The Kingdom of Bhutan is a destination known to few, distant from the western world both geographically and in culture. Less than 6,000 foreigners traveled here last year, an amazingly low figure when you consider that this amount can easily turn the styles into the Grand Canyon National Park in less than two hours! Bhutan sounds like the perfect place for MotoDiscovery. Nestled in the eastern Himalayas, Bhutan is about half the size of Indiana sandwiched between Tibet, and India. For the touring enthusiast, this tiny land offers the qualities we all seek when traveling by motorcycle; a diversity of stunning scenery, an inviting population, political tranquility and exotic culture found within a small geographical package. Quality riding that stimulates the senses every kilometer of the way.
Day 01: Arrival at Paro (by Druk Air) – Thimphu
The flight into Paro on Bhutan's national carrier, Druk Air, is a befitting introduction to the spectacular beauty of our country. In clear weather, magnificent views of the world's highest peaks give way to the lush green Paro valley as you land. The first gift from Bhutan will be the cool, clean fresh air as you step out of the plane. After clearing customs and visa control you are met by your guide and a short drive will take you into Paro town for your lunch. Paro is a picturesque valley with quaint clusters of hamlets amid terraced paddy fields. Although the site of the nation's first airport Paro still retains tradition by way of architecture and farming. Lunch will be served at your hotel. After lunch depart to Thimphu, the modern capital of Bhutan. Thimphu has a population of about 98,500. The town is made up of just three lines of shops and is the only capital in the world without traffic lights. Dinner and stay overnight at hotel.
Day 02: Thimphu – valley sightseeing
In the morning visit the Institute of Traditional Medicine, where old healing arts such as acupuncture and herbal remedies are still practiced. Also visit the Folk Heritage Museum, which is dedicated to connecting people to the Bhutanese rural past through exhibition of items and artifacts used in rural households, Textile Museum, where the art of traditional weaving is still kept alive and preserved through exhibition and has a good collection of old textiles which are rich in its color and design. Afternoon visit the National Memorial Chorten, built in honor of our late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk. In the evening visit Handicrafts Emporium, which has all types of Bhutanese handicrafts for sale. Stay overnight at hotel.
Day 03: Thimphu – Punakha
In the morning visit the Bhutanese Handmade Paper Factory,Zilukha Nunnery, Motithang Mini Zoo and Sangaygang viewpoint. Lunch served at a restaurant in Thimphu. After lunch depart to Punakha, an ancient capital of Bhutan. Leaving Thimphu the road climbs steeply through a forest of pine and cedar, festooned with hanging lichen high up near Dochula pass (3,050 m). This pass often offers panoramic views of the Himalayan mountain ranges. After stopping for tea and the view, we descend along a series of hairpin bends to the fertile valley of Punakha. Overnight at hotel.
Day 04: Punakha – Gangtey
In the morning visit Punakha Dzong, winter seat of the Je Khenpo and the Monk Body, remarkably located between the rivers of the Mo (Female) Chu and Pho (Male) Chu and then drive to Gangtey via Wangdue, one of the major towns and district headquarters of Western Bhutan where we make a short stop to view the Wangdiphodrang Dzong dramatically located on the spur of a hill at the confluence of the Tsang Chu and Dang Chu rivers. We then climb steadily passing
through semi-tropical vegetation and then to Pelela Pass with an alpine environment of rhododendrons and dwarf bamboo. This pass is traditionally considered the boundary between West and East Bhutan. If the weather is clear the Himalayan ranges can be seen, particularly the peak of Chomolhari to the west and then finally to Gangtey, which lies on the flanks of the Black Mountains. There is an old monastery of Gangtey Gompa (under renovation) dating back to the 17th century. A few kilometers past the Gompa on the valley floor are the fascinating valley of Phobjikha. The gentle sloping hillsides of Phobjikha is described as "the most beautiful valley in the Himalayas". This is the winter home of black-necked cranes that migrate from the arid plains in the north to pass winter in milder and lower climate. Evening take a walk around the beautiful valley of Gangtey which lies at an altitude of 3,000 m. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
Day 05: Gangtey – Paro
After breakfast drive to Paro via Thimpu and Dochola pass. Your lunch will be served at Dochola Cafeteria and then drive to Thimphu. In Thimphu we visit the Weekly Outdoor Market, where everyone goes to buy fruits and vegetables, rice, grains, chillis and other fresh foods. The crowded stalls offer many colorful local items such as yak tail dusters, butter tea cups, turquoise from Nepal and Tibet and musical instruments. After lunch we continue our drive to Paro via confluence. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
Day 06: Paro sightseeing and hike to Taktsang.
After breakfast, we drive to the winding road to the Drukgyal Dzong, the ruined fort, which was once defended this valley from Tibetan invasions, and also visit a Bhutanese farm house of a local family at Drukgyal for a close up view of everyday Bhutanese life. We then drive beyond Satsam Chorten to hike up (or horse ride) to the Taktsang monastery (Tiger's nest). The horse ride up to the cafeteria will take around 1.5hrs. At the view point, you will enjoy the stunning view of the monastery, where Guru Padmasambhava landed on the back of a tigress in the 8th century. We then walk back to the road point and visit Kyichu Lhahang, one of the oldest temples in Bhutan, overnight at hotel.
Day 07: Paro – Departure from Paro (by Druk Air)
In the morning your Bhutanese escort will bid you farewell at Paro airport. Good-bye and happy journey back home.
Kindly please do let us know if you have special interest to add any places or sites on this itinerary. We will be more then happy to full fill your interest and objectives.