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Bhutan: A walk on the wild side to see poppies in bloom

May 11, 2012|By Mary Forgione | Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
  • White poppies bloom at high elevations during the summer in Bhutan.
White poppies bloom at high elevations during the summer in Bhutan. (Amanresorts )

Summer in Bhutan means red, white and pink poppies are blooming in the Himalaya's high passes. What better time for a walk in the flower fields?

Amanresorts offers two poppy treks that combine hiking and tent camping with stays in their luxury resorts. Participants on poppy treks walk three to five hours each day at elevations ranging from 9,800 feet to almost 15,000 feet. Trails to the poppies (no, they're not the opiate kind) wind through pastures as well as pine, cypress and rhododendron forests, and up to mountain passes.

The Red Poppy Trek to the Haa and Paro valleys includes two nights in Amankora Thimphu, two nights on the trail and two nights back in Paro. Expect to see lots of wildflowers on this trip that includes a hike to the Tiger's Nest Monastery.

Pink and White Poppy Treks start in Paro and stalk alpine meadows in the Haa Valley to find the rarer white poppies and the pink poppy, a variation. This trip too begins with a stay at Amankora Thimphu, spends three days trekking and then returns to Paro.

Dates: Red Poppy Treks are offered between July 1 and 31; Pink and White Poppy Treks run from June 1 to July 15.

Price: Red Poppy Treks: $4,840 per person, double occupancy; $7,760 per person for single occupancy. Pink and White Poppy Treks: $5,310 per person, double occupancy; $8.260 per person for single occupancy. It includes all meals and beverages, laundry, private car driver and guide, airport transfers to and from Paro Airport, and other activities in the itinerary.

Contact: Amankora Poppy Treks or email amankora@amanrestorts.com

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