12 Days / 11 Nights - Bhutan Biking Tour VI
Day 1: Paro Arrival
After you arrive at Bhutan's international airport, paro situated in a beautiful valley at 2280 meters which gives a introduction to our beautiful kingdom. Our guide will meet you and take you to Hotel or start with sightseeing by visiting paro Ringpung Dzong which is one of the finest example of Bhutanese architecture. Then drive up to visit Ta Dzong (watch tower) built in 1951 to use as a watch tower to defend Ringpung dzong and paro valley during the time of war and converted into national museum in 1967 which is recorded under UNESCO world heritage. Unfortunately original museum was destroyed by the earthquake in September 2011 but one can still see a magnificent collection of Bhutanese artifacts like costumes, religious Thangka paintings, arm weapons, and a fascinating collection of Bhutan stamps. The museum will reopen by the end of 2016. After visiting Ta dzong you can ride on bicycle down to visit Dungtse lhakhang one of the old unique temple built in 15 century by the great iron builder Drobthop Thangthong Gyalpo. And continue cycling farther to the north of paro valley for 35 minutes till the end of peace road with view of villages and beautiful paachu river flow from the right and before you reach to the small market area you will have a charming view of second highest Himalaya of Bhutan mountain Jomolhari (7456 meters mountain of god) in fine weather again continue a ride to Drukgyal village and if there is a time you can visit Drukgyal Dzong(victory fortress)which was built in 1644 to celebrate the victory over Tibetan invaders and destroyed by the fire in 1951.Then ride back to your hotel.
Night stay in Paro
Day 2: Paro to Thimphu
Today after breakfast in the morning we will start our leisurely ride to Thimphu capital city of Bhutan for 2 and half hour with beautiful views of Paachu, Wangchu river and villages after you reach to Thimphu you can visit beautiful Memorial Chortenbuilt in 1974 by her majesty y Azhi Phuntsho Choden Wangchuk. Kunesel Phodrang popularly known as Bhuddha point where you will see 169 feet big seating Buddha which one of the largest Buddha statue in the world as well to see the bird's eye view of Thimphu city. Then will vist Changangkha Temple which was built in 12 century, Inside the temple one can see the original old wall paintings and the unique statue of god of compassion in the form of 11 faces in seating poster and hundreds of religious of scriptures written in gold. Followed by Takin reservation centre to see our Bhutan's unique national animal Takin. To see the art work of zorigchusum(13 traditional arts and crafts) we can visit Painting School
Night stay in Thimphu
Day 3: Thimphu halt
Drive to the north of Thimphu for 15 minutes at view point of Kabesa village from where you can start your great ride with the beautiful nature and villages alongside the Wangchu river further to the north for the Tango or Chari hike; one hour leisurely walk to Tango monastery founded by lama Gyalwa Lhanangpa in the 12th century and the present structure was built in 15th century by lama Drukpa Kuenley. Monastery today is use for Buddhist university of Bhutan. And back from the monastery another an hour walk to Chari monastery. The trail starts from a quaint bridge that spans the Thimphu chu, and then climbs to the monastery built by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1620 which one of the first Buddhist Monastery in Bhutan. A silver chorten inside the monastery holds the ashes of Zhabdrung's father. After lunch will be visiting Textile Weaving Center at changzamtok were one can see traditional weaving style of fabric. An optional visit of Tashichoe dzong or oldest fortress Simtokha Dzong which was built in 1629. Disscus with your guide and tell your interest.
Night stay in Thimphu
Day 4: Thimphu to Punakha
Today after breakfast drive for 40 minutes to reach Dochula pass at 3100 meters ,there you can stop for the paronomic view of eastern Himalayas in fine weather. From the pass you can ride down or drive for another 1 and half hour to reach Thinleygang village from here you can ride down to Bhutan's old capital Punakha since 1955 at 1220 meters for one hour. After lunch take a pleasant walk through terraced fields Chimelhakhang ( temple of fertility)which was built in 15 century by the first cousin brother of divine madman lama Ngawang Chogyal.hike is for an hour. Then you will have a wonderful ride to the north with the charming view of punatsangchu river and villages to visit punakha dzong(palace of great happiness) which one of the beautiful dzong in Bhutan. Built in 1636, it stands beautifully at the confluence of two rivers,mo chu and pho chu. Then if there is a time continue your ride further to the north for around a hour and ride back to your hotel.
Night stay in punakha
Day 5: Punakha to Trongsa
Drive for 3 hours to Pelala pass (3200 mts) from here you can have ride with majestic view of valleys and mountains for 4 hours to gateway to central Bhutan Trongsa at 2180 meters. Stop at a view point before you reach to Trongsa to enjoy spectacular scenery of Trongsa dzong, the home of Bhutan's Royal ancestors from miles away. Have lunch at Trongsa and visit Taa dzong which has been used as a watch tower for the Trongsa dzong during war time in past century and later in 2008 it has been converted in museum dedicated to the Wangchuk Danasty, which tells the stories of the dzong and the Trongsa village. You can also see personal belongings of the kings and queens of Bhutan. And if you feel energytic you also visit Trongsa Dzong(fortress on tip of conch shell) which holds 25 temples inside.
Night stay in Trongsa
Day 6: Trongsa to Bumthang
Drive to Bhumthang, Drive for 1.5 hours to Yontongla pass(3425 m) and then have a ride with beautiful view of Bhutan's most beautiful landscapes to Bumthang,an area of high valleys at 2570 to 3150 meters for 1.5 hour. On the way when you reach to Chumey valley you can stop at craft shop at Zungney village to watch weavers weaving yatra, distinctive strips of woven woolen fabric in numerous colours and patterns. Yatra is a special local product of Bumthang. And continue a ride for 1.5 hours to chamkhar valley.
Night stay in Bumthang
Day 7: Bumthang Halt
Today you can have a local sights by riding on bicycle, this district is one of the spiritual heartland of Bhutan where spiritual mater Guru rinphoche has given first visit in 8th century and with many legendary monastries,temples and palaces. Bumthang has a four blocks under Jakar district -Chokhor,Tang, Chumey and Ura.you can go for cultural sightseeing of scared holy sites including Jampa lhakhang built in 7th century, Kurjey lhakhang , and take a short walk or still you can take a bike from Kurje to Tamzing monastery built in 15 century. After that will continue to ride back to chamkhar town with fantastic view of bumthang domestic air port and Jakar dzong,on the way you can also visit one of the famous Bumthangs Swiss cheese factory and Dairy farm.
Night stay in Bumthang
Day 8: Bumthang Halt
Second day stay at Bumthang you have ride further to the north of chamkhar valey for 1 hour to visit Thangbi temple and back to east to visit Meabar Tsho(burning lake) one of the most important holy sites in Bhutan. or day excursion to Ura Valley with ride in morning for 40 minutes to burning lake and from here drive in car 2.5 to ura which is one of the highest valley of Bumthang via Ura la(3300 m) with the magnificent view of highest Himalaya of Bhutan Gangkar puensum(7564 m). It is believed to be one of the earliest inhabited place in Bhutan. Ura village is made of clustered houses, which is unique in Bhutan. After lunch you can have a ride from urala back to your hotel.
Night stay in Bumthang
Day 9: Bumthang to Phobjekha
Today drive 5.5 hours drive to charming Phubjikha valley situated at 2700 meters above the sea level under Wangduephodrang district. Is a place where 400 number of Black Necked Crane which is a rare species bird in the world visit in winter every year from Tibet in the month of November to end of March. Before you reach to valley you can have a ride from Lawala to the valley and you can visit one and only beautiful Nyingma monastery in western Bhutan Gangtey Sangacholing monastery which was built in 1613 by Gyalse Pema Tinley's grandson of Terton Pema Lingpa.
Night stay in Phubjikha
Day 10: Phobjekha to Paro
After breakfast you can drive back to paro approximately 6 hours drive. And from the lawa la pass you will enjoy a ride to wangdue for 3 hours and after lunch you can drive by car to paro for another 4 hours. Drive to your hotel and have a good rest.
Night stay in paro
Day 11: Hike to Taktshang(Tigers Nest)
Today take a day hike to the sacred Taktsang Goenpa (tiger nest monastery) which was built on the rock face at 900 meters above the valley floor. The history says guru Rinphoche during his second visit to Bhutan in 8th century have flew to the place riding on a tigress to subdue demon Singye Samdrup and meditated here for three months. Later temporary ruler of Bhutan GyalsheTenzin Rabgay has built monastery in 16 century. It one of the most highlighted holy site of the tourist as well it is a place where Bhutanese people believe they must visit once in their life time. After hike from Taktsang you can visit farm house where you can experience a traditional living style of Bhutan and if you wish you can try a traditional hot stone bath and also dinner at Farm House.
Night stay in paro
Day 12: Drive to Paro Airport and departure
Depending on your flight departure time early in the morning your guide will take you to airport to see you off onto your flight and wish you good journey and Tashidelek(goodbye/good luck).