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Bucket List Itinerary: Himalayan fresh air in Bhutan

Visitors can behold a monastery perched on a cliff with the dramatic Himalayan Mountains in the background on the 10-day Wonders of Bhutan tour. The trip explores one of the world’s most remote countries with plenty of life’s comforts, since the trip is part of G Adventures’ 21 newly released Comfort trips.

Anyone with an adventurous spirit and willingness to hike some short routes can enjoy the thrilling views and peaceful Buddhist temples. The itinerary through the “Dragon Kingdom” includes many opportunities for cultural interactions, including blessings from Buddhist monks.

Participants travel through dense forests of pine, oak and rhododendrons for contrasting views of the snowy Himalayan peaks with the lush rice terraces and green valleys. A stop at the 16th century monastery of Gangtey Gempa allows visitors to wander past some of the country’s most sacred relics and impressive architectural designs.

The tour also takes visitors to Bhutan’s capital city, Thimphu, to experience the newly developed city, which was inaccessible to vehicles until 1962. The unusual capital still has no traffic lights.

The Taktsang monastery (Tiger’s Nest) remains one of the most venerated pilgrim sites in the Himalayan region. Guests will discover the impressive views from the monastery that clings to a rock 900 meters about the valley floor. They will also walk through one of the oldest temples in Bhutan, the 7th century Kyichu Lhakhang. The site’s archery grounds offers demonstrations of Bhutan’s national sport.

Other highlights include visiting a school for monks, a nunnery and the ruins of a fortress. Groups can also experience the daily life of the locals by sitting in on a class at a local community school.

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