Cycling Adventure In Bhutan

Posted on June 11th, by joanna in Uncover, Unexplored. 3 comments

Cycling Adventure In Bhutan

Hi Everyone! Wanted to share some snapshots from the last two days that I’ve been cycling in Bhutan. I’m staying in Thimphu, the capital. Most of the routes are paved roads, but we did go off-road a little today. Never done so much climbing at such high altitude! It’s 2700-2800m, and my lungs, used to sea-level breathing, are struggling to acclimatise.

Yesterday we started out with an easy ride, about 6 km from the city to Buddha Point. The world’s largest Buddha statue sits on the side of a hill overlooking the city.

Climbing up, it’s about a 8% average incline with endless switchbacks , so my guide and I had to zig-zag up.



This morning we headed to the Bhutan Broadcasting Station, also located on a hill. The weather now is pretty warm, about 25-28 degrees celsius during the day.

From the climb up, you get great views of the Tashishho Dzong, the Palace and Parliament.


The BBS station surrounded by prayer flags


Sangaygang cross country track- A sweet little singletrack (albeit a wide, slightly eroded one), created in 2007 which leads a 5km loop across this ridge to the next, ending up at a monastery and then looping back (had to cycle next to a drop on the mountain face on the way back!) to the BBS station.



This afternoon we rode to the north of Thimphu where the Bhutanese Royal Guard stay. I really love it that the Bhutanese are so pro-cycling and the motorists give way to us, even in the city during peak hour rush!

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3 responses to “Cycling Adventure In Bhutan”

  1. Keshav says:

    Hi, Joanna,Great that you’re having fun cycling in Thimphu.

    I was wondering are you planning to cycle to Phajoding and back? By chance yesterday I chanced upon a friend of mine editing some footages of his friends cycling to Phajoding (or maybe it was just downhill, I didn’t check properly but I saw him labelling it ‘Phajoding’…) That would be scary, maybe not for you 😉 you could try it too… Do let me know how long it takes cycling (gliding?) down… you have to do it with your wheels on the ground. Just don’t say “Phajoding downhill trail? What trail? It took me 30 seconds from Phajoding to Motithang. Writing to you from the hospital 😉

    Hope you continue having a lovely time in our city,



    • joanna says:

      Hi Keshav,

      thanks for writing to us! Why are you in the hospital?! I had lots of fun cycling in Thimphu… nope I didn’t get a chance to do Phajoding. Next time I want to do Paro-Thimphu and maybe to central Bhutan too, that would be fun. You’re so blessed to live in such a nice country with great nature. Ride safe and get those good brakes on! 🙂


  2. Haha, no, Joanna, I was jokingly suggesting that if you went directly from Phajoding to Motithang without touching the ground (flying) you would end up in hospital 😉 I’m nowhere near there, just down in the valley of Thimphu.

    And thanks for the good word about my country. Do come back for some more great memories.


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