Discover Bhutan at ION Orchard & Stand A Chance to Win A FREE Trip!
Known as the ‘Happiest Kingdom on Earth’, the Kingdom of Bhutan has alway been regarded as one of the most exclusive travel destinations in the world. In reality, it is an accessible five-hour plane ride away from Singapore.
To give Singaporeans a glimpse into Bhutan, Druk Asia has organized the “Discover Breathtaking Bhutan Travel Fair” at ION Orchard Basement 4 from 18th – 30th October 2016. There is photography and painting exhibition, loom weaving demonstrations, Bhutanese culinary delights available for sample, and a chance to purchase Bhutanese food and handicrafts.
What’s more, you get a chance to win a 4D3N all-expense paid trip to Bhutan worth $8,600!
WEAR TRADITIONAL BHUTANESE COSTUMES
Traditional Bhutanese attire include the Kira, which is worn by women and the Gho that is for the men. Dating from the 16th century, Gho is a knee-length dress like the Japanese kimono while the kirais an ankle length long skirt-like dress, supported by brooches called komaon the shoulders.
At the travel fair, replicas of the Royal Garments made for His Majesty the King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Her Majesty the Queen Jetsun Pema will exhibit alongside a collection of gho and kira for daily wear.
Of course, you are encouraged to try on the gho and kira and you’re your pictures taken at a designated photo area.
HANDLOOM DEMONSTRATIONS BY A ROYAL WEAVER
Bhutanese loom weaving is an ancient art, of which most Bhutanese girls are taught from the age of nine years. They often sit before these looms for many hours daily weaving clothes. Because of the intricacy and incredible detail that goes into making the fabric, I was told that they could only weave 2 inches per day.
To understand Bhutanese culture, watch the live handloom demonstrations by Ms. Tshomo, a Royal Weaver. Ms. Tshomo is one of the finest artisans in the kingdom, weaving ghos and kiras, the Bhutanese traditional dress for the Royal Family. She has worked on the Kitshothara Kira and the Shinglo Gho for the Royal Wedding of the Bhutanese King and Queen, amongst other works. Ms. Tshomo says she takes a year to weave three metres of fabric that is required for the garment.
If you visit the exhibition and take a look closely at the fabric, you will realize that no embroidery is done to create patterns because all the patterns are woven to create the design. SO MUCH EFFORT!
All hand-woven textiles, gho and kira garments and accessories are also available for purchase. Proceeds will go to RENEW Women’s Fund, an organization that provides emergency relief and support services to women and girls suffering from domestic and gender based violence and sexual abuse, assisting marginalized women and girls through shelter, counseling, legal services, advocacy and awareness and scholarships.
SAVOUR DELICIOUS BHUTANESE FOOD
My memory of Bhutanese food is clean and healthy eating but still tasty. At the Druk Asia Breathtaking Bhutan Travel Fair, I met Chef Sonam who learnt co-owns Chh’a Bistro in Thimpu. He has modernized Bhutanese food for international palates, while still preserving its heritage and culture. We get to sample some Bhutanese cuisine such as red rice porridge and dumplings.
Bhutanese cuisine is inspired by Chinese, Indian and Tibetian food. It is not as oily as Chinese and Indian food, but definitely more spicy than Tibetian cuisine. Three types of chillies are presented here, the spiciest is the one that looks like cherry tomatoes. So don’t pop it into your mouth!
Momo is one food that we eat almost everyday during out trip in Bhutan. Similar to Chinese dumpling, it is available from street shops to restaurants all over the country. Most of the time, momo in Bhutan comes in pork, beef or cabbage, but here at the exhibition, Chef Sonam has wrapped chicken momo for locals. Don’t forget to add some Ezzay chilli compote into the momo, it heightens the flavours even more!
Chef makes buckwheat pancakes on the spot and you can pair it with wild strawberry jam and Bhutanese clover honey. The batter is made with organic buckwheat and eggs, with no oil added.
Red rice is to Bhutanese food as bread is to the American table, but the rice is probably healthier. That’s because the rice paddies from Bhutan’s Paro Valley are irrigated with mineral-rich glacier water.
At ION Orchard, we get to eat the red rice porridge cook for a long time together with Sichuan peppercorn and cheese. This is a typical breakfast in Bhutan.
Not forgetting the butter tea made with black tea and butter. It tastes a little different on the first sip but you will get use to the taste thereafter. Other drinks available include Sea Buckthorn Juice and Bhutanese Honey Lemon.
You can even be able to bring some tastes of Bhutan home with fresh produce, dried goods, and groceries available for purchase.
UNDERSTANDING BHUTAN THROUGH ART
Painting works by respected Bhutanese artist Asha Kama, showcasing his expressive form of contemporary art of Bhutanese subjects and iconography, textures, movements and many symbols in the Bhutanese culture, will be displayed. There will also be a photography exhibition by acclaimed photographers such as National Geographic photographer Ciril Jazbec and nomadic film-maker Zuhariz Khuzaimah.
DRUKASIA TRAVEL PACKAGES AND DRUKAIR DEALS
Personalize a magical journey through Bhutan, or select from DrukAsia’s packages, covering themes like adventure, cultural, festival, luxury and trekking.
For the first 100 package sign-ups, DrukAir is offering a special airfare promotion for 2 to Travel at $868*per person, economy class. (Usual price: $1,208)
DrukAir now has three flights departing on the Singapore–Kolkata–Paro route per week! Discover more at the DrukAsia booth at the travel fair.
WIN A TRIP TO BHUTAN!
Win an all-expense paid 4D3N return trip to Bhutan for two worth S$8,600! Simply put on the gho and kira and post your image on Facebook and Instagram with the hashtag #BreathtakingBhutan, and a caption on how you would like to Discover Breathtaking Bhutan and why. You will stand to win an experience of your choice from 5 themed itineraries – adventure, trekking, cultural, festival or essential Bhutan!
Forget Disneyland, put Bhutan on your travel bucket list if you want to visit the happiest place on earth!