Bhutan, a country known for its concept of gross national happiness, has a lot to offer to the travelers apart from its natural beauty.
It’s a neighboring country to India and I expected a lot of similarities from any hilly region. The moment I entered Bhutan, the difference was huge. It was a lot better than how I expected, which makes it a must visit place.
So, here are 6 reasons why you must visit Bhutan-
1. Clean, organized and peaceful-
What I saw after entering Bhutan from Jaigaon-Phuentsholing border was clean streets, less populated, no street food shops, people following traffic rules so no traffic signals, no rash driving, no loud music in the public transport which sum up to a peaceful vibe.
One thing which I realized in Bhutan about peace is it’s about absence of noise or chaos. People were responsible enough to maintain that peaceful environment, which is easier when they are happy. May be because they were happy travelling to Bhutan or they were happy being Bhutanese.
2. The amazing weather-
We traveled during first week of May which was summer time so the weather was pleasant between 8-15 degrees in Thimphu & Paro and around 10 degrees high at Phuentsholing. The weather was ideal for sightseeing during day time and get a cozy sleep under that big fat blanket at night.
Their are high chances of snowfall during winters.
3. The Roads- The country is an ideal place for a road trip as it is the best way to experience natural beauty of Bhutan. The roads are in a very good shape which makes the journey smooth and safe.
Each part of road is like a view point because you get to see rivers, mountains and valley all the time while driving.
You can even drive with your own vehicle from India by getting a permit at Phuentsholing. Yes, Indian Driving License is acceptable.
4. Bhutanese food- Food being very important part of my travel plans and life as well, I had to include this.
Two of the main ingredients that they use in their cuisines are ‘ema’ meaning chilies and ‘datshi’ meaning cheese. The chilies were not that spicy but gave a strong flavor and the cheese curry was a little soupy. Some of the things that I tried are chili cheese (ema datshi), mushroom cheese (mushroom datshi), Chicken curry (jasha maroo), etc. they eat it with red rice which tastes unbelievably delicious.
5. Way of life-
Despite of the fact that tourism is their one of the biggest source of income, the culture doesn’t allow them to work on weekends to issue permits to the tourists which clearly shows their immaterialistic approach towards life.
The Buddhist concept of dividing 24 hours equally between work, sleep and play to achieve a balance in life is very much visible in their culture and to me this is the fundamental behind the concept of Gross National Happiness(GNP) or happiness in general.
Around 70% of the total land in the country is covered with forest and you won't see big chimneys polluting their environment because they chose fresh air, clear sky, clean roads, and unpolluted rivers over money and it’s something to learn.
6. Travelling is cheap-
My 10 days backpacking trip from kolkata-Thimphu-Paro-kolkata costed me around 15000 INR which was well within my budget. It is fairly easy to travel on a budget in Bhutan, especially if you follow some basics and can anticipate what things usually cost in advance.
for the details, I will be writing my next blog soon on 'how I completed my 10 days Bhutan trip in 15k'.