You will adore the thrilling experiences that await you in the remote Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan. A journey in these exotic environs holds the promise of exciting times, learning all about its colourful melange of local customs, heritage, lifestyle practices and cuisine.
Bhutan's hot springs attract locals and streams of visitors who have heard about their curative powers. The Bhutanese consider hot springs as the blessings of the Buddha, so there are some spiritual nuances to the experience. The scenic drive to the famous Gasa Hot Springs in the Punakha district can be a healing experience in itself. Do take a dip in the mineral waters, which can vary in temperature and different medicinal properties.
Day in a Monastery
A more immersive understanding of Bhutan's Buddhist culture can be best experienced in the company of monks in a monastery. When travelling in the gorgeous Bumthang region, please plan to spend time at a monastery absorbing the details of their daily life and practices of the monks and novitiates planning to enter the holy order. Your exclusive access to a prayer room with junior monks makes this an even more fulfilling experience.
Also highly recommended is a homestay with a local farmer for an enriching cultural experience. Spend a night and a day at a farm with the family to get insights into the lifestyle of Bhutan's farming community. From wearing the local attire, joining the men in the fields and then returning home, enjoy a hot stone bath; then learn to cook and enjoy the Bhutanese meal with the family and their friends out in the fields. Wash it down with ara, the local rice wine. Get ready to have lots of fun in this learning experience.
Mushroom foraging in a forest
Enjoy the pristine forested expanses of Bhutan from another perspective. Go mushroom foraging with locals to learn about this unique culinary skill. Mushrooms are a popular ingredient in Bhutanese dishes, which tend to favour cheese and chillies a lot. Surrender yourself to this immersive experience of the sights, sounds and scents of the forest. This eco-adventure is sure to be one of your most unique holiday memories of Bhutan.
Hike to Jele Dzong
Bhutan is famous for its scenic trekking trails— and its dzongs or forts. This easy hike allows visitors to enjoy an acquaintance with both these iconic features of the Bhutanese landscape. The 2-3 hour hike takes you through pristine forests and valleys following classic tracks followed by yak herders. Jele Dzong in Paro once served as the home of Ngawang Chhogyel (1465–1540), the cousin of Lama Drukpa Kunley. You can hang your prayer flag to join the others fluttering in the morning breeze.
An intrinsic part of the Bhutan experience, its glorious natural bounty, its intriguing communities and customs and its spiritual roots are sure to have you craving to return here again and again.