Bhutan, the happiest place on earth, just added helicopters tours

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    View of Bhutan rice paddies

    For those who still don’t know, Bhutan is a sovereign state located in the Eastern Himalayas in South Asia. The country is better known for being the happiest country on earth, measuring its progress using “Gross National Happiness” instead of the usual Gross Domestic Product.

    First six-night helicopter tours in Bhutan

    Luxury hotel, COMO Uma Bhutan, hopes to make the kingdom even ‘happier’, at least for its visitors, by introducing Bhutan’s first six-night helicopter adventure itinerary that will take guests deep into the Himalayan Kingdom. “We are thrilled to be launching a six-night helicopter itinerary that allows our guests access to some of the Kingdom’s further flung wonders and to show travelers authentic Bhutanese life. We aspire to bolster tourism to Bhutan with remarkable trips on a grand scale,” says James Low, General Manager of COMO Uma Bhutan.

    COMO Uma Punakha and a view of Punakha Valley
    COMO Uma Punakha and a view of Punakha Valley
    COMO Uma Paro in Paro Valley
    COMO Uma Paro in Paro Valley

    The ‘Scenic Heli-Adventure’ takes your through to Bhutan’s four key valleys: The Laya Valley otherwise known as Bhutan’s ‘hidden paradise’, the tropical Punakha Valley with its distinctive fortresses called dzongs, the Valley of Paro, fanned by rice paddies and ancient temples, and the Labatama Valley, home to the Turquoise Lake and to Bhutan’s nomadic people.

    Guests that opt for the helicopter tours will be taken on two guided helicopter trips, allowing them to immerse themselves in dramatic flyovers over homesteads, farmland, pine forests, lush valleys and hard-to-reach areas. For us, this is definitely the most exciting part of the itinerary. Furthermore, you get the opportunity to record breathtaking aerial videos and images.

    Guided hikes and excursions

    When not in the air, guests will get a chance to get up close and personal with a series of guided excursions to take them deep into Bhutan’s mystical mountainous regions. This includes a hike through Labatama Valley, home to the almost inaccessible ‘Utsho Tsho,’ or Turquoise Lake. If you are lucky, you may get to see yaks, marmots or large squirrels and rare blue sheep herds along the trail.

    Of course, an itinerary to Bhutan is not complete without a visit to the Taktsang ‘Tiger’s Nest’ Monastery, one of Bhutan’s most important pieces of architecture in upper Paro Valley. Legend states that this is the cliffside where Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava), a Buddhist master landed on the back of a ying tigress, bringing Buddhism to Bhutan from Tibet. COMO says that this is one of the more challenging treks on the itinerary, consisting of a steep two-hour climb to the Tiger’s Nest viewpoint.

    Luxury stays

    The itinerary comes with a four nights stay at COMO Uma Paro and two nights at COMO Uma Punakha lodges and comes with a complimentary body treatment or yoga session at COMO Shambhala Retreat. Also, COMO Uma Bhutan will help you arrange from the entire booking, including flights via Druk Air or Bhutan
    Airlines and visa application processing.

    COMO Uma Paro entrance
    COMO Uma Paro entrance
    COMO Uma Paro courtyard
    COMO Uma Paro courtyard

    After reading all that, one thing you are probably wondering is “how much is all that ‘happiness’ going to cost me”? Well, a two person booking with a COMO Uma Bhutan Valley Room is going for S$38,109 (USD 27,397)! Do note that prices might change due to the helicopter flight bookings. The package comes with:

    • Two private guided helicopter flights
    • Four nights at COMO Uma Paro
    • Two nights at COMO Uma Punakha
    • Full-board benefits include a private English-speaking Bhutanese guide
    • 60 minute COMO Shambhala body treatment
    • Complimentary yoga class at COMO Uma Paro (not available on Sundays)
    • Use of all facilities and complimentary WIFI
    • Private airport transfers and transport around Bhutan
    • All Bhutanese government visa and royalty fees

    Who says money can’t buy happiness.

    Royal Bhutan Helicopter Services Limited
    These will be the helicopters taking you on the tours.

    For more information about COMO Uma Paro and COMO Uma Punakha and other itineraries by the luxury hotel, go to COMO Uma Paro’s website.

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