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Inspiration Odyssey: Bhutan

Kingdom of Mountains and Happiness

That the Government of Bhutan measures progress in “Gross National Happiness” says a lot about this charming Himalayan Kingdom. Winding trails made by yak herders wend their way past medieval hilltop monasteries and “dzong” fortresses. A day of exhilarating walking can be followed by a stay in one of Bhutan’s outstanding boutique hotels where the warmth of the cuisine is matched by the natural friendliness of the people.
 
For the time being Bhutan retains its sense of being “undiscovered”. In our view, now is the ideal time to visit when several superb hotels have been established yet you can still enjoy the feeling that you are among the first explorers of this enchanting land.
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Thimphu
Compared to the rest of Bhutan, the capital Thimphu feels modern and quite busy. Don’t miss the magnificent Tashichho Dzong and the world’s largest seated Buddha. Also pop into the General Post Office where you can have your picture taken against the Tiger’s Nest monastery and made into a usable postage stamp!
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Tiger’s Nest
Your visit to the Tiger’s Nest monastery near Paro will be worth every ounce of effort on the five hour round trip trek to reach it. Perched precariously on the mountainside nearly 1,000 metres up, this sacred 17th century temple complex is still a working monastery.
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Punakha
The perfect day at Punakha has to include a traverse of the Tsang Chu River along the 520 foot suspension bridge – it really is safer than it looks! Then, back at ground level, try a couple of hours rafting the rapids of the Pho River beneath the ancient walls of the Punakha Dzong. Round off the day with a delicious meal at the Amankora Punakha Lodge.
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Try Trekking
Compared to Nepal and India, Bhutan’s trekking trails are almost deserted. The working trails linking remote valleys are still used by herders and provide spectacular views. Overnight, we can arrange stays in comfortable village guest houses or we can set up your own trekking camp complete with chef and porters. Cycling is another great way to explore with challenging ascents and dizzying descents.
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A Spot of Indulgence
For a relatively “new” destination, Bhutan is building an impressive collection of outstanding small hotels. The Aman group have five superb boutique properties each in a carefully chosen mountain setting. Six Senses have three new properties, in Thimphu, Paro and Punakha. Don’t miss a traditional Bhutanese hot stone bath beneath a sky filled with an unimaginable host of stars.
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Start the Conversation
Your time is precious and with a world to see, we understand the importance of getting it absolutely right for you first time. We would love to hear from you.

+44 (0)1604 637332
inspireme@journeysmiths.co.uk