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Come and experience the Royal Enfield motorcycle tour with Bhutan Bhutan! The rugged, mountainous landscape of Bhutan lends itself well to mountain riding and the sport is seeing increasing popularity among both visitors and Bhutanese alike. The sport offers a certain intimacy with the environment that is seldom experienced in vehicles. With the introduction of motorbike ride tours, Bhutan is now becoming a very unique and original way of seeing and interacting with the country, people, and the Bhutanese environment. Also, this tour is fully supported by a van following the riders. The van allows riders to rest should they require it.
You will be accommodated at three-star tourist standard hotels selected by Bhutan Bhutan during this tour.
Upon arrival at Paro Airport (PBH), you will be met by your guide and hand over the mountain bike. After a briefing by the motorcycle guide / road captain, you will ride to your hotel for check-in. In the afternoon, you will have an opportunity to explore the beautiful town of Paro.
After breakfast, ride to the trailhead. Then, hike up to Taktsang Monastery or Tiger’s Nest which clings to a sheer rock face at a height of 2600 meters above sea level. The main temple was built around Guru Rimpoche’s meditation cave in 1684. This incredible monastery clings to the edge of a sheer rock cliff that plunges 900 meters into the valley below. Legend has it that Guru Padmasambhava, the tantric mystic who brought Buddhism to Bhutan in 747 AD, flew here on the back of a flying tiger, Dorji Drolo. After lunch, ride to Drukgyal Dzong.
After breakfast, enjoy the ride to the Haa Valley via the beautiful Chele La. Setting off on the first big climb, you gain height gradually and at some of the turns, you will have glimpses of the snow-capped peaks of the Bhutan Himalaya to the north. Mount Jomolhari and Jitchu Drake are the biggest peaks at the western end of the country. After approximately 36 kilometers (22 miles), you reach the prayer flagged summit of the pass at around 3822 meters.
After such a short time in the country, this is quite a high altitude and anyone not feeling up to the challenge can opt to hitch a ride on the support vehicle at any time. At the pass, there will be a snack lunch and plenty to drink before the breathtaking 20 kilometers (12 miles) descent. Continue riding to Haa Valley. After checking in at your hotel, enjoy riding and exploring in and around the beautiful valley of Haa.
After breakfast at your hotel, enjoy riding to Thimphu. The destination today is the Bhutanese capital of Thimphu, which is 110 kilometers (68 miles) from Haa. Thankfully, this is all on a good and fairly level road with very little traffic. Start out very easily for 40 kilometers (25 miles) and then follow the Haa river gently downhill heading towards the south-east and then northwards to a junction with Bhutan’s main East-West highway at Chuzom (2068 meters).
Thimphu is the only large settlement in Bhutan and is spread out across a wide valley. Thimphu has a special charm and it is fascinating to sit and watch a gathering of local people in the town square, wearing their traditional dress and going about their business in a typically unhurried Bhutanese way.
After breakfast at your hotel, enjoy riding to Punakha, a former capital of Bhutan. Today, the road from Thimphu up to the Dochula at 3140 meters involves a 22 kilometers ride (14 miles) and a height gain of 670 meters. The hillsides on either side of the road are covered in a luxuriant temperate forest with an abundance of rhododendron and magnolia. The lower slopes are even lusher with orange trees, bananas, and bamboo. Several species of deer and monkeys make their home in this forest. A support vehicle will meet you at the pass and you will stop here for a rest and refreshment.
The pass is marked by many prayer flags and chortens and it offers a magnificent panorama of the Eastern Himalaya, including the giant 7000 meters peaks of Lunana in north-eastern Bhutan. Continue riding through to Punakha. After checking in at your hotel, visit the Punakha Dzong. This impressive dzong lies between two great rivers was built in 1637. The names of the rivers are Pho Chu (Male River) and Mo Chu (Female River). This dzong serves as the winter residence for the Je Khenpo, Chief Abbot of the Central Monastic Body and also the office of the district administration.
After breakfast at your hotel, ride about seven kilometers (four miles) from Punakha and cross the suspension bridge over the Mochu River before walking approximately 30 - 45 minutes to the Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten (stupa) which is perched on a strategic ridge overlooking the nearby villages. It was built under the sponsorship of Her Majesty the Queen Mother Ashi Tshering Yangden Wangchuck to remove evil forces and promote peace, stability, and harmony throughout the world. Then, ride to Chimi Lhakhang valley. Stop to take a leisurely walk for about 25 minutes along the beautiful terraced farmlands and farmhouses to visit the Chimi Lhakhang, which was built by Lama Drukpa Kuenley (the Devine Madman) in the 15th century. He subdued the demoness with his “Magical Thunderbolt”. The temple is also known as “the Temple of Fertility”.
Continue riding through to Gangtey in the Phobjikha valley. The Central Road across the Black Mountains was completed in recent times and its completion brought about great changes to the people of central Bhutan. Crossing the pass, you descend into the Phobjikha Valley, which is one of the few winter homes of the black-necked crane, which migrates here from the Central Asiatic Plateau in November. A short descent leads into the valley and to your hotel a few kilometers beyond the small village of Gangtey at 3000 meters.
After breakfast at your hotel, take a leisurely walk along a nature trail through the Phobjikha Valley before visiting Gangtey Monastery. If the black-necked cranes are around, you will hear their distinctive calls from your hotel close to their feeding grounds. These birds are tolerant of people and regularly feed near human settlements and domestic livestock, perhaps because local religious beliefs protect them across much of their range.
Then, ride through to Trongsa heading eastwards via the Pelela pass at 3300 meters. There is a good chance that you will see langur monkeys in the forest. At the pass, the forest opens out a little and you may see yaks grazing by the side of the road. Looking back from the pass, it is possible to see Jomolhari at 7219 meters. The Pelela is traditionally known as the boundary between Western and Eastern Bhutan, and the landscape which spreads out on the far side of the pass is different from that on the western side.
An another amazing descent of 1530 meters follows. It is downhill almost all the way for a further 60 kilometers (37 miles) to Trongsa. Lunch at Chendebji, a magnificent stupa built to ward off the demons of the valley. After crossing a bridge at Nikachu, you will enter the Trongsa District and follow a dramatic section of the road carved into the side of a cliff high above the Mangdechu. The scenery is beautiful, forest as far as the eye can see and with Trongsa Dzong visible from 30 kilometers away, at the end of the valley. Trongsa means “new village”. It was founded in the 16th century, which is relatively recent for Bhutan. The altitude at Trongsa is about 2200 meters.
After breakfast at your hotel, ride to Bumthang. The road out of Trongsa climbs rapidly through a series of hairpins and there are great views back to the dzong and across the valley. After passing through cultivated fields for a while, you will re-enter the forest and at a distance of 30 kilometers (19 miles) from Trongsa, you reach the Yotong La at 3400 meters. Descending to a low point of 2650 meters at a village called Chumey, the scenery is once again totally different as you enter the broad Bumthang Valley. After a short climb to Kikila, you turn a corner for a great descent into Bumthang. From almost 20 kilometers (12 miles) away, you can see Jakar Dzong high above the village. The altitude at Bumthang is about 2600 meters.
After breakfast at your hotel, ride and explore the beautiful valley of Bumthang. Then, enjoy riding to Ura Valley. Today’s ride means a height gain of 900 meters to your fifth pass, the Shertangla, after almost 40 kilometers (25 miles) of biking. The Ura Valley is the highest of the Bumthang Valleys. It has extensive sheep pastures and just before the pass there is a panorama of the mountains of Lunana to the north. You descend from the pass by long loops through meadows and fields to the Ura village. Here, you will be camping in one of the few flat places in the valley. The altitude here is about 3000 meters.
After breakfast at your guest house, enjoy riding to Mongar. Today is a long day. After a short descent to a bridge, start climbing immediately to the Thrumshing La at 3800 meters, Bhutan’s highest pass. The ascent over 30 kilometers (19 miles) is quite gradual and the scenery is stunning, as you pass through a dense forest of conifer and rhododendron. The climb is actually split into two parts as there is a minor pass on the way to the Thrumshing La, followed by a short descent to a bridge across a river. The pass marks the last of the high-altitude climbs.
From the pass, the road plunges 3200 meters to the valley floor at 600 meters. The whole descent, over 85 kilometers (53 miles) passes through dark conifers, then a mixture of deciduous and coniferous woodland before entering the semi-tropical zone at an altitude of around 1800 meters. Bamboo and an array of rare plant lifelines either side of the road.
The 20 kilometers (12 miles) between Sengor and Namling has the reputation for being the most hair-raising section of the road across Bhutan but is just perfect for mountain bikes. Hewn out of the side of a cliff and above a steep drop for most of the way, this is truly an exhilarating part of the trip. By the time you reach Lingmithang, the temperature will have risen considerably. After 85 kilometers (53 miles) of solid downhill fun, most people will be simply speechless. The sting in the tail is a final 20 kilometers (12 miles) climb to the village of Mongar at an altitude of 1600 meters.
After breakfast at your hotel, explore in and around Mongar and enjoy a scenic ride to Trashigang, another great descent today. First, you have a further 20 kilometers (12 miles) to climb en-route to the Korila at an altitude of 2400 meters, the first of two relatively minor passes. The road then descends rapidly through cornfields and banana groves and after 10 kilometers (six miles), it reaches the start of the famous hairpins at Yadi (1500 meters), 30 kilometers (19 miles) of interminable bends before arriving at a bridge across the Sherichu at 600 meters. This will be the second longest descent of the trip, a sparkling 1850 meters. Trashigang sees very few tourists and facilities are limited, but you stay in the best place in the town. Trashigang’s altitude is about 1100 meters.
After breakfast at your hotel, enjoy riding to Trashiyangtse located in the far north-east of Bhutan bordering Tibet (China) and Arunachal Pradesh (India), 52 kilometers (32 miles) away. After exploring the beautiful town of Chorten Kora, ride back to Trashigang.
After breakfast at your hotel, enjoy riding to Samdrup Jongkhar, a border town, 180 kilometers (112 miles) away. Today, you will climb to another minor pass at 2450 meters before descending to Wamrong at 2000 meters where your lunch will be served. Unlike Western Bhutan where the road goes overpasses between one valley and the next, the road here follows ridges almost the whole way and is marked throughout with stone chortens. A long climb with the road switching from left to right across the spine of the ridge leads to a high point at 2450 meters and then, down through two small settlements. The road descends rapidly to the plain through the dense tropical forest with an abundance of teak and bamboo.
In Dewathang, there is a large memorial chorten dedicated to those who have lost their lives building the road across Bhutan. A few kilometers beyond the village lies a police check-post and a few km beyond that is the town of Samdrup Jongkhar. Afterward, you will ride to the border gate for photographs and then return to your hotel in town. Here, a small celebration will certainly be in order as you will be one of only a handful of people who have completed what is arguably the most beautiful and challenging bike ride in the world.
After breakfast, Bhutan Bhutan’s Indian based representatives will take you on the three-hour drive through to Guwahati International Airport (GAU) in time to meet most early afternoon domestic and international air connections.
Most biking in Bhutan goes through well-paved roads while others travel on dirt roads and mountain trails. Traffic is still relatively very light and the experience very intimate. The more adventurous have the option of making side excursions for more “off-road” ventures if prefer.
Bhutan Bhutan can offer guides who are able to speak in French, German, Chinese and Japanese at an additional cost. Please contact Bhutan Bhutan for more details.
This tour is located in Bhutan. The destinations which will be covered are Paro, Haa, Thimphu, Punakha, Gangtey, Trongsa, Bumthang, Ura, Mongar, Trashigang, and Samdrup Jongkhar.
During the entire tour, you will be served breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and bottled mountain spring water / juices. The most distinctive characteristic of Bhutanese cuisine is its spiciness. Chilies are an essential part of nearly every dish and are considered so important that most Bhutanese people would not enjoy a meal that was not spicy. Rice forms the main body of most Bhutanese meals. It is accompanied by one or two side dishes consisting of meat or vegetables. Pork, beef, and chicken are the meats that are eaten most often. A wide selection of western and Indian food is also available in many of the restaurants around the country.
Please book your flight to arrive at Paro Airport (PBH). Transfer from and to the airport is included. Bhutan Bhutan will pick you up from the airport.
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