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Enjoy a memorable week exploring the highlights of Bhutan on a cycling tour. Set off on a bicycle adventure from the historic and sacred town of Paro through one of Asia’s most intriguing, isolated, and visually stunning destinations, The Kingdom of Bhutan.
Paro International Airport,Paro,Bhutan.
3 Hours Before Flight Time
The flight into Paro provides one of the most stunning views of the mighty Himalayas. As you descend into the Paro valley, you will see the Paro Dzong (fortress) on the hillside overlooking the Paro Chu (river), with its watchtower, now the national museum. One of our professional guides will receive you at the airport and escort you to your hotel.
In the afternoon, we will visit the auspicious Kyichu Lhakhang the 7th century monastery and one of Bhutan’s oldest and most beautiful temples. The temple was built in 659 by King Songtsen Gampo of Tibet, to pin down the left foot of a giant ogress who was thwarting the spread of Buddhism.
In the evening, explore the small town of Paro, which is filled with handicrafts and souvenir shops. If you like, you could visit a farmhouse and try out a local meal and sip on ara, a grain distilled alcoholic brew.
Today we will bike to Thimphu, a 54 km ride with scenic views of the rugged landscape, paddy fields, and farmhouses following the flow of the Paro and Thimphu rivers.
Your first stop, 10 km out of Paro, is to view the magnificent Tachocho Lhakhang, the hereditary place of worship for Bhutan’s Iron Bridge Builder. Ride further to reach Chuzom where the Paro Chu (river) meets the Wang Chu. From here you turn left to enter Thimphu valley riding up a gradient and then a climb and then a gentle descent. This pattern repeats all the way to the capital. You can stop along the way to sample fruits sold in the highway stalls.
Your pedal tour in Thimphu will be combined with visits to the National Memorial Chorten, a stupa dedicated to world peace and prosperity, built in 1974 in memory of the Third King of Bhutan, the National Library, the National Institute of Zorig Chusum where students train in Bhutan’s 13 traditional arts and crafts and Folk Heritage Museum which will provide insight into Bhutan’s rural past.
After lunch visits include Changangkha Lhakhang, a fortress like temple, which lies perched on a ridge above Thimphu, Takin Preserve, the 138.6-foot-high Shakyamuni Buddha statue on the southern end of the valley.
Bike further towards Sangaygang and visit a nunnery temple. The last stop is Tashichho Dzong or “the fortress of the glorious religion”. This 17th century fort houses the central administration offices and the throne room of His Majesty the King of Bhutan.
Today our ride will be to the fertile valley of Punakha, the old capital of Bhutan crossing over the Dochu La pass (3050meters)will be a satisfying ride.
The ride from Thimphu valley ascends up to Dochula Pass (19 km) can take more than an hour. Rest at Dochula and take in the panoramic views of the eastern Himalayan ranges and the 108 stupas built by the eldest queen mother. From its winding trail downhill that passes through forests of oak, fir, spurs, and rhododendron. Stop at Sopsokha village and visit the temple of fertility “Chimi Lhakhang” which is located atop a hill. Later 20-30 minutes ride will take us to our hotel in Punakha.
Start biking to the majestic Punakha Dzong, which was built in 1637, and stands majestically at the junction of two rivers, Pho Chu and Mo Chu. It is the most beautiful Dzong in Bhutan and the winter residence central monk body.
Enjoy the afternoon biking off-road for about 3 hours along the Pho Chu river. You can also visit farmhouses and walk through the rice fields.
Early morning drive back to Paro or ride the journey with a designated stop at Dochula pass to rest and stretch out.
If you reach Paro early, you can visit the national museum housed in a 17th century watchtower and the Rinpung Dzong which serves as the district administrative center.
After breakfast bike 10km north of Paro Valley to the starting point of the hike to Taktsang Monastery or Tiger’s Nest as most people call it. The hike, which is all the way uphill, takes about 2 hours. It passes through pine forests laden with Spanish moss, an indication of the pure atmosphere of the area. The monastery clings to a huge granite cliff 900 meters above the valley floor. It is believed that the great saint, Padmasambhava, flew here on a tigress and meditated in a cave in Taktshang in the eighth century around which the temple is built.
In the afternoon, ride further north to Drugyel Dzong, the fort that defended the Paro valley from the Tibetan invasions in the early 17th century. Then ride back to Paro town to visit the auspicious Kyichu Lhakhang the sacred monastery built in the 7th century.
Departure from Paro International Airport.