This is what in my opinion, Bhutan is really renowned for. These days, most people would rather explore a country on foot and by bicycle where possible, using a vehicle where necessary. Bhutan literally lends itself to exploring the country both on foot and by bicycle.
The scenery is some of the most breathtaking one will ever see, encapsulating the Himalayan mountain range. The best walks are invariably conducted in and around Paro, Punakha and Gangtey. These walks can either be a gentle amble through pine scented forests for just a couple of hours, to a full day walk (even the Taktsang monastery in Paro takes a full day to ascend and descend it) and there are mules to assist one on the upward journey, if need be.
Some of the best ways of getting around the country is to walk from one region to another. This can invariably take anything from three and more commonly, around five days to complete. For example, instead of driving along the highway, one can walk from Paro to Thimphu, the capital, or from Thimphu to Punakha, or Punakha to Gangtey.
These walks are accompanied by your wonderful, knowledgeable Bhutanese guide and they are completely private. You don’t join any other party, which is what makes it so fabulous. Accommodation is in small tents and we would normally recommend doing this in the warmer months from April through to September.
On the walks, one sees so much of Bhutanese life which is spectacular. Quite aside from the breathtaking views, one sees women carrying hay bundles on their heads, women planting chillies, chillies drying on the rooftops and the most fantastic Bhutanese architecture as all the farmhouses are built in a traditional, vernacular style. You might see the Bhutanese yak herders, bringing their yaks to greener pasture and one can have the opportunity of tasting the yak milk and cheese.
Stumble upon monks chanting from a shrine and children laughing and playing, wanting to accompany you on part of your journey. It is impossible not to be entirely overwhelmed by the warmth and friendliness of the Bhutanese people and their way of life. Walking in Bhutan offers you this opportunity to see this enchanting kingdom on an equal footing! We urge you to take your holiday to Bhutan sooner rather than later, as westernisation will soon creep in and the magical aura won’t be quite as strong.
By Marcela Kunova - 20th April 2017
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