Bhutan is very intriguing, with many reasons to visit Check off your bucket list with a visit to Tiger’sTiger’s Nest monastery, the sacred Buddhist site clinging to the cliffs. It can be a cultural immersion while sharing spicy food with locals. And for the ultimate wellness experience – drumroll, please – hop across the country via Six Senses’Senses’ five new eco-lodges.
Attend one of Bhutan’s many Tshechu (Religious Festival)
The festivals, staged in different locations throughout the country, are a must-see. Thimphu and Paro’sParo’s tshechus are the most popular. Celebrated in September or October and March or April, depending on the lunar calendar. Feast your eyes on the colorful costumes and masks. Pique your imagination in the storytelling and performances that pass Bhutanese mythology from one generation to another.
Hike Bhutan’s Sacred Path to Tiger’s Nest
In Paro Valley is this iconic monastery sitting on the edge of a cliff. Inspired Travel Designs can set you up with a guide who will convey Bhutan’sBhutan’s rich history and folklore; the hike is a nearly four-mile, moderate trail. (Legend has it that a Buddhist guru arrived here on the back of a tigress.)
Dochula Pass Meditation Caves, Bhutan
A hidden surprise awaits the few who want to take the off-the-beaten path along the road of Bhutan’s current capital, Thimphu.
These meditation caves resemble a Hobbit home. A colorful painting of Buddhist symbolism and stone-built open-faced caverns makes it interesting.
The druk, or dragon—Bhutan’s long-time national symbol and spirit animal—stretches over the cave entrance, bringing good luck and tidings.
Chimi Lhakhang – Dedicated to Buddhism’s “Divine Madman”
Generally, Buddhism equates to serenity, peace, and beauty – no different with Chimi Lhakhang – this has a lot more male form (penises)!
Buddhist leader Drukpa Kunley – The “Divine Madman” spreads wisdom through an active sex life, full of wine, women, and poetry. His penis is a symbol that is sometimes known as the “Thunderbolt of Flaming Wisdom.”
Visitors from all over the world still travel to the monastery for a blessing of fertility.
Mebar Tsho – The Burning Lake of Bhutan
The legend says that the water contains a hidden holy treasure uncovered by Terton Pema Lingpa in the 1400s.
This is one of the region’s most sacred places and a pilgrimage site for many people. A display of colorful flags of prayers is found around the altar, and butter lamps are scattered on the riverbanks as a tribute.
Dig Into Momo and Ema Datshi
Momo (Bhutanese dumplings) come filled with meat, cheese, and spices; ema datshi, a stew of chilies and cheese, is Bhutan’sBhutan’s national dish – watch out for the spice level!
Shop for Traditional Textiles
Fill your home with souvenirs. For this trip, look out for a woven yathra throw or coveted kishuthara silk piece to support Chumey and Khoma weaving communities and add a splash of color – and some of the country’s Gross National Happiness – to your home.
Six Senses Bhutan
Six Senses debuted five lodges in Thimphu, Punakha, Paro, Gangtey, and Bumthang. Guests can stay at a single property or let the company design four- to ten-night multi-lodge tours, with activities at each tailored to their interests. Staying at multiple lodges immerses guests into Bhutan’s spirituality, culture, and hospitality as you travel between five individual lodges.
They are comprised of five lodges across the country Amankora is built to meld with its environment. Amankora Punakha, you can find rice terraces in its surroundings. And Amankora Bumthang is where visitors can join local monks in prayer. During the pandemic pause, the hotel planted several acres of sustainable crops to support local communities and staff. Doors reopened, and travelers can now visit monasteries and hike to ancient cliffside temples. Virtuoso travelers through Inspired Travel Designs receive breakfast daily and a $100 resort credit.
Would you like a wellness trip to the Himalayas? Let’s chat!
Produced by Inspired Travel Designs with Virtuoso Travel