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The fifth and reigning Dragon King of Bhutan went to Oxford University.
The people of Bhutan denounced democracy as a show of support for the King, but he thrust it upon them anyway.
Bhutan’s national sport is archery. The top prize for larger competitions is often a car – seen as the ultimate status symbol in a country where the majority of people travel on foot.
The country’s first established brewery is called Red Panda Brewery and was opened in 2006 by Fritz Maurer, originally Swiss but a Bhutanese citizen since 1976. Red Panda beer is very strong (especially at altitude!)
Men wear goh’s, which are a Bhutanese version of the Scottish kilt worn with knee-length socks.
Himalayan Buddhists believe that after a family member has died, hoisting up 108 flags helps line the path and ease the dead into their next life. Poorer families who aren’t able to afford flags may choose 108 white stones instead.
The Snowman Trek is Bhutan’s most difficult trekking expedition. A 25-day challenge that attracts only a handful of hikers each season, crosses 11 passes over 4,500 metres, and leads them into one of the country’s most remote valleys.
Bhutan chose to have a Gross National Happiness Index instead of a GDP. They believed that it is more in line with their Buddhist principles.
Phalluses are deemed good luck in Bhutan, and phallic artwork can be seen on most doors around the country. The origin of this stems from the ‘Divine Madman’, a saint who encouraged people to discard social conventions by provoking them with obscene sexual antics. He believed that these conventions were preventing people from true Buddhist enlightenment.
From $12,080 pp
- Hiking in Taroko National Park
- Taking a dip in Taiwan’s famed hot springs
- Experiencing a handful of Taiwan’s iconic night markets – you will not go hungry on this trip!
- Spending a few days in the capital Taipei getting a sense of the island’s unique history
When to go:
From $8,630 pp
Trekking in Mongolia
Ulaanbaatar & Central Heartland
- A camping trek through some of the most remote parts of Mongolia, the western Altai Mountains
- Meeting the famed eagle hunters and staying alongside a host family
- Exploring some of the most beautiful parts of Mongolia’s heartland, including the stunning Orkhon Valley
- Spending the night in Mandala Mongolia – the most luxurious and intimate accommodation available in the country
When to go:
From $4,490 pp
Journey Through History in Berlin
- Learn about the stories of Berlin during different periods
- Admire one of the most beautiful palaces is the world – Sanssouci Palace in Potsdam
- Walk the footsteps of Hitler and examine the rise of the Third Reich
- Visit the Memorial & Museum Sachsenhausen – a former concentration camp
- Travel back to the Cold War era and experience living behind the Iron Curtain
When to go: