Across Bhutan Cycling Tour 09 Days
Cycling across Bhutan is one of the most exciting adventures, traversing the entire length of this kingdom on bike from the western end to the other end in east on a single track road with some mind-blowing descents that last for hours, challenging climbs on easy angled switchbacks and all of these through some of the most beautiful and unspoiled scenery in the world. The biking across Bhutan is now gaining acceptance as one of the great biking trips of the world. You have to ride it to believe it!
This biking adventure holiday is purely a suggested itinerary. It can be booked as it is or alternatively used as a starting point for creating your own ideal tailor made a trip to Bhutan.
Start up the ride towards Thimphu where the average gradient of the road is excellent for cycling. There are few steep climbs and descents as well. The trail passes thru rivers, mixture of rice fields, pine forests and hills dotted with Chortens & monasteries. Then appears a narrow gorge thru the widening valley of Namseling and finally reaches the suburbs of Thimphu and spotting of Semtokha Dzong built in 1627. At downtown Thimphu, the ‘Bridge of Prophecy’ decorated with many prayer flags welcomes you where you continue down the main street.
Visit/drive to Buddha Terrance for spectacular view of the Thimphu Valley, then drive towards Takin Preserve to observe Bhutan’s national animal ‘Takin’ – a strange looking beast resembling a Goat & Yak. Also visit the Memorial Chorten – a monument built in the memory of Bhutan’s third King H.M. Jigme Dorji Wangchuk. Then move towards Folk Heritage Museum – a 300-year-old traditional house now transferred into a museum. Overnight at Hotel in Thimphu.
After breakfast drive towards Dochula Pass and from there on ride downhill to the Punakha Valley passing through lush forest spread over a distance of about 50 kilometers. After the pass, the trail descends thru varied forest and finally emerges the highly cultivated valley of Punakha.
En-route go for a short hike to the Chimi Lhakhang passing thru rice fields. It’s a temple of Drukpa Kinley who is also known as ‘the Divine Madman’ in Bhutan and located on a hillside amid rice fields. The shrine is a pilgrimage site for childless couples. After the hike enjoy some tea & snacks overlooking the fields.
Afternoon: Visit Punakha Dzong located in the confluence of the Pho Chu ‘male river ‘and Mo Chu’ Female River. Punakha Dzong is considered arguably the most impressive Dzong of Bhutan. Overnight at Hotel in Punakha
After breakfast drive along a winding mountain road thru oak and rhododendron forest, crossing over a high pass down into the Phobjikha Valley considered one of the most beautiful valleys in Bhutan. It’s also the winter home of black-necked cranes migrating from Tibetan plains. Also go for 2 hours Gangtey natural trail from the monastery crossing the jungle before emerging to the valley floor.
Option: Biking till Gangtey (The roads would not be easy as the whole roads are under construction where it could be really dusty, muddy and lots of pot holes along the highway.) Overnight at Hotel in Gangtey.
After breakfast, drive or take a bike ride to Trongsa (6 hrs.). The trail passes thru the valley with spectacular views of historical Dzongs. It’s climbing all the way to Pele la pass at 3300 meters, en-route coming across yak herders’ camps especially in winter. Spot the high mountains like Rukubji and Chendebji. Here houses cluster at one place and fields in another. Then you will descend thru Rukubji village further down to Chendebji village. Here you will come across the 18th century Nepalese styled stupa built by Saint Shida.
Upon reaching Trongsa, visit the fortress at Trongsa or stop at the village known as Tshangkha and meet with the locals there. Tshangkha is one of the villages still practicing the Bon religion who worships trees and mountains as their good and goddess. If you are lucky you might encounter with one of such ritual being performed. Overnight at Hotel in Trongsa.
After breakfast, ride or cycle to Bumthang. The trail climbs rapidly thru a series of hairpins after Trongsa with great views of dzong and the valleys. You will re-enter the forest after passing thru cultivated fields and reaches Yotong La (3400m). The landscape totally changes descending to a low point of 2650m at Chumey village to the wide-open Bumthang Valley. You may bike downhill from the pass thru the historical old trade route which is not in use since the road has been built in these parts which is about 30 years, so the path is back to it’s complete wilderness form with nobody using it. It takes about an hour to get on the roadside at Chumey, the first four valleys of Bumthang.
Bumthang has four valleys (Chumey, Choekhor, Tang & Ura) with altitudes varying from 2600 to 4000 meters. In the morning, visit the Kurje Lhakhang - one of the most sacred shrines in Bhutan where Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) meditated here. After Kurje Lhakhang, a tarmac road heads south along the right bank of the river to Jambey Lhakhang- a temple built by the Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo in the 7th century and one of the oldest temples in Bhutan.
After lunch is hike to the Tamshing Lhakhang founded in 1501 by Pema Lingpa, which contains ancient Buddhist wall paintings. Later on visit the Swiss chess factory, Red panda (Swiss beer) factory and Bee farms. Overnight at Hotel in Bumthang.
After breakfast, explore around the Bumthang valley riding along and visiting temples and monasteries, which are yet to cover/see. Overnight at Hotel in Bumthang.
Start-off early after breakfast and drive/ride to Mongar. En-route witnesses some of the most alluring views Bhutan has to offer. The hillside is covered with evergreen junipers and colorful rhododendrons with sounds of rushing streams and cascading waterfalls. Overnight at Hotel in Mongar
Early in the morning proceed drive with few hours of biking or continue all the way to Tashigang. It’s a 3 hours drive passing along Chir pine forest and rhododendron to ‘Yadi loops’, one of Bhutan’s most beautiful roadworks. En-route pass Drametsi Monastery, the biggest and most important monastery in Eastern Bhutan and the monastery is also popular for it’s Nga Chham drum dance. Upon arrival at Tashigang, visit the Tashigang Dzong and also visit to see how local wine is brewed in a typical farmhouse. Overnight at Hotel in Tashigang.
After breakfast, the bike ride is for about a few hours then continue the journey driving till reaching Samdrup Jongkhar. Upon arrival at the border, your escort will bid you farewell and soon the remote and legendary Dragon Kingdom disappears again behind its guardian mountains with lots of memories to cherish.
What is Included During the Tour?
- All Meal during the Tours
- Airport pickups and drops in a private vehicle
- Hotel/Farm House/lodge accommodation on twin sharing
- All ground transportation on a comfortable private vehicle as per the itinerary
- Group Medical Kit
- Hydration requirements support
- Mechanic Support
- Ride completion certificate
- Support Team
What is not Included During the Tour?
- International Airfare
- Cost arising out of Flight Cancellation/road blockades/ landslides and events beyond our control
- Expenses of personal nature and any other expenses not mentioned in the above cost
- Mountain Bike Rental For Whole Trip
One of the most unique features of our tours is that all the itineraries are fully customizable. At Bhutan Tours & Luxury Exclusive we don’t do standard tours, you have the power to customize your trips from A to Z, for example, accommodation, transportations, trip length, activities, places of interest, the pace of travel and more.