Exceptional Experiences: Bhutan

Travelers hiking through Bhutan.
Black-necked cranes.
Masked dancer.

Keys to the Kingdom

Archery Displays and Mystical Teachings

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Hit the Bull’s-Eye
Marvel as master archers display their skills
during a special demonstration. Bhutanese people from all walks of life practice archery for fun, socializing, exercise and mental concentration. Competitions are colorful and exciting and, after the exhibition, you’re invited to test your skills with the bow and arrow.

In Search of the Black-Necked Crane
Hike through the Phobjika Valley
for a rare glimpse of the black-necked crane. The Phobjika Conservation Area is currently home to 14 vulnerable species of birds, including the critically endangered cranes, celebrated in Bhutanese culture. You’ll learn about crucial, community-based efforts to save this nimble creature and its natural habitat.

The Thrill of the Mask Dance
Experience the delight of watching a graceful mask dance
in Thimphu. Said to bring blessings to onlookers, mask dances (“cham”) date to the 8th century and play a vital role in Bhutanese life. Dancers don elaborate masks and rich, colorful robes and tell stories of Bhutan’s history and religion with each movement, accompanied by the magical sounds of cymbals, drums and bells.

Finding One’s Higher Self
Embrace the spirituality of Buddhism
during a private visit to a Bumthang monastery. You’ll observe the monks as they conduct their daily activities and prayers, and learn the significance of the enchanting murals that adorn the monastery’s walls.

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Originally appeared in Virtuoso Best of the Best: 2014 Guide to the World's Best Hotel Experiences.


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Where to Stay

Uma by COMO
This intimate resort features private villas, putting you within striking distance of the country’s cultural landmarks. Get More Details
Amankora
Five lodges work in harmony with their environment, and offer an inside look at the beauty of this stunning region. Get More Details