Road types and conditions in Bhutan
The most isolated country in the world, the kingdom of Bhutan is located on the southern border of the eastern Himalayas, wedged between Tibet to the north and India to the south. It wasn’t until 1961 that the first development plan began, with the 175-kilometer tarmac road from Phuentsholing to Thimphu, which later had a branch connecting the main road to Paro.
The main route through Bhutan is the EastWest Highway, known locally as the Side Road, which runs from Phuentsholing at the Indian border in southwestern Bhutan to Trashigang in the east. This road has branch lines for cities such as Thimphu, Punakha, and Paro and is widely used for most east-west travel in the country.
Bhutan is a hilly, mountainous country at the foot of the lowest hills and mountains of the Himalayas. The roads tend to go up and down mountains, along valleys, and through high mountain passes, and are winding and often dangerous, as they rarely have more than one lane. Bhutan is not a place where high speeds can be maintained, hence the maximum speed limit of only 50 km / h on roads outside the city.
Eastern and Western Bhutan
Western Bhutan actually has more highways than anywhere else, with paved roads connecting Thimphu to Paro and Punakha, all exits for Ha to the west, and southwest to Chukha and Phuentsholing. In the central region, apart from the secondary road, the paved roads head only to Wangdue Phodrang and Zhemgang, extending south to Gelephu and Sarpang for the border posts in India. Likewise, eastern Bhutan has fewer roads, with branches from the secondary road at Trashigang heading north to Trashiyangtse and Lhuntse, and south to Pemagatshel and Samdrup Jongkhar.
The road between Paro, Thimphu, and Punakha is actually considered one of the best roads in the kingdom, especially the section between Paro International Airport and the capital of Thimphu, which is now an upgraded two-lane highway. scenic Paro Valley, the roads are smooth and paved which is easier to drive, while the road to Thimphu is on a two-lane asphalt which is one of the most used roads in the country as all visitors enter through Paros airport At a distance of around 51 kilometers, this busy road takes you to the capital from the airport in around 1 hour and 20 minutes. From Thimphu to Punakha, the road is not as good, although it is called a “highway”. The highest pass along this route from Paro to Punakha, you can actually see the highest mountains in the Himalayas, including the highest mountain in Bhutan, Mount Gangkhar Puensum.
If you are planning to go mountain biking in Bhutan, then a rare surprise awaits you. Few places in the world have the breathtaking scenery needed for the best mountain biking, as well as some of the greatest mountain areas for biking. The roads in Paro are better than in most places in Bhutan, with the possible exception of Thimphu.
The road leading to the Paro-Haa-Paro track is a good asphalt road with only a few stretches of dirt road, while the road out of Paro heading northwest along the Paro valley, which is a popular cycle path, is half asphalt and half earth. The path from Paro to Thimphu follows the route of the new highway, a two-lane asphalt that runs 51 kilometers to the capital. Following the valleys southeasterly from Paro, then turning northeast towards Thimphu at the ParoThimphu Bridge over Wang Chu, the road is a delightfully easy route even for a novice cyclist