Bhutan, the secret Shangri la or the Land of the Peaceful Thunder Dragon is the best-kept secret in the travel industry. Due to its relative isolation, the country is not known to the outside world and until 1960, western visitors rarely visited the country Today still, few people know of the beauty of Bhutan. The few who do visit this magical place find an ancient Buddhist culture thriving in a landscape of incredible natural beauty. The mountains are magnificent, the countryside green, the pure air and unpolluted and the architecture striking.
Our motor cycling tours show you an intimate insight into Bhutan's Buddhist culture and way of life. The mountainous road are well maintained throughout Bhutan, reaches heights of 3000 m 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 at Paro Bhutan. Tour briefing, test rides, Paro sightseeing. The flight into Paro (2280 m/7524 ft) 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 machines and time permitting can start getting familiar with the traffic conditions in Bhutan. O/n hotel Tenzinling or similar.
Day 2: Paro - Haa - Thimphu (150 km).
We begin our ride today towards Thimphu, making a loop around the Chelila pass and into Haa and then to Thimphu. Climb 35 km from Paro to the Chelila pass at near 4000 m 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. Stop for lunch at Haa town and continue ride towards Thimphu. You cross many villages like Karna, Jyenkana, Bitekha. The ride is beautiful with very less traffic and very scenic as you drive through pine forests. Once you reach the river confluence of Thimphu and Paro, its 31 km to Paro on the national highway. O/n Thimphu. Peaceful Resort or similar.
Day 3: Thimphu - Punakha (79 km).
If we didn’t complete sightseeing yesterday, we’ll aim for an early breakfast so we can do some more 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”. O/n Damchen Resort or similar.
Day 4: Punakha to Trongsa (150 km).
Today’s ride 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 packed lunch at Chendebji, we’ll ride 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. O/n Yangkhill resort or similar.
Day 5: Trongsa to Bumthang (70 km).
After visiting the absolutely amazing Trongsa Dzong, we’ll ride to Bumthang. En route we’ll pass many interesting villages and cross the Yutongla Pass at 3400 m before descending into the beautiful Bumthang Valley. Our hotel in the trading centre of Jakar is at an altitude of 2680 m. Getting in relatively early will give us all a chance to explore the township with its wonderful bank and Post Office where you can buy some incredible Bhutanese stamps (not rare, but still much sort after by amateur philatelists). O/n Swiss Guest House or similar.
Day 6: Bumthang Local Rides. (40-50 km).
Bumthang is also known as the Switzerland of Bhutan, the whole valley resembling the Swiss alps but with many monasteries and prayer flags that dot the hills and pine forests. There used to be many Swiss people living in Bumthang developing the logging industry in the 80s. It’s a wide valley and interesting to do local rides in the valley visiting villages and visiting sights of cultural interests. o/n same.
Day 7: Bumthang to Phobjikha to Wangdue (200 km).
Ride to the valley of the black neck cranes to the Phobjikha valley, en route visit some local villages of sha valley, visit the Wangdue Dzong. Depending on the season if there are black neck cranes, this is the roosting grounds for the endangered black neck cranes. O/n Dragon nest Resort or similar.
Day 8: Punakha to Thimphu end ride, Local sightseeing (80 km).
After completing the various sightseeing ride to Thimphu, end ride and be free to explore the Thimphu city. Visit the Memorial stupa and the view point. Visit the Takin - sanctuary the national animal of Bhutan. O/n Peaceful Resort or similar.
Day 9: Departure.
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