Its breathtaking beauty, unpolluted air and undisturbed natural tranquility make Bhutan an ideal place for mountain biking. The vehicle concentration on even the busiest roads would by most standards be considered extremely low, and when one leaves the main highways there are almost no such distractions. Yangphel was among the first tour operators to offer biking tours, and we possess the experience and all the necessary equipment to execute such trips to the highest of standards.
Your trip starts in the fertile valley of Paro, moving onward through the carefully modernizing capital of Thimphu, before crossing over to the Punakha valley. By combining biking with vehicle transport you will move between these highlights of the western Bhutan, all the while absorbingBhutan‚s fascinating cultural and ecological landscapes. You then enter the secluded Pobjikha Valley, considered one of the most beautiful in the country. The valley is equally well known for the important 17th Century monastery at Gangtey and as the winter home of the magnificent black-necked crane. Your stay here will also introduce you to many charming subtler aspects of the Bhutanese way of life. The journey ends in Paro, with an invigorating hike towards Taktsang monastery, one of the holiest sites of Himalayan Buddhism.
Board the flight to Bhutan and experience the magnificent views of the Himalaya including the tallest mountain Mt. Everest (8,850m/29,035ft). Yangphel Adventure Travel representative will receive you at the airport & drive you to Thimphu. After your visa formalities are over, you guide and driver will be outside the Airport awaiting for you. You will be escorted to your overnight hotel to freshen up and rest.
In the evening, at the hotel Lobby over a cup of tea/coffee, your guide will have an orientation of the tour which will cover all aspects of the tour including sharing your interest and customize your trip as per your need & to experience the livelihood in Bhutan.
Five years in making, this Zhiwa Ling Heritage is a tribute to ornate architectural arts of Bhutan. Venture to explore the beauty of the hotel and experience the warmth & comfort of a 5-star hotel living in harmony with nature, culture and tradition. To this day, Zhiwa Ling Heritage is wholly Bhutanese owned and staffed.
Morning, mountain bike to Thimphu (65 kms/40mi) and additional sightseeing’s along the way. On the way to Thimphu, visit the Tachogang monastery, which is dedicated to the 14th century Saint Thangthong Gyalpo (The iron bridge builder). You bike past Chuzom - the confluence and then ride up the valley to Thimphu along the Wang Chhu (chhu means river). After lunch, ride and visit the Buddha Dordenma site and off road (downhill) towards Changangkha Lhakhang- 2 hrs. Later visit Changangkha Lhakhang where parents comes here with their new born babies to get blessings from the local deity and some to get their names. We will then ride further up where your hotel is located on the outskirt of the city serenly nestled amongst the pine forests.
Today is a big ride to Wangduephodrang District about 85 kms/53mi. We go over the Dochula pass and ride down to Lobesa. The journey is beautiful riding through thick forests and seeing beautiful Himalayan ranges on a clear day. Enroute, we can visit some interesting sites like the outskirt of Wangduephodrang Dzong (not allowed to go in due to the major renovation) which is the center for monks and district administration office is also in this building. There will be opportunities to meet monks, local people and take plenty of pictures. Bike another 9 kms/6mi to your hotel.
The resort is like no other, situated on a small secluded area filled with unique landscape. As you tilt your chair of your very own verandah, you can literally hear the rhythm and sounds of. You develop the ability to hear the nature songs of the earth, what we call “the dance, of the water”. In addition, the surrounding greenery would be like open arms!
Today, after an early breakfast, we will journey towards one of the most beautiful valley of Bhutan – The Phobjikha valley also called Gangtey valley. We will have to struggle uphill all the way to Lawala pass (3,300m/10,826ft). After the pass, we will ride down along the very scenic valley of Phobjikha till we get to our destination. En route, we can visit the picturesque Gangtey Gompa (monastery) dating back to 15th century whose founder is the Body emanations of the 16th-century Terton (treasure finder) Pema Lingpa. We will also take chance to light butter lamps in the shrine and offer your prayers for the liberation of all the sentient beings that are suffering.
No need to repack today as we are spending the day in the beautiful valley exploring and biking off road - dirt roads around the valley. In the late afternoon, we will organize a typical Bhutanese farm-house visit and interact with the local family over a cup of Bhutanese tea called as “suja”.
We retrace our journey back over the Lawala to visit the fertile valley of Punakha which is the ancient capital of Bhutan. Except for the ride up to to lawala for about 12 kms, most of our ride will be downhill to Punakha. Before Punakha, we will visit the famous Chhimi Lakhang (The divine Mad Monk temple) dedicated to the Lama Drukpa Kuenley of 14th century. Continue our journey towards the Punakha Dzong perched strategically in between the male and the female river. This 16th century Dzong houses about 500+ monks during the winter months. Our first King of Bhutan was crowned in this Dzong in 1907. The Dzong houses some of the largest statues of Buddha, Guru Rimpochey and the Shabdrung who are all very prominent figures for worship by the Buddhist in Bhutan. A very important 7 days festival takes place in the courtyard of this Dzong in February every year. Meripunsum resort or similar
Overnight | Custom Built Tented camp in tented camp provide altogether a different experience of outdoor recreation in the wilderness. Meals will be cooked by the camp chef and a camp manager will ensure that your comforts are well looked after. The traditional hot stone bath will be one of the highlights at camp.
Today, we will depart early from Punakha towards Paro via Chele La Pass (3,988m/13,084ft). Since it is a long day, we will plan to drive to Paro and then bike over to the Chelela Pass and back. On a clear day, one can view the sacred peaks of Chomolhari (7,326m/24,035ft) from this pass. Then it is all the way downhill till we reach the Paro valley. Tonight, we recommend a traditional hot stone bath at the Zhiwa Ling Heritage hotel.
Five years in making, Zhiwa Ling Heritage is a tribute to ornate architectural arts of Bhutan. Venture to explore the beauty of the hotel and experience the warmth & comfort of a 5-star hotel living in harmony with nature, culture and tradition. To this day, Zhiwa Ling Heritage is wholly Bhutanese owned and staffed.
This morning we will hike to the most auspicious temple in Bhutan – the Tigers Nest locally known as Taktsang. Our patron saint Guru Rimpochey flew here on the back of a Tigress in the 8th century and meditated in a cave on the rock face. Ever since the site has become a famous pilgrim destination for the Buddhist around the region of Bhutan, India, Nepal and Tibet.
We have the option of riding the bikes if desired till the base of the Tigers Nest and then hike up. Lunch will be served at the cafeteria either after or before the visit to the temple depending on time. We advise our guests to pray and make their wish quietly as it is known that all the wishes made at this sacred spot are realized and come true at some point.
Drive back to Zhiwaling hotel for your last farewell dinner.
Flight: Paro to Bangkok (Outgoing sector changes based on your preference). After breakfast, we will board the vehicle to drive 15 minutes to the airport to board the flight to Delhi. Your Guide and driver will bid their farewells from here. Wish you safe flight.
Our clients love us! Here's what a few of them have to say about their visit to Bhutan with Yangphel.
As the sticker on the back of my car says I LOVE BHUTAN so much so that Iʼve been visiting the country and my friends at Yangphel, annually, for the past 9 years. Bhutan has become my 2nd home and the team at Yangphel have become my extended family. I have travelled and trekked the length and breadth of the country either alone (although you never feel alone in Bhutan), with family or with friends and each visit has been as memorable and as wonderful as the last. I feel so reassured that whenever I travel and trek with Yangphel I am being supported by one of the oldest, most respected and professional trekking companies throughout Bhutan. All the Guides at Yangphel are extremely professional, caring and highly trained full of knowledge, enthusiasm and good humour. These guides have taught me more about Bhutan the country and the people than I could ever read from a book. The 3 Guides who have accompanied me during my past visits have all become firm friends and we now share some amazing experiences and happy memories together. It is always a great joy for me to arrive at Paro Airport to see a familiar smiling face waiting to greet me. The Trekking Crews have also become a major part of my visits to Bhutan so much so that I feel I am trekking with a little troupe of friends. They all make sure that camp is always ready after a hard days trek and it always astonishes me how they can cook such amazing meals with such limited resources. As I prefer to plan my trips independently the wonderful team at the Yangphel office work out the logistics of my planned adventures and they organize everything to perfection to make sure that my trips run smoothly. No trip to Bhutan would be complete without a few days stay at the Zhiwaling Hotel in Paro. This is Yangphel's very own wonderful luxurious Zhiwaling Heritage hotel the very best place to stay after trekking and camping in the mountains with a guarantee of a warm welcome from old friends in beautiful surroundings and superb facilities. Soon I shall be planning my next trip to Bhutan my 11th and the thought of stepping off the Drukair flight to see my Yangphel friends waiting to greet me with a Kuzuzambo la already fills my heart and my spirit with joy! Thank you all my wonderful friends at Yangphel but Iʼm especially indebted to Karma Choden and Karma Lotey who have made it possible for me to experience some of the best moments of my life in beautiful Bhutan.
Myra Lewis : UNITED KINGDOM