Druk Yul, as Bhutan is officially known, is not just the land of the dragon. This last great Himalayan Kingdom is a land of Dzongs and monasteries, of museums and memorials, of libraries and institutes of art and painting, of prayer flags and tranquility, of twisting lanes up the mountains and bicycle rides, green meadows and grazing yaks. This little gem, which is charming and stunning all at the same time, is iconic for its measurement of Gross National Happiness as the tracker of development and progress, and its sustainable approach to tourism. Explore this quaintly wonderful culture, experience your spirituality, enjoy the adventure – and usual, stay in luxury.
The calm serenity of Buddhism calls out to most of our latent zen inner spirit. Where better to explore and understand this beautiful faith than in this Shangri-la in the mystic Himalayas? Bhutan is a deeply Buddhist land, its very landscape is covered with stupas, prayer flags, and prayer wheels. Monks and nuns are to be found in every village, living the Buddhist life. Your visit isn't complete without including the majestic fortress-like monasteries and Dzongs in your itinerary, as you travel across the country. Dig deeper into your spiritual centre by meeting the religious leaders for conversations on the key tenets of an approach to life founded on the middle path, compassion, peace and mindfulness. Meditation and other teachings can be arranged. A charming experience is a small puja (prayer ceremony) at Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest temples in Bhutan with a magic orange tree that bears fruit all year long.
Almost everything is an adventure in Bhutan, including the food! For trekkers and hikers, it's a special paradise. The monasteries and Dzongs are often perched precariously on cliffs and the trek to reach them makes the exploration thrilling. Starting with Tiger's Nest, the most well-known, which is drive and a trek away from Paro. The Taktsang Monastery, the Cheri and Thango Monasteries in Thimpu are a few names amongst scores of options. Serious treks and trails through the mountains and stunning valleys and rugged passes, hikes though deep forest trails are once-in-a-lifetime experiences. You could also go whitewater rafting in the Khansum Valley, go kayaking and canoeing and fishing, cross the suspension bridges at Punakha. You choose the adventure. We'll do the rest.
Bhutan is so soaked in its unique culture that we could plan a whole trip dedicated to experiencing the people and their way of life. These are a warm and friendly people who easily practice the Buddhist guidelines to a peaceful and compassionate life and enjoy a modern new world. They are educated, well-informed and fun-loving and if you get to spend one of Bhutan's many festivals with them, you'll go home with some happy memories. Deep dive into the culture – of course, the shrines and temples and monasteries, but also the folk art that lives and breathes around you. Drive or bike or walk through charming and quaint villages and towns, try your hand at archery, which is the national sport, enjoy the 'red rice and red chilli' Bhutanese cuisine, explore the exquisite textiles and the local dresses, and learn about the countless rituals and traditions that hold this happy place together.