Our self driving tours show you an intimate insight into Bhutan's Buddhist culture and way of life. Bhutan is a perfect destination for self driving, the mountainous road that are well maintained throughout Bhutan, reaches various heights of 3000m and offers the most romantic sights of the Himalayan ranges, the rides are through various types of vegetation ranging from sub tropical to alpine vegetation, in the valleys passing through many villages of terraced rice fields and fairy tale rivers.
Day 1: Arrive Paro by Druk air from Kathmandu, Delhi, Kolkata or Bangkok.
The flight into Paro (2280 m/ 7524ft) on Druk Air is spectacular. In clear weather, magnificent views of the world’s highest peaks give way to the verdant greens of the Paro Valley. The first gift from Bhutan is the cool, clean fresh air as we step from the plane. After clearing customs and visa control we are met by our guide and then drive a short distance to your hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure with a walk through the main streets of Paro or take charge of your allotted 4 x4’s and time permitting can start getting familiar with the traffic conditions in Bhutan. Hotel Olathang or Tenzlinling.
Day 2: Paro local drives/acclimatization/sightseeing (70-80 km).
Paro is a beautiful valley offering many sights of cultural interests. We will do some driving around the valley and also visit some sights of cultural interest. Visit the national muesuem, The Rinpung Dzong, the ruined Drugyal Dzong, drive some village roads. o/n Paro.
Day 3: Paro - Thimphu. (60 km).
Thimphu is the capital city of Bhutan with appx 100,000 people. Thimphu is a city with a blend of the modern and traditional. You can see buildings that have the traditional Bhutanese architecture with modern blend. There are many stores, cafes, curio shops and interesting sights to satiate your interest while in Thimphu. Visit to the memorial stupa of the 3rd King of Bhutan who is also known as the father of modern Bhutan, you can see people devoted to Buddhism spending their time chanting prayers and spinning prayer wheels or visit the Changangkha monastery or visit the Dzong which also houses the offices of the 5th King of Bhutan. Peaceful Resort.
Day 4: Thimphu local driving and sightseeing.
You can visit the viewpoint of Thimphu, drive north of Thimphu towards the Tango and Cherry monastery. Visit a traditional cantilever bridge. Visit the National library and the school of handicrafts where students are trained in the 16 arts and crafts, including Thanka painting, statue making, embroidery, Later in the evening be at leisure to explore the streets and the cafes and bars to interact with the local folks.
Day 5: Thimphu to Punakha. (79 km).
Drive around the Thimphu valley, we’ll aim for an early breakfast so we can do some more sightseeing in Thimphu before leaving for Punakha the old winter capital of Bhutan. En route we’ll cross the Dochula Pass at an altitude of 3150 m. On a clear day the whole range of Eastern Himalayas can be seen from here, so fingers crossed! We then descend down to the Punakha Valley at an altitude of 1350 m. The road has lots of sharp bends, but lots of breathtaking views of the mountains and valleys. If we get to Punakha early enough we’ll visit the glorious Punakha Dzong, also known as the “the Palace of Great Bliss”. Damchen Resort/Dragon Nest Resort.
Day 6: Punakha to Trongsa (142 km).
Today’s drive to Trongsa takes us through two major passes and the small town of Wangdue at 1350 m, where we’ll explore a bit, maybe visit the Dzong and then ride on to Nobding. From Nobding the road ascends sharply to Pelela Pass at 3300 m before descending through pastureland at Sephu where we reach the historical Chendebji Chorten. After consuming our much-anticipated lunch at Chendebji, we’ll drive to Trongsa at an altitude of 2350 m. While Punakha and Trongsa are at approx the same elevation, there are lots of bends, beautiful waterfalls and thick forest cover on the way. This part of the ride offers good view of the south Trongsa Valley and stunning views of the Trongsa Dzong. Visit the absolutely amazing Trongsa Dzong and the watch tower muesuem which was generously restored with the help of Austrian Government. Yangkhill Resort.
Day 7: Trongsa to Bumthang (approximately 70 km).
Drive to Bumthang valley via the Yotongla pass at 3425 m. Bumthang is known as the Switzerland of Bhutan with gentle hills, mountains and greenery. The hills and mountains are dotted with prayer flags. On reaching Bumthang you can explore the valley and visit some very old Monasteries like Kurgye Monastery and Jambay Lhakhang Monastery. Swiss Guest House/Jakar Village Lodge.
Day 8: Bumthang local rides and Ride back to Trongsa (approximately 100 km).
Bumthang valley is one of the most culturally vibrant valleys in Bhutan. We will drive towards the east part and visit Tang Mebartso and explore some remote villages and back to Jakar for your lunch. Later ride back to Trongsa which is 67 km from Jakar, this is to make the journey shorter for the next day. Yangkhill Resort.
Day 9: Trongsa - Zhemgang - Geylegphug (244 km).
Drive towards the south of Bhutan, cross many interesting sights and Bhutanese villages. This part of the drive includes going through rich flora and fauna and very rural areas of Bhutan. Since the place is very remote there are no infrastructure on this route as the towns and villages are very remote. We will organize picnic lunch on this day. The drive will take you to the Indian border till sea level, as you reach the border town the weather will be tropical. You are then free to check out the many bars and shops in the town. You deserve a chilled beer! after a long drive today. The road is particularly narrow and you have to proceed with every caution honk at every bend please. Galing Hotel.
Day 10: Drive to Punakha (188 km).
The drive today will cross many interesting villages, we then come to the district town of Tsirang which is famous for the mandarin fields, you will have awesome views of the never ending hills and mountains on this route, later after you cross Tsirang, the drive follows all along the mighty river of Punatsangchu, there are some huge hydro plants under construction which is the engine of the Bhutanese economy. Dragon Nest/Punatsangchu Resort
Day 11: Drive to Haa (189 km).
Visit the mad monk temple in Wangdue and later drive to Thimphu 78 km. From the confluence we will head to the beautiful Haa valley. The road is one of the most beautiful roads with hardly any traffic and great views. You will cross many interesting remote villages of Dawakha, Bitekha and Shari. You would have had a nice long drive with very memorable and picturesque scenery throughout. Rigsum hotel or similar.
Day 12: Drive to Paro (69 km).
We begin our drive today towards Haa, making a loop around the Chelila pass and into Paro. Chelila pass is at near 4000m which is also the highest motor able road point in Bhutan. Weather permitting you have great views of Mt. Jhomolhari, Haa valley and rugged Himalayan landscape. End your drive. Farewell dinner and congrats on finishing the entire loop of West-Central and South Bhutan. You would have many impressions from this ride. Olathang/ Tenzinling Hotel.
Day 13: Departure.
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