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Beautiful Bhutan by Bike

Take an unforgettable biking adventure and experience Bhutan like never before. Pedal to the Taktsang Monastery, an exquisite Buddhist temple located on a steep cliff high above in the misty mountains. Climb to the top of the Chele La pass and admire the snow-carpeted peaks of the famous Himalayan mountains. Cycle through endless fields of lush green rice fields, untouched forests and rich valleys. Be spellbound by the plethora of blossoming magnolias and vibrant rhododendron flowers on the way to Dochula. Experience Bhutanese culture at a Buddhist festival and watch religious mask dances. Trek to the Tharpaling Monastery, a grand temple hidden in the high hills of Jakar.

Highlights   Pricing
  • Discover the Taktsang Monastery, an ancient Buddhist temple that sits on a steep cliff
  • Admire the snowcapped peaks of the Himalayas from the top of Chele La pass
  • Celebrate a Buddhist festival in Jakar and learn about Bhutanese history and culture
  • Twist and turn through the hairpin roads in Yadi and pass untamed jungles and scenic rivers 
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Day by Day Itinerary

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Day 1

Fly into Paro, a town filled with many sacred sites and historical buildings. Take in the stunning scenery of the Paro Valley, where mountains, lush green hills and forest cover the region. Check into your hotel, an elegant traditional Bhutanese building, UMA by Como, and join in the preparation of the bikes for the amazing journey ahead.

Day 2

Cycle for an hour and continue by foot to the Taktsang Monastery, a divine Buddhist temple complex located on a jagged cliff. Climb up a steep footpath and prepare to be captivated by the untouched beauty of mountainous cliffs and wild forests. Take a tour of the monastery and learn about the ancient teachings of Buddha.

Day 3

Bike through the beautiful countryside and pass rustic villages. Climb to the top of Chele La pass and admire the snow-blanketed peaks of the Himalayan mountains. Continue on for 22 miles and reach the prayer-flagged summit of the pass. Absorb the breathtaking view from the top and stop for lunch. Trek down the pass and weave through a valley made up of ten sharp turns.

Day 4

Enjoy a relaxing bike ride to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. Cycle along the peaceful rivers of the Ha Chhu and Thim Chu. Embrace the dazzling scenes of endless rice fields and pristine forests as you pass by. Walk through the town square in Thimphu and experience the lives of locals. Notice the traditional dress worn and the relaxed and friendly attitudes of the Bhutanese people.

Day 5

Bike 13 miles to Dochula, and be dazzled by a plethora of blossoming magnolias and vibrant rhododendron flowers. Enjoy fruit fresh off the branch as you pass by ripe banana and orange trees. Reach the top of Dochula pass and see the area decorated with colourful prayer flags and Buddhist monuments. Savour the breathtaking view of the Himalayas and hike back down through the rich jungle of the Punakha Valley.

Day 6

Relax in Punakha and take a day of rest. For those who want to explore more of the town, consider taking a side trip to Punakha Dzong, the ancient capital of Bhutan and home to over 1,000 monks in the winter. Tour the dzong, an elaborate Buddhist fortress built in the 16th century.

Day 7

Enjoy a full day of cycling and head to the Black Mountains. Pass by scenic rivers, dense valleys and the tiny village of Tikke. Stop for a restful tea break and climb to the top of the Black Mountains. Take in the impressive view from the peak and descend into the Phobjikha Valley where we will stay for the night.

Day 8

Hop on your bike and try to spot langur monkeys in their natural forest habitat. Continue to the high landscapes of Pele La and see the magnificent Chomolhari Mountain in the distance. Head down the pass and cycle to Trongsa. Tour the village in the afternoon and visit the beautiful dzong located on the waters of the Mangde Chhu River.

Day 9

Pedal out of Trongsa and make your way to Yutung La pass. Enter the vast Bumthang Valley and stop for a tasty picnic lunch. Climb up to Kiki La pass and descend into Jakar, a picturesque village. Witness the grand Jakar Dzong resting high above in the misty mountains. This beautiful area is protected and aside from seeing historic sacred sites, you might even spot the black-necked crane. Bed down for the evening at luxurious Amankora Bumthang.

Day 10

Jakar is considered the birthplace of Buddhism in Bhutan and hosts many festivals to celebrate the religion. Take part in a Buddhist festival and participate in a Tshechu. Tshechus are big events where communities come together to watch religious mask dances, receive blessings and socialize. During this time, locals dress in their finest attire and enjoy the company of family and friends.

Day 11

Trek to the Tharpaling Monastery, a grand monument hidden in the high hills of Jakar. Breathe in fresh forest air and take in the sights of snow covered mountains nearby. Reach the top of the ridge and admire the natural beauty that surrounds you.

Day 12

Continue farther into the mountainous regions of Bhutan and head to the Shertang La Pass. Bike to the Ura Valley and see white sheep roam the countryside. Keep a look out for the Lunana mountain range looming in the north. Arrive in the village of Ura and camp overnight on a flat area in the valley.

Day 13

Take on one last high altitude climb and journey to Thrumsing La, the highest road pass in Bhutan. After conquering the pass, stop for a celebratory lunch and take a 53-mile downhill ride to a tropical forest full of bamboo and rare plant life. Prepare for adventure as you bike down the side of a sharp cliff and continue on to the village of Mongar.

Day 14

Get excited for another day of cycling and beautiful sights. Pedal through Kori La and see an ocean of cornfields and banana groves. Twist and turn through the hairpin roads in Yadi and continue to ride along the lively Gamri River. Arrive in Trashigang, a quaint village that rests by a valley.

Day 15
Samdrup Jongkhar

Sit back and relax as we drive to Samdrup Jongkhar. Celebrate your amazing efforts and impressive accomplishments at a party in the evening. Not many individuals embark on a unique bike journey like this and we hope it is a memory that will stick with you forever.

Day 16

On our final day, enjoy a scenic drive to Guwahati, a city in northeast India. Head to the airport where we say farewell. Take a short flight to Delhi and transfer to your flight home or to your next exciting destination.


Suggested Accommodations

COMO Uma Bhutan Paro

COMO Uma Bhutan Paro

COMO Uma Bhutan Paro is a 29-room hotel set in Paro Valley with breath-taking views of the Himalayas. The Bukhari restaurant, set amid pine trees, uses mostly organic food from the surrounding area for Bhutanese delicacies such as pakshee paa, a sliced pork dish with chilies and radishes; ema datsee, a chili and cheese dish, or hewa datsee, a combination of potatoes, cheese and chilies. Uma by COMO, Paro is home to the COMO Shambhala Retreat, a holistic health spa with an open-air yoga pavilion overlooking the Paro Valley. Additional facilities include a business center, fitness center and swimming pool. The hotel is a 10-minute drive from the airport in Paro.

Amankora Thimphu

Amankora Thimphu

Amankora Thimpu is located on a hillside in a verdant pine forest far above Bhutan’s capital city. The hotel’s architecture is reminiscent of Bhutanese temples, or dzongs, and incorporates white-washed stone buildings around an enclosed courtyard. Sixteen suites are composed of living and sleeping areas, with views of the forest and nearby streams. The spacious terrazzo-tiled bathrooms have soaking tubs and twin vanities. Guests may dine either in an elegant dining room or on the adjacent terrace, both of which serve Bhutanese and international cuisine. Steam and sauna rooms are available, and massage and spa treatments are offered in private rooms nearby. Traditional hot stone baths can be scheduled. There is no fitness center. Fax and Internet are available. The resort is approximately 30 minutes from the airport in Paro.

COMO Uma Bhutan Punakha

COMO Uma Bhutan Punakha

An intimate luxury lodge situated in a lush valley, the COMO Uma Bhutan Punakha is nestled amongst rice fields and orchards, and overlooks a snake-like bend in the Mo Chu River. The lodge has a selection of villas suitable for a travel party of any size, as well as nine deluxe Valley View rooms with private terraces; all rooms boast comprehensive views of the surrounding landscape. The onsite restaurant, Bukhari, is named for a traditional Bhutanese fireplace, uses ingredients from local farms and can provide delicious meals for any palate. There is also a spa, the COMO Shambhala Retreat, with a range of holistic and Asian-inspired treatments, as well as hot tubs with a birds-eye view of the stunning scenery. COMO Uma Bhutan Punakha is part of the award winning property and luxury retail group COMO Group, with a sister property in Bhutan called COMO Uma Bhutan Paro.

Gangtey Goenpa Lodge

Gangtey Goenpa Lodge

Gangte Goenpa Lodge will offer a luxurious and interactive experience in the Gangte Valley when it opens its doors for a soft launch in May 2013. The Lodge draws upon the inspiration of the unique and beautiful Bhutanese rural architecture down to the very last detail. Designed by Mary Lou Thomson, who has worked on some of the world's most prestigious resort projects, the interiors and furnishings showcase aspects of the vibrant local culture.
The focal point of the lodge will be an informal lounge and dining space with wall-to-ceiling views of the valley below. Plush leather sofas and rich fabrics will invite guests to share the day's adventures around two impressive fireplaces encased in local stone. The twelve beautifully appointed guestrooms, each with their own cozy fireplace, will reflect the rich cultural heritage with warm fabrics and earthen tones.
Raven Crown Resort, Yangkhil Resort

Raven Crown Resort

Raven Crown Resort stands in a mountainous area on the outskirts of Trongsa Town. The hotel overlooks the entire Trongsa valley including the Trongsa Dzong and the Ta-Dzong. Surrounded by nature, rhododendron and oak trees, the hotel has a calm and peaceful atmosphere inside and out. There are just 37 guestrooms that seamlessly blend traditional and modern Bhutanese architecture, inside the décor combines classic elegance with Bhutanese artwork. The rooms are built using local materials such as mud, stone and timber, they have plenty of natural light and are insulated with double paneled glass windows. The en-suite bathrooms feature rain showers and under floor heating, hot water is supplied by solar water heaters installed on the roofs. The room amenities include a balcony, custom made furniture, LCD TV, Wi-Fi, mini bar, customized stationary, iron and ironing board, wall mounted heaters, tea pot and mugs, bath slippers, bath robes, bath utility set and drinking water. The resort facilities comprise a restaurant and bar, conference room, business lounge, VIP dining room, shop, swimming pool, gym, Jacuzzi, steam room, infinity pool, Internet café, a folk museum and a coffee shop. The resort even has its own open-air amphitheater and a helipad. At the in-house spa guests can be treated to a traditional Bhutanese hot stone bath and a range of therapies and treatments using local herbs and massage techniques.

Yangkhil Resort

The three-star boutique Yangkhil Resort is the best in Trongsa and has just 21 rooms, all equipped with full bathroom, central heating and large windows and/or private balconies overlooking Trongsa Dzong, rice fields and small farmhouses. The resort is comprised of a cluster of buildings painted with traditional Bhutanese motifs and built on a hillside. There are three wings of guest rooms and the main building houses the reception area and the restaurant, which serves Indian, Continental and Bhutanese food. Other amenities include a business center with Internet access, a bar and laundry service.
Amankora Bumthang

Amankora Bumthang

Amankora Bumthang is a recently opened Amankora in Bhutan, with views of buckwheat, millet and potato fields, an apple orchard, and Wangdicholing Palace, the Kingdom’s oldest palace, which is now a monastery. There are 16 suites complete with a bukhari and views of the courtyard and palace. Amankora Bumthang has a spa with three treatment rooms and a steam room. There is no business center, but the Library has an Internet station and WiFi access. The resort is approximately nine hours from the airport in Paro.

Luxury Camping

Luxury Camping

Enjoy close commune with nature by setting up camp in the great outdoors as part of a Bhutanese Himalayan trek. Surrounded by forests, travelers fall asleep under the stars and wake up to glorious mountain views each morning – campsites really allow travelers to connect with their environment and enjoy the serenity of the Himalayas. Accompanied by guides and horses or yaks transporting camping equipment, you will stay at established campsites with all food and drinks provided, with meals prepared by an experienced chef. In some places around Bhutan, our recommended camps share sites with yak herders, giving travelers the chance to learn about this traditional semi-nomadic lifestyle first-hand. Camping in the oak forests, peaks and valleys of Bhutan also puts campers in close contact with a diverse array of wildlife, including the chital, deer, langur, and different species of Northeast Himalayan birdlife.  

Wangchuck Hotel

Wangchuck Hotel

Located in the eastern region of Bhutan, the basic Wangchuck Hotel is situated just above Mongar town on a gentle sloping hill. With a total of 33 rooms, the rooms feature a view of the mountains and valleys nearby. In addition, the hotel features a business center, banquet hall, health club with steam and sauna (opening soon), daily housekeeping services, internet access, and a restaurant with both indoor and outdoor seating.
Meet An Asia Expert
From Travelogues
Our co-founder Jay Tindall is a frequent visitor to Bhutan. As well as the village of Punakha, he loves the traditional architecture and the warmth of the Bhutanese people.
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