Bhutan champions Waddling Tour, an activity that's completely new in tourism
Bhutan is in the midst of developing new tourism products. The country is gearing up to make the tourism industry in the Kingdom to be more vibrant.
The latest tourism product that has been launched recently in Bhutan is known as the "waddling" tour.
The waddling tour is initiated by the Guide Association of Bhutan (GAB). According to the chairman of GAB, Sir Garab Dorji, waddling tour is the first of its kind in Bhutan or perhaps even in the world. A waddling tour is a type of tour in which people walk through the streams or small rivers, wearing gumboots. Imagine taking short steps while swaying and enjoying the streams with gumboots on. Capitalizing on the country's natural environment, the activity aims to attract both locals and tourists.
To commemorate the Guide Association of Bhutan 12th Foundation Day, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lyonpo Tandi Dorji, who is also Chairperson of Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) and Director-General of TCB, Dasho Dorji Dradhul launched the waddling tour on 14 March 2021. Around 20 waddling enthusiasts, both old and young, joined to experience the waddling tour during the formal launch.
For now, not all the streams in the capital are adopted as waddling spots except the Thujidra stream that flows through Upper Motithang. The stream is adopted by GAB and this will henceforth be a Waddling Trail, the trail is also known as Ancient Takin Trail.
Members of Guides Association of Bhutan
The trail is built along Thujidra Rongchu from the Tourism Council of Bhutan office next to Thimchhu to starting point of Drukpath Trek at the base of Phajoding. The trail is divided into different phases of development. For now, the first phase has been completed. Many nature enthusiasts are seen hiking and cycling on the trail. To add more recreational value to the trail, waddling tour was incorporated to give hikers a water sport experience.
The urbanites in Thimphu can now experience the waddling tour. There is a minimal charge of Nu 50 per person to waddle on the Thujidra stream along the Ancient Takin Trail. Both kids and families can walk in the stream during spring and autumn with warm socks and gumboots. Each waddler will be given a pair of gumboots to walk through the stream. Each tour is properly guided by the guides from the Guide Association of Bhutan to ensure that it's safe and enjoyable.
The Ancient Takin Trail is managed, maintained, and adopted by the GAB and supported by Shercol class of 89 Fresher, 11th grade), and funded by the Bhutan Trust Fund and Tourism council of Bhutan. GAB along with Shercol class of 89 cleaned, built waterfalls and parks along the trail from Motithang open gym till the Takin Preserve Park vehicle parking area.
Making the Trail
Today, the communities from all walks of life are taking care of the nature-based trail. On weekends, hikers, cyclists, yoga practitioners, and picnic-goers are seen along the trail. It is increasingly gaining popularity in the capital city of Thimphu.
The Ancient Takin Trail and Waddling Spot
Amid the pandemic when Bhutan closed its border for tourism, the Guide Association of Bhutan has been working along the trail for the last 11 months. The guides have also been actively embarking on cleaning campaign all over the country. It is with the hope that Bhutan tourism industry will become even more vibrant when the borders reopen. One of the initiatives include the makeover of the trail towards the iconic landmark, Taktsang Monastery (Tiger's Nest Monastery).