Cycling, rafting, hiking, walking and kayaking are just some of the most wonderful ways of discovering this truly breathtaking kingdom, perfect for families, groups of friends and couples alike.
This is what in my opinion, Bhutan is really renowned for. These days, most people would rather explore a country on foot and by bicycle where possible, using a vehicle where necessary. Bhutan literally lends itself to exploring the country both on foot and by bicycle. This is a kingdom that is equally suitable for couples as it is groups of friends or active families.
In terms of walking and cycling, we have a number of routes, from short rides, to half a day’s ride, to a full day’s ride – depending upon your fitness levels. For those who are not sure of their capability, a vehicle accompanies you on your bicycle, so you can always stop or have a lift en route! The same applies to walks. There are designated walks for a few hours, to half a day and a full day. The beauty is that each region offers a multitude of different walks and cycle rides, so the same terrain is never traversed twice!
In addition to cycling and walking, there is obviously trekking too. This is much more hard core, such as the Jomolhari walk or trek. Considered Bhutan's finest walk, it lasts for eight days, following ancient tracks beneath the spine of mountains separating Tibet from Bhutan, before descending the valley above Thimphu.
Walking through unspoilt villages and beautiful valleys which retain their ancient Tibetan Buddhist culture, through virgin forest before emerging in high summer pastures at the foot of the magnificent Jomolhari. The route crosses two high passes, passing two dzongs in wild, desolate landscape, before dropping back to the gentler delights of the cultivated valleys.
Finally, rafting and kayaking. We can assemble a wonderful camp for you in Punakha, along the river where one can white water raft along the rivers Mo or Pho. One can raft around 16 kilometres down the river Pho and there are about 15 rapids, rated between classes 2 and 4. For gentler rafting, the Mo offers around 10 kilometres of rafting with a rapid rating of around 2.
These rivers also offer wonderful kayaking in the gentler areas. One can travel as far east as Jakar. One can kayak all year, but October is particularly good, with sunny, crisp days and the harvesting of the apples, buckwheat and rice can be seen along the way.
Alternately have a few days in Punakha rafting or kayaking along the two rivers and returning to the tented camp which is incredibly comfortable. The tents are similar to the Royal Indian tents with their block printing on the inside. There is a sitting area with views right across the river and this camp is small and intimate. For me this really adds to a wonderful holiday in Bhutan.
By Marcela Kunova - 20th April 2017
Nicola Shepherd, founder and CEO of The Exploration Company, organises unusual trips for HNW and UHNW clients ranging from birthday parties at an Indian Maharajah's palace to reliving Sir Vivian Fuchs's 1950s expedition to the South Pole. Citywealth caught ...
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