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  • New Year's Eve in Bhutan - Traveller's Tales
    the Punakha Dzong by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal 1594 1651 People came from all over Bhutan to celebrate its completion and brought offerings of their local food a tradition which has continued down the centuries at Losar with a variety of different dishes still eaten today Food such as fried biscuits tshos mandarins diced sugar cane fermented rice changkoi various stews porridges and cheeses different teas and special sweets shudre are all traditionally consumed Sugar cane and green bananas are considered auspicious foods the presence of which helps to ensure the New Year will be a good one James Mayer Losar Community Building and the Bhutanese New Year Archery competitions are common in Bhutan at Losar As well as being a time when people indulge in ritual feasting and drinking New Year s Eve in Bhutan is also marked by families coming together dancing singing and games particularly the national sport of archery Homes are deep cleaned and old or unused objects discarded to make way for the new Offerings are made at holy shrines and temples for an auspicious year ahead and revellers greet each other with tashi delek a traditional phrase that wishes the listener bountiful blessings and good luck And so from all of the team at Panoramic Journeys and in the spirit of the Land of the Thunder Dragon we wish you a very happy and healthy 2015 Tashi delek The beautiful Punakha dzong Bhutan Archery Bhutanese food Losar new year Bhutan Did you like this article Share it with your friends Tweet Leave a Reply Cancel reply Name Email Website Comment PANORAMIC JOURNEYS Welcome Welcome to the Panoramic Journeys blog We hope it paints an intimate portrait of the countries we visit Mongolia Bhutan and Burma Here you will find stories and adventures useful information interesting

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  • Top 5 Documentaries Made in Bhutan - Traveller's Tales
    and musician Imogen Heap joined the trek for a spell and has written some original music for the film You can find out more about the project and view videos using footage cut to accompany two of Imogen s pieces from the film score on the film website The Happiest Place 3 The Other Final The Other Final This 2003 documentary is about a football match between Bhutan and Montserrat the two worst teams in the world according to FIFA s 2002 rankings The feat of arranging a match between the two countries was not straight forward but eventually the game was played at the Changlimithang Stadium in Thimphu Bhutan on the same day as the World Cup Final was played in Japan and was watched by a crowd of 15 000 people The documentary was screened around the world and won several film awards 4 Bhutan One of our favourites we ve featured this short film on the blog before It is a highly evocative portrait of Bhutan by Clemens Purner We LOVE this video it is beautiful and atmospheric and really captures the mystical essence of the Himalyan Kingdom At just over two minutes it is a perfect visual bitesize treat a little injection of Bhutan to enrich your day 5 Made in Bhutan Made in Bhutan This 32 minute documentary film portrays the emergence of entrepreneurial culture in Bhutan and was directed and produced by Hirondelle Chartlard for the Loden Foundation in 2013 The film explores the challenges and opportunities for the development of entrepreneurship in Bhutan particularly amongst young adults and gained a significant fan base both in the United States and Europe Mr Dorji Tashi the Executive Director of the Loden Foundation said of the film we intend to introduce Bhutan and socially responsible business practises in Bhutan to the wider global audience If these 5 documentaries made in Bhutan have inspired you to visit the Himalayan kingdom please call our office for a chat on 01608 676821 or check out the Bhutan pages on our website and see what trips we have available to Bhutan ben henretig clemens purner Imogen heap loden foundation made in bhutan the happiest place the himalayan boy and the tv set the other final Did you like this article Share it with your friends Tweet 2 Responses to Top 5 Documentaries Made in Bhutan Joanne Millar says December 3 2014 at 9 52 pm I would like to make a documentary with Bhutanese colleagues on the ancient tradition of cattle migration with herders from Bhutan Herders migrate south with their cattle every winter in a journey that can take up to 2 weeks passing through villages with friends and traders and camping in large open pastures In the south they work on orange orchards and then return the following spring Dr Kuenga Namgay did his PhD with me on this cultural practice which is facing many challenges and is on the decline I need some advice on organisations that

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  • Top 5 Secret Places - Traveller's Tales
    the perfect destination for diving snorkeling sea kayaking fishing and nature research as well as bird watching short trekking and jungle safari 3 Panoramic Journeys Refugio The Panoramic Journeys Refugio Our refugio is a little oasis of peace in the eastern Mongolian aimag of Khentii Depending on the time of year ground conditions and weather it takes two and a half hours to reach by 4 4 from central UB Alternatively we can arrange for you to ride there from the Chingghis Khan Monument Run by our friend Naraa and his family the refugio offers guests the opportunity to experience nomadic life first hand Help with the animals milk the goats round up the horses learn to cook traditional dumplings and in the winter enjoy dog sledding or ice bowls 4 Putao On the route to Dahondam Putao PHOTO Hom Saihkay Trekking in the region of Putao in the far north of Burma s Kachin state involves traversing some rickety rope bridges but it is worth it Visit the different tribal people who inhabit the remote villages in this mountainous area on the border with Tibet It is also home to tigers and you may be lucky enough to catch some in a camera trap Rich in wildlife of all kinds it is also an orchid lovers paradise 5 Zavkhan Zavkhan Aimag Mongolia The location for the Moreton s Mongolian summer holiday this year Zavkhan aimag is about an hour and forty minutes flight from UB in the west of the country There are countless opportunities for some real outward bound activities here river rafting and kayaking horseriding fishing and messing about in sand dunes This is the land of the nomads so visiting local people and experiencing their way of life is a must And the landscape will take your breath away If you are tempted by any of these far flung secret places why not ring us in the office for a chat and let us design you your own tailormade holiday of a lifetime You can reach us on 01608 626821 and you can read more about our destinations on our website An inspirational read is Alan Rabinowitz s book Beyond the Last Village A Journey of Discovery in Asia s Forbidden Wilderness Alan Rabinowitz also oversaw the film shoot in Bhutan for the BBC s Lost Land of the Tiger Mergui archipelago Putao refugio Rukha trekking Zavkhan Did you like this article Share it with your friends Tweet 2 Responses to Top 5 Secret Places Angela Fox says February 23 2015 at 10 03 pm Hi I am interested in a trip to any of these three places in July Please get back to me re availability and prices Thanks Angela Karina Moreton says March 25 2015 at 10 41 am Dear Angela Thanks for getting in touch about our Top 5 Secret Places You can contact our office directly on 44 0 1608 676821 info panoramicjourneys com to find out more details about how we

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  • Last Minute August Holidays - Traveller's Tales
    will be time before you leave to shop and visit its fascinating historical sites and museums ESSENTIAL BHUTAN The weekend market at Thimpu The classic highlights of Western Bhutan Thimphu Punakha and Paro provide a great value taster of this unique country Visit family houses fortresses high mountain passes and subtropical valleys becoming immersed in Bhutanese culture in a short amount of time The beautiful Punakha Dzong In Thimpu the capital of Bhutan visit its weekend market quirky museums and landmarks before heading east over the Dochu Laa pass with its 108 chortens fluttering prayer flags and ornate Druk Wangyal Lhakhang temple Visit Punakha Dzong arguably the most beautiful in Bhutan set in the confluence of two rivers and family farmhouses in the village of the Queens Spend your last couple of nights in the calm and beautiful Paro valley your journey ends with a hike to the famous Taksang monastery Expect colourful markets lush green valleys and of course the famous Bhutanese hospitality BURMA TAILORMADE Balloons over Bagan Burma Although it is hot 27 30 C and wet monsoon rains and the beaches are closed we think August is a fantastic time to visit Burma The country looks freshly green and verdant there are hardly any tourists to contend with and the best hotels are available at incredible discounts The huge reductions from peak season prices means you can afford a luxurious hotel with a beautiful pool to lie beside on a peaceful afternoon Enjoy a luxury hotel in Burma and relax by the pool We can arrange the perfect family holiday to Burma incorporating the kind of activities you like and visiting the sights that you want to see We can put together a bespoke package perfectly matched to your family s needs for a dream holiday that

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  • Traveller's Tales - A Dream of Bhutan
    encounters with the Royal Family I was quite wrong My very helpful contact there took me to a celebration at the Royal Temple of the 49th day of death of the cousin to the Fourth King This was a solemn but warm and informal family gathering people were sweet to me and showed great interest in my photos and the story of my father The splendid Taj Tashi hotel in Thimpu I had been advised to get in touch with the British Honorary Consul to Bhutan who immediately invited me to the Taj Tashi a most palatial hotel to take part in a lavish dinner reception for the Foreign Minister from Sri Lanka I had 35 minutes to get ready The whole event had an unreal Cinderella like feel to it I practically had to pinch myself to believe it was really happening The princess HRH Ashi Kesang Wangchuck whom I had met that morning said Hello again and I chatted to all kinds of ministers Next day we continued with our tour and our fantastic guide a very learned and devout young man Tenzin Mendrel took us on a magical adventure tour of beautiful temples legends and ceremonies hikes and picnics He was a superb guide and we were so lucky to have him with us Diana Hughes by the Tiger s Nest Paro Taktsang The trip to Bhutan culminated in the most wonderful hike of all up to the Taktsang Monastery which clings to the side of a rock face 800 metres above the valley a goal of mine for many years The sense of achievement on getting there was beautiful This was truly a thrilling trip just perfect and I can t thank the Panoramic Journeys team enough especially Kath for organising it The question now is

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  • 10 Facts About Burma - Traveller's Tales
    charitable giving or dana is integral to religious observance amongst Theravada Buddhists with it being one of the key paths to earning good merit 5 CULTURE Although a range of indigenous cultures exist in Burma the Kachin and Chin several Hill tribes Inle Lake Intha people the majority culture is Buddhist and Bamar In traditional villages the monastery is the centre of cultural life However elements of western culture were assimilated under British colonial rule with the education system being modelled along similar lines and colonial architecture still in evidence in major cities 6 FESTIVALS Thingyan the Burmese New Year Water Festival is the most popular and raucous of Burma s colourful celebrations Calculated by the lunar calendar it usually falls around April and lasts for five days On the first day people around the country gather together visit pagodas make offerings and pay homage to the monks play traditional games and celebrate in joyful spirits On the second day the water throwing which marks the festival begins in earnest Revellers use receptacles of all shapes and sizes to douse each other to symbolise the cleansing of the sins of the year 7 NATURE Burma boasts a wide range of fish and mammals but is probably best known for its elephants manatees wild buffalo tigers and leopards Over 800 species of birds make it an ornithologist s paradise 8 LANDSCAPE Burma s landscape is rich and varied It is a country of mountains the Himalayas the Hengduan Mountains the Rakhine Yoma the Bago Yoma the Shan Hills and the Tenasserim Hills Between the densely forested mountain ranges the country s winding rivers the Irrawaddy the Salween and the Sittaung flow through fertile valleys Burma also has glorious beaches having 1 930 km of contiguous coastline along the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea 9 ICONIC STRUCTURE The extraordinary Shwedagon Pagoda towers over Yangon s skyline at 110 metres high Built 2 500 years ago to enshrine Buddha s hair and other holy relics the complex now consists of hundreds of temples stupas and statues The main pagoda is covered with hundreds of gold leaves and the top of the stupa is encrusted with 4531 diamonds the largest of which is a 72 carat diamond 10 ETHNIC GROUPS Burma is home to about 135 ethnic groups including a multitude of hill tribes each with their own culture The Burmese government groups them into eight major national ethnic races Kachin Kayah Kayin Chin Mon Bamar Rakhine Shan Perhaps most recognisably the Intha people live on and around Inle Lake and have adapted their famous one legged rowing technique in order to row standing up to see over the water reeds Next week 10 Facts About Bhutan If you would like to know more about this fascinating country or see it for yourself please get in touch 44 0 1608 676821 info panoramicjourneys com Check out our Burma pages on our website for more information about the Land of the Golden Pagodas

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  • New Year's Eve in Burma - Traveller's Tales
    everybody New Year s Eve in Burma is the most popular raucous and colourful celebration of the year Thingyan actually lasts for five days and culminates in New Year s Day On the first day people around the country gather together visit pagodas make offerings and pay homage to the monks play traditional games and celebrate in joyful spirits The party continues into the night with music singing and dancing A spectacular firework display ends the Burmese New Year festivities On the second day the water throwing which marks the festival begins in earnest Revellers use receptacles of all shapes and sizes to douse each other to symbolise the cleansing of the sins of the year On New Year s Eve there is a grand fireworks display musical performances food stalls and hundreds of revellers dancing Burmese girls perform traditional dances during Thingyan Water Festival And so from all of the team at Panoramic Journeys and in the spirit of our Burmese friends we wish you a very happy and healthy 2015 thingyan water throwing Did you like this article Share it with your friends Tweet Leave a Reply Cancel reply Name Email Website Comment PANORAMIC JOURNEYS Welcome Welcome to the Panoramic Journeys blog We hope it paints an intimate portrait of the countries we visit Mongolia Bhutan and Burma Here you will find stories and adventures useful information interesting facts and beautiful photographs And every month we bring you the travel news from our three destinations Take the Trip of a Lifetime Trips to BHUTAN Trips to BURMA Trips to MONGOLIA PANORAMIC FIXERS CATEGORIES BHUTAN 69 BURMA 88 FAMILY FUN 3 FESTIVALS 12 FOOD DRINK 3 GENERAL 100 INDIA 2 INSPIRATION 16 MONGOLIA 129 PJ 10th BIRTHDAY 7 PJ NEWS 76 REVIEWS 1 SHORT BREAKS 4 Slider 6 THAILAND

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  • Burma Highlights - Traveller's Tales
    extending your visit by a couple of days to relax at the spectacular Ngapali Burma s best beach One of the magnificent temples in Bagan Yangon provides the perfect introduction to this fascinating country stroll the old streets with their colonial buildings visit bustling markets the awe inspiring Shwedagon Pagoda Chaukhtatgyi reclining Buddha and the national history museum Fly north to Inle Lake with floating gardens and traditional fishermen in long tailed boats Then onto the majestic landscape of Bagan with over 2000 ancient temples scattered around the fertile plains Enjoy an optional hot air balloon ride over this breathtaking iconic site Voyage down Rudyard Kipling s Road to Mandalay and then a river trip down the mighty Irrawaddy to Sale rounds off the experience The glorious Ngapali Beach Burma This tour can be extended to eleven days or more by flying from Bagan to the coast to relax at the pristine beach resort of Ngapali Rest on the white sands swim in the crystal blue waters of the Bay of Bengal and enjoy the best of Burmese hospitality at your exclusive beachfront hotel Or you could just stay home and put on your winter woollys For more information about our Burma Highlights trip and the fabulous Ngapali extension call our office on 01608 676821 or check out our website for further details Bagan Inle Lake Irrawaddy Mandalay Ngapali Shwedagon Yangon Did you like this article Share it with your friends Tweet Leave a Reply Cancel reply Name Email Website Comment PANORAMIC JOURNEYS Welcome Welcome to the Panoramic Journeys blog We hope it paints an intimate portrait of the countries we visit Mongolia Bhutan and Burma Here you will find stories and adventures useful information interesting facts and beautiful photographs And every month we bring you the travel news from

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