DESTINATION GUIDE : BEST OF BHUTAN

DESTINATION GUIDE : BHUTAN : PREPARATION DESTINATION GUIDE : BHUTAN :  STYLE
  STAY
Hotel Druk, Thimphu
Very convenient location, warm rooms, hot showers, comfy beds and linens. 
 
Nak-Sel Boutique Resort and Spa, Paro:

Pretty and spacious rooms; there was a bit of mishap with heating during our stay and the rooms were freezing! Otherwise, a pretty place to stay.
 
BEST TRANSPORT
We had a private mini bus. No air-conditioning, only heat, so if it gets hot you'll have to open the window. It gets dusty on dry days and exhaust fumes can be annoying—a face mask or scarf wrapped around ones mouth and nose will help.
  
ART
The National Museum at Paro is small and sweet.
 
SHOPS
Paro High Street, and in Thimphu, the shops around the Clock Tower Square and shops opposite the National Handicraft Emporium.
 
LOCAL CRAFTS
Carved masks for mask dance and hand woven fabrics.
 
BEAUTY
Bring wet wipes!
 
SPA TREATMENT
A Bhutanese hot stone bath. They have it in most spas in hotels, but our guide took us to a farmhouse in Paro. Unfortunately, it was booked up, but the place was very uncontrived and felt like we were at a friend's place. Very nice!
 
DESIGN
It's mandatory for all the new buildings in Bhutan to have traditional design. All of the buildings have traditional style window frames and paintings on them. One thing that has changed is the roofing material—traditionally, they used chestnut woods, but nowadays this is too expensive for most people.
 
EATS
Karma's Coffee, Thimphu
Brioche Cafe on High Street in Paro has baked goods by this lady who works in the kitchen of Amankora. Great banana cakes.
 
ENERGY
I wanted to try archery (the national sport of Bhutan) but didn't have enough time. Otherwise, trekking is a must. If you only have one day, do the three hour hike up to the Tiger's Nest Monastery.

 
January 2013