5 Reasons why a Bhutan Trip makes for a Great Vacation

Taktsang Monastery aka Tigers Nest

Taktsang Monastery (also known as The Tiger’s Nest). Photo: Göran Höglund

In a world that’s full of natural resource degradation, Bhutan’s  natural bounties makes it something special, and certainly one of the best travel destinations in the world. This small Himalayan kingdom is one of the world’s last remaining Shangri-La’s, and this is because it has combated the ill-effects of rampant urbanization and managed to avoid the pitfalls of unchecked tourism. Yes, Bhutan is bountiful in natural beauty and rich in culture and tradition Continue reading

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The Festivals of Bhutan Part 4

Thimphu Drubchen

Masked Dancers performing during the Thimphu Drubchen. Image: Gelay Jamtsho

Bhutan is as unique a country as is any other country, with some features that set it apart from others. The government’s official position is that Gross National Happiness (GNH) is more important than Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Continue reading

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The Festivals of Bhutan Part 3

Festival of Bhutan

A dance performance during a festival in Bhutan. Image: flickr/Jean-Marie Hullot

Bhutan tourism is replete with colorful festivals just as the country is full of ancient monasteries and forts (dzongs). Each monastery or dzong holds an annual festival (Tsechu) which has a dual purpose, one, as a social occasion, and two, as an occasion to keep alive the teachings and philosophies of Buddhism. Continue reading

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The Festivals of Bhutan Part 2

Dancing Demons st the festival. Image: flickr/Carsten ten Brink

Dancing Demons st the festival. Image: flickr/Carsten ten Brink

Bhutan may be a small kingdom but it surely has a lot of festivals. These are mostly religious in nature and are called tshechus. Tshechu means the “tenth day” of a month of the lunar calendar, a day when Guru Rimpoche’s birthday is celebrated. -<!-more

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Know Bhutan

Archery

Archery, national sports of Bhutan. Image: flickr/Göran Höglund

Archery is their favorite sport, and it is one of the few sports that the country participates in at international sporting arenas. Thus, it is to be expected that much care goes into the making of the sport’s implements, namely, the bow and the arrow. The sporting bow measures 72.5 cm in length and weighs around half a kilo, and at its broadest part, is 3.5 cm wide. Continue reading

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Imprinting Bhutan in Your Mind, the Kurjey Festival

Festival of Bhutan

Kurjey Lhakhang Tsechu. Image: flickr/Anja Disseldorp

Bhutan has a score and more festivals throughout the year. Most of them are religious events known as tsechus, and they are celebrated on the 10th day of a month of the lunar calendar corresponding to Guru Rimpoche’s (Guru Padmasambhava’s) birthday. Continue reading

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The Black-Necked Crane Festival, Bhutan

Festival of Bhutan

Black-Necked Crane Festival. Image: flickr/Doug Knuth

You know, it’s hard to stand out in a crowd, especially if the crowd happens to be that of birds, since the species comes in an amazing array of colors, the plumage of one species outshining another’s. Well, the peacock is of course the undisputed leader among all birds in this field, and there are other like the Himalayan pheasants whose richly colored feather are a sight to behold. Continue reading

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A Feel of Bhutanese History, the Punakha Drubchen Festival

Punakha Festival

Punakha Festival. Image: flickr/David Orgel

In the 17th century, Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal of Punakha in western Bhutan defeated the invading Tibetan forces which led to the unification of the country as one nation. To honor this victory, a grand celebration, the Punakha Drubchen (a.k.a. Puna Drubchen), was held. It went on to become an annual festival of the district. Continue reading

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Small is Beautiful, the Splendors of Bhutan

Paro, Bhutan

Paro Bhutan. Image: flickr/Jean-Marie Hullot

Kathmandu is of course your first destination as you embark on the tour of your lifetime, and you can be assured of having a rich experience indeed. At the same time, Kathmandu serves as a most convenient gateway to some of the most exotic regions in the eastern part of the hemisphere. Continue reading

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