The sole remaining Himalayan Buddhist Kingdom will reopen its borders to international travel on 23 September 2022, enabling Amankora to once again offer unparalleled journeys of discovery through this mystical land in its five lodges.
Amankora’s lodges in the valleys of Paro, Thimphu, Punakha, Gangtey and Bumthang, will welcome their first guests since March 2020 on 23 September 2022. This auspicious day has been chosen by the Kingdom with the same thoughtful consideration it has invested in renewing its focus on sustainability. Known as Blessed Rainy Day, it marks the end of the monsoon season and is a celebration of the rain – regarded as sanctifying and holy – that has cleansed the earth and humanity. With a symbolism resonating far beyond the borders of this mountain kingdom, this day will also signify a new dawn for Bhutan’s vision of a better future.
International guests visiting Bhutan will now each contribute a daily Sustainable Development Fee (SDF) of USD 200 to the Kingdom’s fund originally introduced in 1991 at USD 65, to help finance Bhutan’s Low Volume, High Value tourism concept. The first increase in 30 years, the new rate reflects the Kingdom’s determination to preserve its pristine natural beauty and wildlife, maintain its carbon-negative status and conserve its rich culture. Bhutan is home to hundreds of ancient sites, centuries-old monasteries, historic fortresses and entire communities untouched by modernity, and the revised SDF will ensure these timeless beacons of Himalayan heritage remain. The increase will also enhance two pillars of the Kingdom’s legendary Gross National Happiness index – the country’s universal free healthcare system (for citizens and visitors alike) and accessible, quality education.
Distilled over the course of almost 20 years, today the seven- to 13-day Amankora Journey offers guests the most comprehensive and soul-stirring experience of the Kingdom. Providing the opportunity to incorporate all five of Amankora’s lodges, it reveals not only Bhutan’s most beautiful and iconic sights, but also the spirit of its people and their culture. A bespoke adventure, tailored to personal interests and preferences, it draws deeply on Aman’s intuitive understanding of the country, offering the only way to seamlessly experience three to five different valleys in seven or more nights.
Staying exclusively at Amankora Paro, guests can discover Paro Valley with its verdant rice paddies and idyllic farmhouses by bike, explore the dramatic ruins of the 17th-century Drukyel Dzong and one of the Kingdom’s oldest temples, Kyichu Lhakhang, wander through quaint Paro town sampling momos (local dumplings) and freshly brewed beer, and marvel at the historic treasures of the National Museum. Days start with open-air yoga, breathing in the fresh pine-scented air and savouring picnics and a farmhouse lunch prepared by a former cook of the royal family.
No trip to Bhutan is complete without visiting the famous Tiger’s Nest, for which this journey is named. Perched cliffside with astounding views, the temple complex was first built in 1692 around the Taktsang Senge Samdup cave where a revered Guru is said to have meditated in the 8th century.