On behalf of Aman, we are delighted to share Amankora reveals the heart of Bhutan with ever rarer and more awe-inspiring cultural experiences for 2023. Well-suited to those embarking on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure in the year that lies ahead, Amankora continues to tell the story of the Kingdom of Bhutan through unique, culturally enriching experiences across its five intimate lodges.
New for 2023, several experiences reveal the very best of the Kingdom’s rugged Himalayan landscapes, inviting guests to rediscover the once forgotten ramparts of its central and western valleys. Built in 1638 on a cliff at the confluence of two rivers, the defense fortress of Wangdue Dzong has finally been restored, following fire damage, and is ready to welcome guests once again to its grounds after a decade of rebuilding and careful restoration.
Another piece of history restored, the Trans Bhutan Trail provides further opportunity to discover the pristine nature that surrounds. Dating back to the 16th century, the 402-kilometre-long trading and pilgrimage route was abandoned in the 1960s following the construction of Bhutan’s first major roads.
After 60 years, the trail has been reestablished, allowing the Bhutanese to walk in the steps of their ancestors, and visitors to follow the ancient path with curated daily hikes and multi-day experiences, paired with stays in all the five lodges.
Situated in the forested Thimphu Valley, home to Bhutan’s capital city, Amankora Thimphu is a 16-suite lodge tucked into the pine-scented woods of the Motithang area.
New for the year ahead, learn more about the ancient art of incense from artisans at Nado Poi. Using a wide selection of rare, foraged or homegrown herbs, spices and ingredients from across the Himalayas, Nado Poi’s skilled local craftspeople create blends of sacred smoke, highly sought after by monastic bodies and temples all over the world.
Using a 350-year-old recipe passed down through generations, Nado Poi also makes exclusive incense sticks and powder blends for the Royal Family of Bhutan. Available to those visiting Thimphu, the exclusive half-day Secrets of Ancient Incense experience takes place at the brand’s local workshop, and includes a selection of raw materials to create, roll and cut the incense, guided by a Nado Poi artisan.
Another renowned artist local to Thimphu, Gyempo Wangchuk, hails from the Zurig Chusum Institute, Bhutan’s most important art school focusing on 13 traditional arts and crafts. Specialising in painting, Gyempo’s work ranges from temples and sacred scrolls to present-day contemporary art. Exclusively for the new season, private painting sessions with Gyempo Wangchuk can be arranged either at Thimphu lodge or in his studio, where guests can learn traditional Bhutanese painting with a contemporary twist.