Thunder Dragon Marathon

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Bhutan, the land of the Thunder Dragon, is mystical, enchanting and like nowhere you have ever been. Voted one of the world’s top travel destinations, Bhutan remains accessible only to the privileged few. The Thunder Dragon Marathon highlights all of the aspects of Bhutan that makes it so special. Running through the beautiful Paro Valley the route takes in fantastic scenery and passes many iconic landmarks, like the Tiger's Nest Monastery, Paro 
Dzong and many religious Chorten - a true mountain and cultural experience. Mostly on trails and mountain paths with some road sections, the route has a number of climbs but with an altitude variation that stays between 2,200m and 2,530m there are no tremendously difficult sections although it remains a suitable challenge.

The Route

The race route starts at Udumwara, underneath the cliff that the Tiger’s Nest is built on. The route is approx. half road surface and half farm trails, on the full marathon there is a 4km section of single track.

The first 8km are on road surfaces and slightly downhill alongside the Paro Chu (river). At 8km the half marathon splits off to the right and makes its way up and behind Paro Dzong (Fort). The full marathon carries straight on with a long and gradual climb alongside the Wang Chu (river) on farm tracks above rice fields.

At 18km the marathon route crosses the river and returns towards Paro on the other side on a gentle downhill gradient to 25km. Here, the route has the toughest climb, for about 4km on road, rising above the Paro National Museum, then on single track for 1km to the highest point of the race at 2.560m.

Dropping back down to the Paro Chu the marathon and half marathon re-join beneath Paro Dzong to cross the famous wooden bridge. The last 10km for both distances are on a gradual but long uphill climb on a mix of road and wide farm track, rising above Paro Chu, with views of the river and rice fields, before dropping into the finish back at Udumwara.

The total height gain on the marathon is 995m and for the half 450m. The altitude at the start is 2.400m and the lowest point, in Paro Town, is 2,200. 

Thunder Dragon Logo Jpeg.jpg

TUESDAY 20 MAY 2025

Arrival from Bangkok available at a supplement. Drive to Punakha via Dochu Pass (approx. 2.5 hours). Afternoon sightseeing in Punakha; visit the Devine Mad Monks Temple (Temple of Fertility) and the remarkable Punakha Dzong, past home to the King of Bhutan.
Lunch, dinner. Overnight in Punakha.

WEDNESDAY 21 MAY 2025

Today we start our acclimatization activity with a hike to Soela Gompa via Khamsum Yuelley Nagyel Chorten. This hike is approx. 15km with a moderate level of difficulty but for some, about 5km of the initial climb will be on the difficult side. The hike will take up to 8 hours. Options to return after visiting the Chorten for a shorten hike can be arranged. 
Breakfast, lunch, dinner. Overnight in Punakha.

THURSDAY 22 MAY 2025

Drive to the capital city Thimphu (2.5 hours). Hike up to Buddha Point and the giant seated Buddha, the Takin Reserve (National animal), Thimphu Dzong and craft workshops.  
Breakfast, lunch, dinner. Overnight in Thimphu.

FRIDAY 23 MAY 2025

Drive to Paro, and hike to Taktshang Monastery (Tiger's Nest) 6 hours. On the way back visit Kichu Lhakhang Monastery.
Breakfast, lunch, dinner. Overnight in Paro.

SATURDAY 24 MAY 2025

Free time for shopping in Paro.
Race day briefing.  
Overnight in Paro.

SUNDAY 25 MAY 2025: FULL & HALF MARATHONS (RACE DAY)

Early breakfast before 8am start of both races. Celebration dinner and cultural show at Olathang Hotel.
Overnight in Paro

MONDAY 26 MAY 2025

Fly out to Bangkok.

SUNDAY 18 MAY 2025

Arrival from Bangkok available at a supplement.  
Lunch, dinner. Overnight in Paro.

MONDAY 19 MAY 2025

Hike to Taktshang Monastery (Tiger's Nest) 6 hours. On the way back visit Kichu Lhakhang Monastery.
Breakfast, lunch, dinner. Overnight in Paro.

TUESDAY 20 MAY 2025

DRUK PATH Trek (Day #1). Climb gradually upwards from the Paro Valley to the camp at 3650m. Most of the altitude gain is done today along forest trails. Distance today 20km. The climb is moderate to hard. 
Overnight camping.  

WEDNESDAY 21 MAY 2025

DRUK PATH Trek (Day #2). Leaving the camp, climb steeply for 1 hour and follow a ridge offering views of Mt. Jomolhari if the weather is clear. A steep descent takes you to the campsite next to a beautiful lake. Distance today 15km.  
Overnight camping.  

THURSDAY 22 MAY 2025

DRUK PATH Trek (Day #3). Today is a short but tough day of ascents and descents up to 4150m. Distance today 11km.  
Overnight camping. 

FRIDAY 23 MAY 2025

DRUK PATH Trek (Day #4). The day begins with a gradual climb with possible views of Mt. Gangkhar Puensum, Bhutan's highest mountain, before dropping into Thimphu on a steep descent. If there is time we'll visit the Takin Reserve, which is close to the finish point of the trek.  
Overnight in Thimphu. 

SATURDAY 24 MAY 2025

In Thimphu. Visit the painting school, folk heritage museum, textile museum, Buddha Point. Afternoon visit to craft bazaar and weekend market.
Race day briefing.  
Overnight in Paro.

SUNDAY 25 MAY 2025: FULL & HALF MARATHONS (RACE DAY)

Early breakfast before 8am start of both races. Celebration dinner and cultural show at Olathang Hotel.
Overnight in Paro.

MONDAY 26 MAY 2025

Fly out to Bangkok.

Tour Packages

 

Prices of tour packages are listed in Sin$

Below are a list of items that are included and excluded in the tour package:

 

  • Accommodation at the official hotel(s)
  • Full board (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)
  • Meals at campsite (for those on the Druk Path Trek)
  • Guides & support staff throughout the tours (including tips)
  • Entry into all sites and attractions visited
  • All travel inside Bhutan (including airport transfers) on private buses or mini-buses
  • Visa for Bhutan
  • International airfares to tour starting point
  • Accommodation in Bangkok
  • Visa for Thailand
  • Travel, Personal Accident & Medical Insurance
  • Drinks (except water on the bus)
  • Personal spending expenses
  • Additional tips for guides and drivers

 

 

  • 7 Days 6 Nights

    Twin Share
    Cultural Tour including Punakha, Thimphu & Paro

    Runner @ $ 5,740

    Non-Runner @ $ 5,310

    Return flight Bangkok-Paro @ $ 980 (per person)

    Udumwara Hotel (Paro)
  • 7 Days 6 Nights

    Single Room
    Cultural Tour including Punakha, Thimphu & Paro

    Runner @ $ 6,340

    Non-Runner @ $ 5,910

    Return Flight Bangkok-Paro @ $ 980 (per person)

    Udumwara Hotel (Paro)
  • 1

 

  • 9 Days 8 Nights

    Twin Share
    4 Day Druk Path Trek with Race Weekend

    Runner @ $ 6,840

    Non-Runner @ $ 6,410

    Return flight Bangkok-Paro @ $ 980 (per person)

    Udumwara Hotel (Paro) & Campsites
  • 9 Days 8 Nights

    Single Room
    4 Day Druk Path Trek with Race Weekend

    Runner @ $ 7,350

    Non-Runner @ $ 6,920

    Return flight Bangkok-Paro @ $ 980 (per person)

    Udumwara Hotel (Paro) & Campsites
  • 1

 

registration is open

Thank you very much for choosing to travel with us to Bhutan for the Thunder Dragon Marathon.

Registration is open for the 2025 Tour. 

Click on the link below for the registration form (fillable pdf). 

Please read the terms & conditions, and instructions carefully before submitting the form.

You can refer to the "Terms and Conditions" for our tour to the Thunder Dragon Marathon 2025. 

Do note that there is no shorter duration besides what's being offered for the different tours.  

The 7D6N tour & 9D8N tour are conducted separately, however the participants from both tour groups will gather together for the marathon weekend. 

Thank you very much for choosing to travel with us. 

 

Download the Registration Form