Bike Across Bhutan

a 16 day bike tour in Bhutan


 
A journey of a lifetime, traversing Shangri-la from the eastern border with India to fabled Tiger's Nest Monastery. Discover parts of Bhutan that the majority of visitors never see, fortified temples perched on hill tops, deep ravines lined with tropical orchids, markets teeming with fresh vegetables and fruits from the mountain sides.
 
Bhutan vegetable market at bike tour starting point
DAY

01
Meet guides in Guwahati, India, shuttle to Bhutan.
Be met at the Guwahati Airport by our Bhutanese team and transfer to Samdrup Jongkhar. Your drive from the airport will take you through the city of Guwahati and the Brahmaputra river through the Assam tea gardens and then into the foothills of Bhutan as you approach Samdrup Jongkhar, the Bhutanese border town. In the evening prepare the bikes. Welcome dinner and overnight at hotel.
Meals: D
Pedalers comfortable cycling camp in Bhutan
DAY

2/3
Cycle thru lush forests &along narrow ridges above deep valleys, camping.
After leisurely breakfast depart your hotel and leave the foothills as you ascend through dense forest with an abundance of teak and bamboo. In about 4km you will come to a Bhutanese Frontier Check Point and then you bike pass the village of Dewathang where there is Bhutanese army camp. Lunch will be served on route. You will ride through temperate vegetation. Evening at leisure and overnight at fully catered camp.
Cycling: 33 mi / 53 km, Terrain: mountainous, Meals: B L D

Today you will bike some of the ridge leading to highest point of the day at 2450 meters after Wamrong village (2000m) where there is a check post. Unlike Western Bhutan where the road goes over passes between one valley and the next, the road here follows ridges almost the whole way and is marked throughout with stone chortens (Buddhist Monuments). You will campsite offers a wonderful sunset over the ridges of southeastern Bhutan. Overnight at camp above the road.
Cycling: 45 mi / 72 km, Terrain: mountainous, Meals: B L D
prayer flags along the Bhutan bicycle trip
DAY

04
Visit weaving village of Khaling, bike through rice paddies and bamboo forests to Tashigang.
Tashigang is the most easterly point of our journey. Today you will ride through the quaint village of Khaling, which is famous for its weaving and handicraft. Altitude of Khaling at 2100m. After Khaling you will ascend to Yonphula pass at 2450 m the first of the two minor passes before finally descending on to Tashigang via Kangluang college through rice paddies and bamboo plants. Overnight at hotel.
Cycling: 43 mi / 69 km, Terrain: mountainous, Meals: B L D
Roadside stupha near tashigang
DAY

5/6
Visit Tashigang Dzong, bicycle through thick rhododendron forest, past village farms and stuphas.
After breakfast you ride pass Tashigang Dzong and then descend to Chazam before you turn left to enjoy a 30 km pleasant ride along the Gamri Chu to Sheri Chu before your climb to Yadi village (1500m) and then continue your climb through cornfields and banana groves to Korila Pass (2450 m). Picnic lunch will be served on route. After the Korila pass you will then descend to Mongar. Evening at leisure. Overnight at hotel.
Cycling: 60 mi / 97km, Terrain: mounatinous, Meals: B L D

Morning you will bike downhill from Mongar town to Lingmethang at 600 meters. You will then start your ascend to Thrumshingla Pass (3750 m). The scenery is stunning as you pass through dense forest of conifer and rhododendron. The climb is actually split into two parts, as there is a minor pass on after the Thrumshing La. The pass marks the boundary between Central and Eastern Bhutan and is the last of your high altitude climbs. Lunch will be served on route. The climb to the pass must rank as one of the most enjoyable and breathtakingly beautiful descents in the biking world. The climb is through dark conifers, then mixture of deciduous and conifer woodland after leaving the semi-tropical zone at an altitude of 1800 meters. Bamboo and an array of rare plant life line the sides of the road. The road between Sengor and Namling has the reputation for being the most hair-raising section of the road across Bhutan, but is just perfect for mountain bikes. Overnight at hotel.
Cycling: 91 mi / 147 km, Terrain: mountainous, Meals: B L D
Typical Bhutan architecture
DAY

7/8
Enjoy magnificent vistas and dramatic cycling routes, cultural exploration in Bumthang.
You will do about 10 km downhill before your climb to Sheytang-La Pass (3450m) and before your final descend to Jakar. The Ura valley, on the far side, is the highest of the Bumthang valleys. Extensive sheep pastures line the road and just before the pass there is a panorama of the mountains including Mt. Gangkar Punsum (7219 m). Lunch will be served on route. Evening at leisure. Overnight at hotel.
Cycling: 38 mi / 61 km, Terrain: mountainous, Meals: B L D

Morning you will begin your day with visit to Jambay Lhakhang. It’s one of the 108 temples built in a day across the Himalayas by King Songtsen Goenpo who was believed to be the reincarnation Buddha of compassion. Out of 108, two are in Bhutan - Kyichu Lhakhang. The Jo Khang of the Potala Palace is one of the 108 temples built to pin down an ogress who was causing hindrance to the spread of Buddhism in the Himalayas. Next you will visit the Kurjey Lhakhang, which consists of three temples. The first one is built on the site of a cave containing a rock with the body imprint of Guru Rinpoche and is considered the most holy. The first king of Bhutan, His Late Majesty Ugyen Wangchuck, built the second one. The third temple is the newest of all the three and is built by the present Royal Queen Mother, Her Majesty Azhi Kesang Choeden Wangchuck. These temples are surronded by 108 small chortens (Buddhist Stupas) forming a retaining wall, symbolic of each joint of the human body. Back to hotel for lunch. After lunch you will explore the other side of Chamkhar valley on foot with visits to 15th Century Tamzhing Lhakhang and you will wrap up your day with visit to the Jakar Dzong. Evening at leisure. Overnight at Guest House.
Cycling: 43 mi / 69 km, Terrain: mountainous, Meals: B L D
Chilis drying by prayer bells
DAY

09
Bike to Chumey Village known for hand woven wool, explore Trongsa Dzong.
In approximately about 10 miles after Jakar you will reach Chumey village , where you will stop to see the woolen hand woven textiles called ‘Yathra’ - the specialty of Bumthang valley. Then you will start your ascend to Yotongla Pass (3400m). After the pass descend to Trongsa. Its another beautiful ride. Check in and lunch at hotel. After lunch visit the Ta-Dzong (Watch Tower) in Trongsa, which once guarded the Trongsa Dzong from internal rebellions. The Ta Dzong stands impressive and provides an insight into historical significance of Trongsa in the country’s history. It was renovated and converted into Museum to showcase Bhutan rich cultural heritage and history. Evening at leisure. Overnight lodge/guest house.
Cycling: 43 mi / 69 km, Terrain: mountainous, Meals: B L D
Prayer flags seen while cycling into Gangtey Goempta
DAY

10/11
Cycle to Chendebji Choeten & Gangtey Goempta home to Black Neck Cranes, enjoy all day downhill to Punakha.
After breakfast you will do the easy to moderate biking to Chendebji Chorten where you will have lunch. Your climb to Pelela Pass (3300m) begins after Chendebji Chorten. Pelela Pass is the traditional boundary between the Western and Central Bhutan. On clear days you will enjoy the views of the Mt. Jhomolhari (7314m) rising in western Bhutan. After the pass 9 miles downhill to the interjection where you will take left and then uphill to the Lawala Pass (3400m). Then its all the downhill your hotel. Evening at leisure. Overnight at hotel/Guesthouse.
Cycling: 53 mi / 85 km, Terrain: mountainous, Meals: B L D

After breakfast you will tackle the short 1000 feet of ascent back to the small pass. From the pass it’s downhill to the main road from where you will turn left and continue your descend to Nobding village. Lunch will be served on route. After lunch continue to Punakha through the rice paddies and broadleaf forests. From Tikke-Zam you will follow the Dangchu to Wangdue and then from Wangdue continue on to Punakha along the Punatshang Chu (River). Overnight at hotel.
Cycling: 54 mi / 87 km, Terrain: mountainous, Meals: B L D
Choetens atop Dochula Pass
DAY

12/13
Cross Dochula Pass with its 108 Choetens, free day in Thimphu.
After breakfast you will tackle the 24 mile climb to Dochula Pass (3100m). The views from the pass are magnificent, offering a panorama of the eastern Himalayas. Hot lunch at the cafeteria at the pass. Lunch will be served on route. Today’s climb is through the semi-tropical and leafy temperate forests with abundant orange trees, bananas and bamboos. After Dochula Pass, you will be rewarded with 14 mile descent to Simtokha through forest of rhododendron, oak, pine and apple orchards. From Simtokha you have another 7 km to Thimphu. Evening explore Thimphu town. Overnight at hotel.
Cycling: 45 mi / 73 km, Terrain: mountainous, Meals: B L D

Back on the bikes today for a delightful ride downstream along the Thimphu Chhu (river). When we reach the confluence with the Paro River, we will switch to a small road on the other side of the Thimphu River and start the ride into Haa Valley. This hidden valley was only recently opened to tourism and offers pristine landscapes and quiet village during a dramatic ride along the Wang Chu River. The road into Haa climbs slowly through quaint villages and thick conifer forests before opening into a valley dotted with fields of millet, barley, potatoes and wheat, where the farmhouses are adorned with intricately painted cornices and frames. 115kms. Overnight at hotel
Cycling: 71 mi / 115 km, Terrain: small hills then large climb, Meals: B L D
Quiet country road on Bhutan cycling holiday
DAY

14
Last day biking through rural valleys to Paro, visit National Museum and small villages.
One last climb today, as we cross over to the Paro Valley. On clear days you can enjoy the stunning view of Mt. Jhomolhari (7314m) and Taktshang Goenpa (Tiger¹s Nest). Its a 26 km ascent to Chelela Pass through pine forests and alpine scenery, rewarded by a 35 km descent to Paro town. Lunch at the hotel. Upon checking into our hotel, we'll set out to explore town a bit before dinner. 61 km, Pass: Chelela (3988 m). Overnight at hotel.
Cycling: 38 mi / 61 km, Terrain: mountainous, Meals: B L D
Tigers Nest Monastery seen at end of Bhutna bike tour
DAY

15/16
Hike to fabled Tigers Nest Monastery, visit your guide's family farm, depart Bhutan on Day 16.
Day Excursion to Taktshang Monastery literally known as Tiger's Nest. This is one of Bhutan's most sacred places, and an important pilgrimage destination. You will walk along a trail that slowly rises above the valley, taking you through fields and past four large prayer wheels turned by a stream. Continuing across an open meadow, you hike up a section of trail to a ridge where prayer flags rustle in the wind next to a massive prayer wheel. Just beyond is the Taktshang Cafeteria at 9,200 feet, where you stop to enjoy a hot drink and the striking views of the Monastery across the valley. Depending on your energy level, you may relax in the pleasant atmosphere of the cafeteria until lunch or continue on for a mile of steep climbing to another dramatic viewpoint. You return to the cafeteria for a delicious buffet of typical Bhutanese food. You may want to try Emadatsi (A chili cheese dish), vegetables with cheese sauce and other dishes. Overnight in Paro at hotel.
Meals: B L D

Early morning breakfast and drive to the airport for departure. Your guide team will help with check-in formalities and bid you farewell.
Meals: B
16 days (12 days cycling)
Inn to Inn
Level: C

Hotels, Inns & Resorts
Catered Camping (3 nights)See some of our hotels

Tour meets in Guwahati, India (GAU)and ends in Paro, Bhutan (PBH)
Paved roads, light traffic, hilly & mountainous terrain

Total: 489 mi / 788 km
Daily Avg: 44 mi / 72 km


Scheduled Departures:
Tour Cost: $5275
Deposit: $400

Private Trips:
6 or more people: $5475
2 to 5 people: $5875
1 person: n/a

Extras:
Single Supplement: $1050
Bike Rental: free of charge
(All costs per person in US $. Seasonal supplements may apply on private trips.)

More Ideas

Here are some other great bucket list trips to check out.

Comfortable Boutique Accommodation

Wangchuk Hotel Mongar
Small hotel featuring local architectural styles and view of the Mongar Valley.

Yangkhil Resort
Hillside resort featuring colorful Bhutanese architecture and a birds eye via of Trongsa Dzong.

Hotel Dewachen
Ornate Bhutanese architecture, offering a panoramic view of the fields where the cranes roost each night.

Meri Puensum Resort
Cottages perched on the forested hillside overlooking the Pho Chu River.

Hotel Druk
Elegant hotel in the heart of Thimphu combining traditional architecture with modern amenities.

Zhiwaling Resort
A five star finale in a beautifully located combination of tradition and modern technology.

The hotels listed here are some of our preferred properties (those with websites), but may not be available for all dates. When alternates are used, they will be of the same quality and style.

Choose Your Date

Trip Starts Departure
Trip Ends
Price
Sgl Sup
Deposit
Notes
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6
Apr 2017
21 Apr 2017
$ 5275
$ 1050
$ 400
 
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22
Jun 2017
7 Jul 2017
$ 5275
$ 1050
$ 400
 
Book This Date
21
Sep 2017
6 Oct 2017
$ 5275
$ 1050
$ 400
 
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