Across Bhutan Ride, 12 days

Tour highlights

  • Ride on robust Royal Enfield Himalayan
  • The highest motorable pass in Bhutan (3850m)
  • Ride through whole Bhutan from the west to the east
  • Many scenic roads with moderate to low traffic
  • Hike to famous Tiger's Nest monastery
  • See rarely visited eastern Bhutan
# Itinerary Program
1 Arrival to Paro Arrival to Paro. Receive the bikes and first test ride. Visit Paro dzong where Little Buddha movie was shot. Other sightseeing subject to arrival time.
2 Paro Ride 35 km, 1.5 hr. Today we will start with short ride below the famous Tiger's Nest monastery. We will park our motorbikes and will hike up to this most sacred point of Bhutan, and it's most famous tourist place. You will need to hike up elevation difference of 600 meters and same amount down. Whole trip takes 4–5 hours including the sightseeing in temples, time depends on your shape. After lunch, we will ride to Drukyel dzong castle, currently undergoing reconstruction. The summit of holy Jomolhari peak can be seen from here in clear weather. Ride back to Paro and rest.
3 Paro – Haa – Thimphu Ride 175 km, ~6h30m. Today we will ride over the highest pass in Bhutan, the Chele-la pass (3850 m). On the way we will stop for Kila Gompa, the oldest women monastery in Bhutan. Short before the pass summit, you can spot holy Jomolhari peak (7350 m). Long descent from pass to Haa valley, which was open for tourism in 2004 only. Continue riding winding scenic road to Chuzom. Make a brief stop at Dobji Dzong, the castle which used to serve as prison. Today is hosts monastery. Chuzom, or Confluence is the place where the rivers and roads meet. Here you join the main highway from India and you will continue, in increased traffic, to Bhutan's capital city of Thimphu, reaching there in the afternoon. Evening stroll in the town and optionally visit of Tashichho dzong, the seat of the king and government.
4 Thimphu – Punakha Ride 86 km, ~3h30m. In the morning we will ride to gigantic statue of Buddha (Kuensel Phodrang) with the great views of the Thimphu town. Also, we will visit Memorial chorten commemorating the 3rd king of Bhutan. Cross through the main traffic with the signaling policeman. The Thimphu remains only capital in the world without installed traffic lights. Drive to Simtokha castle, the oldest castle built in Bhutan by its unifier, the Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel. Continue to Dochu-la pass (3015 m) with wonderful mountain panorama visible in clear weather. Long descend to Punakha valley and rest.
5 Punakha, excursion to Gasa Ride 130 km, ~6h. Visit Chimmi lhakhang temple dedicated to divine madman Drukpa Kuenley, who did tought buddhism by singing, drinking and scandalous sexual exploits. Also ride to Punakha dzong, which belongs to most beautiful castles in Bhutan. Continue riding up to Gasa, the district just recently connected by road, partly dusty one, and have bath in famouse healing hot springs. Ride back to Punakha.
6 Punakha – Trongsa via Phobjikha Ride 165 km, ~8h. In the morning start riding from Punakha, gradually ascending to Phobjikha valley over Lawa-la pass (3350 m). Peek into the historical Gangtey monastery. Ride back to main highway and cross Pele-la pass (3450 m) where you can stop to see the various handicrafts sold by local yak herders. Start long and scenic descend to Trongsa in central part of Bhutan.
7 Trongsa – Bumthang Ride 75 km, ~3h. In the morning we will pay a visit to Trongsa dzoung, the castle from where the royal family of Bhutan had risen. Then ride over the Yotong-la pass (3350 m) to Bumthang, which is dubbed as historical heart of Bhutan. Visit Red Panda brewery, which is place where popular wheat beer is produced. Evening visit to the rustic local bars.
8 Bumthang – Mongar Ride 165 km, ~8h. Today will be tough ride over two high passes to Mongar. It will take approximately 8 hours, many of which will be in high altitude with possibly cold weather. Shortly after leaving from Jakar, we will stop by so-called “Burning lake” or Membartsho, nice place by Tang chhu river. Ascend to Shertong La pass, before which you might spot the highest mountain of Bhutan, the Gangkhar Punesum (7540 m) in clear weather. Short stop at picturesque Ura village and then continue ascending to second-highest motorable pass in Bhutan, the Thrumshing La. From here scenic and long descent to Mongar starts. On the way see stunning Namgling waterfall. Ride carefully as the road is considered quite dangerous. Reach Mongar, slight ride above the valley, in the evening.
9 Mongar, excursion to Lhuentse Ride 135 km, ~6h. Start the day excursion to the to Lhuentse district in the morning. Visit the dzong (castle) and weaving village of Khoma. Local khatra fabric is considered as the best quality in Bhutan and even the royal family of Bhutan shops for their clothing here. Also visit Gangzur village and see the local production of traditional pottery. On the way back, make a brief detour to Takey-la where the gigantic statue of the Guru Padmasambhava stands. This 8th century Buddhist saint is revered in Bhutan and according to legends, he visited many holy places of the country. Get back to Mongar.
10 Mongar – Tashigang Ride 90 km, ~3h30m. Ride to Tashigang in eastern Bhutan. On the way we will stop at the Drametse gompa, the monastery famous for Drametse nga chham dance which is on the list of the UNESCO tangible heritage. The road to monastery is very scenic winding high above the valley with nice views. Reach to Tashigang. In the afternoon you can also make leisure ride further east to Rangjung with beautifully located temple.
11 Tashigang – Samdrup Jongkhar Ride 180 km, ~7h. This will be the last ride descending to Samdrup Jongkhar. The road is scenic and beautiful. It is custom to stop at Damthang, towards the end of the days journey, to get blessing from local Hindu hermit who takes care about roadside temple dedicated to Shiva. Last evening in Bhutan and time to give your motorbike goodbye.
12 Samdrup Jongkhar – Guwahati In the morning you will undertake the immigration formalities leaving Bhutan. You will say goodbye to your Bhutanese guide and support car driver and subsequently, you will be driven to Indian border check post and further to Guwahati. Tour end.
Tour variants, extensions and combinations: 
  • Omit Gasa (-1 day): Make tour shorter by omitting side trip to Gasa on day #5.
  • Omit Lhuentse (-1 day): Cut the trip short by omitting Lhuentse exursion on day #9.
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