Bhutan culture & home stay tour

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Departure information

This trip can be tailormade at a time to suit you and can be adapted to suit your interests, budget and requirements as necessary
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

Environment
We are Partners of Conservation and have been recognized for our contribution to “Biodiversity Conservation in Bhutan”-helping our Department of Forests and Park Services save wildlife and alleviate the hardship of rural livelihood through membership fees and promoting Home Stay Tours so that farmers can generate additional income through home stays which will help offset losses resulting from wildlife damage to crops and property.

The residents of Chokor Toe encounter unique benefits and challenges as a result of living within Wanchuck Centennial Park (WCP), the biggest and newest of ten protected areas in Bhutan. WCP and WWF Bhutan have been working collaboratively to co-manage and implement several conservation and livelihood development initiatives within and around the park.

The villages in and around the park heavily depend on the park for timber, roofing materials and fuel wood. To reduce the pressure on natural resources, 5 villages were supplied with solar panels and 60 households were supplied corrugated galvanized iron (CGI) sheets for roofing.

The project, in coordination with the Mushroom Development Centre, conducted 2 training sessions on sustainable mushroom harvesting for local communities and forestry staff in Bumthang Dzongkhag.

Crop depredation by wildlife is another major concern for poaching and hunting of wild animals. To better manage the potential human-wildlife conflicts, the project is supporting local communities to take up low volume high value crops. Over 5,000 walnut seedlings were raised within the communities and supplied to the rest of the farmers through the extension network.

An anti-poaching unit has been established at the park office to oversee all anti-poaching activities and compounding offences. A Village Informant System has also been established through which information on land encroachment and poaching activities are relayed to park management by the appointed village informers; the village informers are rewarded for genuine information; and the offenders are penalized according the existing government rules.
Community

The Impacts of this Trip

Home stay in Chokor Toe offers a unique tourism opportunity to stay in an eco-friendly farmhouse and experience life in a rural village. A home stay feels like home away from home, offering travellers – foreign, regional or national – an opportunity to experience daily life on a farm in Bhutan’s countryside.

Households selected for the home stay program have been provided with support from WWF Bhutan, Wangchuck Centennial Park, Tourism Council of Bhutan, Helvetas, and Elysium Foundation. Funding has paid for materials to update infrastructure including modern toilets, showers and wood shingles, and local community members provided the labour. Twenty homes have received support to date, with 15 now open for business, ready to accommodate guests.

As part of the homestay program, 12 young women from the region received hospitality training to learn about housekeeping and cooking for guests, and general home stay management.

In addition to new infrastructure and training, communities are working to create and capitalize on an “alpine organic” feel in the region. New wood shingles highlight the traditional alpine look. Visitors can opt to enjoy outdoor cultural dances or take a dip in a hot bath drawn in an outdoor wooden tub. The ultimate intent is to provide meals made with organic produce, including milk, butter, cheese, flour, and vegetables, direct from the village. To achieve this goal, greenhouse facilities and organic seeds have been provided to promote organic farming and reduce the need for imported vegetables throughout the year.

The home stay program is designed to offer an alternative source of livelihood for farmers to minimize urban migration and distribute tourism-related income more equitably between urban and rural areas. The Home Stay initiative also aims to reduce dependence on local forest products and help offset losses resulting from wildlife damage.

Climate

3 Reviews of Bhutan culture & home stay tour

4.5 out of 5 stars
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In depth story review

“It is going to be a giggle. An absolute giggle. I just feel that there is a whole world out there that I haven’t seen. It will be absolutely amazing.”

Reviewed on 24 Mar 2019 by

It exceeded our expectations - in addition to the stunning scenery, ancient temples and welcoming people, we found it fascinating to see a country at the cusp of huge change. Read full review

Reviewed on 05 Mar 2018 by

Please don't make me choose the best highlight - but if I have too, then it was the drive from Thimphu up through the Haa Valley, which has to be one of the most beautiful places on earth - you have to see it to believe it. Read full review

Reviewed on 10 Apr 2013 by

Super!!! Tthe whole holiday was very memorable. The Tiger Nest walk, the Gangtey Valley, the Lika Monastery as well as the Wangditse Gompa were the places we liked the most. The guide and driver made our trip really special: one by answering to all our questions, the other one for driving so safely, and both for their attention and kindness Read full review

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