Several years ago, I went to Bhutan, to experience one of the most magic places that I’ve ever been to. Back then I became good friends with a very attentive guide who made the visit even more exciting. Mr. Karma Gyeltshen had his very own way to enthrall, and today runs his own business, Bhutan Dragon Adventures. Recently, he wrote me a few lines, asking if I could possibly publish something he had written, together with some pictures. As Bhutan has a very special place of its own in my heart, of course I’d like to forward Karma’s words here. Also, I do agree with him about the positive power that tourism can have – as a “step forward in bringing about global understanding and peace”. Bhutan is indeed a very humbling experience, that deserves the attention, not least because of its motto of Gross National Happiness. In the dark shadow of events that echoes from Paris, Istanbul, Ankara, Brussels… it’s certainly more important than ever to put humbling examples forward, and try to bring about that global understanding, for the benefit of Peace. Below, Karma’s message and pictures;
Why visit Bhutan!
Bhutan is fortunate to be a unique country with its vibrant living culture and rich biodiversity. Its people are known for their hospitality and friendly nature. Bhutan is thus, ideal for tourism andhas huge potential. It is a global testimony that tourism has become one of the major economic factors both of the developed and developing nations. Tourism also promotes the preservation of culture and environment through awareness and exchange programmes. Bhutan is moving forward in ensuring that the socio-economic benefits from tourism become more meaningful by encouraging more visitors and establishing more facilities. The royal government of Bhutan is fully committed to supporting sustainable tourism and in encouraging this industry to provide more socioeconomic benefits to its people as well as employment opportunities.
Bhutan therefore, places high importance to the development of tourism and any effort towards that direction is a step forward in bringing about global understanding and peace.
Therefore, a pleasure to welcome visitors to this tiny Himalayan Buddhist country and wish that this travel website will assist you in making your journey to Bhutan more satisfactory and fulfilling.
Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.
– Henry David Thoreau, Walden
On the southern slopes of the eastern Himalayas lies a country that captured my heart the very moment I arrived. Steep mountains and deep valleys, where people dressed in traditional attire seem to smile a lot, where fortresses (Dzongs, such as the one in the picture above) look like something taken straight from a fairy tale, where Buddhism is very visible in everyday life, where Gross National Happiness is a serious commitment by the government in that such factors as well-being in a balanced use of time, and harmony with the environment, is taken into account.
This is where archery is the national sport, where Ema Datshi (chili peppers and cheese) is the national dish, and where I felt fortunate to have the experience of a lifetime.
If I were to do certain trips all over again, what would my perfect world tour look like? Here’s one way it could be done:
I would start with one of my absolute favourites; Antarctica. Why? Because the impressions that were left with me from that journey , the new friendships that were made and the incomparably beautiful nature and wildlife, made me humble.
After the snowy continent, my journey would continue like this: India – Bhutan – Myanmar – Kyrgyzstan – Mongolia – Japan – Papua New Guinea – Australia – Chile – Argentina – Guyana – Barbados – Cuba – Canada – Ireland – South Africa – Greece – Italy – Switzerland – Belgium – and finally, back home, to Sweden. (Of course, there are so many optional routes that could be taken, and in order for me to experience new exciting places, I would have to do a completely different walkabout.) Well, here are some pictures from those places mentioned above, that left me in awe.
Oh, and the obvious answer to the question above (Would I do it again?) is, Yes!
Chinstrap penguin, Half moon island, Antarctica
Tiger’s nest, Bhutan
Inle lake, Myanmar
Yaks in the Tian shan mountains, Kyrgyzstan
Sushi time, Japan
Ambua lodge, Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea
Surf’s up, Australia
Fin del mundo, Argentina
Kaieteur falls, Guyana
Horse polo, Italy