Bhutan has some extraordinary and beautiful luxury lodges to spend time in, but I think that this is best tempered with some private camping en route, if one has the time.
For example, there is a wonderful camp in Paro which, when staying at the Uma Hotel in Paro, one can access for a night or two during the warmer months.
The adventure begins with an early morning drive up to the Sang Choekor to meet your ponies. The initial 1–2 hour ascent of a ridge, which is steep at times though also in cool shade, brings you to a clearing with prayer flags and view down into both the Paro and Do Chhu valleys.
Above and ahead the Chhoe Chhoe Tse Lhakhang (temple) nestles in the mountainside. The trail undulates for a while before the last steep pull up to the pretty temple which boasts commanding views south over Paro northwards to the snow capped Himalaya. After a final 20 minutes climb through ruins and fluttering prayer flags, with a last glance southwards, you plunge back into ancient forest traversing for about 40 minutes then come out onto a high and wide meadow dotted with sacred chortens and prayer flags.
Your home for the night is tucked in under Bumdra Monastery (cave of a thousand prayers) making the most of the awesome views of the Himalayan range. After lunch, you can visit the monastery (if it is occupied) and also climb the peak to the north (about 4000m) for even better views, returning in time for a warming camp-style dinner.
Otherwise, look at our walking and trekking holidays, where you can camp out for anything from 3 nights to a week – which is entirely privately guided just for you. Walk from perhaps Paro to Thimphu or around Punakha or from Punakha to Paro.
The camp is simple, with separate toilet facilities – and erected in places which offer the most sublime views. Spend time taking in the breathtaking countryside, seeing the farmers working in their fields, the children laughing and playing, the women drying chillies on the rooftops.
This gives you the opportunity of not only being on a journey from one place to another in the true sense of the word, but absorbing the warmth and peacefulness of the Bhutanese countryside and her people surrounding you. This is the best way to experience the culture and the scenery and to be active at the same time. In April and May, the rhododendrons are in flower which makes this area so beautiful and you walk through magnificent pine forests with their heavenly scent.
Why not consider an overnight camp when you have your holiday in Bhutan?
By Marcela Kunova - 20th April 2017
Nicola Shepherd, founder and CEO of The Exploration Company, organises unusual trips for HNW and UHNW clients ranging from birthday parties at an Indian Maharajah's palace to reliving Sir Vivian Fuchs's 1950s expedition to the South Pole. Citywealth caught ...
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