Monday, May 13, 2013

Bhutan, the Secret Garden

This program tells the story of natural medicine in Bhutan and the highlanders who collect these very special native plants.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Visit Yangdon With Us!

Travel to Yangdon with Golden Sky Adventure!

Where is Yangdon, you ask? Yangdon is an imaginary kingdom that looks exactly like Bhutan except that all its citizens are Filipino!

Still confused? Well, actually, a Filipino television series called 'The Princess and I' was recently filmed in Bhutan. It must have been very popular - interest in Bhutan from The Philippines seems to be growing!

Are you a fan of 'The Princess and I'? Tour Yangdon Bhutan with us and you'll be able to visit all the locations used from the show like Punakha Dzong and sites around Thimphu (Buddha Point and the National Memorial Chorten). You'll have the chance go shopping for your own beautiful Yangdon costumes, of course!

Thimphu fabric shop

Saturday, May 19, 2012

We're still here.

Wow! So sorry, our website disappeared for over two weeks because of a glitch caused by but not resolved by our domain name provider. We are changing companies now. We apologize for the technical difficulties. We are definitely still going strong and still taking your bookings for Bhutan adventures this summer and fall.

blue sky and prayers

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A good day to start a journey?

Which day is best for hoisting prayer flags, for welcoming a guest or for starting a new business? How can I do everything to make sure my wedding, important meeting or land sale goes well?

To find the most auspicious day to do something, you might consult the zakar. Zakar is the Bhutanese version of a horoscope, based on astrological predictions. Zakar are published in newspapers on a weekly forecast to allow people to plan for the coming week. Both favourable days and unfavourable days are indicated for different tasks and decisions. And just like western-style horoscopes, the different newspapers may contain different interpretations of the zakar. Why not compare BBS's zakar with Bhutan Observer's?

So, what happens if the one day you must do something is shown to be inauspicious? Well, there are ways around it. For example, if its not advised to shift to a new home on the day you've hired people to move your furniture, you can cheat a little by taking some items over to your new home on an earlier, more favourable day. What if you're setting off on a long journey tomorrow but the zakar tells you tomorrow is inauspicious for travel? You can pack your suitcases and put them in the car tonight - it means you've already started the journey!

early morning Paro

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Glorious Tiger's Nest!

This magnificent photo of the Tiger's Nest monastery in Paro, Bhutan was shot by our recent guest "Ice" Sarunyu from Thailand.

Talk about talented! Ice is a well-known pop star as well as being a skilled photographer!

Thanks for letting us share your photo, Ice. We're glad you had a great time in Bhutan.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Trip Itineraries: Bumthang Cultural Trek

Bumthang Cultural Trek

The charming and peaceful Bumthang valley is the spiritual heartland of Bhutan and is home to some of its oldest Buddhist temples and monasteries. The three day trek is one of the country's less strenuous itineraties. It passes through remote villages and along glacial streams on its meandering route through gentle countryside, and provides an exceptional opportunity for contact with Bhutanese rural life.

faded by bright sun

10 day/11 night tour: Paro-Thimphu-Trongsa-Bumthang-Ngang Lhakhang-Ugyenchholing-Bumthang-Punakha-Paro
Seasons: March-May and September-November
Maximum Elevation: 3,360 m
Total Distance: about 48 km

Day 1 : Arrive Paro

The Druk Airways flight to Bhutan is one of the most spectacular in the world. You will experience breathtaking views of Mt. Everest, Kanchenjunga, Jomolhari and other Himalayan peaks. Whether flying along the Himalayan range from Kathmandu or over the foothills from the southeast, each flight is a mesmerizing aeronautical feat and offers an exciting descent into the Kingdom.

On arrival at Paro airport: immigration and custom formalities and then received by your guide and transfer to your hotel.

Take a stroll around town’s main street. Overnight at the hotel in Paro.

Day 2 : Paro
Full day of sightseeing in Paro. In the morning, visit Ta Dzong, built in 1651 as a watchtower for Rinpung Dzong (Paro Dzong) and in 1968 inaugurated as the National Museum. The museum collection includes ancient Bhutanese art and artifacts, weapons, coins, stamps and a small natural history collection. Also visit Rinpung Dzong, built in 1646 to defend the valley against Tibetan invaders. It now houses the district administration offices and Paro’s monastic community. 

After lunch, drive up the valley to Drukgyel Dzong, built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to commemorate his victory over Tibetan invaders. We may also have time to visit the 7th century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest monasteries of the kingdom. 

Overnight at the hotel in Paro.

Day 3 : Paro – Thimphu
Drive to Thimphu, the modern capital of Bhutan. About 7 km. before Thimphu, pause briefly to admire Bhutan’s most ancient fortress Simtokha Dzong (built in 1627), rising up from a small hilltop on the right side of the road. 

After lunch, visit as time permits: the National Memorial Chorten (built as a memorial to Bhutan’s third king and as a monument to world peace); the National Institute of Traditional Medicine (outside only) where herbal medicines are made up and dispensed and traditional medicine practitioners are trained; the Institute for Zorig Chusum, where students learn the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan; the National Library, which houses an extensive collection of Buddhist literature including many ancient Buddhist texts in block-printed format; Tashichhodzong, (‘the fortress of the glorious religion’), which houses some ministries, His Majesty’s secretariat, and the central monk body. 

Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.

Day 4 : Thimphu – Trongsa
Drive to Tongsa via Dochu-la pass (3,088m). On a clear day there is a superb view from here of
Bhutanis highest peaks. On a clear day, the following peaks can be seen from this pass (left to right): Masagang (7,158m), Tsendegang (6,960m), Terigang (7 ,060m), Jejegangphugang (7,158m), Kangphugang (7,170m), Zongaphugang (7,060m) a table mountain that dominates the isolated region of Lunana, and finally, Gangkar Puensum, the highest peak in Bhutan at 7,497m.Continue on to Wangduephodrang town, which is also our lunch stop. Then proceed to Tongsa over Pele-la pass (3,300m), the traditional boundary between east and west. Overnight at the lodge in Trongsa.

Day 5 : Trongsa – Bumthang

Morning visit to striking Tongsa Dzong, ancestral abode of Bhutan’s royal family. Then visit the Ta Dzong, built as a watchtower to guard Tongsa Dzong. Proceed to Bumthang and in the afternoon visit the 17th century Jakar Dzong and then Kurje monastery, built in the 17th century to mark the place where Guru Padmasambhava had meditated in the 8th century, leaving his body imprint on the rock. Overnight at the lodge in Bumthang.

Day 6 : Bumthang – Ngang Lhakhang

14km, 6 hours
The trek begins today. The trek route follows the Chamkhar Chu (river), taking us through meadows, forests of blue pine and scrub bamboo. We will pass by many villages and temples, on this very relaxing and easy day. Camp overnight at village (2,900m).

Day 7 : Ngang Lhakhang – Ugyenchholing

23 km, 8 hours
The trail ascends gradually through juniper forest towards Phephe-la pass (3,340m). From there, the path descends to Tang valley, finally arriving at Ugyenchholing village (2,850m). Camp overnight by the side of the river near the village.

Day 8: Ugyenchholing-Bumthang
11km, 4 hours
In the morning, walk up to Ugyenchholing Palace, a beautiful private mansion which also houses a small eco-museum, then drive to Jakar (Bumthang) following the Tang Chu until arriving at the main road. On the way visit the Mebar Tso Lake, where Terton Pema Lingpa is said to have discovered religious treasures in the 15th century. This lake is very sacred, and on auspicious days many Bhutanese people go there to offer butter lamps. Overnight at the lodge in Bumthang

Day 9 : Bumthang - Punakha
Morning visit to Jambey Lhakhang, built in the 7th century by the Tibetan king, Songtsen Gampo, who is believed to be the incarnation of Jambey (Avalokitesvara), the Bodhisattva of Compassion. Tamshing Lhakhang, across the river, is also an important place to visit, as it houses old and interesting religious paintings. Drive to Punakha with lunch en route. Overnight at the hotel in Punakha.

Day 10: Punakha-Paro
Today we drive to Paro. It will be a relaxing day, as we reach Paro by lunch time. Free time for leisure or last minute shopping in the afternoon. Take a stroll around Paro market in the evening.
Overnight at the hotel in Paro.

Day 11 : Paro Depart
Early breakfast in the hotel and drive to the airport for flight to onward destination.

chorten and mountain view

Friday, April 6, 2012

Featured Video: Range Rover in Bhutan

British auto company Range Rover filmed this five minute video in Bhutan. The music they used is mostly NOT Bhutanese but besides that, you can get a look at the scenery and the roads. A few nice glimpses of Thimphu town, too!