Every moving part of the itinerary was perfectly planned and executed. The day to day program [Remote Lands] devised took into account all of our individual interests and preferred levels of activity.
Home to the lion's share of Bhutan's sacred sites and ancient temples, Bumthang is arguably the most historic area in all of Bhutan. Bumthang is known for its apples, wheat, and honey production, as well as its unique dialect, influenced by the Tibetan language. Due to its numerous landmarks and exquisite natural beauty, much of Bumthang is protected as a natural preserve. Enter a landscape of forested valleys, gentle hills capped with whitewashed monasteries, and azure skies.
Highlights of Bumthang include Jakar Dzong, a mighty fortress that is the largest one in the country; the tasty Red Panda Brewery, a microbrewery operation that is the first of its kind in Bhutan, and was founded by a Swiss citizen; and Wangdicholing Palace, once home to the royal family of Bhutan.
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Our co-founder & CEO Catherine Heald counts her dinner with the Bhutanese royal family, and her private rinpoche blessing, as two of her most treasured travel memories.
Visit a local village and receive a "chipdrel" ceremony in your honor. An age-old Bhutanese custom, the chipdrel is a lively and colorful procession in which residents carry Bhutan's distinctive prayer flags and chant prayers for your well-being.
Spend the afternoon with the villagers as they go about their various daily activities, including pounding rice, threshing wheat, and spinning and weaving.
Wedding Vow Renewal Ceremony
Renew your vows with a traditional Bhutanese ceremony, a lively, spiritual event where red-robed monks chant, ring bells, and play six-foot long trumpets. Afterwards, sample exotic foods, from fried momos, or dumplings, to casseroles of meat, potatoes, and cheese cooked with chilies, as well as beverages distilled from a wide range of ingredients, including barley, wheat, millet, and rice.
Visit a local school and trade tidbits of your life and culture with the eager pupils. If you wish, teach an informal English or geography lesson – in Bhutan, English is a standard part of the curriculum.
Visit Jakar Dzong, said to be the largest dzong, or fortress, in Bhutan.The current structure was built in 1667 but was damaged once by fire and again by a major earthquake in 1897. Hike to the dzong via a stone-paved path, which will offer you stunning views of Choskhor valley.
Red Panda Brewery
Visit the Red Panda Brewery and enjoy a tour and tasting at this unique beer factory founded in 2006 by Fritz Maurer, a Swiss man who became a Bhutanese citizen in 1976. The brewery was the first of its kind in Bhutan, producing both a local beer called Weissbier and apple juice, for those who prefer non-alcoholic beverages.
Also visit Mr. Maurer’s Swiss Farm, home to Bhutan’s only commercial cheese factory. Maurer introduced modern farm equipment to the area, as well as green technology such as fuel efficient, smokeless wood stoves. If he is available, meet him and chat about his current projects and his relationship with the fairytale kingdom he now calls home.
Attend an evening prayer session at Wangdicholing Palace, the former residence of the Bhutanese royal family. Today, approximately 26 young monks reside and study in the palace, and every night they gather to perform prayers and chants in the altar room. The monks will also utilize drums and horns in their ceremony, and each session lasts approximately one hour.
Membartsho (Burning Lake)
Visit Membartsho, or Burning Lake, a famous site in eastern Bhutan. Physically, this beautiful lake is actually just a widening of the Tang Chhu River. There are prayer flags strewn across it, as this is a Buddhist holy site where Pema Lingpa, one of the most illustrious tertons, or “treasure finders,” of Vajrayana Buddhism, performed the second of his two miraculous acts. (The first act occurred at a smaller lake fed by water from the Tang Chhu River.)
Enjoy a classic tour of Bhutan’s beautiful countryside on this 14-day journey from Paro to Thimpu. You’ll visit such time-honored spots as Drukgyel Dzong, Tiger’s Nest Monastery, and Gangtey Monastery, step into the lush Tang Valley, all while staying in luxurious Amankora hotels dotted across the country.
See the contrast of two cultures as they’re juxtaposed before your eyes on this 16-day luxury journey through Thailand’s Bangkok and Bhutan. You’ll compare the glimmering Grand Palace and Wat Arun to the ancient architecture of Bhutan’s monasteries, raft the Mo Chu river, and spend nights at the luxurious Amankora.
Take a ride on the open road through Bhutan’s stunning countryside, as you’re chauffeured from Paro to Thimpu in your luxury vehicle. You’ll marvel at religious sites like Rimpung Dzong and Drukgyel Dzong, interact with local families at their farms, and enjoy luxury stays at luxurious Amankora hotels.
Spend 22 days traveling from India to Bhutan on this luxurious adventure of a lifetime. Shop in New Delhi’s world-famous Chandni Chowk market, dine at the Calcutta Polo Club, and marvel at the ancient Tibetan Buddhist Ghoom Monastery, while staying in luxury hotels like Amankora and Oberoi.
Experience the natural beauty of Bhutan on this exciting 12-day trek through some of the country’s most picturesque scenery. You’ll step into the past at the ancient Kyichu Lhakhang Temple, explore the Kuri Chhu river on foot, and make a pilgrimage to Singye Dzong, while staying at luxury hotels like the Amankora.
Take an unforgettable trek through Bhutan’s charming rural communities on this 14-day journey. You’ll visit the incredible Tiger’s Nest monastery, along with Bumthang’s plentiful religious sites and temples, and trek to the Tang Chu river’s sacred Burning Lake, while staying at luxurious Amankora hotels along the way.
Amankora Bumthang is a recently opened Amankora in Bhutan, with views of buckwheat, millet and potato fields, an apple orchard, and Wangdicholing Palace, the Kingdom’s oldest palace, which is now a monastery. There are 16 suites complete with a bukhari and views of the courtyard and palace. Amankora Bumthang has a spa with three treatment rooms and a steam room. There is no business center, but the Library has an Internet station and WiFi access. The resort is approximately nine hours from the airport in Paro.
Six Senses Bhutan
In Spring 2017, Six Senses will open five luxury lodges in Bhutan, creating a "Six Senses Journey" through Thimphu, Gangtey, Punakha, Bumthang and Paro. Built in a style sympathetic to their rural Himalayan surroundings, the Six Senses Bhutan lodges will offer guests total intimacy, with a mere 82 suites across all five lodges. Six Senses' keynote features - eco-friendly design, personal service and wellness - will of course characterise the new Six Senses Bhutan product, and we at Remote Lands look forward to offering these new properties to our clients.