Does the idea of exploring a different place, meeting people from different cultures, understanding their lives and finding adventure outside your comfort zone interest you?
If you hear yourself saying “yes this is totally me” then read on. And once you’re done reading, pack your bags and take the next flight out to the magical kingdom of Bhutan.
Here are 13 reasons why you will fall in love with the Land of the Thunder Dragon – Bhutan.
1. Country of gross national happiness
All over the world, the gross domestic product is measured. All over, it is important what is being produced and consequently what is being consumed. Here in Bhutan, the monarchy took a step back (which in our opinion is a giant leap forward) and decided to look at Gross National Happiness. Probably the only country in the world which measures human development index by the GNH.
Everywhere you go in Bhutan, you will see happiness, peace and serenity. This reason in itself is enough to get us to pack our bags.
2. Beautiful landscapes
Bhutan lies in the lap of the Himalayas. All over the country you will get to see high snow covered mountains, gushing Himalayan rivers and greenery all around. Add to this the love and reverence the Bhutanese have towards everything natural, and you’ll see why nature thrives in Bhutan.
3. The entire country is very clean
Unlike a lot of places in the Himalayas, you will find Bhutan a lot cleaner and pristine. Rivers, Mountains and Forests are all revered and hence there is little dirt all over.
Everywhere you walk in any of the major cities, you will notice that they are generally clean and there is much lesser pollution as compared to anywhere in the world.
4. Bhutanese culture
The culture of the country is very much intact. Any day that you step out into the streets, you will see men wearing their traditional dress which is the Gho and women in beautiful wraparound skirts known as Kira with a shirt known as Wonju.
These fabrics are of intricate design and most of them are made by hand.
Traditional medicine practices, arts & crafts and history of Bhutan is preserved quite well and is reflected in the culture of the country.
5. Traditional architecture
There are strict Architectural guidelines which all new constructions must adhere to. The result is that traditional architecture of Bhutan is preserved and developed further. New buildings are built and decorated according to these guidelines and are not an eyesore.
At a lot of places all over the world, new constructions look like brick and concrete monstrosities.
6. The imposing Dzongs (fortresses)
The Dzongs are massive fortresses with imposing walls which have administrative offices, temples, courtyards and monks residences in them. These fortresses are a sight to behold as they rise up from the plains into the skies.
The architecture of these fortresses is simply beautiful.
7. Tourism is highly streamlined, clean and trouble free
When you visit Bhutan, the first thing that you notice is that tourism works like a well oiled machine. A visit to this country is hassle free and a lot of fun. Guides and drivers are well trained and when you visit Bhutan, you feel truly welcomed to the country.
You tour will be well planned and yet there will be plenty of opportunities for spontaneous exploration.
8. Safe travel especially for women
Bhutan is among the safest countries for individual women. At no point will you feel threatened or unsafe while you’re in Bhutan.
For families with children, you can rest assured that your trip will be safe and beautiful.
9. Adventure tours in Bhutan
If adventure is your kind of thing, you will love Bhutan. There are options for trekking and mountain biking.
Good quality mountain bikes are available and if you choose to explore Bhutan on a mountain bike, your tour company will easily arrange one for you.
If exploring on foot is something you like, there are treks of all difficulty level in Bhutan. From short 1-2 day treks to the crazy adventure known as the snowman trek which is 30 days long.
10. Lots of truly off beat places
Lots of small villages, forest areas and treks in Bhutan are off the beaten path. You’ll never be short of options when in Bhutan.
A lot of treks will take you to villages which will make you feel like you’ve transported to a different era all together.
Small farm houses in central and Eastern Bhutan are hardly frequented by travelers and here you can have experience Bhutanese life and find peace & solitude.
11. Traditional masked dances
If possible, try and time your visit to coincide with one of the traditional festivals known as Tsechu. These festivals consist of traditional masked dances of Bhutan and are a truly enriching experience.
12.Prayer flags fluttering in the wind
Everywhere in Bhutan, you will see colorful prayer flags fluttering in the wind. These are an integral part of Bhutanese culture and give a feeling of peace and serenity.
13. Last but not the least… penises are revered
The Bhutanese revere the beloved madman of Bhutan Lama Drukpa Kunley (1455 to 1529) who was an iconoclast to say the least. He used “outrageous” methods to spread his teachings.
The penis is his symbol of fertility and is used as a symbol to drive away evil spirits. All over the country and especially in Punakha, you will see paintings like these adorning the walls of homes.
Interested in exploring this Kingdom in the clouds? Join one of our trips to Bhutan for a beautiful cultural experience.