KINGDOM OF BHUTAN - Its breathtaking beauty, unpolluted air and undisturbed nature & tranquility make Bhutan an ideal place for mountain biking. The vehicle concentration on even the busiest roads would by most standards be considered extremely low, and when one leaves the main highways there are almost no such distractions. Yangphel was among the first tour operators to offer biking tours, and we possess the experience and all the necessary equipment to execute such trips to the highest of standards.
Your trip starts in the fertile valley of Paro, moving onward through the carefully modernizing capital of Thimphu, before crossing over to the Punakha valley. By combining biking with vehicle transport you will move between these highlights of the western Bhutan, all the while absorbing Bhutan's fascinating cultural and ecological landscapes.
You then enter the secluded Pobjikha Valley, considered one of the most beautiful in the country. The valley is equally well known for the important 17th Century monastery at Gangtey and as the winter home of the magnificent black-necked crane. Your stay here will also introduce you to many charming subtler aspects of the Bhutanese way of life. The journey ends in Paro, with an invigorating hike towards Taktsang monastery, one of the holiest sites of Himalayan Buddhism.
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- Passport (with at least 6 months’ validity from the date of your exit from Bhutan)
- Photocopy of picture page of passport showing number, etc. Keep this in a separate place in your baggage. If for any reason you lose your passport, this will expedite the process of applying for a new passport.
- Print out copy of the visa & International air tickets.
- Temperatures will fluctuate greatly depending on elevation and time of day. You should be prepared for a minimum temperature of 04 degrees and a maximum of 35 degrees. You have to plan for layered clothing to be prepared for such a wide-ranging temperature fluctuations.
- Drink only bottled water, sodas, beer, etc.
- Stay away from any cold salad! These are normally rinsed in tap water before or after being sliced and are a major cause of traveler’s gastro-intestinal distress.
- All tipping is optional and by no means mandatory, however if you feel that your staff and drivers have performed at a good or excellent level, it is a great way to let them know you appreciate their efforts.
A few reminders:
- Accept or offer items with the right hand or, more politely, with both hands. Using both hands to give or receive signifies that you honor the offering and the recipient or giver.
- When you visit Buddhist shrines or temples, it is appropriate and a sign of respect to walk around the building in a clockwise direction (so that the structure is to your right side). This is also true for mani walls (walls built of stone tablets with Buddhist mantras carved on them) and Chorten (small Buddhist shrines.)
- Your guide will give you additional tips along the way, when in doubt, check in with them. You will be travelling into areas that have had relatively few foreign visitors. Your positive attitude and interaction is needed and welcomed to maximize this adventure.
What should I bring with me for the trip?
- Good walking shoes
- Sunscreen (highest possible)
- Headgear for sunny days
- Bug/Insect repellent
- Cotton clothing for summer days, light woolen clothes for evenings. Heavy woolens for winter.
- Shorts for hiking and walking around town are fine. Out of respect, please don't wear shorts in public buildings or monasteries. Have a pair of long pants or longer skirt for these locations.