one picture tells a 1,000 words
First off.. where is Bhutan Jean?
Well, it’s a tiny country, between India and China
Bhutan is a tiny and remote kingdom nestling in the Himalayas
between its powerful neighbours, India and China.
Almost completely cut off for centuries, it has tried to let in some aspects of the outside world while fiercely guarding its ancient traditions.
The Bhutanese name for Bhutan, Druk Yul, means "Land of the Thunder Dragon" and it only began to open up to outsiders in the 1970s.
The Wang chuck hereditary monarchy has wielded power since 1907.
But Bhutan became a two-party parliamentary democracy after elections in March 2008.
Your aircraft approach to Bhutan's Paro International Airport
sets the scene for what is in store for those lucky tourists in one of the last great frontiers of world travel.
Flying into Bhutan is an experience, from the aircraft it is hard to take in the sheer beauty of the scene below. The snow-clad slopes give way to beautiful forests of pine and rhododendron, and just below the tree line, verdant valleys and White Water Rivers give way to fields of green.
There is a sense of timelessness as the plane makes a perfect landing.
This is a medieval land, a Kingdom of dreams, dragons, legends and landscapes: of myth and legend: and people so fiercely proud of their history they wear their national dress as a symbol of their loyalty to the land they love. In this fascinating tour you see some of the remains of the Advent of Buddhism in Bhutan and the scenic hills around the valleys.
The architectural style is like non-other on earth and would have to be one of the most popular destinations of tourist today. With it is a land full of warm-hearted proud friendly people who go to unusual lengths to preserve each element of Bhutanese life. Bhutan follows the same principle of integrating traditional Bhutanese hospitality with the most up to date facilities. The hotels, houses and lodges across the country are built and decorated in traditional style and are the best that Bhutan has to offer.
Our guide was Namgay, and our driver, Mr Kumar.
We hiked two magnificent altitude hikes.. one to Tigers Nest Monastery – this was at least 6 hours walking
And the other was a hike to a Nunnery – this was from the one of the highest Mountain passes in Bhutan, Cholula – started at 3,900ft and dropped down to 2,000ft.. and then climbed again. A good walk through a gorgeous fir tree forest, and it was particularly good seeing’s we visited Bhutan during Autumn season. On getting to the Nunnery, it was fascinating chatting to these nuns who have made this Nunnery their life time home.
Lessons I brought home from Bhutan
I heard from Namgay that if anybody needs a house in Bhutan, everybody in that village simply helps to build you a house! This to me signifies the true spirit of beautiful Bhutan.. her generosity of people shines through!
Bhutan was the first country in the world to pursue happiness as a state policy.
Happiness in all aspects of life – spiritual, physical, social, material –emphasis on balance and it shows in their children’s eyes!
The Bhutanese are one of the most compassionate, community-oriented races on earth.
Keep it simple, totally applies to life in Bhutan.
You have to throw out all Western preconceived ideas about ‘normal holidays’ you usually take, you don’t have choices about food/transport/roads conditions, or length of journey, but this in turn makes for an unforgettable experience!
Life’s priorities are not about food choices only! We ate basically vegetarian in Bhutan, and we all were amazed at the supply of different vegetables – and of course, Ema dashi (chilli cheese) became a staple to ask for.
I will never forget the children greeting us in Phobjikha valley.. they stopped walking and saluted us as we drove past them walking and they were all happy walking home from school.
They may not have everything (compared to Western standards) but they mostly have what they need, in abundance! Thinking Chilli’s on the roof for winter!
I realized that I don't need some of the things I thought I did to be happy. Life is not only about those Five star experiences! Thank you for this lesson Bhutan
I don't need endless choices, or the pressure to always make the best choice. Not one meal did we go hungry!
Red rice served at every meal – the choice of vegetables we ate, beetroot, green beans, cauliflower, brinjal fritters, the Indian influenced lunches/dinners all very yummy, fried potato balls – corn on the cob, freshly barbequed road side, the list goes on!
Takin red wine tasted but not enjoyed.. Raven Shiraz Red wine is better (this is an AWP mobile bottling plant initiative)
$2818US includes all meals, transport guides, base hotels, with one splurge 5 star splurge night.
The colours, sounds, and tastes of Bhutan will live with you forever!
Ps.. as promised.. a report back about our hotels October 2015.
We started off at Peaceful Resort in Thimphu
Then checked into The Green Resort Punakha .. very new and very lovely
We had one night at Guest Farm House in Phobjikha valley
And one night at Vera hotel
Then we checked into the only 5* fully Bhutanese Hotel Zhiwaling
Lastly, we had 3 nights at Tigers Nest Resort.
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