Bhutan Review

By Sarita Anand

Someone recently asked if I had been to Bhutan as they were planning a trip. My answer was yes, which was followed by the usual... can you highlight some of your moments. My trip was still quite fresh in my mind, as just the previous year I had the opportunity to travel with ‘Women Traveller’ to this Magical Kingdom. I was assured from the get-go that it would be an experience never to be forgotten.

Flying into Bhutan and my first view of the mighty and magnificent Himalayas was mesmerizing.

The airport was like none other. The imposing portraits of the handsome King, Queen and the young prince welcomed us. The transport was waiting for us and we were soon whisked away to our first port of stay at Thimphu. Women Traveller took care of every detail and we were settled into Taj Tashi immediately.

The drive to Punakha was comfortable with our local guide and our lovely tour hosts. The mystical beauty across Dochu La Pass with it’s 108 stupas was a photographer’s paradise.

At Punakha we stayed at the lovely RKPO Green Resort. The view was out of this world. We visited the Punakha Dzong which was majestic and most photogenic. There were a lot of firsts for me and so grateful to Women Traveller who encouraged me to join the group of women for the exciting River Rafting on the Mo Chu River. We had enough time to move around and mingle with the locals if we wished and it was lovely to see the men in their traditional dress which is the Gho and the women in their Kira and a light jacket known as a Tego.

When in Paro we stayed at Naksel Boutique Hotel. Naksel means forest and we were in the midst of green pine forest on the slopes of the snow peaked mountain with stunning views of the misty mountains surrounding us and the valley below. It was as though my hosts knew exactly what I wanted and provided for me.

The most interesting part of my visit to Bhutan was again a first. Mountain climbing and to the famed Taktsang Monastery. I had heard and read of the Tiger Nest Monastery but never in my wildest dream thought I could go and meditate there. The climb was challenging and without my host who accompanied me with a guide, I could never have reached the top. Her gentle persuasion and the firm grip took me right to top of the world. The nest clinging to the mountainside with mist swirling around made it seem just out of a fairytale. It was worth every bit of my exhausted breath. The walk down was treacherous. But I finally touched base to the loud sounds of applause.

It was sad leaving this lovely kingdom, which is a world apart from the rest. The flight back was as mesmerizing the minute the vast expanse of the Himalayan range came in view. Our host made sure my seat selection had a view to die for.

I recommend Women Traveller as their next tour guide to all women who want to be pampered and indulged. Thank you for this luxurious and thoughtful trip to Mystical Bhutan.