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The hikes, dumplings, and sleek ecolodges that have us dreaming of the Himalayas.

Updated: May 26, 2023


Six Senses Bhutan's Paro retreat.
Six Senses Bhutan's Paro retreat.

With help from Virtuoso Wanderlist, our new trip-planning tool that lets travelers find vacation ideas and add them to easy-to-organize lists – the Virtuoso Life team is sharing their top picks in the places they can’t wait to visit. See all of our lists here. Bhutan has always intrigued me. It would be a trip of a lifetime to hike its dramatic Himalayan valleys, visit Tiger’s Nest monastery, share spicy food with locals, and – drumroll please – hop across the country via Six Senses’ five new ecolodges.

Attend a Tshechu (Religious Festival) The festivals, staged in various locations throughout the country, are a Bhutan must-see. Thimphu and Paro’s tshechus, the most popular, are held in September or October and March or April, respectively, depending on the lunar calendar. Aside from the colorful costumes and masks, I’m interested in the storytelling and performances that pass Bhutanese mythology from one generation to another.

Advisors Note: “For a trip like this, having an expert tailor your experience is most important; I use andBeyond Bhutan because I love their guides. One of their 12-day trips, for example, includes visits to numerous weaving centers, the hike to Tiger’s Nest, and time in the Tang Valley to visit a sixteenth-century naktshang – a beautiful place for religious studies and solitude, with a wonderful museum showcasing a noble Bhutanese family.”

– Charles Fiore




Tiger's Nest in Paro Valley.
Tiger's Nest in Paro Valley.

Hike the Sacred Path to Tiger’s Nest Located in Paro Valley, this iconic monastery sits perched on the edge of a cliff. Set me up with a guide who will convey Bhutan’s rich history and folklore as we hike the nearly four-mile, moderate trail. (Legend has it that a Buddhist guru arrived here on the back of a tigress.) Dig Into Momo and Ema Datshi Momo (Bhutanese dumplings) come filled with meat, cheese, and spices; ema datshi, a stew of chilies and cheese, is Bhutan’s national dish – watch out for the spice level! In Thimphu, I’ll visit a couple of spots to try my guide’s favorite renditions of each.


Archery is the national sport of Bhutan.
Archery is the national sport of Bhutan.

Score a Bull's-Eye Throughout Bhutan, villages stage traditional archery tournaments, which typically wrap up with celebratory feasts. I’m volunteering my son for a private lesson and possibly the chance to participate in the country’s national sport, and I’ll gladly cheer him on from the sidelines.


An artisan weaves a colorful Bhutanese textile.
An artisan weaves a colorful Bhutanese textile.

Shop for Traditional Textiles My home is filled with souvenirs that remind me of my family’s travels. For this trip, I’m looking for a woven yathra throw or coveted kishuthara silk piece to support Chumey and Khoma weaving communities and add a splash of color – and some of the country’s Gross National Happiness – to my home.

Six Senses Bhutan During the year leading up to the pandemic, Six Senses debuted five long-delayed lodges in Thimphu, Punakha, Paro, Gangtey, and Bumthang. Travelers can stay at a single property or let the company design four- to ten-night multilodge tours, with activities at each tailored to their interests.





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