Bhutan lies in a hidden corner of the eastern Himalaya, sandwiched between Tibet to the north, Sikkim to the west , the Indian state of Assam to the south, and the Arunachal Pradesh to the east. Bhutan is often likened to Switzerland because of its small size, jealously guarded isolation and stunning mountain scenery. Buddhist teachings and philosophy are influential throughout the kingdom, and deliberate government policy has made Bhutan one of the least visited of regional countries. More than 65% of the country is forested and has the rarest of Himalayan wildlife including blue sheep.
Bisecting the country is a 450 mile, partially paved, single lane road. On amountain bike route starting from the west in the Paro Valley (west of Thimpu), themountain bike route heads east passing through Thimpu and eventually leads to the boarder post with India at Samdrup Jongkhar. The road crosses seven mountain passes with 53,000 feet of ascent and 60,000 of descent. The two-week journey takes in Bhutans diverse beauty: semitropical bamboo forests, ancient fortresses and temples, and rugged passes with views of the countrys highest peaks, including 23,685-foot Chomolhari. Varied biking conditions are encountered while passing through three climatic zones (alpine, temperate and semi-tropical). A through trip requires both camping and lodges.
To head to Bhutan for mountain biking, you are required to be part of an official travel agent guide trip. These tours typically runs about $250USD per day for lodging, meals, transportation, guides and the official Bhutan tariff. The best times of year for mountain biking within Bhutan are March to April and again from September to November. A typical trip length is about 12 days. The only airline that enters Bhutan is the official Druk Air which runs from Kathmandu, Bangkok and New Delhi. The travel agent guide will arrange for the airline ticket. The best tour company for mountain bikers is Yu Druk Tours (www.yudruk.com).