Bicycling in Bhutan is rewarded with stunning views and pristine nature on good paved roads with little traffic. We start cycling from Thimpu after visiting Paro, and head east to Punakha, stopping to visit dzongs (fortresses), monasteries and temples and absorbing the Buddhist culture.
Arrive from Bangkok in Paro where you will be picked up from the airport. We check into the hotel, and in the afternoon we’ll visit to Bhutan National Museum, which features local art, textiles, artifacts, and sculptures. We’ll also visit one of the major Rinpung Dzongs located in Paro. In the evening, we’ll have a welcome dinner prepared in traditional Bhutanese style.
Bhutan National Museum, Rinpung Dzong
- Bhutan Mandala Resort
- Metta Resort & Spa
There is a short morning transfer to Thimphu (approx 2 hrs), and then the rest of the morning will be spent visiting museums and the National Institute for Zorig Chusum (a school of arts and crafts). In the afternoon, we ride to Dodina past small villages, farmlands and dense forests. The end of the road in Dodina features two monasteries set back high amongst the mountains. The return is a gradual downhill to Thimphu. Later in the evening, you can explore the town well known for its handicrafts shops.
Zogig Chusum school of arts and crafts, ride to Dodina village
- Gyelsa Boutique Inn
- Hotel Thimphu Tower
Today will be the first major hill challenge, we have a warm up of 5 km before we start climbing for the next 18 km to the pass at Dochula, which is known for its spiritual energy and 108 Chortens that are atop the pass. Lunch at the Dochula Café is the perfect place to take in the expansive views of the deep valleys and eastern Himalayas. After lunch as we descend down the pass we move from oak, maple and blue pine forests into the rhododendron, hemlock and fir vegetation, and along with the many monasteries that come into view make this a downhill ride to remember.
Cycling to Punkha, enjoy the stunning mountain views of Himalayas.
- Meri Puensum Resort
- Vara Hotel Punakha
Today’s ride is an enjoyable out and back ride with the outward leg being a gradual climb to Tashithang. We pass through lush forests which are famous for their rhododendron trees, and if they are in bloom make for magnificent views. This area is also well known for its birdlife and wild orchids.
Tashithang Loop Ride, trekking through lush forests
The ride today is a more leisurely one as we take time to explore the beautiful and lush valley that surrounds Punakha. We will visit Punakha Dzong, one of the most impressive Dzongs in Bhutan which was built in 1638 and made all the more remarkable as it was constructed without the use of drawings or a single nail! The other major visit today will be to Chimi Lhakhang, built in 1499 and also known as the temple of the “Devine Madman” (Lama Drukpa Kunley) and disciple of one of the five great tertons (treasure discoverer) Pema Lingpa. This temple is also noted for its blessing of women who wish to bear children.
Punakha Dzong, Chimi Lhakhang
We leave Punakha early for the drive back to Paro. It will take about 4-6 hours depending on road construction, but we will ensure that there's time to visit the Tiger's Nest (Taktsang Monastery), a highlight of the tour. Perched on a cliff it's a hike to reach and before reaching one must cross a bridge that fords a large water fall, which drops by 60 metres (200 ft) into a sacred pool, not easy for those with a fear of heights. First built in 1692 this monastery is scared to Buddhists of the world.
Tour concludes and we transfer you to the airport for onward travel.
WHEN TO GO?
MORE TOURS HERE