Bhutan

Cultural Travel for Women to Bhutan

Some people want fast cars, some want fancy houses, while I continue to want a trip to Bhutan. Cultural travel for women to Bhutan is special because Bhutan honors women in a way that most cultures do not. Weaving is still a sacred tradition in Bhutan, and women who are weaving are not bothered , as they are considered to be in communication with the Divine. I discovered this while doing some research about cloth and textiles around the world. In addition to their textile honoring, the Bhutanese are a people that have long been disconnected from the world until the late 1980′s. This fact alone makes me want to get on a plane tomorrow. In the spring, there is the Paro festival which is the unfurling of a giant cloth (banner or Thangka). To witness this unfurling, in the wee hours of the morning, is to relinquish all sins of a lifetime. (Another reason to go). If you’re considering going, know that in Bhutan, the government requires that you spend a minimum of $200.00 per day while there. It is also my understanding that you cannot just wander about. Instead, it is required that you have some sort of guide while there. Speaking of guides, you might want to check out cultural travel for women only to Bhutan with Beth Whitman. In 2013, she is offering a tour of Bhutan during the Paro festival. This sounds pretty wonderful to me.

This 12-day tour gives participants the rare chance to witness the Paro Festival which features the unfurling of the country’s largest thongdrel(banner). Occurring in the middle of the night, this sacred event is attended by thousands of Bhutanese. It’s believed that just witnessing this festival, you’ll rid yourself of a lifetime of sins!

Other  unique cultural aspects of this Buddhist Kingdom featured during this tour are visits to impressive dzongs (temples), ancient villages, monasteries and a nunnery. In addition to the Paro Festival, a highlight is the hike to Tiger’s Nest.

 

Taktshang_most famous temple in Bhutan photo by Pierre L

Taktshang_most famous temple in Bhutan photo by Pierre L

If you are considering a cultural trip for women to Bhutan, read this book first, ( Matthieu Ricard’s Bhutan: The Land of Serenity), then call or email Beth Whitman. She has been 8 times to Bhutan and really knows the ropes. Read about her trip to Bhutan for women only next year and the Paro festival here.

 

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Senior Travel to Bhutan, the Last Frontier

There are few places left in the world that are still frontiers in the sense of offering an exclusive glimpse into culture. Senior travel to Bhutan, the last frontier is possible. Seniors are undervalued in the west. But in some cultures in the east such as Bhutan, Indonesia, parts of India, Japan, people are honored for their wisdom and time on the earth.  Bhutan opened its arms to the world a mere 24 years ago when the country first allowed outsiders to visit. In 1999, Bhutan became the last country in the world to introduce television and the internet. There are five distinct seasons in Bhutan, and the climate varies from sub tropical in the south, to polar in the northern parts.

Central Bhutan

Central Bhutan

 

Senior travel to Bhutan, the last frontier, is a place that is rather challenging to get to, however don’t let this deter you from making those plans to travel there. In an article in the Huffington Post,

The country of Bhutan is a hard place to visit — and not just because the land-locked nation is high in the Himalayas, hidden between India and China, east of Nepal.

The government puts a cap on the number of visas it will dole out to visitors annually, and in 2010, fewer than 29,000 tourists made it into the country. A government-mandated “tariff,” or amount visitors are required to spend daily, discourages independent tourism. Currently visitors must spend $250 a day for the high-season months of March, April and May; almost all visitors book a package tour that complies with the rules.

So it’s rare to get a look at the country off the beaten path, though a few foreign news sources have published stories about the country recently, including a look at Bhutan’s festivals, its luxury hotels and its incredible (and under-appreciated) hikes.

 

An image tells the story far better than words. Senior travel to Bhutan, the last frontier, can be witnessed in these wonderful images taken by Hadeel Halim. You can read more about Bhutan here.

 

 

 

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