Turkey and Bhutan

Bryan and Anne’s transcontinental honeymoon from Turkey, via India to Bhutan.

Trip Highlight

Something old,
Something new...

Hagia Sophia at Sunset

There is nothing more enchanting than sailing down the Bosphorus River, between the old and the new city, as the gleaming light of dusk falls behind the Hagia Sophia and explodes into yellows, purples and magenta reflections.

Expert Advice

Not to be missed...

  • Expedited

    The Istanbul airport’s VIP meet and greet is a “must.” You are welcomed by a local host as you exit the jetway and whisked in a golf cart through the Istanbul airport by-passing visa processing and passport control lines, saving up to an hour of walking and waiting! After a long international flight, there is no better way to expedite the arrivals process.

  • Standby

    The international arrivals in Delhi do not always perfectly connect with the Druk Air flight schedule to Bhutan, so we’ll arrange for an exclusive day room at the newly opened Oberoi Gurgaon to relax and rejuvenate en route from Istanbul to Paro.

  • Dinner

    The Potato Shed dinner at Amankora in Gangtey is available to one lucky couple per night, so plan ahead!

Trip Day 4

Arrival in Bhutan is like no other.

Trip Details

As your Druk Air flight weaves through narrow alpine valleys, keep your camera at the ready. The vistas are breathtaking and the spirit hypnotic. You’ll notice how passengers slowly disembark and then stand on the tarmac totally bewildered when you’ve arrived in the Land of the Thunder Dragon.

“The Paro airport is located in a deep valley at an elevation of 7,300 ft (2,200 m). With surrounding peaks as high as 18,000 feet, it is considered one of the world's most challenging airports, and as of October 2009, only eight pilots in the world were certified to land at the airport. Flights at Paro are allowed under visual meteorological conditions only and are restricted to daylight hours from sunrise to sunset.”

  • The miraculous takeoff and landing at Paro Airport
  • The infinite valleys of Bhutan
  • Quiet steps in one of the many monasteries atop the world

Where on Earth is Bhutan?

Located at the eastern end of the Himalayas, bordered to the south, east and west by the Republic of India and to the north by the People's Republic of China.

The Bhutanese Point of View

The Bhutanese grounding in Buddhist ideals suggests that beneficial development of human society takes place when material and spiritual development occur side by side to complement and reinforce each other.

The term "gross national happiness" was coined in 1972 by Bhutan's fourth Dragon King, Jigme Singye Wangchuck, who opened Bhutan to the age of modernization. At first offered as a casual, offhand remark, the concept was taken seriously.

The four pillars of GNH are the promotion of sustainable development, preservation and promotion of cultural values, conservation of the natural environment, and establishment of good governance.

Prayer Flags

Traditionally, prayer flags are used to promote peace, compassion, strength, and wisdom. The flags do not carry prayers to gods, a common misconception; rather, the Tibetans believe the prayers and mantras will be blown by the wind to spread their good will and compassion into all pervading space. Therefore, prayer flags are thought to bring benefit to all.

The prayers of a flag become a permanent part of the universe as the images fade from exposure to the elements. Just as life moves on and is replaced by new life, Bhutanese renew their hopes for the world by continually mounting new flags alongside the old. This act symbolizes a welcoming of life's changes and an acknowledgment that all beings are part of a greater ongoing cycle.