From Thimphu and the first Six Senses lodge, we drove through large pine tree forests with curious yaks and myriads of rhododendron bushes over the Dochu La pass with its 108 square chorten sitting on a little hill reminding of the 108 books of Buddhism teaching. We are on 3125 meters. Spirituality is in the air, thousands of flapping prayers flags and some fluffy gentle stray dogs around. The view is breathtaking. Then arrival at the second lodge of Six Senses Bhutan in Punakha.
A flying farmhouse in the middle of rice paddy fields which are now in deep winter sleep. Punakha, due to its warmer climate is the preferred winter destination for many Bhutanese, who love to spend a weekend in this gorgeous valley with its numerous orange groves hanging from the cliffs and traditional farmhouses. The stunning lodge hidden behind thick bamboo bushes has a rustic athmosphere and is entirely made out of local materials specially hemlock wood. Among the many pavilions which conveys the feeling of living in a little village is a cantilevered wooden structure that floats over the infinity heated pool and serves as a lounge. My cozy spot for the next two days to read, write and absorb. A beautiful organic garden with the most incredible pumpkins growing in all sizes is right on property. My suite out of the 16 on site is equipped with a traditional wood burning fire place also called ‘Bukhari’ and everything else I can dream of. An elegant yet simple interior design with a refined style transmits a mountain chalet feeling with large floor to ceiling windows offering an uninterrupted, pastoral view of the majestic mountains. But what touches me the most is the incredible fragrance, the deep scent in the air. Earthy, grounded, leafy, an aromatic mix of wood, larch, eucalyptus, clay, cypress, sandalwood and I feel I want to inhale the entire time. As was the view in Thimphu, this place triggers another one of my senses, the nose. Also here the Bhutan fondation works hand in hand with Six Senses around conservation and protects the White Bellied Heron home in Punakha. Feeling at ease in the embrace of nature.