The Kingdom of Bhutan, described as the last surviving refuge of traditional Himalayan Buddhist culture, is one of the most isolated nations in the world, landlocked between India and China. Spread spectacularly throughout the Himalayas, a mountain range regarded for centuries by mystics, ascetics, scholars and philosophers, as the source of inner sanctity.

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Bhutan’s historic isolation has everything to do with the inaccessibility of its location, lying in the Eastern Himalayas between India and Tibet. From a narrow southern plain at an altitude of 300 metres, Bhutan quickly rises through the Himalayan foothills (1,600 metres) to the valleys of Central and Western Bhutan (2,600 metres) and the mountain chains of the High Himalayas (4,000-5,000 metres). These run both east-west and north-south, and serve to separate one region and valley from the next. Valleys such as Paro (2,250 metres), Haa (2,700 metres), Thimphu (2,350 metres), Punakha (1,300 metres), Phobjikha (3,000 metres) and Bumthang (2,580 metres) therefore each have their own unique customs and traditions.

With the exception of Haa which has a climate suited to livestock raising, western Bhutan is a land of rice paddies and orchards. These valleys are the domain of the Ngalong, ‘the first to rise’, meaning the first to convert to Buddhism. They speak Dzongkha, the ‘language of the dzong’, now the national language of Bhutan. The Black Mountains (5,000 metres) have traditionally marked the boundary between western and central Bhutan. The main road from Paro to Trashigang in eastern Bhutan crosses these mountains via the Pele La Pass (3,300 metres).

Amanresorts will book all flights and take care of visas on behalf of guests. Contact us at Tel: (975) 8 272 333 or email Amankora recommends that guests fly from Bangkok, Delhi or Singapore into Paro. In Bangkok, Aman has an airport representative. There are also flights from Kolkatta (Calcutta) and Kathmandu. Druk Air adheres to schedules as closely as possible barring vagaries of weather and occasional impromptu requests for seats by special delegations. Complimentary arrival and departure transfers are offered between Paro International Airport and Amankora Paro/Amankora Thimphu, as well as between Bumthang Domestic Airport and Amankora Bumthang.

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