Best of the Best 2018 - 88
Find tranquility in the serene culture of this blissful kingdom.
Ride the rapids of the Pho Chhu
River past Punakha Dzong,
winter residence of the official
Bhutanese monastic order.
The imposing white-and-ochre
structure is captivating, but don't
miss the river's scarlet-streaked
minivets or rare, white-bellied
herons. Your paddling is rewarded
with a catered lunch on shore -
one of many indulgent comforts
on this eight-day walking and
cycling adventure that also
includes hiking to the 700-yearold Chorten Nebu monastery,
sipping tea at the cliffside Tiger's
Nest, and visiting a chorten built
to commemorate the insects
and rodents who lost their lives
during construction of a highway.
Trekking the mountainous terrain
is demanding, but can be tailored
for all ability levels.
Clockwise from top:
Monks walking to Punakha
Dzong; hiking past prayer
flags; Buddha Dordenma
Wander the Thimphu markets in
search of yak-tail dusters, Tibetan
turquoise, wild honey, pungent
blocks of camphor and fiery
chiles before touring the painting
school, where students learn the
13 traditional Bhutanese arts. Your
six days in Bhutan also feature
plenty of the country's iconic
hilltop temples and monasteries,
wild mountain passes and scenic
walks. It's the tail end of a 20-day
Himalayan odyssey that includes
Tibet and Nepal, where you'll
explore Lhasa's Potala Palace and
the Yarlung Valley, considered the
birthplace of Tibetan civilization.
You will also visit Kathmandu's
bazaars and the lakeside city of
Pokhara, in the shadow of some
of the Himalaya's mightiest peaks.
Your Virtuoso travel advisor
can arrange these exceptional
experiences and more.