Notes from Bhutan


We recently spent some time in Bhutan, a small country in the Himalayan foothills between India and Tibet. The historic isolation has everything to do with the attractiveness and charm of a country that only recently admitted Western tourists in small, controlled numbers. Visas and prepaid travel arrangements are required prior to arrival.

Our days were filled with discovering Bhutan and its rich Buddhist history, represented in many temples, shrines and stupas. Access to these institutions Is easy to moderate, sometimes requiring a healthy hike of an hour or two. Do not be surprised seeing traditionally clad monks using cell phones and wearing Crocs.

Hiking, trekking, whitewater rafting, fishing, and mountain biking are available options to the traveler. Shopping is very limited to local handicrafts and textiles.

We found more than perfect accommodations at AMANKORA, a unique circuit of lodges set throughout the Kingdom of Bhutan. These lodges rage from 8-24 suites per unit. Accommodations contrast the rustic with contemporary, and the excellent food provides many choices between Bhutanese/Indian and Western at breakfast and dinner with an open bar. We enjoyed our picnic lunches while hiking and touring this unspoiled, green mountain paradise.

Wido Schaefer