Explore a hand-picked selection of our favourite journeys, articles, experiences and special places to stay in Bhutan. Not one to be read in a rush, it’s time to grab a cuppa, and see where it takes you…
༡ བློ་སྤོབས་བསྐྱེད་བཅུག་ནི། སེམས་ཤུགས་བསྐྱེད་བཅུག་ནི། ༢ སེམས་སྐུལ་འབད་ནི།
Bhutan is famous for its flamboyant festivals, known locally as Tsechus, which are typically held in honour of Guru Rinpoche, the most important Buddhist figure in Bhutanese history. These celebrations play a crucial role in preserving the kingdom’s rich culture and traditions.
As with festivals world-wide, tsechus are also an excellent opportunity to socialise with family and friends. There’s a holiday vibe, with people dressed to impress in their finest traditional attire, plenty of food sharing and catching up on the latest news.
The small Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan has taken on the seemingly ambitious task of pledging happiness for all of its citizens. In fact – other politicians take note - the Bhutanese government prioritises GNH, the Gross National Happiness of its people, over GDP as a measure of the country’s prosperity.
And this admirable policy actually appears to work! The Bhutanese people I met appeared happy and content even those I mingled with when stuck in a road block for several hours (testing times!). So, what is the Bhutanese government doing to achieve GNH, and how do they quantify this emotion? Whilst the idea may conjure up idyllic images of clerks travelling the Bhutanese countryside, counting the smiling citizens, there are evidently more definitive criteria behind the philosophy…
Discover Bhutan with our Foothills in Bhutan journey - begin your travels in Paro, where you’ll enjoy the surrounding valley’s beauty and culture, before flying east and gradually work your way back via some of Bhutan’s most striking locations, including Bumthang’s green fields, the sheltered Phobjikha valleys where the Black Necked Cranes land, and find peaceful moments in monasteries and temples before ending your journey on a high with a couple of days’ trekking…
According to legend, the founder of Bhutanese Buddhism, Guru Rinpoche, arrived on the back of a flying tigress to meditate on the mountainside for three years, three months, three weeks and three days. Taktsang Monastery was built in the 1600s to mark this celebrated event, and has been a key pilgrimage destination ever since.
Winner of many sustainable accolades, Gangtey Lodge is the first name when designing something really special.
Far from the distractions, traffic jams and interruptions of day-to-day urban life, Bhutan is a tonic; its pace and ethos an antidote to the challenges and ills of modern-day living.
Bhutan has quietly dug the pathways and laid the stones to rebirth the Trans Bhutan Trail: an ancient route running 250 miles across the kingdom’s pristine countryside. The opportunity to walk this legendary path, set to become one of the world’s greatest trekking trails, is now here, for the first time in a generation.