For the perfect mindful getaway in 2021, this Aman Jet Expedition will be led by Shantum Seth, an ordained Dharma teacher for the last 33 years in the tradition of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh. From September 21 to October 7, 2021 — traveling through the spiritual heart of Asia to China, Bhutan, India, and Sri Lanka — this journey focuses on mindfulness and wellbeing.
This adventure takes place aboard an Airbus 318 fitted with just 19 seats in a living room configuration, complete with sofas and coffee tables — a “cocktail party in the sky”, as we like to say. Along the way, travelers stay at exclusive Aman hotels and resorts. All touring and transfers include a private car, driver, and guide for each couple or solo traveler.
This journey begins in the exciting metropolis of Shanghai buzzing with world class dining, urban magic and the fascinating juxtaposition of eye-popping steel skyscrapers on one side of the Huangpu River with gracious Art Deco architecture on the other. Stay at Amanyangyun, Aman’s fourth property in China, located in a tranquil village of historic dwellings and sacred camphor woodlands on the outskirts of Shanghai. Continuing through China to Hangzhou, Amanfayun is set amongst tea plantations, bamboo groves and ancient Buddhist temples, and is a spiritual sanctuary informed by Chinese tradition and Buddhist monastic culture.
Fly on to Bhutan, Land of the Thunder Dragon, a tiny Buddhist Kingdom perched high in the Himalayas sandwiched between Tibet and India. Stay at Amankora Thimphu in Bhutan’s capital city at an altitude of 2,350 meters (7,709 feet) surrounded by richly forested mountains dotted with ancient fort monasteries and temples. The distinct Himalayan architecture and Bhutanese traditional clothing evoke a long ago fairytale-like Shangri-la. Drive on to Paro and stay at Amankora Paro, where the undoubted highlight is hiking to Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) Monastery, one of Bhutan’s most revered monuments hanging on the face of a cliff 900 meters (2,952 feet) above the valley floor — an altitude of 3,121 meters (10,240 feet).
Next fly on to India and land in Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan known as the ”Pink City” for the color of its imposing palaces and forts. Drive two hours north to the palatial resort of Amanbagh, a former Maharajah’s hunting lodge that is now a rural oasis. After all that history and culture, it’s time to get wild in Ranthambore at Aman-i-Khás, a wilderness camp located in a brushwood forest on the fringes of Ranthambore National Park. Take a jeep safari to see tigers, deer, and the varied fauna of India.
The final country on this mindful journey is the tropical island nation of Sri Lanka. Stay in the venerable old walled town of Galle at Amangalla, within the ramparts of Galle Fort, its narrow streets lined with buildings from the Dutch and British colonial eras. End the journey in Tangalle, at Amanwella, situated in a mature coconut grove fronting a crescent-shaped beach. Spend the last days of this journey relaxing in the warm seas and skies of Sri Lanka — one last chance to get centered.
Shantum Seth has taught mindfulness to the world’s foremost educators, police, corporate sector, and other exceptional individuals for the not-for-profit Ahimsa Trust. He is considered one of the foremost experts in Buddhist sites in India. Having led transformative journeys across Asia to countries such as India, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Myanmar, Bhutan, Nepal, and Cambodia, Mr. Seth will lead this particular Aman Jet Expedition in a way never done before.
“We will cultivate the energy of mindfulness through the journey, bringing an awareness to our breath, body, feelings, and mental patterns of perception. I shall offer guidance on practices such as mindful walking, mindful eating, mindful sitting, et cetera,” Shantum Seth tells Remote Lands. “We shall experience opportunities to have formal meditation practices and reflective
periods. We shall bring attention to how our six senses are responding to the external stimuli of our trip and bring an appreciation of the gift of life and the joy of living.”