Nestled among mountains and dense jungle in the heart of the eastern Himalaya, it abuts Sikkim and West Bengal to the south and Tibet to the north and is the most revered place of pilgrimage in the Himalayas. It was only in 1974 that it opened its pristine doors to just a few thousand tourists each year. A totally Buddhist kingdom, the people are a proud and happy race and the scenery and architecture overwhelming. In Bhutan A&K works with well respected partners who ensure guests are privy to all that this mysterious country has to offer. Guests will be introduced to this unique way of life which has been protected from the influences of the 21st century, where age-old fortresses guard mountain passes and colourful prayer flags flutter over Buddhist shrines and monasteries. Local communities wear their national costume like a uniform, there are few traffic lights and an innate reverence exists both inside and out of the palatial monk-filled dzongs.
Climb to see magnificent views from the Tiger’s Nest monastery above Paro Valley. Sip yak butter tea. Buy beautiful hand-made woven fabrics and textiles. Admire the unique architecture of the many magnificent dzongs. Watch local archery contests. Trek in the mountains with views of the Himalayas. Indulge in a traditional hot stone bath. Visit communities of monks. Drive to the rarely visited Tang Valley for off the beaten track palaces and monasteries and thriving cottage industries.
BEST TIME TO TRAVEL
Bhutan is a nation of festivals with regular events throughout the year. January: The Winter solstice is celebrated widely in western Bhutan. February: Losar (New Year) is celebrated nationally. March: The Paro Tshechu is a series of dances honouring Guru Rinpoche, the most important of Bhutan’s religious figures. September: The Thimphu Tshechu honours Guru Rinpoche with dance. Weatherwise: Whenever you go, it is likely to rain, but generally the climate is best in autumn (late September to late November) with clear skies and snow-capped peaks and again in spring (March to May) when flowers are in bloom and there is plenty of birdlife. Summer (June to August) is the monsoon season.
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