“Bhutan is a place blessed with an almost magical power to transform the mind, whenever I am there I feel transported to a pure realm.”
– Sogyal Rinpoche - Spiritual Master, Philosopher and Writer
The Earl of Ronaldshay described his arrival in Bhutan akin to what Alice must have felt when she passed through the looking glass, as if he were caught in a time machine that had thrown him back three centuries or so. Bhutan harbours a sense of magic, a wonderment as it proudly upholds an ancient culture and way of life, which is unique to this mountain kingdom. It’s spirituality stems from both it’s undulating mountain landscape that is almost hypnotic in its lush beauty, to the ancient customs and traditions that the citizens of this land uphold in the name of Lama Buddhism.
Prayer flags blowing in the wind, a monastery rising out of the mist. These are the things that remind us that we’re in Bhutan. This Himalayan kingdom is a priceless gem – one of the most exotic destinations you will ever visit. But its stunning beauty lies in its innate simplicity and the deep faith that pervades the entire country. Bhutan is an abode of an ancient tradition of Lama Buddhism. Its many monasteries are still functional, some dating back to prehistory. But the tradition endures, from one generation to the next. The journey you embark upon won’t just be about the destination – it’ll also be about a journey within yourself.
Everyday life in Bhutan seems far removed from everyday life in most parts of the world. This is, after all, a country that believes it’s gross national happiness is more important than it’s GDP. But this is a country that celebrates both nature and nurture. Whether it’s a local Tsechu, complete with masked revellers, depicting the legends of ancient monks and kings, or a festival to celebrate the Rhododendron flower, there’s a powerful sense of authenticity that you can’t find elsewhere. The plaintive drone of a Tibetan horn, the echoes of a gong, Dzongkha curvatures blending into the mountain, there’s a magical essence that shrouds the country and casts a special spell on all those who visit here.
If you love nature and the outdoors, then Bhutan is pure paradise. Lush green mountains, gurgling streams and rivulets, deep forests and an abundance of flora and fauna that make your heart sing. One of the best ways to explore the country is on foot, hiking to remote villages and settlements deep in the mountains, or by bicycle – cycling through it’s ancient valleys to remote corners of the country. Narrow roads and winding trails take you up to high mountain passes until you descend into the basin below, the breeze whipping through your hair. It’s a welcome breath of fresh air!