WTH Biking Challenge â€“ Bhutan Ride: April 2016
Difficulty Level: Moderate
Total No of Kms: 280 kms
DAY 01: ARRIVAL AT PARO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
Arrive at Paro International Airport. After all the immigration formalities are completed, you will be received by our guide outside the airport and will be driven straight to Thimphu, the modern capital town of Bhutan. Check in at the hotel and relax for a while, our representative will give you a brief overview of the tours and activities planned for the days ahead. We will then go for a short ride to get accustomed with the bike. Depending on the time availability we will go for stroll in Thimphu town. Night at a hotel in Thimphu.
DAY 02: THIMPHU DAY TRIP : 34 kms
After early breakfast, we mount on our bikes and head towards Tango and Cheri located approximately 17 Kms from Thimphu. After reaching the base we will then hike towards Tango to visit the Monastery. Tango Monastery is built in the Dzong (fortress), and has a characteristic curved outside wall and prominent main tower with recesses. It covers the caves where originally meditation and miracles were performed by saints from the 12th century onwards. Behind the series of prayer wheels are engraved slates. Inside the courtyard is a gallery, illustrating leaders of the Drukpa Kagyupa lineage. After lunch at the base of the Monastery we return to Thimphu on our bikes and overnight in Thimphu at the same hotel. We will cover approximately 34 kms in today's ride.
DAY 03: THIMPHUâ€ LOBESA: 63 kms
After breakfast at 07:00 we will drive to our bicycle outlet and from there start biking towards Lobesa, Punakha. The distance to Lobesa is approximately 55 km from the bicycle outlet and the ride should take approximately 4â€5 hours. This ride will commence with uphill climb through alpine valley for approximately 2â€3 hours until we reach Dochula pass which stands at 3,050 meters. After a brief stop at Dochula pass and we will put on our wind breakers and start our downhill descend towards Lobesa. Punakha, the winter capital of Bhutan is approximately 14 km from our hotel in Lobesa. We will have dropped drastically to 1,250 meters from 3,050 meters Dochula pass. After lunch we will go visit Chimmi Lhakang known for blessing couple who are unable to conceive. The walk should take us through a small village and paddy fields. The night will be spent in a hotel in Lobesa. Today's ride would have covered approximately 63 kms.
DAY 04: PUNAKHA DAY TRIP: 35 kms
After breakfast at 07:30, the day will start off with a visit to Punakha Dzong (fortress) on our bikes which is approximately 14 kms from the hotel. After visiting the Dzong, we will further ride towards the direction of Gasa. Gasa is located approximately 72 kms from the Dzong but we will only be riding up until a short suspension bridge which is approximately 10 kms away. We will return for lunch which will be done next to the river. After lunch we will ride and cross one of the longest existing suspension iron bridge. We will then continue our ride back to our hotel which should take us approximately 2â€3 hours. We overnight at the same hotel in Lobesa. We would cover approximately 35 kms today.
DAY 05: PUNAKHA TO GANGTEY AND PHOBJIKHA: 20 kms
After breakfast at 07:00 we will drive towards Gangtey. The drive should take us about 3 hours. Check in at the hotel there. Post lunch, we will head towards the land of blackâ€necked cranes, Phobjikha valley on our bikes. It is believed that there are only around 5000â€6000 of these birds left in the world and of which around 300 dwell in Phobjikha valley especially during winter seasons. These mystical birds are considered as heavenly in Buddhist context, especially their gesture of circling the village temple three times before landing in the marshy open space to feed is considered very holy. The birds start arriving in between midâ€ November and early December and remain until March through April. The ride should take us about 3â€4 hours and cover a distance of approximately 20 kms. Overnight in a lodge in Gangtey.
DAY 06: GANGTEY â€ PARO : 60 kms
After an early breakfast at 06:00, we will drive straight to Thimphu covering approximately 180 kms. The drive should take us about 5â€6 hours. Once in Thimphu, we will have our lunch and then mount on our bikes to ride towards Paro. The distance covered will be approximately 60 kms up until the hotel. Overnight at a hotel. If time permits we will go for an archery match.
DAY 07: TAKTSANG HIKE
The day will start off with an excursion to the Taktsang monastery, locally known as the Tiger's nest. Taktsang is one of the most spectacular monasteries nestled on the rocky mountain and by for the most visited and photographed by the tourists. From the base we will start hiking towards the monastery which should last approximately between 1â€2 hours one way. We will return to our hotel for lunch. After lunch, we will drive to Paro town for some souvenir shopping. In the evening we will have an hour of Bhutanese cultural program. Dinner and overnight at the same hotel.
DAY 08: CHELELA RIDE :78 kms
Today we will ride and climb the Chelala pass. Chelela pass is the highest motorâ€able pass in Bhutan at an elevation of 3988 meters above sea level. The ride will cover a distance of approximately 39 kms of almost 95% uphill. It should take us about 5 hours to summit. We will have our lunch at the top of Chelela pass. After that we will descend the climb we did and return to our hotel. We will have covered approximately 78 kms riding. After dinner, we will have a get together and retire to bed.
DAY 09: WE SEE YOU OFFay
After breakfast, we will drive you to the airport to see you off at the Paro International Airport for your onward flight.
Cost per person: INR 56,600 per person
EMI facility also available â€“ Pay Rs 11320 per month starting Nov 2015
- Accommodations at standard level (3 stars)
- Inclusive of the 10% discount regular cyclists get
- All meals (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner and evening tea only).
- Water and snack on biking days only.
- Mountain bikes. The cost will not change even if the guest decides to bring his/her own Bike.
- A designated driver with support vehicle.
- A personal guide.
- A trained and certified bicycle mechanic.
- All internal taxes and charges
- Beverages and other drinks including extra tea are at the guest's own expense.
- The abovementioned costs DO NOT include the air tickets in and out of Bhutan.
- The air tickets can be arranged by us at additional costs and the rates will be subject to the rates at the time of travel.