A Quest for Happiness in Bhutan

They can support the centre by purchasing crafts made by the students or even share their knowledge by running their very own workshop in an area of personal expertise such as art, design, marketing or e-commerce.

Sharing stories of one another’s lives for a truly enriching experience. 

Continuing the Quest to Happiness, at Amankora’s Punakha Lodge Mother Nature’s healing powers are found in abundance at the junction of the Mo Chhu and Pho Chhu rivers. Here, guests can choose to support the wellbeing of the elderly in the first ever retirement home for Buddhist monks in the Himalayas, by offering a meal to the monks and spending time with them, sharing stories of one another’s lives for a truly enriching experience.

From the lush valleys of Punakha to the home of the Black Mountains, the journey also takes guests to Amankora’s Gangtey Lodge, set on the edge of a wildlife reserve with scenic views of the Gangtey Goemba Monastery. A place of untouched beauty and deep Buddhist faith, here guests can discover the lifestyle of Vajrayana Buddhist hermits, who commit to their faith by giving up almost all their possessions to engage in meditation, prayers and spiritual learning. By offering a meal, warm clothing or helping to create a sustainable food source (such as an organic garden or mushroom shed), guests help support this unique way of life for years to come.

Set on the edge of a wildlife reserve with scenic views of the Gangtey Goemba Monastery. 

Alternatively, they learn about the fragile co-existence of early education and wildlife in Gangtey at the Bayta Community School where young villagers learn about the importance of ecology and the endangered black necked cranes that inhabit the surrounding valleys. To discourage children from playing in their roosting grounds, there is the opportunity to assist in creating a children’s park on the school’s land.

The most eastern point on the Quest for Happiness, Bumthang Lodge rests peacefully in the Land of the Thunder Dragon, considered to be the country’s spiritual centre. Here, temples, shrines, spiritual sites and monasteries are many, with some dating back to the 7th century. Meaning ‘beautiful field’, Bumthang lives up to this name as local farms and home-grown cottage industries cultivate the kingdom’s finest apples, peaches, buckwheat, cheeses, honey, Weiss beer and even herbal tea.

Guests can pave way for the betterment of these important cottage industries by assisting in upgrading their systems and techniques during their time at Amankora.

For the final few days of the experience, time is spent at the Paro Lodge, wandering through the sacred halls of Paro Dzong and experiencing the stunning pilgrimage to the Tiger’s Nest. Along the way, while helping clear and clean its hiking paths, guests will feel the true spirit of Bhutan with the opportunity to spend a quiet moment of reflection in the forest.

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