Highest point on Bhutan Highway, Chele La Pass welcomes you with chilly rain, strong winds and flattering prayer flags. Weather changes pretty fast as you ascend on the road leading to Chele La Pass and soon you find yourself getting drenched in rain. Chilly winds will make you pull your hands inside your sleeves as you will walk past prayer flags of all colours.
It is an altogether divine experience as you stand on top of the world, wrapped in clouds and surrounded by mountains with wind pushing you back as it strikes your body with thunder sound. Weather changes quickly here and temperature will be few degrees lower compared to both Haa and Paro.
There was only a makeshift shop (in a small tempo) at the pass serving tea/coffee, Maggi and biscuits. Besides few tourists like us, we also happened to meet a group of bikers who were on road trip across Bhutan. There was also a small fireplace that tourists were rushing to get some respite from the chilly rains.
Though the yellow signboard shows the elevation as 3988 m, but the actual elevation of Chele La Pass is 3810 m.
We stayed for 20 minutes and then rushed to our car as it was quite cold. On our way to Paro, we also happened to meet Yak. Yaks may be common in Bhutan but our driver realized our excitement of seeing a Yak first time and slowed down while we clicked snaps:)
Getting to Chele La Pass, Bhutan
Chele La Pass is almost mid way from Haa to Paro (25 KMs from Haa and 36 KMs from Paro). So you can take a quick stop over in case you are planning to visit Haa from Paro or vice versa. There is no public transport available on this route as buses between Haa and Paro ply through an alternate route via Chhuzom. We booked a taxi from Haa to Paro at Nu. 1000 and it took us around 3.5 hours to reach Paro. In case you are not planning to visit Haa, you can also book a return cab trip from Paro to Chele La Pass.