October 2022 East to West Bike Tour.
Bhutan is a magical country to travel through and especially by bike. Being able to see, smell, hear and live all that is going on around you is the only way to experience such a magical place.
The outstanding beauty of the big Himalayan mountains, the lush green of the deep valleys, the amazing architecture, the simpleness of life and the rich Buddhist culture are things that are experienced every day when traveling through Bhutan. From the seat of your bike you will be constantly aware that this is no ordinary bike tour.
The October 2022 trip is at the height of Autumn in Bhutan which brings settled post Monsson conditions. Cooler temperatures than our spring trip and one of the best times to see the big Himalayan peaks. The lush green of the rain forests. Birds, Monkeys, Yaks and Zo’s are common sights as we ride across the country. It’s also the King’s birthday in the middle of the month.
The tour is 18 days long and starts with a flight from Singapore to Guwahati (pronounced go-hut-i), the capital of Assam in Indian’s northeast, from where we will be picked up by my Bhutanese guiding partners and drive north to the south eastern boarder of Bhutan.
The first few days we travel through the Eastern corner of Bhutan, the country’s least visited and least populated region. The East is very magical with it’s steep sided valley’s covered in lush jungle vegetation. Roads cut into the steep faces, giving stunning views of the valley floors below and the valley’s beyond. We will get to ride up and over the Thrumshing La at 3780m, which will bring us into the beginning of Central Bhutan. We get to spend a night camping in the wide open Ura Valley. We take a day off our bikes for a spectacular day hike up and over a 3500m pass through Rhododendron forests and down into the remote Tang Valley. The night here is very special as we get to stay at our Bhutanese guides family home, before moving onto Jakar in Bumthang. Here we will spend 2 days and get to visit some of Bhutan’s most amazing Dzong’s (monasteries) and temples, sample local beer, cider and cheeses and ride places that very few westerner’s have even seen. And a little rest too as it will be well earned by now!
The passes get slowly lower from here at 3600m and 3400m as we are heading west to the stunning Phobjikaha Valley via Trongsa. Phobjikaha is the winter refuge of the Siberian Black Necked Crane. We spend 2 nights here and do a short day hike to shake out the legs after visiting the village of Gangte and it’s impressive Dzonge. There is an opportunity to ride an old cattle trail as an alternative exit from the Phobjikaha Valley the next day, for the technically capable. Next stop will be Punakha for 2 days. Here we will visit the most spectacular Dzong in Bhutan. Punakha. The epicenter of Buddhism in Bhutan. We will also get to ride a fantastic single track that has been reshaped by local mountain bike riders.
Next it’s off to Thimpu, Bhutan’s busy little capital. Two nights here where you can shop, visit great cafe’s and enjoy the luxury of the Ziwahling Assent Hotel. We travel through to the Paro Valley for our last few days after this.
Our last day of riding will be a trip up to the highest motorable pass in Bhutan, the Chelli La at just below 4000m, where we will get to see the stunning Jhomolhari, weather permitting, standing at 7300m. Then we cap off the day with a 1800m downhill with a single track option again for the technically capable. Our last full day is a most fitting end to this magical trip, a half day hike to Taktsang, Bhutan’s iconic “Tigers Nast” monastery. All in all it’s a beautiful trip in a stunning country and best experienced from the saddle of your bike!
The majority of accommodation is in comfortable, family run 3 star hotels, but there is one night of ‘Glamping’ (that’s glamorous camping) and 4 nights in 5 star hotels at the end of the trip. We have vehicles to carry all our baggage and our bodies and bikes if and when we get tired. The food is fantastic and there is plenty of it.
Please get in contact for latest pricing and departure dates.