Archive for the ‘Traveling to Bhutan’ Category

Bhutan Textiles: A Living Tradition

February 10th, 2017 by
Vacationing in Bhutan
For Bhutan, being a tiny, isolated, never-colonized country has had advantages: A united people, a common religion, an appreciation of happiness, and centuries of cultural continuity. Luckily for today’s travelers, change came late to Bhutan, so many of its traditions have survived. Today, for example, those who travel Bhutan see an abundance of evidence of the country’s thirteen traditional crafts. Especially ubiquitous are examples of the well-preserved art of textile weaving. Throughout Bhutan, in private homes, weaving villages, schools, museums, markets, festivals, and on the streets, you will see glorious examples of textiles with patterns that have remained unchanged for centuries. Two reasons for their survival are that traditional clothing is required for official and public events, and they are integral to the country’s celebrations and festivals. Western clothes may be making inroads, but look closely at the street fashion: A young woman may be wearing a t-shirt under her kira, but that traditional dress is the same as the one her grandmother wore. Its threads may be handspun silk, cotton, or yak hair, and the pattern represents the region where it was woven. Today, weaving in Bhutan is more than a craft; it’s an art that tells a story. […]

Bhutan’s Festivals: What to Know to Plan Your Visit

March 21st, 2016 by
Traveling to Bhutan
The Bhutanese know how to throw a party.  At festival time in Bhutan, the people bring out their brilliantly colored costumes, elaborate turquoise and coral jewelry, ferocious masks, and banners.  Preparations may have been underway for weeks, and the ritual dancing, eating, and music can last for days. Although Bhutan has many festivals, the most well known are called tsechus, which are celebrated on the 10th day of the month of the lunar calendar, corresponding to the birth of Guru Rimpoche.  Tsechus, or religious festivals, are spiritually significant, usually describe the victory of good over evil, and are often held in monastery courtyards. But that doesn’t mean they are somber affairs. (Remember this is the happiest country in Asia!) Festivals in Bhutan give the people of a village and nearby districts an opportunity to dress up in their finery, celebrate with far-flung friends and relations and receive a blessing from the Buddhist deity being honored. Festivals are scheduled on a lunar Tibetan calendar, occurring at about the same time of the year but on different days.  We keep a current “save the date” calendar of these important events, so those who travel Bhutan can experience a festival. 6 BHUTAN FESTIVALS WE LOVE […]

Visit the 5 Best Asian Markets

May 30th, 2016 by
Visit the Bhutan Thimphu Market
Whatever city you visit from Beijing to Yangon, you’ll find an Asian markets where tourists and locals mingle and all sense of personal space is lost in the crowded aisles. But those jammed aisles of city markets only look chaotic. There is an order to the shopping if you just let yourself go with the flow of the shuffling traffic. You can easily tell the locals from the tourists. Most of the local people are on a mission to buy fresh food, household goods, and clothing. With shopping carts or enormous bags in hand, they know where they’re going and move directly from one stall to another, never pausing to look at trinkets or Buddha statues. The tourists, in contrast, are more likely to be wandering slowly with a slightly dazed look in their eyes. There’s just so much color, taste, and sound a person can absorb! Markets are great places to get to know the city’s people, slurp a bowl of noodle soup with local ladies, let shopkeepers dress you in the traditional fashions, and play with the local children. And just like at the mall at home, you’ll see clusters of young people in T-shirts and baseball hats […]