view of Mt. Jomolhari towering at 24000ft/7314m pyramid-shape, snow clad massive that lies on the border to Tibet and revered by the local people as the abode of goddess jomo. Drive in to Paro and explore the tiny town founded in 1982, which once was a small village turned into a small town with a minimum soul of 3000 people.
Day 16: Hotel – Depart