Top Reasons to Visit Bhutan
Aah, Bhutan…no ordinary place! Spectacular Himalayan scenery, pristine nature, unique architecture, Buddhist values and engaging friendly faces. Below are some of the many highlights of a trip to Bhutan where the revolutionary philosophy of Gross National Happiness is abundant!
Delicious and delectable dumplings filled with spicy beef, pork for vegetables. Our favourites were devoured at the top of Pele La Pass from a ‘momo cart’ sitting on the side of the national highway while we were stuck in road works.
2. Prayer Wheels
We couldn’t resist spinning the various wheels counterclockwise – silently chanting Om Mani Padme Hum – to help accumulate wisdom, compassion and merit (good karma!)
Wonderful combination of hiking through rice paddies, steep climbs to remote sacred sites and densely forested mountain trails singing with birds, meeting monks, villagers and fellow pilgrims.
4. Red Panda Beer
Didn’t see any red pandas but did enjoy this Swiss style unfiltered beer produced in a state-of-the art microbrewery in the Bumthang valley.
5. Prayer Flags
Adding vibrant colours to mountain passes, bridges, rooftops and dzongs – five colours that symbolize water, wood, fire, earth and iron; the 5 wisdoms, the 5 directions and the 5 mental emotions. We bought and hung our prayer flags to thank the universe for getting us to the top of Taktshang Goemba.
I was tasked with handing out rainbow loom bracelets lovingly made by some friend’s kids back home – we were met with shrieks of delight, laughter and hugs!
7. The Drives
Around every corner – sometimes there were a dozen or so in 1 km, there was always a surprise – stunning waterfalls, chortens, troupes of whitecapped langurs, yaks, kids in their kiras and ghos (traditional dress) walking to school, boy monks who ditched their maroon robes to jump into the river, hillside monasteries, gorgeous green of rice paddies ready for harvesting, red rhododendrons and the perfect picnic spots.
8. Taktshang Goemba (Tiger’s Nest Monastery)
Bhutan’s most famous monastery and pilgrimage site clings to sheer cliffs over Paro valley. We climbed through blue pines, spun the water- powered prayer wheels , switchbacked up the ridge, climbed 800 stairs till at last we were clinging to the same cliff and enjoying spectacular views.