Still mysterious and exotic, exclusive Bhutan is a Himalayan nation with a wealth of culture. It is forward thinking: preserving its mineral resources for future generations, and instead of GDP, Bhutan measures “Gross National Happiness”. It has swathes of scenic countryside, fascinating towns, archery aplenty, fabulous hikes, a colorful history, and incredible hotels. Visit the royal town of Thimpu, the Himalayan city of Paro, temples and hike up to the spectacular Tiger’s Nest monastery.
Ways you can help
- Get to know a Bhutanese family as you work alongside them and build them a home
- Hike up to Tiger’s Nest Monastery, precariously situated in the mountains
- Feel the city vibe of Thimpu and delight in their demonstrative alternative to traffic lights
- Explore charming villages in the Paro valley
- Be in awe of the monastery, dzong, in Punakha
- Spot the rare black necked crane in Phobjika Valley
The price for a 10 day trip to Bhutan costs from $11,890 (£9,609, €11,275) per person, staying in 5* luxury accommodation. Flights are excluded, but we can arrange these for you.
Amankora Paro - Paro
This is one of five luxury Aman lodges that are linked by dramatic nature trails that uncover the diversity and beauty of this hidden kingdom. This is the largest of the five lodges, with 24 suites. Par...
Como Uma Paro - Paro
The 29 room Uma Paro is surrounded by orchards, valleys and terraced mountains. Built by traditionally trained Bhutanese artisans the hotel is infused with clean lined modernism whilst maintaining the feel...
Did you know
- The origin of the name Bhutan may be derived from the Sanskrit Bhotanta which means “the end of Tibet,” or the Sanskrit Bhu-attan, meaning “highlands.”
- The Bhutanese call their home “Druk Yul,” which means “the Land of the Thunder Dragons,” because of the extremely powerful storms which constantly roar in from the Himalayas.
- Until the 1960’s Bhutan had no roads, automobiles, telephone, postal system or electricity. Bhutanese had no access to TV or Internet until limited access was permitted in 1999.
- Buddhism is the official religion with Hinduism the second popular faith.
- Dzongka is the official language.
- 54.3% of adults and 76.2% of youth in Bhutan are literate.
- The first foreign tourists were allowed into Bhutan in 1974.
- Bhutan has the world’s highest unclimbed peak, Gangkhar Puensum, a mountain so sacred by the Bhutanese that the government has banned mountaineering on any peak above 19,685 feet.
- Bhutan is the world’s only carbon sink, that is; it absorbs more CO2 than it gives out. It sells hydro-electrical power, making it the only country whose largest export is renewable energy. 72% of the country is forested. In fact, it’s in the country’s constitution to keep 60% of its land forested. Respect for the environment, the eco system and all species is a serious matter in Bhutan. Anyone caught killing an endangered species, faces the harsh sentence of life in prison.
- Agriculture is its major industry with rice, fruit and dairy industry (yaks).
- Rather than using the GDP as an economic index, Bhutan measures its overall “health” through the four pillars: sustainable development, environmental protection, cultural preservation, and good governance, which together form the Gross National Happiness or GNH.
- Plastic bags have been banned in Bhutan since 1999.
- Bhutan is the only country to outlaw tobacco (effective 2004).
- The country’s two national sports are archery and darts. But unlike a regulation dartboard, theirs is much smaller and the darts heavy and quite lethal which are thrown over 20 meters toward the target.
- All citizens officially become one year older on New Year’s Day. This way, no one forgets anyone’s birthday!
- Need some good luck? Thinking of starting a family? Bhutanese have a long tradition of painting phalluses on their houses to serve as a symbol of fertility and good luck. All part and parcel of a nation that measures its annual success by its people’s rate of happiness!
“Finally: luxury hotels in the Himalayas! All were different, all great, and by visiting Bhutan with you, we were able to really get to know the charming, humble – and hilarious – Bhutanese people, especially the family whose home we helped build. This added a whole new dimension to our travels, and we will for sure be booking with you again; we have already told so many friends about you!”
Amanda, traveled to Bhutan from the US with her husband and two teenage children.
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