In a world filled with stress and fast-paced living, it’s no wonder that more and more people are seeking respite from their hectic lives. One destination that has gained recognition as a top choice for well-being holidays is the enchanting kingdom of Bhutan.
To delve deeper into the unique qualities of Bhutan that make it so conducive to promoting holistic well-being, we sat down with Carissa Nimah, the Chief Marketing Officer of Bhutan Tourism. Carissa shared valuable insights and recommendations, giving us a glimpse into the wonders that Bhutan has to offer.
Nestled in the heart of the Himalayas, Bhutan’s pristine natural environment and deep-rooted mindfulness tradition create an ideal setting for relaxation and rejuvenation. With over 70% forest coverage and carbon-negative status, the country offers a breath of fresh air that naturally uplifts moods.
As Carissa explains, “Bhutan’s commitment to Gross National Happiness (GNH) prioritizes spiritual and emotional well-being, resulting in a balanced lifestyle and a slower pace of life.”
Druk Asia and Bhutan Tourism join forces to bring the best of Bhutan for travellers
To cater to the growing demand for well-being holidays, Bhutan’s Department of Tourism and Druk Asia have developed specific initiatives and programs. These initiatives aim to encourage travellers to connect with their surroundings, deepen their cultural understanding, and appreciate the natural wonders of Bhutan. One highly recommended trip is the Royal Highlander Festival at Laya, which combines trekking and cultural discovery, providing a unique blend of adventure and cultural immersion.
For trekkers seeking a physically and spiritually fulfilling journey, the Sinchula Trek is a popular choice. This trek, which spans from Thimphu to Punakha, takes travellers through pristine alpine forests and bamboo groves, offering breathtaking views of Bhutan’s highest peak, Gangkhar Puensum. These carefully curated experiences allow visitors to embrace Bhutan’s core values while enhancing their physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.
A haven of happiness with hidden gems
At the heart of Bhutan’s well-being tourism lies the philosophy of Gross National Happiness (GNH). Carissa emphasizes, “Bhutan’s emphasis on GNH profoundly shapes the experiences and activities offered to travellers seeking well-being holidays.” Mindfulness, meditation retreats, yoga sessions, and nature immersion tours are key components of the well-being experience in Bhutan. These activities foster a deep connection with nature and provide therapeutic benefits, enabling travellers to find inner peace and embrace a harmonious lifestyle.
While Bhutan is known for its breathtaking landscapes, serene monasteries, and vibrant cultural heritage, there are lesser-known destinations that hold equal allure. Punakha, the former capital city, offers a host of activities such as walking on the Punakha suspension bridge, hiking through the gorgeous Punakha Valley, or engaging in kayaking or whitewater rafting along the Pho Chhu River. Carissa recommends exploring Punakha Valley’s stunning landscapes, where rare exotic birds like White-Bellied Herons and Kingfishers can be spotted.
Gangtey, nestled in the Phobjikha Valley, is a serene and secluded destination renowned for its natural beauty. The valley is home to the Gangtey Monastery and serves as a winter habitat for the rare alpine black-necked cranes considered a symbol of longevity. Meanwhile, Bumthang Valley, known as the “spiritual heartland” of Bhutan, is adorned with ancient temples, monasteries, and sacred sites. Its picturesque landscapes, lush green fields, and traditional Bhutanese architecture offer a serene backdrop for travellers on their well-being journey.
A sanctuary for mindfulness, spirituality and sustainable toursim
To immerse themselves in the mindfulness and spirituality of Bhutanese culture, visitors can participate in traditional festivals, visit monasteries, or opt for homestays with locals. These experiences allow travellers to connect with the friendly and joyful Bhutanese people, whose infectious moods create a ripple effect of positivity. Bhutan truly embodies the concept of the “Land of Happiness,” leaving visitors feeling rejuvenated and inspired.
Bhutan’s strong commitment to sustainability and responsible tourism also plays a vital role in well-being holidays. The Sustainable Development Fee (SDF), implemented to promote high-value, low-volume tourism, supports initiatives such as environmental conservation, cultural preservation, and local community empowerment.
A portion of the funds is dedicated to tree-planting programs that help offset visitors’ carbon footprints. Travellers can contribute to the preservation of Bhutan’s natural and cultural heritage by embracing responsible travel practices and respecting the local customs and traditions.
Druk Asia, as Singapore’s leading Bhutan travel specialist, plays a crucial role in promoting well-being holidays. Their curated experiences and itineraries offer a comprehensive well-being journey that aligns with Bhutan’s vision. One exceptional trip, the “Tour Neykor,” combines spiritual practice with direct contact with nature, guided by a respected Rinpoche. The retreat provides practical applications of compassion in business, making it particularly beneficial for business owners or executives seeking to overcome challenges at work.
Singapore! Let’s go to Bhutan!
In the eyes of Carissa, what makes Bhutan such a unique and transformative destination for those seeking well-being and a sense of inner peace? She sums it up perfectly with a quote from a Singapore traveller:
“The experience of visiting different spiritual and sacred sites in Bhutan is such a unique experience as it is a deep and meaningful journey that is not a holiday but rather a spiritual journey.” Bhutan offers a sanctuary for those in search of balance, tranquillity, and a renewed sense of self.
So, if you’re yearning to escape the chaos of everyday life and embark on a transformative well-being journey, Bhutan beckons. Its lush landscapes, ancient traditions, and profound spirituality await, ready to embrace you in a blanket of inner peace and happiness. Discover the secrets of Bhutan and unlock a new chapter in your well-being story.
For more information or to book your place for the Neykor Immersion Retreat, please visit www.neykor.com