A Summer Waltz Through Bhutan

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Bhutan

Travelling in the company of those we love is home in motion.

Leigh Hunt

Bhutan is a brilliant summer destination that often gets overlooked by travellers. Trust us, this tiny yet mighty Land of the Thunder Dragon, which borders India, has all the enchantment and mystique, offering a unique blend of cultural richness, stunning landscapes, and spiritual tranquility. Nestled between the towering peaks and lush valleys, Bhutan offers a welcome respite from the sweltering heat, enticing travellers to revel in its pristine natural beauty and cultural treasures. Believe it or not, this is one swanky destination to explore without breaking the bank. TheGlitz has more…

Thimpu view in Bhutan - Image credit: Pema Gyamtsho via Unsplash
Thimpu view in Bhutan – Image credit: Pema Gyamtsho via Unsplash

BEST TIME TO TRAVEL

Bhutan’s peak season is divided into two parts: spring, which runs from March to May, and autumn, which spans from September to November. However, winter, which lasts from December to February, is considered the shoulder season for beating the crowds and enjoying winter at its finest, assuming you’re brave enough to withstand the weather. Finally, June to August marks the arrival of the south-east monsoon and is considered off-season, despite the fact that this may be a more economical time to visit in terms of lodging and transport.

Summer sky in Thimpu
Summer sky in Thimpu

THINGS TO DO

No matter your travel style, Bhutan has something for everyone. It caters to adventure enthusiasts, rugged trekkers, nature lovers, culture vultures, and those just looking to relax and indulge.

Druk Path Trek
Druk Path Trek

During the summer, Bhutan offers a variety of trekking options suitable for those seeking adventure. The country’s southern region experiences sub-tropical climate characteristics, combining agreeable temperatures with humidity. For trekkers interested in a challenging experience, the Snowman Trek presents a month-long expedition through isolated villages and impressive landscapes. Alternatively, the Druk Path Trek is a less strenuous, five-day trek featuring ancient forests, tranquil monasteries, and stunning mountain passes.

Amidst Bhutan’s stunning landscapes, nature lovers will find themselves in absolute bliss with rhododendron meadows and wild flower blooms surrounding the trekking trails. With enchanting panoramic views of the Himalayas and the famous 108 chortens (Buddhist stupas), the iconic Dochula Pass provides a picturesque backdrop for leisurely hikes and picnics. The serene Phobjikha Valley, home to the endangered Black-Necked Cranes, offers a serene respite where visitors can immerse themselves in the rhythms of local life while viewing these majestic birds in their native habitat.

SIGHTSEEING

Punakha Dzong
Punakha Dzong

Bhutan’s natural landscapes are nothing short of breathtaking, with soaring peaks, pristine valleys, and gushing rivers. The iconic Tiger’s Nest Monastery, perched precariously on a cliff face, is a remarkable feat of architectural ingenuity and a must-visit for its stunning location and spiritual significance. Other notable attractions include the majestic Punakha Dzong, the impressive Tashichho Dzong in Thimphu, the serene Gangtey Valley, and the scenic Chimi Lhakhang, known as the “Temple of Fertility.”

Tiger's Nest Monastery
Tiger’s Nest Monastery

CULTURE

Festive celebration Image credit: Pema Gyamtsho via Unsplash

Summer in Bhutan offers a colourful tapestry of festivals and celebrations for visitors looking for a cultural immersion experience. Bhutan’s rich cultural legacy is deeply rooted in Buddhism. The majority of the population is Buddhist, followed by Hindus. Visitors can witness captivating masked performances, vibrant costumes, and sacred rituals held in various monasteries across the country. If socialising with locals appeals to you, engaging and participating in cultural experiences like pottery-making, weaving, or archery can help you gain a better understanding of Bhutan’s way of life.

Bhutanese weaving
Bhutanese weaving

FOOD

Bhutan is predominantly Buddhist country, and the traditional Bhutanese diet features a variety of meat dishes, including pork, beef, and chicken. However, due to religious and cultural views that regard the killing of animals for food as wrong, such acts can lead to fines or arrest. Consequently, most meat consumed in Bhutan is imported, primarily from India.

Ema Datshi
Ema Datshi

The cuisine of Bhutan reflects a rich blend of influences from Tibetan, Indian, and indigenous culinary traditions. Staples of the diet include rich or noodles, complemented by a range of spicy curries, vegetable-based dishes, and meat preparations. Signature dishes of Bhutanese cuisine include Ema Datshi, a spicy dish made with chilli and cheese; Jasha Maru, a type of spicy chicken curry; and momos, which are savoury dumplings.

STAY

Bhutan offers a variety of accommodation options catering to diverse preferences and budgets, including luxury resorts and traditional homestays. A significant number of these dwellings are constructed to reflect the local architecture, incorporating detailed woodwork, colourful paintings, and elements reminiscent of dzongs.

THE POSTCARD DEWA

The Postcard Dewa
The Postcard Dewa

The Postcard Dewa in Thimpu is one such example, located within the peaceful forests on the edge of the capital city, Thimpu. This hotel is positioned to offer both a retreat from urban life and a connection to the charm of Thimpu. It features 15 spacious rooms, which include two suites, each providing extensive views of the Khasadrapchu valley and the Wang Chhu River.

The Postcard Dewa aims to provide a tranquil environment for guests, offering activities such as hikes to historical temples and trips to local markets in Thimpu. For relaxation, the hotel provides yoga, meditation, and spa services that utilise traditional Bhutanese techniques, including hot stone baths. The dining experience at The Postcard Dewa highlights Bhutanese cuisine, with dishes like Ema Datshi and Maru offering guests an authentic taste of the country’s culinary culture.

Beyond the environmental and cultural attractions, Bhutan emphasises sustainable tourism through its “High Value, Low Impact” policy, aimed at encouraging responsible travel resulting in pristine forests, rich flora and fauna, making it a truly unique destination for eco-conscious tourists.

The nation’s unspoiled natural scenery, cultural richness, and hospitable population leave an indelible mark on your soul, inspiring you to return time and again to this serene Himalayan haven.

A holiday in Bhutan never disappoints.

Cover image credit: Aaron Santelices via Unsplash

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