I’m delighted to release the 2018 Textile Tour of Bhutan, a collaboration between Textile Trails and Druk Siddhi Tours.
This unique tour is designed to connect you with locals and offer hands on experiences.
This magical journey will wind through fertile valleys and villages, traversing the country to reach the little-visited textile heartland of ‘kushutara’ in Eastern Bhutan. This trip is designed to deepen your experience of this fascinating country with a focus on Bhutanese textiles and interactions with locals.
This tour again offers the opportunity to travel with two experts in Bhutanese textiles: travelling with us will be our tour guide’s wife, master weaver Gyelmo, and I will also accompany the tour translating kushutara & aikapur techniques into Western weaving terms.
This tour has been crafted especially for people who love textiles, craft and local culture and who seek the immersive experience of travelling with Wendy, who has lived and breathed Bhutan and is passionate about the Bhutanese people, their culture, and particularly their weaving. Wendy is always alert to the “thunk thunk” of a the heavy beater used with a backstrap loom, and for those who are interested in learning the details of kushutara, Wendy will bring a teaching loom to share the knowledge she gained when learning kushutara for 8 months in Thimphu.
Our local tour guide Namgay is from the eastern part of Bhutan, so has many contacts in the weaving regions and speaks the language of the area. His wife Gyelmo, a master weaver also from the east, will travel with us to share her knowledge and help you experience the real Bhutan. Together they will provide unique windows into Bhutanese culture and the way home-based textile production empowers women as we journey through the mysterious folds of the Bhutanese Himalaya.
Our tours are particularly suited to those who seek hands-on learning opportunities. Wendy loves learning by doing as well as learning from & interacting with locals, and loves facilitating such opportunities for others. This tour includes a natural dye workshop, optional weaving lessons and as many impromptu opportunities as we can find along the way. We will visit the major sights, but also help you experience the real Bhutan as much as possible.
We will enter Bhutan overland at Samdrup Jongkhar and travel the breadth of the country from east to west on the main transverse route. We will stop at important textile centres including side-trips to Lhuentse, Rhadi and Trashiyangtse, visit master weavers in their homes, and join the locals at tsechu (festival) as well as taking in the major sights. We also have a two-night stay in the beautiful Phobjika valley, a chance to stretch our legs and slow down to enjoy nature in this timeless valley after some busier days. We conclude our adventure in the more developed western part of Bhutan and by this time you should be well acclimatised if you wish to hike to the spectacular Taktsang (Tigers Nest) monastery near Paro.
We understand that our group will have varying interests and so we provide a range of activities, ranging from hands-‐on opportunities at the loom through to non‐textile pursuits for accompanying partners. We take in the major sights across the country while also taking the time to stay long enough in one place to interact with locals and observe village life. We have left room for free time to explore villages, shop in the towns or take a stroll, as we know these tours attract people who like to explore and have authentic serendipitous experiences. We also have left plenty of flexibility in the itinerary to take advantage of opportunities that can’t be predicted, and to choose optional activities according to the interests of the group. Because the road conditions are unpredictable, these opportunities and free time are not listed in the itinerary as we need to be flexible to take these opportunities whenever they come.
Activities that we may have the opportunity to include (depending on weather/roads/local activities and interest among the group) include modest hikes, bird and wildlife spotting, local sports, textile-related activities whenever we encounter them, village life and farm stay, traditional stone bath, free time to shop in Thimphu/Paro, and historical, cultural and religious sites.
If this sounds like your kind of experience, we would love to have you join us on this journey of a lifetime!
The tour runs for 18 days/17 nights 12-29 Dec 2018 and is priced at USD $4135 per person (twin share/double, land package). Single room supplement is USD $510.
Yes, please send me an itinerary!
Yes, please send me an itinerary!