Officially known as the Kingdom of Bhutan, Bhutan is a culturally rich country that famously advocates Gross National Happiness as an index of citizen wellbeing. Bhutan has a reputation for magic and mystery and much as some aspects of the outside world are let into this Himalayan Kingdom, its ancient traditions are fiercely guarded. You might be forgiven for thinking that just because Buddhist traditions are maintained having penises painted beside the entrance of many of their houses to keep away the evil eye that the Bhutanese are ancient and weird. Quite the contrary actually many of them are well-educated individuals with a vibrant and fun-loving life.
Things to do while in Bhutan:
Thimphu, which is Bhutan’s capital, will leave you wondering whether or not you are in an actual city. You will see no vehicular traffic, no car honking at you as you attempt to cross the road, instead they will literally stop and let you pass. Of course you will find the usual busy life of any city with people going about their business, although you will notice an amazing blend of national dresses and the more trendy outfits. Main places in Thimpu include:
· The tall Buddha statue that is located in the vicinity of the city.
· Visit the National Folk heritage for a glimpse of the rural life.
· The National Library lets you in on the Himalayan region, The Bhutan region as well as the Buddhist philosophy.
· Have a better understanding of the 13 traditional arts of Bhutan with a visit to the Zorig Chusum School f traditional arts.
· Go shopping for authentic crafts at the bazaar near Taj Tashi hotel
· Sports enthusiasts can pay a visit to the Chanlimithang Stadium for a bit of football.
Takstang: The Tiger’s Nest Monastery:
Visit Takstang, the site where Guru Rimpoche, riding a flying tiger, came face to face, battled and defeated the demon that lived on the mountain. Guru Rimpoche was the most revered Guru and founder of Mahayana Buddhism in Bhutan. You can partake of the challenging trek that will take you through boulder-strewn winding paths to the cliffs where you will have beautiful views of the Paro valley.
Enjoy Bhutanese cuisine
A trip to Bhutan would not be complete without tasting its delicious cuisine. There are plenty of dishes to choose from for both the vegetarian and non-vegetarian, with the national dish being Ema Datshi with Chili and cheese. Chili to the Bhutanese is regarded as the main ingredient in food. You could also taste dishes with red rice, vegetables with cheese and potatoes with cheese (Kewa Datsh)
Attend Traditional festivals as you witness the beautiful traditional culture of the region. Go Bird Watching and explore the beautiful Wildlife in the region. Gaze at gorgeous hills, thousands of fluttering flags and beautiful cypress tress when you take the Dochula Pass. You will notice the snowy Himalayan ranges looming in the background. Visit with the numerous Dzongs in the region. Be sure to have descent clothing on you when you visit!