As told to Carrie Goldberg
The New York-based designer has her eyes set on one of her bucket list destinations, Bhutan.
When asked where she'd like to travel, designer Tory Burch dreams of Bhutan. A special place best known for its spirituality, intrepid outdoor activities, and the Tiger's Nest, a sacred Buddhist site located in the cliffs of the upper Paro valley.
According to luxury trip planner and BAZAAR contributor Black Tomato, Bhutan opened its doors to tourists in 1974 and is best enjoyed between March to May and September to December, due to its summer rainy season. As for COVID restrictions, the country now requires travellers to have a business or student visa for entry and observe a two-week quarantine upon arrival; come high season in September, Bhutan plans to have all its residents fully vaccinated due to their efforts to quell the spread of the virus nationwide. Note: The country currently requires all those who are visiting for leisure to arrange their trips with registered tour operators. Ahead, Burch shares her dream itinerary including where she'll stay in Bhutan and all the activities she has planned.
This article originally appeared on Harpersbazaar.com
What I’ll Do
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I try everything anywhere [when I travel], especially local delicacies, within reason. I love curries, and Bhutan has its own take on them. Chilies are a big part of Bhutanese meals, so I’m looking forward to testing my tolerance for spicy food. As someone who is superstitious, I love the Bhutanese tradition of burning chilies to ward off evil spirits. A friend of mine who has visited Bhutan said to try butter tea, which is flavored with Himalayan salt and butter to keep warm. Another delicacy is Momo, a dumpling filled with either pork or cheese and eaten like snack.
People in my family know that if you can’t find me, search the nearest market. I don’t really buy anything “new.” I like finding unique old pieces, art, crafts, and pottery. Bhutan has a long history of weaving, dating back centuries. The artisans use cane and bamboo to make things for both everyday and cultural practices. There’s a practical or spiritual element behind every design, which is something I relate to from a design perspective. For instance, in traditional textiles, stripes are typically vertical for men and horizontal for women.
I definitely want to experience one of Bhutan’s sacred masked festivals, like Thimphu Tschechu; it’s all about incredible gatherings, folk dances, and deep traditions. And the iconic Tiger’s Nest monastery is on our list. Iconic because it is built into the mountain; it just appears as you are hiking.
If we have the time, I couldn’t miss visiting India on our way back. I have been dreaming to go back there, too. I travelled in the north, and I want to explore more of the south, especially Kerala. It is heartbreaking to see what is happening there right now, and we hope they have a strong recovery soon.