There are parts of the world that are beautiful, amazing, incredible and wonderful. Now imagine somewhere twice as good as that, and you have some idea of Bhutan.
Any country which measures their economy in ‘Gross Domestic Happiness’ has to be special. The first thing you notice when you arrive is that you are pretty much the country’s only visitor. With only 5,000 tourists per year, no wonder. The next thing you notice is the fresh air. The wind blows from the Himalayas, there are very few cars, and Bhutan has banned cigarettes and plastic bags. Breathe deep!
Then you meet the people. Warm, welcoming and trusting. You don’t experience the cynicism of countries where tourism has influenced culture. In Bhutan, the locals are proud of their heritage, and it is something to behold.
Spectacular monasteries perched on precipitous cliffs, where once the only means of arrival was via a winged tiger (Tiger’s Nest – near Paro); Dzongs (Forts) at Punahka, Paro, Thimpu and throughout Bhutan are architectural masterpieces. And of course, Bhutan has some of nature’s greatest creations: the towering Himalayan Mountains, rising up to a mighty 7,500 metres, are not the only amazing sight. Unspoilt forests to wander through, crystal clear rivers and beautiful mountain streams are just a few of the things that make Bhutan special to me.
But best of all – Bhutan is unique. There is nothing else like it in this world.