Bhutan: Happiness is a PlaceBACK
Bhutan a very extraordinary place to go to. This country is considered one of the most expensive places to visit, and yet you would notice that the modernity is not the same as the rest. If you visit Bhutan, you will become one of the few who will get a glimpse of the most enchanted and mysterious countries which they also call “The Last Shangrila”.
“Bhutan offers an opportunity to glimpse another way of living, an alternative vision of what is truly important in life.” – Lonely Planet
History behind the phrase ‘Happiness is a place’
Bhutan’s King used the phrase to signal his commitment to building an economy that would serve Bhutan’s unique culture based on Buddhist spiritual values. – Wikipedia
What you need to know about the Bhutanese:
1. Bhutanese eat chili raw or cooked, minced or roasted.
Chili with cheese.
2. National custom.
The men wear Gho, a longish robe tied around the waist by a cloth belt. Bhutanese also calls this the biggest pocket in the world because they can put almost anything inside their robe and it wouldn’t fall.
You can buy their national costume starting at $30, and pay as much as $2,000 depending on the quality.
The Women wear an ankle-length dress known as Kira.
3. Bhutanese Architecture – all buildings and houses all having the architectural style to preserve Bhutan’s culture and heritage.
Gently tapering walls, classic line, large courtyards and are among the finest examples of Bhutanese architecture
4. Love for Nature
Its illegal to smoke in public. If you arrive in Bhutan, the first thing immigration will ask you is if you have cigarettes. Bringing Cigarette packs in the country is taxable depending on the brand.
Its also illegal to fish.
Places to Visit:
1. City of Paro
Taktsang Monastery also known as Tigers Nest
Not only is this place spectacular, but it takes your breath away, literally. The hike to the Tigers Nest will take about 4 hours, and going down takes 1 hour or more. Though you can see the Tigers nest from below, you wouldn’t appreciate the viewThe visit wouldn’t be complete without beating your feet to the top.
Tragically wrecked in a fire of early 1998. The monastery, which has now been rebuilt, is perched some 2,000ft/600m up on a sheer cliff overlooking the valley and was said to be where the legendary Indian saint, Guru Padmasambhava, flew from Tibet on the back of a tiger to defeat five demons, who were opposing the spread of Buddhism in Bhutan.
A view of the Tigers nest from the starting point
View from the Tea House – Half way point. (These are not hiking shoes)
Finally after 4 hours we reached the top.
Tips before the hike:
- Its always good to start early. We started hiking at 8:30am.
- Hiking shoes. Keeping your balance is the hardest part of the hike.
- Bring water, raincoat and a cap and put it in a backpack. (Never use a shoulder bag)
- Walking stick. An essential tool for you not to loose your footing. It’ll keep you from tumbling.
A beautiful fortress which houses 200 monks.
Monks in their daily routine.
Circle of Life painted on the wall
Government administrative offices.
Turn the wheels clockwise for good luck
Ruins of Drugyel Dzong
A Buddhist monastery in ruins.
Up here you can also enjoy the views of Mount Jhumolari a famous trekking site.
A display of serenity and gracefulness through the sound of their voice and movement.
Not only you get to see them dance, you also get to join them dance.
The audience also gets to be a part of the Bhutanese culture.
Watch the cultural dance.
2. Thimpu – Capital city of Bhutan
Late King’s Memorial Stupa
Built for the world peace.
Tashichhodzong is one of the most important government and monastic buildings in Bhutan
Bhutan’s national animal, the Takin. The best way to describe this gentle creature?
It has a goats head and a body of a cow.
Giant Buddha Dordenma
A gigantic Shakyamuni Buddha statue. Upon Completion it will be one of the largest Buddha rupas in the world, at a height of 169 feet (51.5 meters)