Anyone who has watched Levison Wood’s Channel 4 series Walking the Himalayas will have gained an invaluable insight into Afghanistan, Nepal, and Bhutan. These destinations have been largely unknown to travellers in the past due to conflict and seclusion, but Levison Wood has displayed the natural beauty of these fascinating nations.
Visitor numbers into Bhutan are strictly limited and there are currently no direct UK flights to this elusive nation. Many of those who travel to Bhutan fly indirect from London to Nepal or India, where it is possible to transfer to Bhutan. Those who arrive, though, will be handsomely rewarded with a unique culture, spectacular monasteries, and wonderful scenery. Fred.\ Discover offers a number of tours to this magnificent nation and this week, we take a look at what you can expect during a tour of Bhutan.
Culture and Architecture
Bhutan is home to the world’s last remaining Buddhist Kingdom and has become internationally recognised for developing Gross National Happiness. This unique culture and sense of wellbeing is reflected through the culture of the people and the many impressive landmarks. Takstang Monastery – otherwise known as Tiger’s Nest Monastery – is precariously perched on the ledge of a cliff, high above the Paro Valley. It requires a 2/3 hour hike, but this fascinating, sacred place for meditation is well worth the effort. Elsewhere in Bhutan, you can visit the Tashichho Dzong, one of the most impressive buildings in Bhutan and the seat of the country’s government since 1952.
In addition to being blessed with wonderful architecture, Bhutan is also home to some of the world’s most impressive scenery. Gangtey Valley is a fine example of the nation’s diverse and beautiful natural scenery, with many glaciers, farmlands, pastures, and blue-pine forests. During your visit to this area, you will see many herds which graze on dwarf bamboo. It is also worth noting that it is possible to catch a glimpse of the rare Black necked cranes, which fly over from Tibet in late October and spend the winter here. Selected tours will offer the chance to embark on a series of hikes, with the forested trek towards Phephe La Pass being one of the most impressive.
Selected tours to Bhutan enable you to experience one of the many vibrant festivals, which offer an unforgettable cultural insight. Hundreds of people from across Bhutan come to the Paro Festival, where monks dress in colourful silk costumes and wear painted masks to re-enact the story of the Gompa’s divinity through music and dance. Over the course of a few days, these dancers create a carnival atmosphere that is unlike anything you will have seen anywhere else on earth. Depending on what time of year you visit, you may get the chance to experience either the Domkhar Festival (also known as the Bumthang Festival) or the Jambay Lhakhang Festival. Both of these celebrate the country’s greatest Buddhist saint, Guru Rimpoche, and are a colourful affair of dances and masks.
Far East Asia is home to many exciting cultures and fascinating architecture. In addition to insightful tours through Bhutan, TravelQuest is also able to offer enriching tours to India. Far Horizons tours will take you deep into this vast nation, where you will fall in love with the diverse culture, fascinating architecture, and welcoming locals. Wherever you decide to go, the best way to experience everything a particular nation has to offer is to embark on a unique tour with
Wherever you decide to go, the best way to experience everything a particular nation has to offer is to embark on a unique tour with TravelQuest. To find out more, contact us via the freephone number above or complete the online enquiry form.