The Hidden Kingdom of Shangri La – Bhutan

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Visiting this tiny kingdom which lies to the south of Tibet takes you on a journey into an ethereal world. It is a real privilege to travel around one of the last remaining mountain cultures in the world and to witness the profound spirituality of the people which permeates every aspect of their daily life.

In many ways time has stood still but there are some rather forward thinking policies and beliefs including “Gross National Happiness” as the standard by which to measure the country’s wealth. Accompanied by wonderful and experienced guides who took us on unique walks to fascinating temples and hidden monasteries it really was an unforgettable adventure in the land above the clouds.

There are now a few really beautiful and comfortable hotels offering a level of service rarely found: these can be combined with long treks into the mountains and camping en route, or staying at local simple hostelries. For those who really want their comfort there are a good number of day treks from Uma Paro (a beautiful hotel owned by COMO) so you can return to the comfort of your hotel and gentle pampering at the end of the day!

There are at least 21 festivals during the year, dates not necessarily the same year after year (!) but if it is flowers you are interested in the spring months of March, April and Mayshould be the best time to visit, and if you are a biker this is one of the very best ways to get to know the people, culture and landscape. Small group departures available for these and many more.

This is a very special country and the various tourist and government taxes as well as minimum night prices, even in the most basis bed & breakfast accommodation, means it is still not a mass market destination. Added to this there are only a few flight in and out a week via Delhi or Kolkutta!

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