Bhutan, happiness is a place
Roughly the size of Switzerland, this Buddhist kingdom welcomes just over 200,000 visitors a year. Bhutan’s policy of high value, low impact tourism (including a visitor tax of $200 / $250 a day, depending on the season) aims at attracting discerning travelers who will respect the country’s unique culture. It also means the lucky few can experience one of the most remote and pristine environments on earth in blissful solitude.
Only a handful of pilots are qualified to land at Bhutan’s precipitous airport in Paro, a short drive from one of our favourite hideaways, COMO Uma Paro. From this zen sanctuary, you can strike out to monastic fortresses and stupas fluttering with prayer flags, where saffron-robed monks pray to the beat of drums and chorus of conch shells.
Let us map out your spiritual journey of discovery at Amankora, a collection of five luxury lodges scattered around Bhutan’s evergreen valleys.
Trek through misty forests of rhododendron clinging to vertical cliffs, glacial rivers rushing far below cantilevered bridges. Learn about your past and future lives at a monastic astrology academy, have lunch with monks at a 12th-century temple, or hike to Tiger’s Nest, hanging over a cliff 900 metres high. Legend has it that the Buddhist master Guru Rinpoche ascended here on a flying tigress, bringing Buddha’s teachings with him.
(Images courtesy of AMAN and COMO Uma Paro)