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National Geographic Expeditions recently announced that it will be taking travelers to Bhutan beginning in 2024.
Visiting this country on the Himalayan mountains’ eastern edge offers views of dramatic landscapes and stunning architecture. Guests will be immersed in centuries-old traditions ardently protected by its government and its people, and meet with Bhutanese dignitaries offering once-in-a-lifetime conversations as guests learn about this unique country.
Let’s take a look at what guests will experience in Bhutan with National Geographic Expeditions. These are just highlights of all the amazing sights and experiences guests encounter, so be sure to see our website for a complete and detailed itinerary.
The first day in Bhutan includes a visit to a monastery where a monk will offer a blessing for safe travels. This blessing is a common Bhutanese practice and is your introduction to the local culture.
The journey on this 11-day excursion continues to Thimphu, the Phobjika Valley, Punakha and Paro.
In Thimphu, guests will stop at the Zangdok Pelri Temple, see the 169-foot Buddha Dordenma statue, hear from Buddhist practitioners and even participate in a butter lamp lighting ceremony. Following lunch, at the Institute of Thirteen Arts and Crafts, guests will see amazing artwork and a traditional painting demonstration. One of the most significant elements of this trip happens at the Folk Heritage Museum. Here guests will meet with a member of the King’s Court for a question-and-answer session followed by dinner at the museum.
Next, the beautiful Dochula Pass and its spectacular views will greet you as you stand in awe of the Himalayan mountains. In the Phobjikha Valley, touring a 450-year-old monastery, hiking in the forested areas to spot birds and wildlife, plus visiting a local farming community and having butter tea and lunch with a local farmer are just a few of the special moments in this region. Guests will also learn about the Black-Necked Crane and the local efforts to preserve and protect their roosting areas.
In Punakha, guests will engage with local villagers as you explore the countryside, Buddhist monasteries, the 520-foot suspension bridge, and the Punakha Dzong, an architectural wonder and the most important fortress in Bhutan.
Paro is also a delight. Here, guests will tour the National Museum to view the finest Bhutanese art collection of more than 3,000 pieces spanning 1,500 years of the country’s history, and visit the iconic Tiger’s Nest Monastery.
This is a dream trip for many reasons — the country has long protected its culture and has limited tourism. Known for its Gross National Happiness (GNH) Index, tourism and overall lifestyle are closely monitored by the government to contribute to the collective happiness of its people. For example, there are nine key markers that are measured, including culture, community and the environment.
To learn more, visit National Geographic Expeditions.
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