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Staff reporter

The newly-restored Trans Bhutan Trail (TBT) has been named in TIME’s 50 extraordinary travel destinations around the world for 2022 yesterday.

The annual list is formed of places offering new and exciting experiences, which have been nominated by TIME’s international network of correspondents and contributors.

Commenting on TIME’s annual list, Sam Blyth, the founder of TBT they are truly honoured to receive this recognition and so proud that the Trans Bhutan Trail will be highlighted on the world’s stage, showcasing the immense efforts which have gone into restoring the trail, and the commitment by the communities and His Majesty, The Fifth King of Bhutan.

“In September, the Trail will officially launch and we look forward to welcoming Bhutanese and international travellers to come and walk or cycle a part of the Trail, or even take on the incredible End-to-End Hike,” he said.



The restored historic 250-mile pilgrimage trail traversing Bhutan will be officially re-opened for the first time in six decades in a formal ceremony hosted by His Majesty The King on September 28, according to a press release from TBT. 

The Trail launch will take place within days of Bhutan’s borders fully re-opening to travellers on September 23.

“The vision of His Majesty is for the Trans Bhutan Trail to restore a unique piece of Bhutan’s cultural heritage for the benefit of its people, including its health and wellness potential, its use as an educational and spiritual resource and the economic benefit to remote communities on its route,” TBT office stated.

The restoration engaged thousands of Bhutanese workers and villagers in a unique private or public partnership between the government, the Tourism Council of Bhutan and the Bhutan Canada Foundation (BCF), which has worked for many years to further the development of Bhutan and its people through programmes that support the country’s educational ambitions.



Describing the Trans Bhutan Trail as a ‘breathtaking pilgrimage’, TIME states: “After a 60-year hiatus, the Trans Bhutan Trail is set to finally reopen. Since the 16th century, when the 250-mile trek was the only way to travel across Bhutan, the trail has served as a pilgrimage route for Buddhists, running from Haa in the west to Trashigang in the east. Now it has been reimagined as an outdoor adventure through the world’s first carbon-negative country

The government, Tourism Council of Bhutan, and Bhutan Canada Foundation combined forces to oversee the restoration of 18 major bridges, 10,000 stairs, and hundreds of miles of pathways. Intrepid travellers can hike, bike, and camp through the lush meadows and dense forests of nine dzongkhags, 28 gewogs (local governments), two municipalities, parts of Phrumsengla National Park, and more than 400 historic sites. The route is peppered with museums and ancient fortresses, like Jakar Dzong and the Fortress of the White Bird, perched on a ridge above the historic Bumthang valley.”

All aspects of guided walking and biking on the trail can be arranged directly via TBT (transbhutantrail.org) on a not-for-profit basis, with all proceeds flowing back into creating a sustainable future for the trail and the communities along it.

With its own sustainability fund to ensure that the trail will be properly maintained for generations to come, visitors booking a journey directly with TBT will play a vital role in the trail’s future.



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