The magnificent Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan offers a wonderful amalgam of culture, spirituality, exceptionally friendly people and a variety of walking and trekking in an unspoiled natural environment. Prayer flags and Buddhist monuments are a constant reminder that this is a deeply spiritual land.
Flying into Paro we first transfer to Bhutan’s capital, Thimpu. We visit Tashicho Dzong housing the Office of the King, learn about the Royal family and the governing of Bhutan including the philosophy of measuring the country’s progress with “Gross National Happiness”. We also view traditional Yathra weaving – one of the thirteen traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan. Travelling by road east to Punakha crossing the stunning Dochu La Pass (3,088m) with incredible views of the Great Himalaya. We take gentle walks in the Punakha area including the Nobgang Village hike, which passes a village school, and through valley orchards. Finally we return to the Paro Valley where we meet a local farming family and have the option to try the national sport of Archery. The spectacular hike to Taktshang “Tigers Nest” Monastery is a fitting highlight on which to conclude.
If travel dates permit, attending a village tsechu festival will be included in this customised journey.
Western style breakfasts feature fresh juice, fruit, muesli, yoghurt and porridge, eggs and breads while for lunch picnics are based on traditional dishes. Bhutanese cuisine strongly features red rice, nuttier in flavour and grown at high altitude. Butter and cheese are produced from both yak and cow milk and meats include chicken, yak, beef, pork and mutton. Stews of meat, lentils, rice and dried vegetables are flavoured with chilli peppers, cardamon, ginger, garlic, thingay (Sichuan pepper), caraway and turmeric. Momos (steamed dumplings filled with vegetables or meat), are a popular snack in Bhutan.
Bhutanese and International cuisine is available for dining at both Uma properties and Taj Tashi in this program.