Podcast conversation with Rishi Sarma.
- Western Bhutan – Thimphu, Punakha, Gangtey, Paro
- Central Bhutan – Bumthang
- Eastern Bhutan – OTBP, multi-day white water rafting/camping, visiting with nomadic yak herders
Experiences in Bhutan are vast. A few suggestions…
- One of the biggest Buddhas in the world at 177 ft tall.
- Markets, opportunity to meet with locals, cooking lessons with a local family.
- Beautiful architecture and cultural immersion.
- Private blessing ceremony for long life and wish fulfillment.
- Temple of fertility (or divine madman)
- Rafting on the glacier-fed rivers.
- Beautiful hikes overlooking valleys and snow-capped peaks.
- Private guided meditation session with a monk.
- Private picnic overlooking the valley.
- Experience forest bathing.
- Tigers Nest Monastery (Taktsang).
- Hiking in the Himalayas – Short/ Day hikes.
Off the beaten path places & other favorites
- Eastern Bhutan
- Merak & Sakteng to understand the ways of the yak herding community
- Helicopter ride to Mt. Jhomolhari or any other high-altitude lake for a picnic champagne breakfast.
- Rafting down the Drangme Chu with camping by the river and coming out in India
- Horse riding in the valley exploring an old nobles household which is now a museum
- Westernmost valley in Bhutan. A great place for guests to get away from the usual circuits to explore rural Bhutanese life and spending a night in one of the old renovated farmhouses.
Fascinating people that you can meet while you are in Bhutan:
- Mynak Trulku Rinpoche* (on my personal list)
- Dasho Karma Ura
- Private breakfast at a monastery followed by a blessing ceremony and a private tour of the monastery by the head monk
- A Private masked dance festival (Tshechu) for a group in a remote village.
A few of Rishi’s personal favorites (watch the show for more)
- Project ZZA – a fusion restaurant that incorporates Bhutanese dishes into an international menu
- Cloud 9 – Brilliant burgers with a Bhutanese twist.
- Chig Ja Gye – Bhutanese fine dining restaurant in Bhutan. o Namgay Artisanal Brewery in Paro – Excellent place to sample local beers especially the Red Rice Lager.
- Mojo Park – the bar to go to in Thimphu for live performances and to meet locals
- Handicraft market in Thimphu for some locally produced handicrafts
- Picnic by the riverside in Talo/ Cherry area in Thimphu
- Picnic breakfast the Gangtey 360 point
- A hot stone bath in the potato fields of Gangtey
HOTELS 5-star Luxury
- Thimphu – Amankora, Six Senses
- Punakha – COMO Uma Punakha, Amankora, Six Senses, andBeyond Punakha River Lodge (to open in 2022)
- Gangtey – Gangtey Lodge, Amankora and Six Senses
- Bumthang – Amankora, Six Senses
- Paro – COMO Uma Paro, Amankora, Six Senses, Bhutan Spirit Sanctuary 4 star
- Thimphu – Taj Tashi, Zhiwaling Ascent, Druk Hotel
- Punakha – Dhensa
- Paro – Le Meridien, Naksel, Zhiwaling Heritage
- Best time to visit – March to June & October to Dec are considered peak season. Our favorite time is winter (Dec – Feb) when we get clear blue skies and snow-capped mountain views.
Other areas that can be combined with Bhutan
- Nepal – natural add-on before Bhutan, great places to visit like Chitwan National Park for Rhinos, snowcapped mountain views from Pokhara and Dhulikhel, Heritage in Kathmandu.
- Sri Lanka
- Government has mandated minimum spend ($250pppd)
- Altitude – be mindful of the destination order of your trip
- Paro is the only international airport
- There are only 2 airlines, both Bhutanese, that fly into the country. Between them, there are only 6 planes! Plan ahead. Because there may be hotel space, but you can’t actually fly in.