| In photos |
Bhutan is one of those destinations that you might have heard of but you’ve never really given much thought to, and the reason for this is because Bhutan has remained relativity difficult to visit since it opened its doors to tourists in the 70’s. To my surprise Bhutan is an untouched cultural wonderland! I hope you enjoy my photos. ❤️❤️❤️
Alongside @meissafindley and our guides I started my trip in Paro, where the airport is. ✈️ We did some light sightseeing here and stayed in an incredible property (The Zhiwa Ling) but the main draw cars of Paro is the Tigers Nest! Bhutanese people believe that everyone must visit this place at least once in their lifetime. 🐅🇧🇹
Unlike other countries Bhutan measures their success by Gross National Happiness, rather than Gross National Product. Gross National Happiness is a philosophy used to measure the collective happiness of a nation and it was first coined by the fourth King of Bhutan. Imagine, a place that cares more about the happiness of its people than anything else! 😀😀😀😀😀
After we left Paro, Mel and I went our separate ways for a spell. Melissa wanted to do the Druk Path multi day hike and I was off to Gangtey Lodge in Gangtey. We met up again in Punakha after 5 days apart. Driving out of Paro via the capital of Thimphu was a big day of driving but Gangtey became my FAVORITE!
Gangtey Lodge kept me fed, entertained and well relaxed with visits to the nearby monk school, hot stone bath and massage and incredible food from chef Soh. http://www.gangteylodge.com HIGHLY RECOMMEND! ❤️❤️❤️
After saying a sad goodbye to the wonderful staff of Gangtey and my temporary guide, it was time to rejoin Mel and check out Punakha. Punakha was the seat of government for many years and the main attraction is definitely the Dzong, previously a fort and build in 1637. Be sure to learn about the teachings of the Divine Madman whilst there.
Bhutan is not an easy country to visit but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Visiting requires a minimum daily spend, various commitments, a visa and the hiring of both a local guide and a local driver. Because of these criteria there are currently less than 100,000 tourists per year in this incredible place and the government is very slowly and very sustainably working on that figure.
If you’re Australian, 2018 might be your time to visit with the government issuing an Australian “friendship deal” to attract more Aussies. The deal consists of massive discounts and the waiving of the minimum daily spend. You can check out the details here - http://www.tourism.gov.bt/announcements/bhutan-australia-friendship-offer