Bhutan’s ‘Tour of the Dragon’ Cycling Adventure with Amankora

13 DAYS
Category:
Grade: Star
Duration: 13 days
Highlights: Thimphu, Punakha, Gangtey, Bumthang
Departure: Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec
Cycling fanatics here it comes! If you plan on making one cycling trip this year, then ensure it is Bhutan’s “Tour of the Dragon” race. Beginning on 6th September 2014 we have tailored the itinerary for any bike enthusiast. Embark on a cycling expedition set to be one of the most exciting and unique this year.
At Nepal Tours, we believe that luxury is in the experience and this custom-made tour of Bhutan delivers on both counts. Be an adventure buff by day while relaxing by the pool in the evenings. This trip incorporates the best of both worlds from the word go, combining thrills with spa treatments. Cycle through some of the country’s most picturesque scenery, whilst staying in its top of the line hotels.
This eleven-night cycling expedition takes you through the soul of Bhutan and through some of the country’s most challenging mountain terrain and passes – of course, we can promise you that the views make it worth the effort! Start your tour in Thimphu where you will pass through Punakha, Gangtey, and Bumthang. The trip concludes with the “Tour of the Dragon” race from Bumthang back to Thimphu after which you will have some time to unwind, enjoy a celebratory dinner and a complimentary massage to relieve those aches and pains. As with all our holidays, this itinerary is purely a recommendation. It can be booked as is or optionally used as a starting point for creating your own perfect custom-made trip to Bhutan. However, please be aware that the “Tour of the Dragon” race takes place on the 6th September 2014. This trip is inclusive of all meals and house beverages and the “Tour of the Dragon” Race fees. 30% of the proceeds will go to the World Wildlife Fund – Save the Tiger Bhutan Initiative and for Cervical Cancer Care at the Tiger Bhutan Initiative at the Thimphu General Hospital.

Location: Between China and India

Capital: Thimpu

Area : 46,620 sq km

Population: 700,000 (approx. 1 million)

Languages: Dzongkha, English

Currency: Ngultrum (NU)

Religion: 70% Buddhist, 25% Hindu, 5% others

National Sport: Dha(archery)

Political-System: Monarchy

National Animal: Takin (Burdorcas taxicolor),

National Bird: Raven (Corvus corax)

National Flower: Blue poppy (Meconopsis grandis)

Immigration requirements: Tourist visas are mandatory to visit the country. The processing of visa applications will be arranged by Nepaltours and requires approximately 14 days for handling. A visa fee of US 40 will be charged at time of booking.

LANGUAGE & PEOPLE 
Predominantly Buddhist people whose dialect is Dzongkha ( similarities to Tibetan ), the Bhutanese still clothe themselves in their traditional “Kira” and “Gho” ( for men ) – a one-piece garment in the likeness of a Scottish kilt. The government encourages national attire for the preservation of their culture. Despite such a conservative atmosphere, Bhutanese people are now highly dynamic, vibrant and modern and are fluent in various languages with English being one of them.

THE CLIMATE / IDEAL SEASON(S) TO VISIT
Because of the diversity of its landscape ranging from the lowlands to the highlands, Bhutan has a varying climate; you may have perpetual snow in the high mountain regions and at the same time experience tropical climate in the low-lying southern border areas.
The temperatures in the southern areas may be 15 degrees Celsius in winter and 30 degrees Celsius in summer whereas in the high Himalayan regions, you may experience snow with 0 degrees Celsius in winter and 10 degrees Celsius in summer with 350 m of rainfall. Paro – where you may find yourself if you fly in by Druk Air, the national carrier – temperatures can be minus 5 degrees Celsius in winter and 30 degrees Celsius in summer with an annual rainfall of 800 mm.

The ideal time to visit would be in Spring and Autumn, but Summer and Winter also have their own draws and appeal especially under such varying climates and regions. The time of visit also depends on the type of activity/activities you may choose to embark upon; treks, rafting, sightseeing, etc. for which a particular season may be preferable to another.

WHAT CAN YOU DO & SEE?
As a visitor, you have various options and these may include any of the following depending on your tastes, preferences, time schedule and so forth:

CULTURAL & HERITAGE SITES
Visiting sites of historical, religious or archaeological prominence. These may include paying visits to Dzongs ( former fortress-like palaces ), monasteries and museums that dot the country. The magnificence of these places not only give an insight into Bhutanese architecture and history but also offer an opportunity to visit some of the most spectacular and scenic countrysides that you will see in your lifetime. Many of these dzongs have been restored to their former glory and some have been converted to national museums that hold rich heritage relics. These restorations have been done on similar lines to those done at Patan and Bhaktapur in Nepal.

TREKS / ADVENTURE TOURISM 
Almost all travel agents and their partners offer a range of treks through rugged and yet picturesque virgin trails of Bhutan with stunning landscape and typical Bhutanese settlements. There is no mad rush of trekkers and travelers and hitting the trails of Bhutan is a solitary experience and almost like having the Himalayan paradise to yourself. Mountain Biking and River rafting also provide similar experiences but from a different perspective. You could combine some of these adventures and tailor your own itinerary with advice and suggestions from experts. More than a dozen varying trekking packages are tailored for different levels and tastes. Vertical rock climbing has also recently gained much popularity.

WILDLIFE
Like most regions in the Himalayan belt, Bhutan is home to some of the most exotic, diverse and on most occasions endangered species of birds, animals, and plants. Depending on the topography, species vary from mammals like the red panda and snow leopards to the Bengal tiger and wild elephants; fowls like the Trapogan Pheasant also skirt in the undergrowth of Bhutan’s eco-friendly rich forests – from the alpine in the higher Himalayas to the more tropical belts in the southern borders with India.
As a consequence, the Bhutanese government has also established various wildlife reserves to protect these rare jewels of the Himalayan foothills and for the avid wildlife enthusiast to experience these wonders first hand.

Day 1 – In Transit

Evening flight to Paro via Delhi.

Day 2 – Amankora Thimphu- Thimphu

Drive to Thimpu. Spend the evening at your leisure.

Day 3 – Amankora Thimphu- Thimphu

Your choice of sightseeing and local excursions or enjoy a scenic bike ride through the countryside.

Day 4 – Amankora Punakha- Punakha

Depending on how you are feeling drive or cycle to Punakha.

Day 5 – Amankora Punakha- Punakha

Spend the day at your leisure or your choice of local activities.

Day 6 – Amankora Gangtey- Gangtey

Drive or cycle to Gangtey.

Day 7 – Amankora Gangtey- Gangtey

Your choice of local activities or at your leisure.

Day 8 – Amankora Bumthang- Bumthang

Cycle or drive to Bumthang.

Day 9 – Amankora Bumthang- Bumthang

Your choice of activities or spend the day at your leisure.

Day 10 – Amankora Bumthang- Bumthang

At your leisure.

Day 11 – Amankora Thimphu- Thimphu

“Tour of the Dragon” race day. Cycle the 268 kilometers from Bumthang to Thimpu.

Day 12 – Amankora Thimphu- Thimphu

Spend the day at your leisure and receive a complimentary sports massage. Enjoy a celebratory dinner and wrap party with other participants.

Day 13 – In Transit

Transfer to Paro for your onwards fly back home.

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Price:£13,345.00

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