Western Bhutan cycling, 6 days

Tour highlights

  • Riding up to 185 km on scenic roads
  • The highest motorable pass in Bhutan
  • Adjustable for both strong and moderate bikers
  • Limited road traffic
  • Visiting all essential monuments in Paro and Thimphu
  • Prisitne Haa valley with farmhouse overnight option
# Itinerary Program
1 Arrival to Paro, drive to Thimphu Arrival by plane to Paro airport and drive to Thimphu. Stop at Tachog lhakhang to see traditional bridge made using ancient iron chains. If time permits, visit Tashichho dzong, the seat of the king and government.
2 Thimphu (cycling & sightseeing) Ride 25 km, ➚ 650 m, ➘ 650 m. If you need to rent a bike, we will go to select the best one for you from renting shop as the first thing of the day. Otherwise, we will start right with the program, riding through the town and further up the hill to Kuensel Phodrang, place with 54 meters high statue of Buddha. Enjoy wonderful glimpses of the Thimphu valley. Then ride back to the town and pay a visit to Memorial Chorten, always busy with devotees. Place was built to remember third king of Bhutan. Continue riding through the town, crossing the famous main traffic junction directed by the policeman with dance-like moves. Thimphu is famously only capital in the world without any traffic lights. Reach to Changlimithang stadium. If you are lucky, national game of archery will be just going on! Get lunch and continue sightseeing on the bicycle. We will ride to the Changankha lhakhang and will visit this temple which is popular among parents to get blessing for their children. Continue riding to Motithang preserve where national animal of Bhutan, the takin, might be seen. Then we will be riding scenic road with the views of town and also of Tashichho dzong, the seat of the king and the government. On the way, you can stop to visit Zilukha nunnery, one of the few monastic establishments for females. Conclude your ride at Dechenphodrang temple with beautiful view all around. Ride back to hotel and get rest. If you are in party mood, you can visit The Mojo Park rock club or other venue to mingle with young Bhutanese.
3 Thimphu – Dobji dzong (drive), Dobji dzong – Haa (cycling)
Ride 40-70 km, ➚ 400-1200 m, ➘ 400-800 m. We will start early morning by driving road heading back to Paro. After the confluence, where rivers flowing from Paro and Thimphu meets, we will take side road heading to Haa district. Driving further up, we will see scenic Dobji dzong, monastery on the edge of the cliff, formerly high profile prison. Visit the monastery and its temples. Now, you might like to start your day's ride, provided you feel strong to make it hard way. If you prefer easy ride, you can continue drive some 30 km further until you reach pass to avoid most of the day's ascending. After reaching Haa valley, you can pay a visit to Lhakhang Karpo, the "White temple" which is dedicated to local deity. Overnight might be in hotel or local farmhouse to get experience of being guest of local family in traditional house. It is worthy experience if you can survive one day without shower. Instead of that, you can have hot stone bath, traditional Bhutanese treat.
4 Haa – Paro (cycling) Ride 40-65 km, ➚ 100-1200 m, ➘ 1600 m. Today, you can decide if you will undertake demanding and long ascent to Chele-la pass (3850 m) or you will let vehicle to drive you up. If you decide to go by cycling, you better start right in the morning. If you decide for the latter, you can have some leisure time, going around the town or maybe visit Katsho gompa (you can also ride there, it is just moderately uphill) from where you can glimpse nice scenic view of the valley. Depending on weather, Chele-la pass (3850 m) might reward you the scenery of Kanchejunga (8586 m) and Jomolhari (7326 m) to the north. Descending from the pass takes long time. You will be going through the forest with lot of curves, so be careful. Finally, you will be welcomed to Paro valley by the vast paddy fields of Bondey village. From there, you will be taking upper road with the good views of the Paro airport. You might be lucky to spot plane landing! After reaching hotel you can get rest or visit busy town with a lot of cafés, shops and bars!
5 Paro (cycling, hiking) Ride 25 km, ➚ 500 m, ➘ 500 m + 4-5 hours hike. Today we will hike to Tiger’s Nest monastery, one of the tour highlights. We will start ride from Paro to the north and on the way, we will visit ancient Kyichu lhakhang temple, which dates back to 7th century. Then we will leave bikes on the parking and start hike. Monastery overlooks the valley from the high cliff. Hike takes from 4 to 5 hours and it’s as much demanding as rewarding. After hiking, we will visit to Paro dzong, the castle in which Bernard Bertolucci's Little Buddha film was shot and will spend rest of the afternoon in leisure, shopping in town or getting rest.
6 Departure Departure from Bhutan. Program is subject to the flight schedule.
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