Culture, Paddling and Biking Tour to Bhutan Kingdom

Trip Facts

  • Duration: 15 Days
  • Challenge level : Moderate
  • Group size : People
  • Best TimeSpring / Autumn
  • Destination :Bhutan

About Culture, Paddling and Biking Tour to Bhutan Kingdom

In Bhutan, popular rivers for rafting include Mo chu and pho chu in punakha, as well as pangbang, near manas national park. Rafting can be enjoyed throughout the year.

In Punakha, Mo chhu is ideal for beginners and families, with 7 km of rapids graded 2- to 2+. Pho chhu offers more excitement for experienced rafters, with 11 km of rapids graded 2 to 4.

In Pangbang, options include:

- Easy drangme chhu: A full day rafting trip suitable for beginners, with few rapids above class 2.

- Upper mangde chhu: A half-day adventure with continuous class 3+ rapids, offering a thrilling experience.

- Lower mangde chhu: Another half-day trip with class 3+ rapids, starting with a view of twin waterfalls and a natural swimming pool.

- Full day mangde chhu: A full day of non-stop rafting with class 3+ rapids, including lunch and interactions with the local community.

- 2 days drangme chhu river trek: A two-day expedition with challenging rapids, starting from Nganglam town and camping overnight.

Each option provides a unique way to experience Bhutan's beautiful rivers and landscapes.


This itinerary is intended as a guide only. Local conditions and weather may necessitate variations to the program and can affect the availability of views and panoramas described.
Be aware that all time stated are approximate and may vary with individual and group fitness, weather, Trekking route, river level and road conditions.

Upon arrival by plane at Paro Airport, there will be a 1½ hour drive to Thimphu. Alternatively, if arriving by land from Phuntsholing, it will be a full day drive. The program will be adjusted based on the arrival time. In the evening, there will be a visit to Tashichho Dzong, the fortress serving as the seat of the king and government.

Once a quaint village nestled in a fertile river valley, Thimphu has evolved into Bhutan's vibrant capital. Spend a full day exploring its cultural treasures, starting with a visit to the National Memorial Chorten. Originally conceived by the third king to shield against modernization's adverse effects and promote global harmony, it now stands as a tribute to the late monarch who passed in 1972, completed by the royal queen mother.  Continue your journey to the 12th-century Changangkha Temple and Drubthob Monastery, home to the Zilukha Nunnery.


Other notable attractions include the School for Arts and Crafts, where students learn various Bhutanese art forms, the National Library boasting scriptures dating back to the 8th century, and a traditional paper factory showcasing Bhutanese paper-making techniques. Explore a captivating replica of a medieval farmhouse at the Folk Heritage Museum. If time permits, visit the Takin Preserve, home to Bhutan's national animal, and Tashichho Dzong, originally built in 1641 and reconstructed in the 1960s without blueprints or nails. Tashichho Dzong houses government ministries, the royal secretariat, and the central monastic body.


On weekends, don't miss the bustling Thimphu market, showcasing an array of Bhutanese delicacies, including fiery chilies and local cheese. (Open Friday to Sunday). Spend the night at your hotel in Thimphu.

In the early morning, drive to Buddha Dordenma, a colossal statue overlooking the valley, followed by a stroll to a scenic city viewpoint. Visit the bustling Memorial Chorten, frequented by devotees, and observe traffic police directing junctions (only capital in the world without the traffic lights) along Norzin Lam Street—Thimphu, the world's only capital without traffic lights. Conclude your walk at the Handicraft Market, offering a variety of Bhutanese souvenirs at reasonable prices.


Next, head to Changlimithang Stadium to watch an archery match, the traditional sport of Bhutan (subject to availability). On weekends, explore the Centenary Market, known for its food supplies and handicraft section. Alternatively, enjoy free time exploring the town at your leisure.


In the afternoon, transfer to Wangdue or Punakha via Dochula Pass (3010m). Stop to admire the mountain scenery and the unique 108 chortens stupa, weather permitting.

Bhutan's pristine rivers, a hidden gem of the kingdom, originate from the eastern Himalayas. These six rivers—Wang Chhu, Sunkosh, Puna Tsang Chhu, Mangde Chhu, Kuri Chhu, and Dangme Chhu—along with their tributaries offer excellent opportunities for kayaking and rafting. They traverse high valleys and low plains before merging with the Brahmaputra River in India.


The diverse river courses amidst natural landscapes provide a unique adventure experience to explore Bhutan’s beautiful wilderness. With varying currents and depths, ranging up to five meters, the rivers offer both gentle stretches and exhilarating rapids. While adventure tourism is relatively new, it's rapidly gaining popularity.


Rafting and kayaking cater to all skill levels, from beginners to experienced thrill-seekers. Bhutanese agencies also arrange walking and trekking expeditions along the senic riverbanks. The ideal times for these activities are from March to April and November to December.

Despite Bhutan's potential as a top adventure travel destination with its pristine environment and rugged terrain, many have yet to experience water sports like river rafting and kayaking, often considering them too touristy. i’m tickled to the bone as to how many of us really would have had even just one river rafting experience? While tourism began in Bhutan in 1974, water adventure sports were only introduced in the mid-90s. Six major rivers, including Wang Chhu and Sunkosh, offer opportunities for these activities.


Day 6 in Punakha includes cycling around the area and kayaking on the Mo Chu River after lunch. Bhutan, also known as the Kingdom of Druk Yul, has remained relatively untouched by Western civilization due to its isolation and limited tourism until recent decades. Our journey involves biking and van tours, focusing on cultural, historical, and scenic highlights while promoting personal encounters with locals.

Today, we'll cycle through Gangtey/Phobjikha Valley in the morning before embarking on a peaceful two-hour hike along the Gangtey Nature Trail in the afternoon. This trail offers serene forest views and passes through the habitat of black-necked cranes. In the evening, we'll enjoy archery lessons, Bhutan's national sport, for a fun way to end the day.

Overnight in phobjikha valley
Accommodation: hotel/ farmhouse stays

Nestled in the scenic Phobjika(U-shaped glacial valley) Valley, the Gangtey Nature Trail is renowned for its beauty and cultural significance. This trail, the shortest in Bhutan, offers breathtaking views as it winds from Gangtey Goemba through flower-filled meadows to Semchubara village, lush forests, and into the open valley. Along the way, you'll pass a Chorten, Khewa Lhakhang, and the local community school. The trail ends with a 30-minute walk back to town. Don't miss the opportunity to visit Gangtey Goemba, a 16th-century monastery perched atop a hill, offering panoramic views of the valley.

We will ride from Tabiting at 2830m heading towards Gogona. Today's moderate ride traverses’ meadows and fields before ascending the Tselela Pass at 3440m through a diverse forest of juniper, bamboo, rhododendrons, and magnolias. Gogona, a small village with a remarkable monastery cared for by Gangtey Gompa, awaits. Along the way, encounter people speaking the unique Bjop-kha dialect kha (language spoken by nomads in Bhutan), preserving their isolated lifestyle.


Continue riding towards Khotokha (2700m), with a brief climb to Tashila Pass at 2800m. Descend through a captivating forest, this trail is renowned for birdwatching, offering sightings of species like laughing thrush, shrike, magpie, and woodpecker.

The optimal times for rafting and kayaking in Bhutan are from March to April and November to December. During the summer months of April to October, rafting operates from 6 am to 5 pm, and in winter from November to March, operations are from 7 am to 3 pm. Safety is of utmost importance, with all rafters receiving comprehensive briefings and being provided with secure equipment. Life jackets, helmets, waterproof bags, and rubber slippers are supplied.


Even newcomers to rafting can enjoy a safe journey, as highly trained and experienced guides lead the way. These guides hold safety rafting guide certificates from nationally or internationally recognized institutions. Rafting is considered a fun and secure activity suitable for families or friends. For those with children or elderly companions, opting for rafting on the Mo Chhu River is recommended, as it offers milder conditions compared to the Pho Chhu River.


Various locations across Bhutan offer kayaking and whitewater rafting opportunities, with Punakha along the Mo Chhu (female river) and pho chhu (male river) rivers, as well as Paro along the Paro Chhu, being among the most popular. The Pho Chhu River boasts a 16km route with 15 rapids ranging from class 2 to 4, while the Mo Chhu River stretches for 10km with 10 rapids of class 2 and 2+. Rafting along the Pho Chhu River offers captivating views of the Punakha Valley, with opportunities to spot rare birds such as white-bellied herons and kingfishers. The journey includes navigating through various rapids, including class IV and III, providing a thrilling experience for both novice and experienced rafters. Please note that rafting in front of Punakha Dzong is no longer permitted as of September 2018.

Over night at camp.

Following breakfast, embark on a scenic drive back to Paro, passing through the breathtaking scenery of Dochula Pass. During the journey, take a break for a two-hour hike amidst lush vegetation to reach the impressive Lungchutse Lhakhang. Perched atop a hill of 1640 ft, the temple offers stunning views of the Tibetan Plateau and the Bhutanese Himalayas. Spend time exploring the temple, meditating, and enjoy a scenic picnic lunch overlooking the panoramic vista below.


After lunch, begin a gentle one-hour descent to Trashigang Goenba, another picturesque monastic center. From here, continue the journey by car for another two hours to Paro. Upon arrival, take some time to relax at your accommodation before venturing out to explore.

Recommended sites to visit include: The Ta Dzong watchtower, home to the National Museum, Rinphung Dzong fortress, and Dumtse Lhakhang temple, renowned for its exquisite murals.

The Bhutanese term for river is "chhu," known as the Paro River. Originating from the southern slopes of Mount Jomolhari, standing at 24,035 feet, the Paro Chhu flows through mountain meadows and deep gorges before reaching the Paro Valley and winding its way through the town of Paro. Just downstream of Paro, there's an exciting class III+ section of whitewater with one portage.


The road from Paro to Thimphu runs alongside the river, offering multiple entry points downstream of Paro. The initial stretch features thrilling warm-up rapids before encountering the Boulder Choke (V), typically scouted and portaged on the right. Beyond the Boulder Choke, the scenery and rapids become even more exhilarating. The take-out point is located just before the confluence with the Thimphu Chhu, near the small village of Chhuzom.


Today, we set out early, either by van or bike, to explore the rural Haa Valley via the breathtaking Chele La Pass, standing at 3,810 meters (12,500 feet) above sea level, making it the highest road pass in Bhutan. The ascent from Paro winds through serene blue pine and rhododendron forests for 35 kilometers on a quiet road. On clear days, we'll be awe by inspiring views of Bhutan's highest peak, the sacred Mount Jhomolhari, soaring over 7,000 meters (nearly 24,000 feet) in the distance.


Upon reaching the pass, we'll follow the Bhutanese tradition of paying respects to elders and take in the majestic Himalayan vistas. If needed, we'll pause for refreshments before cycling  on a thrilling descent past vibrant prayer flags, winding through the pine forests into the secluded and pristine Haa Valley. With its sparse population and minimal tourist presence, the valley offers a truly untouched experience.

Early morning hike to the renowned Taktsang, famously known as the "Tiger's Nest Monastery," an iconic image recognized worldwide. The hike to the monastery viewpoint takes approximately one hour, with an additional two hours to explore the temple itself. After returning from the hike and enjoying lunch, we'll visit the historic Drugyel Dzong located in the northern valley, followed by the 8th-century Kyichu Temple.

Take the opportunity to unwind and indulge yourself at the hotel while we take care of everything else.


Our hotel rooms feature terraces offering stunning views, providing the perfect setting for relaxation. Sit back on the terrace, soak in the tranquil atmosphere, breathe in the sea breeze and the scent of pine trees, and let go of all responsibilities. Whether you choose to lounge for a brief moment or linger for hours, your only focus is on rejuvenating and unwinding. While you luxuriate, our staff will prepare lunch and attend to any tidying needed, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in your well-deserved holiday and magnificent views.

Departing from Paro, you'll board flight to your homeland. Head to the airport for a safe journey back. Don't forget to consider returning to Bhutan with Adventure Hub Nepal for another unforgettable adventure! Safe travels!

What's included


  • All Hikes & Sightseeing.
  • A minimum of 3 Star Government approved Accommodation in twin sharing basis.
  • All meals (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner) with Evening Tea & Snacks.
  • We have our own convoy of Imported Foreign vehicles like (Toyota SUV Cars for FIT & Toyota H1, HiAce Bus, and Coaster Bus for Group with driver) for all internal Transfers & sightseeing (excluding internal flights).
  • All Entrance Fees of museums and cultural sites.
  • A licensed English Speaking Bhutanese Tour Guide With
  • 3 Star Hotel
  • All Local Taxes and Charges.
  • Extra Services: Mineral drinking water
  • All Entrance fees are as per program
  • All Parking Fee
  • Single room supplement
  • Cultural Program as a Surprise Program (Bhutanese Dance)

What's Excluded


  • One time Visa fees of US$ 40 (must be paid in advance with tour cost)
  • Round Trip Air fare/ Train Fare & Airport Taxes not included.
  • 4/5-star accommodations and meals
  • Travel Insurance
  • Luxury hotels & separate vehicles
  • Tips for Guide, Driver & other Staff
  • Trekking Accessories like sleeping bags & shoes are not included.
  • Personal related expenses like calls, Beverages, Alcohol, laundry, donations to Monasteries and Temples, Souvenirs, shopping, etc.

Tourism council of Bhutan states in its directive:

''While tourism may be important as a revenue earner, Bhutan sees no gain in succumbing to over commercialism. It recognizes that a small country emerging from isolation must do so in its own time and at its own pace. The Tourism council of Bhutan is clear that its policy of high value, low volume is the right policy because Bhutan is just too small for mass tourism. And as the world begins to discover the Land of the Thunder Dragon, many go away with a sense of having been in a special place, far from the insanity of modern living. Here is a land where life may not be materially luxurious, but it provides much that is good for a society that is not yet caught up with the global rat race.”


All the Visitors MUST obtain Visa clearance prior to travel to Bhutan otherwise you cannot embark Bhutan.

Visas are processed through an online system by your licensed Bhutanese tour operator, directly or through a foreign travel agent.

You are required to send the photo-page of your passport to your tour operator who will then apply for your visa. The visa will be processed by the Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) once the full payment of your holiday (including a USD $40 visa fee) has been wire transferred and received in the TCB bank account. Once received the visa clearance will be processed within 72 working hours.

At your point of entry, you will be required to show your visa clearance letter, the visa will then be stamped into your passport.

Important Note:

  • A scanned copy of your original passport with clear details should be sent to us in advance.
  • Visitors must bring 3 nos. of latest color Passport sixe Photo for visa.
  • For processing Visa, we should have received your details at least two weeks in advance, because time taken to process Visa is almost two weeks.
  • All passengers are advised to check their passport validity which should not be less than 6 months from the date of travel.
  • Bhutan Visa will be issued and stamped in your passport only when you arrive in Bhutan.

Payment Procedure

Prior to your trip to Bhutan, you will be asked to make the full payment (in terms of US Dollars) for your trips to the Tourism Council of Bhutan’s bank account at the Bhutan National Bank, with Bhutan Travel Express as the Ultimate Beneficiary of the funds. You must make the tour payment calculated by Bhutan Travel Express as well as USD 40 (one time visa fee) to the Bhutan National Bank.

Tour payment must be sent 1 month prior to date of arrival in Bhutan and visa is cleared by the Royal Government of Bhutan subject to advance payment only. For high seasons, it is advisable to remit payment 6 months in advance or earlier. That will give us ample of time to arrange all the amenities for your tour to Bhutan. Once the trip is confirmed we will send you the instructions for making payment.

Your money is held in the government’s account and will not be released to Bhutan Travel Express until you return from Bhutan after your tours. Your money is always secured, therefore.

Note: We will share you our bank details once you confirm you travel booking with us.


There are only two ways to enter Bhutan – by air and by road/ land.


Entering by Air: Paro is the only international airport in Bhutan. Paro is situated at a height of 2,250 m (7382 ft) above sea level and is surrounded by mountains as high as 4,876 m (16,000 ft approx).  At present two carriers operate to Bhutan, Royal Bhutan Airlines (Druk Air) and Bhutan Airlines. And there are domestic airports in Yonphula in eastern Bhutan, Bumthang in central Bhutan, and Gelephu in south-central Bhutan.

Druk Air and Bhutan Airlines operates regularly to/from India (Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Gaya, Guwathi, and Bagdogra), Thailand (Bangkok), Singapore (Changi), Bangladesh (Dhaka) and Nepal (Kathmandu). We are also an authorized International Air Ticketing Agency. Therefore, for both Druk Air & Bhutan Airlines you can rely on us for Air Tickets so as to reach Bhutan any time you wish.

Entering by Land (Road): Phuentsholing, Gelephu and Samdrup Jongkhar are the only land border areas open to tourists. If you wish to travel overland, you can enter and exit Bhutan through its southern gateway of Phuentsholing into the Indian state of West Bengal. It is approximately six hours drive from Thimphu. The nearest airport is at Bagdogra, about 170 km (106 miles Approx) away from Phuentsholing. This border point is an ideal junction for those wishing to combine their exploration of Bhutan with the Indian states of Sikkim and West Bengal (Darjeeling District).

Gelephu in south-central Bhutan is another entry point to Bhutan. It is approximately 250 km (155 miles Approx) from Thimphu and the journey will take you through the sub-tropical areas of Bhutan before entering the alpine zone and then finally into Thimphu. One will have to traverse across three districts and the travel time will be about 9 hours.

The district of Samdrup Jongkhar in south-east Bhutan borders the Indian district of Darranga, Assam and is approximately 150 km (93 miles Approx) away from Guwahati, the capital city of Assam. It is 3-hour drive from Samdrup Jongkhar to the Indian airport of Guwahati. Tourists entering Bhutan through Samdrup Jongkhar will take you to Trashigang, and from there over the lateral route to Mongar, Bumthang, Trongsa, Wangdue Phodrang and then finally into capital, Thimphu. The distance is about 700 km (435 miles Approx) and will take you a minimum of three days to reach Thimphu. This is usually preferred by those flying into Paro in the west and touring across eastern Bhutan without back tracking.

Reservation & Cancellation Policy

We genuinely hope that you will successfully complete your Bhutan trip making most enjoyable memory of Bhutan.  We assure you to provide every effort to make your experience in Bhutan a memorable one.  We do realize at time due to unavoidable circumstances a trip to Bhutan may need to be cancelled or postponed. Thus, we have our judicious cancelation policy to protect but the parties.

Tour programs that are cancelled shall be subject to cancellation charges as follows depending on how close to the arrival date to Bhutan that the cancellation is done:


The cost of air tickets is subject to change without prior notice by the airlines.

- Extra supplement will be charged if the rooms are to be upgraded.

  • The complete tour payment must be made no later than one month prior to your trip in US$ as per the wire payment instructions. This is to ensure that we secure visas, hotel reservations, transportation and guides.
  • The complete flight payment must be made before the expiry date of the flight reservation done on behalf of you. You have the flexibility to send either both the payment together and the trip payment later.

Peak Season Minimum Daily Tariff:

March, April, May & September, October & November

Why Book With Us?
  • Instant online booking
  • Secure payments
  • Guaranteed departure
  • Group discount available

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