If you really want to get away from it all on your next holiday, hotfoot it to the country of Bhutan. Two Lightfooters have just returned and share their top 10 reasons why you should go now
1 It’s A Hiker’s Heaven
Whether it’s an hour-long stroll to a hilltop monastery or a five-night camping trek, Bhutan is all about nature, trails and stretching those legs.
2 Guides Are Exceptional
You will find first-rate guides. Their comprehensive knowledge of the area and profound pride of their country will make a deep impression on you long after you’ve returned home.
3 The Food Will Surprise You
From the boy selling deep fried chillies on the side of the road, to a steaming home-cooked lunch enjoyed in a farmhouse or a multi-course fine-dining supper – Bhutanese food is sure to make your mouth water.
4 You Can Get Off The Grid
Even if you choose to buy a local SIM card or connect to Wi-Fi at your hotel, the feeling of isolation and being inaccessible to the world still pervades. Resist the urge to pick up that smart phone!
5 Traditional Hot Stone Baths
Bhutan is home to possibly the world’s best spa therapy – traditional hot stone baths. They heat large stones over a fire and then use them to warm your bathwater. Stepping into one of these steaming tubs of mineralised goodness, particularly in the colder months, is a phenomenal feeling.
While karaoke and Bhutan might seem to be an unlikely mix, the capital Thimphu and country town of Bumthang both have a pretty pumping KTV scene. Locals sing a mix of Bhutanese and English hits, and bizarrely, Ronan Keating is quite the local favourite.
7 It’s Home To Some Of The Finest Hotels In The World
From Aman’s lodges dotted across five valleys to COMO’s boutique properties with awe-inspiring views, Bhutan’s luxury hotels are intimate, exclusive and nothing short of spectacular. Six Senses will be joining the party by launching five lodges there this year.
8 It Has A Monastery That Clings To A Cliff
Taktsang Palphug or Tiger’s Nest Monastery as it is more well-known, clings to a cliffside that is set above the rice paddy fields of Paro. It will take you between two to three-hours to trek there, but once you arrive you will be treated to a refreshing cup of tea and some of the most impressive views of the country.
9 Go Before Everyone Else Arrives
The daily USD250 per person minimum spend has kept tourist numbers at a minimum to date, but numbers are steadily increasing. The country is not built for mass tourism, so make sure that you get there before the crowds.
10 It’s The Happiest Place On Earth
With a country that rejected a GDP for a Gross National Happiness Index, you know that you will be holidaying in the right place.