CYCLING ACROSS BHUTAN

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CYCLING ACROSS BHUTAN

MOUNTAIN BIKING
16 Nights / 17 Days
includes:
  • transports
  • sight seeing
  • food
  • hotels

Cycling Across Bhutan – This tour will give you comprehensive introduction of Kingdom of Thunder Dragon. If you are interested in longer duration cycling and if you are fit enough for a ride for long time, Bhutan is the best place and cycling from west to east is best for you. The ride is through the lush green forests, over the rolling hills, along creeks, pristine villages and ancient monasteries. The cycling trip is a once in a lifetime experience collecting moments riding around Paro, Thimphu, Punakha, Phobjikha, Trongsa, Bumthang, Mongar, Trashigang and Samdrup Jongkhar. Cycle Across Bhutan Tours is a dream trip for all who love cycling.

DAY 1: Arrival at Paro

Cycle to Drukgyel is very scenic and best in Paro with less vehicles moving around. Drukgyel Dzong: Drukgyel Dzong, now an imposing ruin, was built in 1649 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to control the trade and military route to Tibet. The building was used as an administrative centre until 1951. Distance: 15 km, Approximate Time: 40-50 mins

DAY 2: Paro Tiger Nest | Cycle

Cycle to Tiger Nest base and later hike to the temple. Later ride back to hotel. Taktsang Monastery (Tiger Nest Temple): is Bhutan’s most iconic landmark and religious Buddhist site in the world. The name Taktsang translates to “The Tiger’s Nest”. The temple is one of the holiest sites in Bhutan which clings impossibly to a sheer cliff face 900 meters above the valley. Although good trekkers can make it to the top in two hours, most of the guests take whole day to complete the hike. If time permits, Sangchen Choekor Monastary: The shedra, a Buddhist college, is home to about 150 monks, studying for six years before they move on to Tango Monastery upon graduation. It's worth a visit mainly for the fine views from the switchbacking drive up. Look for the stuffed bear to the side of the main entryway. Hot stone bath with dinner at the farmhouse: Hot stone bath is very unique to Bhutan and offers great medicinal values. In most cases, the bathtub is made of wood placed on a ground level in quite hut for the privacy. A couple can get into one bathtub to soak. Enjoy the great ancient techniques of curing body ache, joins pain and harness many other values. This is on additional cost check with guide/driver. Distance: 8 km, Approximate Time: 20-30 mins

DAY 3: Paro - Thimpu | Cycle & Drive

Paro to Thimphu with some stops at Tagchogang temple and Chuzom for relax. Tachongang Lhakhang- En-route to Thimphu, stopover for little leg stretch walk crossing Paro River or enjoy the views from the roadside depending your arrival time. Chuzom- Meeting point of two rivers (Thimphu & Paro) this is tri junction of highway leading to Thimphu, Paro and Phuentsholing into three directions. Enjoy the lovely picture of beautiful portrait our King and Queen placed at chuzom which is so welcoming to all who visits Bhutan. Explore Thimphu City- If time permits, walking through the city gives you immense joys and understanding of modern city. Good option for imported garments and local souvenir, beside unique local handicrafts. Thimphu offers mixed style of personalities taking the street walk in Thimphu- only city in the world without traffic lights. Overnight in Thimphu, altitude 2400m. Distance: 65 km, Approximate Time: 2.5-3 hrs

DAY 4: Explore Thimpu | Cycle & Drive

Drive to Kuensel Phodrang and to Changankha Lhakhang by cycling route. The trail takes us through populated blue pine forests, with the perfect view of Thimphu Valley. It was initially intended to be a cycling trail, but it is excellent for hiking as well. You can do the cycling either way. Distance: 5 km, Approximate Time: 1.2 hrs. Cycling from Taba to Lungtenphu give you view of Thimphu. Taba-Lungtenphu hike: If you are an avid adventure and off beat seeker, you should hit the Taba-Lungtenphu trail. Through this cycling trail, the best views of Thimphu city and also you can enjoy bird watching & landscape photography through this trail. Distance: 7 km, Approximate Time: 2 hrs

Options
Drive to Sangaygang and to Wangditse Temple by cycling route. Visit Takin reserve national animal: National Animal of Bhutan which has very unique story and its one of the never seen strange animal. It’s worth a hike to the place. If time permits, Wangditse hike: From the start point, the trail heads up for a while and drops down gently through oak, blue pine and rhododendron until you will reach Wangditse monastery. The view of Tashichodzong, Thimphu city and Buddha statue is stunning from here. Distance: 7 km, Approximate Time: 2.5 hrs. Cycling trip to Tango/Cheri base and back to Thimphu. Cheri Monastery: In 1627 the first Buddhist Monastic School for Bhutan was started by Shabdrung in Cheri, which to these days has become a Meditation center for higher level Buddhist studies. The Monastery buildings are old and still contains many sacred relic from past. Distance: 18 km, Approximate Time: 3 hrs

DAY 5: Thimphu - Punakha | Cycle

Cycling from Thimphu to Punakha is the best option with best road. Stop at Dochula Pass
Dochula pass: The pass is at a popular location as it offers a stunning 180 degree panoramic view of the Great Himalayan mountain ranges. The view is especially scenic and very clear on winter days with snowcapped mountains forming a majestic backdrop to the tranquility of the 108 chortens gracing the mountain pass. Lamperi Botanical garden: The park has many varieties of plants, herbs, birds and animals. If you visit between April and June, you can find about 38 out of Bhutan's 46 species of rhododendrons and spot some of the 220 species birds. This park is one of the must visit place for birds and nature lovers. You may enjoy the hot packed lunch here if you had planned picnic. Distance: 72 km, Approximate Time: 5 hrs

DAY 6: Explore Punakha | Drive & Cycle

Drive to Khamsum Yulley Temple. Khamsum Yulay Namgyal Chorten: The temple stands majestically on a strategic ridge above the Punakha valley. It is a splendid example of Bhutan’s fine architectural and artistic talent. The hike to the temple is about 45 minutes one way uphill. It offers amazing views of Punakha valley and Mochu river. Distance: 7 km, Approximate Time: 1.5 hrs. Longest suspension bridge & Punakha Dzong. Punakha Dzong: Built in 1637 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the Dzong was named Druk Pungthang Dechen Phodrang (Palace of Great Happiness). Punakha is still the winter residence of Je-Khenpo religious head of Bhutan. King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck convened the first National Assembly here in 1952. This is one of the finest and must see Dzongs of Bhutan. The Dzong stands inbetween meeting point of two rivers, Phochu and Mochu making the most photogenic Dzongs of Bhutan. Visit Punakha Suspension Bridge: Punakha suspension bridge is considered one of the longest of its kind in Bhutan. The bridge connects the dzong with the villages Shengana, Samdingkha and Wangkha on the other bank of the Po Chhu river. In these small villages, locals sell their wares in tiny, traditional shops. Visitors can stop here for a quick and authentic view of true Bhutan.  In order to access the suspension bridge from the dzong, one must walk past the King’s palace and the cremation ground. Distance: 7 km, Approximate Time: 2 hrs

DAY 7: Punakha to Phojikha | Drive

Drive to Phobjikha from Punakha is little tough. Crane center: This place is run by the Royal Society for Protection of Nature (RSPN) and has an observation room with high-power telescopes and good scope for spotting the famous Black Necked Cranes which migrates to the region during winter. It also displays information about the history of the region. Farmhouse visit with dinner with locals: This experience is a particularly fun and spontaneous way to connect with the local community and learn about Bhutanese culture and way of living. Distance: 72 km, Approximate Time: 6-7 hrs

DAY 8: Phobjikha valley explore on wheels

Explore the natural trail. Gangtey Nature Trail: It is a short and relatively easy trek with several beautiful villages and monasteries en route. It offers beautiful views of the country with mostly gentle, forested slopes. The best time for this trek is between September-May, walk not recommended on rainy days. Visit Gangtey Gompa: The temple built over hill top, headed by Gangtey Tulku the reincarnation of Pema Lingpa. Annual festival of Gangtey is performed in the temple courtyard every year. This is also the place for black necked crane’s festival held every year on 11-Nov, coinciding with His Majesty’s Fourth King’s Birthday. Distance: 4 km, Approximate Time: 30 mins. Valley drive: We will explore the valley. Distance: 10 km, Approximate Time: 5 hrs

DAY 9: Phobjikha to Trongsa

Drive from Phobjikha to Trongsa is also very scenic. Chendebji ChortenLocated at 2430mbuilt in the style of the great Bodhanath Temple of Nepal, was constructed by Tshering Wangchuk son of Yon-Say and the Mahasiddha Zhidag in accordance with the prophecy of the second Gangteng Tulku Tenzin Lekpai Dhundrup in order to subdue harmful demons. Distance: 120 km, Approximate Time: 8-9 hrs

DAY 10: Trongsa to Bumthang

Trongsa to Bumthang is through the thick forest and mountains. Trongsa Dzong: This is the largest Dzong (fortress) in Bhutan, located in the centre of the country. The Dzong is beautifully built on a spur overlooking the gorge of the Mangde Chhu River. The Dzong played very crucial role in the ancient history in protecting Bhutan and its sovereignty. The ruler of Trongsa Dzong was the most powerful leader to form Wangchuk Dynasty in the Kingdom of Bhutan. Trongsa Ta Dzong (Museum): The watch tower was built in 1652 by first Governor of Trongsa. This was built to oversee and safeguard the Trongsa Dzong from any invading forces. Today it houses the Royal Heritage museum. The displays in the museum focused on Buddhist art and Royal memorabilia. Yotongla pass at 3400m: The pass divides Trongsa and Bumthang districts. This is one of the highest motor-able road pass at the height of 3460m. The pass is covered with mist and prayer flags most of the time. It is worth for a stop for photo break. Stop at Yatha wool weaving center: This center is well known for woolen products, most of the yatha products are made from yak hair, sheep wool and other animal’s wool. This is the best place for buying woolen products like (jackets, caps, purse, muffler etc). Evening we will explore chamkhar town and try some local pancake and noodles. Distance: 65 km, Approximate Time: 5 hrs

DAY 11: Explore Bumthang

Jampay Lhakhang: One of the oldest temples built in the country. This is the home of the naked dance that is still performed annually. It is believed that the temple is built in 7th century by Songtsen Gonpo of Tibet. Kurjey Lhakhang: The site where Guru Padmasambhava left the body imprint on the rock behind the temple. Visit for its artistic works and amazing structure. Kharchu Dratsang Monastery: This is an amazing experience to see monks chanting the mantras. The monastery has become part of an extensive effort to preserve and revitalize Bhutanese culture and heritage. Tamzing Lhakhang: Tamshing Lhakhang, founded in 1501 by Pema Lingpa, contains paintings of fundamental interest for the history of painting in this region. Is also one of the oldest temples in the valley. Swiss Cheese Farm & Red Panda Brewery: The Swiss Farm is established by Mr. Fritz Maurer. The project introduced brewing, farming machinery and fuel-efficient, smokeless wood stoves to the valley, as well as its first tourist guesthouse in Bumthang. Swiss cheese and Bhutan's only native beer, Red Panda, is brewed here. Distance: NA, Approximate Time: 5-6 hrs

DAY 12: Bumthang to Yongkhola

Drive from Bumthang to Yongphola is through the forest with lots of birds along the road side. Burning Lake: The most scared lake of the country and is believed to be a wish fulfilling lake, one must visit while in Bumthang. Ura village: Ura is one of oldest villages of Bhutan located at an elevation of 3100m. You can stroll around Ura village and hop into few friendly villager’s home for tea and chit-chat. The people here still practice semi-nomadic lifestyle herding yaks and sheep. Thrumshingla national park: Situated at the very heart of the country and covering 768 sq. km, Thrumshingla National was officially opened in July 1998. Distance: 158 km, Approximate Time: 10-11 hrs

DAY 13: Yongkhola to Mongar

Enjoy the drive. Lingmethang: Lingmethang is a small town in eastern Bhutan. It is located in Mongar District, to the west of Mongar and close to the town of Gyalpozhing. It is one of the hot places in Bhutan. Mongar Dzong: Although more recently built (1930), it was constructed the same way as all earlier dzongs, without plans or nails. Mongar Town: Like many other settlements in Eastern Bhutan, Mongar town is situated atop a hill rather than within a valley. This town is considered the main trade and travel hub of Eastern Bhutan and most travellers and merchants active in the east pass through here often spending the night at one of the local hotels. Distance: 40 km, Approximate Time: 3-4 hrs

DAY 14: Mongar to Trashigang

Drive from Mongar is very scenic and beautiful. Trashigang Dzong: It was built in 1659 to defend against Tibetan invasions. This imposing fortress is strategically situated high atop a spur overlooking the Dangmechu River. We will stop at Korila for a short break offering good wishes and hosting a prayer flag. Distance: 92 km, Approximate Time: 5-6 hrs

DAY 15: Trashigang explore

Explore Rangjung and Radhi village. Day excursion to Rangjung Monastery: Rangjung Woesel Choeling Monastery is located in Eastern Bhutan under Trashigang district at Rangjung. The monastery was founded by His Eminence Dungsey Garab Dorje Rinpoche in the year 1989 with few monks and nuns. It has a flourishing community with branches monasteries and retreat centers. Radhi Village: Radhi village is famous for two things, its rice fields and the skill of its weavers. It is often known as the ‘Rice Bowl of the East’ because of its verdant rice fields that supply most of the grain to eastern parts of the country. Lunch with locals at local farm house
Distance: 20 km, Approximate Time: 3 hrs

DAY 16: Trashigang to Samdrup Jongkhar

Drive will be towards the east to south. After our breakfast we will start our drive to Samdrup Jongkhar. The drive is very scenic which passes through, Kanglung, Khaling, Wamrong and Dewathang. On arrival at Khaling we will spent at Khaling textile centre. This is the most famous textile centre of eastern Bhutan. We will also get opportunity to see roadside birds and animals. We will have picnic lunch. Evening, check in to your hotel and relax. Overnight in Samdrup Jongkhar, altitude 250m. Distance: 180 km, Approximate Time: 10-11 hrs

DAY 17: Departure

Transfer to airport in time for your international flight back home.

INCLUSIONS:

  • Accommodation in 3 stars approved hotels
  • US$ 40 per person visa fees (single entry only)
  • Visa arrangement for your stay in Bhutan as per the itinerary
  • 35% SDF – Sustainable Development Fees
  • Meals – breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • English speaking Heavenly Bhutan licensed guide
  • Transfers and sightseeing as per the itinerary, check vehicles
  • Entrance, museums and park fees indicated in the itinerary
  • Bottled drinking water throughout the journeys

EXCLUSIONS:

  • Flight Fares of any kind (domestic or international)
  • Personal Expenses, phone calls, laundry, shopping, etc
  • Gratitude or Tipping
  • Single Room Supplement
  • 4 stars & 5 stars Hotels/Resorts
  • Language Speaking Guide
  • Travel and Medical Insurance
  • Extra Activities Cost (Cycling, Motorbike, River Rafting, Horse Ride, etc)

ON REQUEST.

Terms & Conditions


Booking

Your contract is with Mountain Adventure Tours & Travels. A contract exists between us when we have confirmed you on our tour / hotel booking / or any other travel related services of your choice and we have received your booking request and deposits. All correspondence/s in respect of Tours / Travel Service bookings should be addressed to Mountain Adventure Tours & Travels.

Payments

For the services contracted, 40 % advance payment should be made to hold the booking on a confirmed basis and the balance amount should be paid before commencement of your tour. We hold the right to decide upon the amount to be paid as an advance payment, based on the nature of services and the time left for the commencement of the services.

Payment Options

Payment can be made by Bank Transfer, Cash payment to our office or by Demand Draft / Cheque. All payments should be free and clear of any withholding tax and deduction. Bank charges, if any, for remittance (by remitting bank or by intermediary bank) would be strictly borne by payer.

Rights to amend the itinerary if required

Tour once commenced will strictly go as per the itinerary finalised. In case of events and circumstances beyond our control, we reserve the right to change all or parts of the contents of the itinerary for safety and well being of our esteemed passengers.

Policy Regarding Cancellation / No Show / Early Departure

In case of cancellation of tour/travel services due to any avoidable/unavoidable reason/s we must be informed in writing. Cancellation charges would be effective from the date we receive letter in writing and cancellation charges would be as follows:

  • 30 days & prior to arrival – 10% of the tour/service cost.
  • 20 days to 18 days prior to arrival – 20% of the tour/service cost.
  • 14 days to 16 days prior to arrival – 25% of the tour/service cost.
  • 10 days to 08 days prior to arrival – 50% of the tour/service cost.
  • 07 days & less, prior to arrival or no show – NO REFUND.

Please note – Irrespective of above mentioned cancellations slabs – in case of cancellation of tour services after the booking is made with us – a minimum 10% service charges would be applicable.

Refund

In case you cancel the trip after commencement refund would be restricted to a limited amount that too would depend on the amount that we would be able to recover from the hoteliers we patronize. For unused hotel accommodation, chartered transportation and missed meals etc. we do not bear any responsibility to refund.

Where as in case of Cancellation before the commencement, it will take atleast two weeks time to refund the said amount.

Our Liabilities & Limitations

Please note that after the finalization of the tour/service cost, if there are any hikes in entrance fees of monuments/museums, taxes, fuel cost or guide charges by the Govt. of India, the same would be charged as extra.

Mountain Adventure Tours & Travels act only in the capacity of agent for the hotels, airlines, transporters, railways & contractors providing other services & all exchange orders, receipts, contracts & tickets issued by us are issued subject to terms & conditions under which these services are provided by them.

All itineraries are sample itineraries, intended to give you a general idea of the likely trip schedule. Numerous factors such as weather, road conditions, the physical ability of the participants etc. may dictate itinerary changes either before the tour or while on the trail. We reserve the right to change any schedule in the interest of the trip participants’ safety, comfort & general well being.

Our rates are based on the prevailing rates as negotiated by us with the hotels, airlines etc. Hotels and Airlines retain the right to modify the rates without notice. In case of such changes the rates quoted before the modification, can be changed by us according to the modifications by hotels or airlines. All hotel bookings are based on usual check in and checkout time of the hotels until unless indicated in the itinerary.

We shall not be responsible for any delays & alterations in the programme or expenses incurred – directly or indirectly – due to natural hazards, flight cancellations, accident, breakdown of machinery or equipments, breakdown of transport, weather, sickness, landslides, political closures or any untoward incidents.

We shall not be responsible for any loss, injury or damage to person, property, or otherwise in connection with any accommodation, transportation or other services, resulting – directly or indirectly – from any act of GOD, dangers, fire, accident, breakdown in machinery or equipment, breakdown of transport, wars, civil disturbances, strikes, riots, thefts, pilferages, epidemics, medical or custom department regulations, defaults, or any other causes beyond our control.

We do not have any insurance policy covering the expenses for accident, sickness, loss due to theft, or any other reasons. Visitors are advised to seek such insurance arrangements in their home country. All baggage & personal property/s at all times are at the client’s risk.

Passports & Visas

To travel to India from overseas countries except for the citizen of Nepal & Bhutan, one needs a 06 months valid passport and a valid Visa. And processing of Passport and Visa are not included in the tour cost.

Health

Any person who has a contagious disease is forbidden to travel, any person found during the tour with such a disease will be asked to leave the tour and will have to make their own arrangements to return home.