Trans Bhutan Trail reopening likely to increase tourists in upcoming days

Bhutan. Image credit Pixaby

Thimpu/IBNS: Bhutan, the Himalayan nation which nestles within its heart deep scenic beauties, is expected to witness a rise in tourists with the opening of the Trans Bhutan Trail, local media reports said.

Bloggers and travel journalists are already writing about their mesmerizing experiences of trekking and spending their time with Bhutanese families to get a sneak peek of our real culture, reports The Bhutan Live.

What is Trans Bhutan Trail?

As per a website called  Trans Bhutan Trail, it is a 403km route, spanning from Haa in the West of Bhutan to Trashigang in the East. It is considered one of the world’s greatest walks and one of the best hiking routes in Asia.

The Trans Bhutan Trail dates back at least to the 16th century when it connected fortresses called Dzongs and served as the pilgrimage route for Buddhists in the east travelling to the most sacred sites in western Bhutan and Tibet, read the website.

Trail runners, or ‘Garps’, worked the Trail and were legendary, travelling with vital messages and mail between Dzongs at great speeds with little food or rest.

The Trail came to play a major role in uniting the region’s many provinces, repelling foreign incursions, and fostering the birth of Bhutan as a nation in 1907. 

By the 1960s the Trail had fallen into disuse with the construction of a national highway. Bridges, footpaths and stairways collapsed, gewogs (villages) and landholdings were separated, and this traditional pilgrimage route became neglected.

In 2018, the restoration of the Trail was led by the Bhutan Canada Foundation with the support of the Tourism Council of Bhutan to restore the Trail to make it accessible again for locals, pilgrims, and travellers.

According to reports, the move was made under the leadership of country’s king Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck.

“I wanted to open the doors of my farmhouse to tourism in 2018 but then the pandemic hit and ruined my plans,” Zangmo, one of the women opening her house to the tourists, told The Bhutan Live. “Then last year, a guide from the TBT knocked on my door and invited me to be an ambassador, which changed my life. Not only can I make some extra money for my family, but I also have the opportunity to interact with people from around the world and learn new things.”

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