Duration: 4 days and 3 nights
Nature of tour: Cycling and cultural sightseeing
Places covered: Paro and Thimphu
Difficulty grading: Easy
Welcome to the Last Shangrila. Tour guide and driver from See Bhutan Travels will meet you at Paro international airport and drive you to one of the local restaurants for lunch. Pickup truck along with bicycles will meet you here at restaurant from where your 65 km ride to Thimphu (capital) begins.
On the way before reaching Chuzom Bridge, stop shortly to view Tachok Lhakhang (monastery) located at the bank of Paa Chhu River, built in late 1300s by great Tibetan saint Drupthob Thangthong Gyalpo. From here continue riding towards Thimphu.
Overnight: At hotel in Thimphu.
Today we will be riding around Thimphu valley and visiting places such as Dechencholing, Takin zoo and Sangaygang. If time permits we will pay visit to Kuenselphodrang to witness the world’s largest Buddha statue.
Your short and memorial cycling journey will end here at Thimphu. Towards evening we will drive back to Paro.
Overnight: At hotel in Paro
After breakfast, drive towards Taktsang base from where the hike begins. Horse riding facilities are available till view point, while hiking up, provided you inform us few days earlier.
Taktsang monastery: Depending on your pace and the time you spent in Monastery, hiking to this monastery will take around 5 to 6 hours (roundtrip).
The monastery is located 900 m above Paro valley on the face of a rocky cliff. Taktshang is perhaps the most famous monastery in the country. The monastery was named Taktshang after Guru Rinpoche flew there from Kurtoe Singay Dzong (Eastern Bhutan) riding on a tigress to subdue a demon. Gyalse Tenzin Rabgay, the secular head of the country (1680-1694) has begun the construction of the monastery at this site in 1692 and completed in the year 1694. The monastery houses many temples that contain sacred statues of eight manifestations of Guru Rinpoche, Tshepame Yabyum and Bone relic of Pelgi Singay.
After coming back from Taktsang monastery, we will visit to Drugyal Dzong.
Drugyal Dzong: Located in Phongdey village in Paro, the Dzong was built as one of the principal Dra Dzong (defence dzongs). While some attribute the building of the Dzong to Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1649 to commemorate a victory over Tibetan invasion, some attribute it to the second Druk Desi Tenzin Drukdra. But as its name suggests (Druk – Drukpa; gyal – victory), the Dzong was built to celebrate the victory over Tibetans. The Dzong was used as the summer residence of Rinpung Rabdey until 1951 when it was completely burnt down. The Dzong is currently being rebuilt to its former glory to celebrate the birth of crown prince Jigme Namgyel. .
Overnight: At hotel in Paro
After breakfast, your guide and driver will see you off at Paro International airport for your onward destinations.
One way to explore Bhutan is by riding a bicycle. Nestled at the foothills of Himalaya, Bhutan is amongst the most culturally and geographically diverse country in the world. Scenically breathtaking, with age-old culture and traditions preserved through generations, perfect way of discovering Bhutan is from the saddle of a bicycle. Be it beginners or professionals, riders of all level can enjoy cycling in Bhutan.
All the required accessories such as helmets and extra tubes are included in tour packages but it is advisable that you bring your own helmet, saddle and toe clips of your size.
A pickup truck or back up vehicle (for larger groups) and tour vehicle will be following you for your entire tour. For those who do not wish to ride for longer distance, uphill roads or those who cannot keep pace with their fellow riders can use the service of tour vehicle, while their bikes are carried by back up vehicles.
For longer duration tours, a guide and a separate mechanic will be following you for the entire tour and for shorter duration tours, guide with a mechanical knowledge will follow you. Extra charges will be levied for hiring bicycle, if you want your guide to ride alongside with you. Otherwise your guide will be travelling in the tour vehicle.
Except summer season (June, July and August) during which Bhutan receives heavy rainfall, rest of the year is suitable for cycling in Bhutan.
With cooler temperature and less rain; October, November, December, March and April are the best month to visit Bhutan for on-road bicycling tour.
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