The world has imagined Buddhist monasteries of the Himalayas to be the abode of spiritually enlightened monks, yetis and peace. To confirm this belief, one can always visit Bhutan. This country has given the world the concept of Gross National Happiness. The Bhutanese people have, in fact, tried to live a happy life, even though they do not have a prosperous one. The natural beauty, the bounty of nature, relative isolation from ‘Westernization’ and a close knit social structure gives them the luxury to have happiness at relatively low costs.
It is one of the few places in the world where a surviving monarch is loved and who is enlightened enough to voluntarily lead his people towards real democracy. Bhutan is unusual in more ways than one. Consider this:
- It is the only country in the world with specific constitutional obligations on its people to protect the environment. Among its requirements – at least 60 percent of the nation must remain under forest cover at all times.
- There are no traffic lights in the country – they consider it a waste of energy. Given the few motor vehicles it has, they are probably right.
- It is the only nation in the world where tobacco is banned.
- Killing the endangered black-necked crane attracts a sentence of life imprisonment.
The natural beauty, unhampered by construction and industrialization, makes it an ideal spot for tourism. But tourism in Bhutan would have to be different in the sense that rather than five-star hotels, spas, night life and gondolas on ski-ranges, you would find a quiet and refined culture, amazing monasteries, pristine forests and beautiful mountain lakes.
Tashi Delek, (roughly translated as ‘Good Luck’) have a good trip to the land of Thunder Dragon (and this refers to Mountain Storms !!)