“No place on earth has lodged itself in my spirit quite like tiny, soulful, stunningly beautiful Bhutan. Traversing its soaring mountain passes, exploring each verdant valley more breathtaking than the last, and most of all, basking in the huge-hearted welcome of the Bhutanese people – a journey through this remote Himalayan kingdom is truly unlike any other."
Bhutan, high in the Himalayas, and one of the world’s ultimate bucket-list destinations, reopened its doors to guests on September 23, 2022; the Kingdom closed to tourism in early 2020 in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
In a world that is always on the go, Bhutan provides sanctuary. More than 70% forested, and the first carbon-negative country in the world, Bhutan offers many pleasures. From archery and age-old crafts, to dishes of home-made cheese and fearsomely hot chilies. From breathtaking treks to restorative hot-stone baths. From prayer flags strung across gorges and fluttering on every hillside, to epic landscapes and slow journeys that foster quiet awe.
The reopening of Bhutan will bring with it a sea-change in how the Kingdom receives its guests – with individual travel now permitted, instead of the former need to travel only with a certified tour operator. Visits to Bhutan require payment of a daily Sustainable Development Fund (SFD) fee, which “enables investment in transformative programs that preserve cultural traditions, protect the country’s heritage and environment, upgrade infrastructure, create opportunities for young people, and build resilience.”
From storied cities to soaring mountains, the door to the kingdom is open once again to old and new friends.