In what could be a harbinger of tourists into the country, the prestigious TIME yearly list of the World’s Greatest Places have includedTrans-Bhutan Trail in its latest edition this year.
The list features 50 unique travel places from around the globe and, according to TIME magazine, the Trans-Bhutan Trail will finally reopen after a 60-year break.
Time is an American news magazine and news website published and based in New York City. For nearly a century, it was published weekly, but starting in March 2020 it transitioned to every other week.
The 250-mile walk, which connects Haa in the west to Trashigang in the east, has been used by Buddhists as a route of pilgrimage since the 16th century, when it was the only way to cross Bhutan. It is now being envisioned as an outdoor trip through the first carbon-negative nation in the world.
The restoration of 18 significant bridges, 10,000 staircases, and hundreds of miles of paths was managed by a partnership between the Royal Government of Bhutan, the Tourism Council of Bhutan, and the Bhutan Canada Foundation.
Intrepid travelers can hike, bike, and camp through the lush meadows and dense forests of nine dzongkhags (districts), 28 gewogs (local governments), two municipalities, parts of Phrumsengla National Park, and more than 400 historic sites.
The route is peppered with museums and ancient fortresses, like Jakar Dzong and the Fortress of the White Bird, perched on a ridge above the historic Bumthang Valley, stated in the TIME.
It states that the Tour company G Adventures is launching an 11 -day camping experience that escorts trekkers along some of the most extraordinary parts of the trail, starting and ending in Paro, with a final breathtaking trek to Tiger’s Nest, the famous monastery embedded in a cliff wall.
A portion of the $200 minimum daily package charge paid to the government of Bhutan by international travellers visiting the trail is applied to sustainable development efforts, such as environmental conservation, social welfare, cultural promotion, and improving infrastructure.
The Trans Bhutan Trail will connect hikers, bikers and pilgrims to some of the most hidden areas of the Buddhist country, deep within the Eastern Himalayas, stated in the Wanderlust Magazine.
Wanderlust is a UK travel magazine and brand which covers intrepid, cultural, and special interest travel. The print and digital magazine is published six times a year with the strap-line “taking the road less travelled”.
The trail’s official opening ceremony will be held in the autumn, shortly after Bhutan’s borders open to international travellers for the first time in more than two years on the 23 September.
It also states that travellers will be able to follow the trail through pristine forests with views of soaring mountains, passing more than 400 historic and cultural sites, including the country’s famed monasteries and temples.
Keen hikers can complete the full route in just over a month, but there are many other ways to explore the trail, including joining group tours, full or half-day guided hikes.
Sam Blyth, Chair of the Bhutan Canada Foundation and lead donor to the trail said that this is a community-based project in both its building and operation which will restore an ancient cultural icon and provide a sustainable, net carbon zero experience in the country for pilgrims and travellers.
“Spanning the world’s only carbon negative country, the Trans Bhutan Trail also reflects the country’s philosophy of Gross National Happiness and will allow the children of Bhutan to walk in the footsteps of their ancestors,” said Sam Blyth.