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Gratitude equals happiness in Bhutan

December 13, 2022 - In the Kingdom of Bhutan, when gratitude, communal well-being, and national identity are upheld over materialism, it leads to Gross National Happiness. Applied to the country’s governance in 1972, today it resonates at our lodges.

The unconventional measure of development, Gross National Happiness, was adopted by the Fourth King of Bhutan, Jigme Singye Wangchuck. Renouncing material measures, Bhutan assesses its country’s overall well-being according to nine indexes.

Four of these indexes: Good Governance, Community Vitality, Ecological Diversity and Resilience, and Living Standards, resonate with our Six Senses values. That’s why we have taken great care to reflect them in the uniqueness of each of our five

Six Senses Bhutan lodges through the way they are designed, built, and managed.

Taking the remaining five: Health, Time Use, Education, Psychological Well-being, and Culture, we created a journey for our guests based on our understanding and application of these principles.

“One of the most important lessons I have learned in Bhutan is about compassion and kindness,” says Claudine Triolo, our Country Director of Sales & Marketing. “Inner contentment and being kind to yourself leads to appreciating what’s around you and generating happiness for others too. Gratitude is food for the soul.”

As Claudine explains, gratitude underlies the Bhutanese way of life and philosophy towards others. There are many ways of showing gratitude in Bhutan, for example, sharing merit with sentient beings everywhere by lighting butter lamps and hanging prayer flags. “The lighting of butter lamps goes far beyond simply illuminating a monastery or temple; it is a Buddhist act that’s rich in symbolism. It is an offering of wisdom and light of knowledge to eradicate darkness or ignorance.”

Education and knowledge are central tenets in Bhutan along with maintaining the country’s cultural and spiritual values. Visiting the country is an opportunity to learn and experience the culture that the population guards so proudly. “A lot of time is spent fostering kinship and community,” says Claudine. “Whether this is enjoying a cup of butter tea around the bukhāri or wood burner to playing sports such as archery and kuru. Nowhere is this more evident than in the annual tshechu festivals, which bring groups of friends and family together to celebrate their traditions and beliefs. I’ve never been somewhere so neighborly. There’s always someone who can call someone who can call someone to help, and for that, I am very grateful!”

Eight-Night Khamsa: Thimphu, Punakha and Paro Valleys

If you're curious about everything that Bhutan has to offer, the eight-night Khamsa journey offers a mix of some of the country's not-to-be-missed sites. You will stay in our Thimphu, Punakha, and Paro lodges, visiting some lesser-known places along the way.

  1. Eight nights’ accommodation (two nights in Thimphu, three nights in Punakha, and three nights in Paro)
  2. Full board as described in the program, including non-alcoholic beverages
  3. Private Six Senses Guest Experience Maker guide, driver, and vehicle throughout your journey
  4. Entrance to all sites, monuments, and museums as described in the itinerary
  5. A 60-minute healing massage in the lodge of your choosing

Please contact the reservations department at reservations-bhutan@sixsenses.com for more information.

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