Shrouded in mystery, Bhutan is a country that sparks my imagination. An isolated land bordered by towering Himalayan giants, it remained closed to foreigners until very recently. It is a kingdom whose measure of progress is the very thing that eludes us: happiness. Few places have an identity so unique and deeply rooted as Bhutan. It is a country that leaves no traveller untouched.
Travel in Bhutan is an emerging industry and struggles against several restrictions. Itineraries are usually centred around specific, guided activities, and limited to a very narrow geographic span. We at Blueflower have pioneered itineraries to Eastern Bhutan — a region seldom visited by outsiders — and trips linked to seasonal events, such as the Chhukha festival. I have travelled in Bhutan and was lucky to experience much more than the habitual traveller would. This is because I trekked extensively and ventured off the beaten track at every turn. Unfortunately, most travellers spend too much time in the car and not everyone wants a strenuous hiking holiday … There is the need for a different approach.
Gangtey Lodge proposes that you experience Bhutan calmly, taking the time to wander in the woods, meditate in the monasteries, soak in the local culture, and enjoy world-class accommodations in one of the country’s iconic valleys. The lodge is perched above a cluster of farmsteads, surrounded by a protected nature reserve. Since 70% of Bhutan’s area is protected land, this is not uncommon. However, Gangtey holds special significance because of the rare black-necked crane, which migrates south from Tibet and remains in the area from October through March.
The lodge comprises 12 suites that are carefully designed to be respectful to local aesthetics. The Bhutanese fabrics will keep you cosy by the fireplace after a day of meaningful experiences in the valley. The lodge itself is low impact and socially responsible, creating career opportunities for locals and working in fair partnership with nearby producers. Everything about Gangtey Lodge is tailored to create a physical and spiritual connection.
While at Gangtey Lodge, you can trek in the pristine valley trails, test your hand at archery and even opt for a bit of mountain biking. For the spirit, there are cleansing ceremonies, blessings and prayers at Gangtey Monastery. You can engage in meditation lessons and immerse yourself in the potency of Bhutanese spirituality. After a day out on the trails or looking inward, exploring your own mind, indulge in a spa treatment or a hot-stone bath.