Small group tour to Bhutan
Description of Small group tour to Bhutan
If youíre thinking Bhutan then this small group tour is certain to take you on an unforgettable journey into the realm of one of Asiaís best kept secret kingdoms.
Having only recently opened its doors to travellers, Bhutan provides a fascinating example of life in between India and Tibet thatís still, as yet, undiscovered by backpackers and coach loads of trekkers.
From picturesque and dramatic mountain scenery to precariously placed monasteries and peaceful Buddhist communities, this is a land where smiles and symbolism are as prevalent as incense, temples and red robed monks.
Happiness in Bhutan is measured much higher than materialism and money. From the paddy fields of Paro Valley to Punakha Dzong and the Tiger's Nest Monastery, this is a gentle introduction to the Land of the Thunder Dragon with optional hikes taking travellers to new heights, in every sense.
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PlanetWildlife conservation is the practice of protecting wild plant and animal species, as well as their habitats, and itís become increasingly more important due to the negative effects of human activity on the environment. The national animal of Bhutan is the takin, which is associated with religious history and mythology. Itís an incredibly rare animal with a thick neck and short muscular legs. They live in groups and are found at altitudes of over 4,000 metres in north-western and far north-eastern parts of the country. They also feed on bamboo and can weigh more than 200kg when fully grown.
The Motithang Takin Preserve is a wildlife reserve created to protect these unique animals. Originally a tiny zoo in Thimphu, it contained a small number of takin, but the King of Bhutan later decreed that it was improper for a Buddhist nation to keep animals in captivity. So, they were later set free and the zoo was shut down, but for some reason the takin refused to leave the area. When visit the reserve, we remind our guests that feeding or getting too close to the animals is not allowed.
Due to rapid socio-economic development, increasing population and urbanisation, Bhutan is seeing a significant rise in the amount of solid waste produced Ė a large proportion of which is non-biodegradable. To do our bit to help, we opt for biodegradable bags rather than non-biodegradable ones. We keep rubbish bins in our transportation vehicles to allow our travellers to dispose of their waste properly and during shopping trips, we also advise passengers to use paper or reusable bags, instead of plastic ones.
PeopleWe always encourage our travellers to shop from traditional artisans and for locally made products, which helps to keep customs alive. Whilst in Bhutan, passengers will have the opportunity to buy local wares such as hand-woven cloths, furniture and locally-grown produce. Bhutanese arts and crafts are usually handmade, and we visit several places selling them including a craft centre where profits support the crafters.
An important part of exploring somewhere new is about interacting with the local people, in order to gain an understanding of their culture, heritage and customs. On day five of this trip, we spend the evening at a Bhutanese homestay where travellers will enjoy a home-cooked meal and have the chance to experience a real taste of local life.
On several occasions the group will visit important Buddhist temples, and when doing so itís essential for our travellers to behave respectfully. For instance, when visiting the world-famous Tigerís Nest Monastery, a very sacred and holy place, our leaders will remind passengers to remove their shoes and backpacks before entering as well as advising them against taking photos of the inside of the temple.