Motorcycle tour around Bhutan
Day 1 – Paro airport
Arrival in Paro international airport. Welcome to the land of happiness, also known as Druk Yul (country of the Drukpa Lineage, the Dragon People, or the Land of the Thunder Dragon.) Upon arrival at the Paro International Airport, you will be greeted in our traditional style by our guide and driver, who will be accompany you throughout the tour.
You will then be dropped to your hotel and rest. From the next day, you will be starting your Motorcycling tour with Mr. Peter.
Day 2 – Paro – Chelela Pass – Haa
Today we will drive towards Haa valley (2,600m). On the way, you will need to cross one of the highest pass of Paro, which is called, “Chele la” pass. Elevation 3,988m. Hotel to Chele la pass will be 46km approximately. Stop there for a while and take photos of how majestic the view of the mountains and the Paro valley is.
Then you will descend down towards Haa valley (25km). Once you reach Haa, you will start with the sightseeing at Lhakhang Karpo. The history of Lhakhang Karpo can be traced back to the 7th century A.D. when it was constructed in Haa coinciding with the rule of King Songtsen Gampo in Tibet during this era.
The King was actively involved in spreading Buddhism. As atonement for a sin, King Songtsen Gampo took upon himself the task of constructing 108 temples in all the countries of the Dzambudvipa. Among these constructions besides Kichu lhakhang of Paro and Jampa lhakhang of Bumthang is said to have included the other two important temples in Haa, the Lhakhang Karpo (white temple) and Lhakhang Nagpo (Black temple).
Lhakhang Karpo according to legend derives its name from the white pigeon, which landed on the site of the temple. History has it that a black and while pigeon were released to select the sites to build the temple and it was believed that the white pigeon landed on the foothills of mountain Chenrezig (Avaloeteshvara), one of the towering mountains. Lhakhang Karpo was built on the site as selected by the white pigeon.
Lhakhang Nagpo the Lhakhang Nagpo is situated a kilometer away from Lhakhang Karpo in Dumcho village in Haa valley. The black pigeon had landed a little to the North of Lhakang Karpo indicating the destined site of the present Lhakhang Nagpo. The temple was named Lhakhang Nagpo (black temple) as it was built on the site where the black pigeon had landed. The Lhakang is built on a lake. An opening in the floor of the temple provides an access to the lake underneath the temple. The Black temple owing to its name is black in color and is built amid the tranquil lush green forest.
These two temples stand as the guardians keeping watch over the valley.
Wangchulo Dzong (Haa Dzong) The fortress was built in 1915. It is considered one of the new dzong built in the country. Unlike any other dzong in Bhutan, Wangchuk lo dzong is uniquely seated on the Valley floor with Meri Phunsum Mountain at the backdrop. The dzong is located inside IMTRAT Compound. Today the Dzong serves as the headquarter office to Indian Military Training Team (IMTRAT).
Later you will ride back from the same route and rest in the hotel. Total distance from Haa to Hotel is 70km.
Day 3 – Paro – Thimphu
Today you will drive towards the capital city “Thimphu” (61km). Elevation 2334m.
Once you reach the capital, you will then ride towards the famous Buddha Point sitting at the elevation of 2655m.
The Buddha Dordenma is the largest sitting statue of the Buddha yetasuring in at measuring 51.5 meters in height and made of solid bronze. Inside the Buddha are 125,000 smaller Buddha statues, 25,000 12 inch statues and 100,000 8 inch statues. Tourists often drive once to see it as its view is without a doubt outstanding as the giant Buddha although large is not opposing but rather has a calm and assuring look.
Then you will ride towards Takin Preservation Centre (located in the Mothitang district of Thimphu, Bhutan is a wildlife reserve area for takin (Budorcas taxicolor), the national animal of Bhutan.)
Then ride towards the fortress known as Tashichho Dzong.
Tashichho Dzong, ‘Fortress of the Glorious Religion’ or ‘Fortress of Auspicious Doctrine’, or popularly known as Thimphu Dzong, is an impressive structure that houses the throne room and offices of the king, the secretariat and the ministries of home affairs and finance. Other government offices are housed in the buildings nearby Tashichho Dzong. It’s been the seat of the Royal Government of Bhutan since 1962 after the capital moved to Thimphu from Punakha.
Lunch will be at Folk Heritage. The Folk Heritage Museum dedicates itself to connecting people with the rich Bhutanese Folk heritage and rural history through exhibits, demonstrations, educational programs and documentation of Bhutanese rural life. The Museum will strive to disseminate the rich cultural heritage across generations by preserving it in different forms.
After lunch, your ride towards Mandrelgang starts. You will again need to drive pass the Dochula Pass (Elevation 3100m) there you will stop for a short tea break and a short sightseeing for about 30minutes. Then you will drive down at the elevation of 1300m and reach Mandrelgang Home stay.
Day 4 – Mendrelgang – Punakha – Gasa
Today morning, you will have a good set of breakfast since you will be going on a bit longer and amazing journey towards the northern side of Punakha. The elevation in Punakha will be 1,242m and Gasa will be 2,850m. The ride from home stay towards Punakha will be around 21km, and from Punakha to Gasa will be 63km.
Once you reach Punakha, you will do a quick visit at the amazing fortress Punakha Dzong (also known as Punthang Dechenphodrang, Legend says that Zhabdrung made the carpenter trulpizow balep made to sleep in chamber and he had been taken to paradise /zangtopelri of Guru Rinpoche and he got at the sketch and the model of the dzong.)
Then visit the one of the longest suspension bridge in Bhutan. Punakha Suspension Bridge is the longest suspension bridge in Bhutan measuring 180 m in length. From the bridge, you can get a spectacular view of the Po Chhu River (Male River) and the valley. It’s an ideal place for a photo-shoot with a stunning background. You will definitely enjoy the cool and breezy vibes from the suspension bridge.
Then you will start your ride from there till Gasa. After explore Gasa, you then drive back to Mandrelgang.
The total distance till Mandrelgang homestay will be 80km.
Day 5 – Mandrelgang – Phobjikha
Today you will ride towards the most beautiful place in Bhutan, “Phobjikha valley” its elevation is 3,000m.
Riding distance from Mandrelgang to Phobjikha valley will be 72km.
It’s a place for winter residence of the endangered Black Necked Cranes, who fly down from the Tibetan plateau and stay throughout the winter at the valley.
Once you reach, you will visit Gangtey Goenpo. Generally known as Gangtey Goenpo or Gangtey Monastery, is an important monastery of Nyingmapa school of Buddhism built in 17th century.)
Later do a 1 hour Nature Trail, walk around the Phobjikha valley.
Have lunch at a local traditional restaurant.
After lunch, you will start off your journey towards Trongsa district. From Phobjikha valley till Trongsa will take 82km.
Day 6 – Trongsa – Bumthang
Today before you start your ride, you will visit the famous Trongsa fortress (elevation 2,170). Historically, Trongsa is one of the most important Dzongkhag. Trongsa Dzong had been the head quarter for eastern region and has been the seat of Trongsa Penlop. Even today, the formal investiture of the crown Prince of Bhutan as the Trongsa Penlop is observed in this Dzong.
Then start your journey towards Bumthang Chumey. Trongsa to Bumthang Chumey will be around 43km.
After reaching, you will visit Tharpaling Monastery. Tharpaling Goemba is situated at around 3600m overlooking the picturesque Chumey valley in Bumthang. Tharpaling means liberation. In the 14th century, Buddhist saint Gyalwa Longchen Rabjampa is said to have visited the place to preach dharma following which many devotees were liberated during his time of self-imposed exile from Tibet for Ten years. Thus the name of the place came to be known as Tharpaling. In the 15th century, Terton Pema Lingpa discovered treasures from the place including a Guru Statue. The First King of Bhutan renovated the place into a retreat center and spent time meditating in the place during his reign.
After that, you will start off with your ride till Jakar and spend the night there at Swiss Guest House.
Day 7 – Jakar – Tang
Today will be the rest day. Guests who wishes to do a short ride to Tang will ride in the morning, do a day tour, and visit the famous Ogyen Choling Museum (elevation 3,100m) Distance from Jakar to Tang will be 34km. This heritage museum provides a perfect insight into the lifestyles and living conditions of a high noble family over the last century. The large building on the right is Tsugh lhakhang which contains two temples with spectacular statues and paintings. The artifacts depicting the way of life fare recreated in the original room. Everything inside the palace looks authentic. The whole visit gives an intimate feeling of stepping into a bygone way of life.
You will have your lunch at the museum.
Later you will ride back to Jakar and spend the night at Swiss Guest House.
Day 8 – Jakar – Mandrelgang
Today you will start off early since you will be riding and covering the distance of 200km. On top of that, you will be riding pass three passes. So have a good breakfast and start of your journey.
Night halt will be at Mandrelgang Home Stay.
Day 9 – Mandrelgang – Thimphu
Today you can start of late since you had a long ride yesterday.
Once you start your journey today, you will move towards Thimphu. Have a good lunch there and then ride towards Paro. Before you reach Paro, you will do a short d-tour towards Chhukha/Haa Bridge and then ride to Paro. It’s going to be a good ride so make sure you take photos on the way.
Total riding will be;
Mandrelgang – Thimphu = 53km.
Thimphu – Chhukha/Haa Bridge = 44km
Chhukha/Haa Bridge – Paro = 45km
Day 10 – Paro Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest)
Today you will be visiting the most iconic structure in the valley of Paro, the Tiger’s Nest (elevation 2,950m). In the morning, you guys need to have a good set of meal for the total of 5 to 6 hours round trip hike to the tiger’s nest. Take all the necessary things which your guide will brief you beforehand so that later you guys won’t have any problems with anything. It will be an amazing and a good hike so be sure to take your cameras as well to take memories back home.
Lunch will be at the tigers nest cafeteria (Serves only vegetable meals) or back to Paro town at the local restaurant.
Later it will be optional for you guys, you can dip in the hot stone bath to relax your body from hike you did or skip that and just relax at the hotel.
After that, you will then visit Kichu lhakhang (Kichu it actually means the peaceful palace. There are three temples built by a very renowned person with different dates. The first temple was built by a 1st Dharma king of Tibet Songtsen Gampo in 7th century. He has built a 108 structure in a Himalayan region to ogress the evil spirits and out of those two temples was now in Bhutan and they are Kichu lhakhang in Paro and Jambay lhakhang in Bumthang.) You will also get to see the museum of Dilgo Khyentse Rimpoche’s home.
Later you can go and see the farmer’s market at Paro town and stroll around the town and buy souvenirs.
Day 11 – Departure from Bhutan
Today, our guide and driver will bid farewell to you all. Please have a pleasant flight back home. We will be looking forward to seeing you again in future for another place to tour around. Thank You & Tashi Delek!