What is Special for Homestays in Bhutan?
Homestays in Bhutan are accommodations where you stay together with the local host families. Main characteristics of homestays are the fact that the living space is shared together with the host family. You also get the chance to take part in some parts of the family life. These activities are for example, cooking of local dishes, or working together with local families on the farm. Also you get the chance to take a traditional hot stone bath, these are only avaiable on request. Guest rooms are traditional or western styled with own bedrooms or good mattresses on the floor. Most homestays offer cold running water and toilets inside or outside the house. Hot water is sometimes only available on request.
When planning a homestay during the trip, it is important to know that homestays will mostly be arranged by your certified local tour operator. The tour operator then will work together with the local families. Organizing homestays on your own is not possible. Homestays typically includes meals prepared by the host family, transportation and an official guide who can help visitors with language and cultural questions and problems.
Authentic local experience
A unique way to explore the traditional Bhutanese culture is to stay in one of the many homestays in the country. Housing in a homestay offers the best way to experience Bhutan’s rich culture and warm hospitality.
Even a small detour to a small valley with overnight stays in a homestay or farmhouse offers great insides into local customs and traditions relating to the Buddhist culture, and the home culture of the guest family.
Highlights of a Homestay experience
Different types of Homestays
Homestays offers the opportunity to stay together with local families in their homes and experience their way of life.
For that several homestay options are available. This options ranges from simple farmhouses with less amenities to more modern guesthouses with basic amenities. Most homestays in Bhutan are located in rural areas and offer fascinating nature and beautiful countryside’s.
Traditional Homestays/ Farmstays
Traditional homestays in Bhutan are accommodations without a farm, or homestays with a small farm. They are all often located in remote regions and valleys that are difficult to reach and not often see any tourists. Here you sleep in the farmhouse on a good mattress on the floor. Often there is only cold water available. Warm water is only provided on request. The toilet is located outside the house.
Heritage Homestays/ Heritage Farmstays
Heritage homes are large traditional houses whose owners once had a special status within the society. The often-stately buildings usually refer to a very interesting family history. Guestrooms are traditional or western style with hot/cold running water and toilets in the house.
The most luxurious version of a Homestay is the homestay lodge. A homestay lodge combines the advantages of a lodge with those of a homestay. The guest rooms are mostly located in a small extension and have their own bathroom. Meals are taken in the main building together with the local family.
Specialities of Homestays
Homestays in Bhutan are mostly located in remote valleys, in areas which are partly undeveloped for tourism, therefore housing in an homestay need openness and curiosity and a sacrifice of comfort. Take respect of the local culture, and always be friendly than you will be rewarded with a unique and authentic experience.