Bhutan is best known as the last Shangrila. The kingdom opened its doors to foreign tourism less than four decades ago. Bhutan has a strategy of ‘low volume- high quality’ tourism. For this reason, Bhutan is a highly regarded destination amongst travellers as it keeps Bhutan being overrun by mass tourism. Now combine this fact with a land of stunning mountain views, terraced farmlands, unique architecture, dramatic river valleys, authentic Bhutanese lifestyle and ancient traditions; and you will not fall short of reasons for including Bhutan in must-visit travel plans. We explain below our top reasons to visit Bhutan.
Witness Bhutanese Lifestyle
Bhutan holds a rich cultural identity which is well preserved through years of isolation and government imposed policies to control foreign influence in its daily life. On the streets, you will find locals with traditional dress which still remains a preferred attire. Local speak native languages Dzongkha and Sharchop. And there is no sign of Starbucks and MacDonald’s!. Native Dzongkha-style architectural features still grace every building as modern architectural forms are banned.
Visit Dzongs & Unexpected Attractions
Dzongs (fortresses) are impressive Bhutanese architectural masterpieces built in the past to serve a number of purposes. They house political and administrative centres, Buddhist communities and the Royal family. They stand as reminders of Bhutanese victories over Tibetan invasions and British-Indian attacks. And they are museums holding historical artefacts of priceless value. Tiger’s Nest (Taksang) and Punakha Dzong are must visits. As you journey through Bhutan; you will find unexpected attractions such as holy shrines holding faith of local communities. For instance, the town of Punakha is home to most unusual shrines in Buddhism such as Chimi Lhakhang dedicated to a tantric Buddhist saint.
Choose from Boutique and Extraordinary stays
What makes your Bhutan holiday special is comfortable stays, incredible views, great food and local hospitality. Bhutan offers special places to stay from simple beautiful comfortable lodges run by local families, boutique stays with unique Bhutanese character such as the Gangtey Goenpa and Taj Tashi to extraordinary luxury retreats by Como Hotels and Aman resorts.
Choose from Day walks to full on trekking
Bhutan offers a surprising mix of landscapes and trekking terrain at every turn. There are a range of day walks, in addition to the full-on treks. Above all these treks and walks offer some of the most exceptional scenery. Trek teams and equipment have improved hugely over the years. In addition, a number of luxury travel brands have adopted unique ways to experience the country. For instance, COMO Resorts offers flights with the Royal Bhutan Helicopter Service, allowing travellers to reach incredibly remote areas that would otherwise take more than a week hiking — each way.
Witness colourful festivals (Tshechu)
Two hugely impressive annual festivals are the Paro Festival (March/April) and Thimphu festival (Autumn. They are popular with both the locals and international visitors. Many define it as a once in a lifetime experience. Local people gather to watch dance ceremonies performed by monks in spectacular colourful costumes. Exciting displays of traditional culture including textiles,form part of the celebrations. If a festival is on during your Bhutan holiday, its worth witnessing it. Therefore, when we design your holiday, we would normally include such an impressive experience if the timing of your holiday allows for it.
Witness what Gross National Happiness means to a nation
Ever heard of Gross National Happiness! You will in Bhutan. Where in today’s frantic world, most nations measure Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as an indicator for its welfare and economic stability. Bhutan insists on measuring its Gross National Happiness. This is a development philosophy measuring quality of life by prioritising spiritual and mental wellbeing of its people and protecting its culture, nature and traditions. In conclusion, its a happy nation with an exceptional commitment to its Buddhist values, authentic lifestyle and ancient traditions.
For more information or to start planning your holiday, browse through our suggested Bhutan Holidays for ideas and get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 01224313984, to design your tailormade Bhutan holiday.