Bhutan is truly a destination unlike any other. Located in the Eastern Himalayas, this magical country has worked hard to preserve its history, spirituality, and authenticity. The kingdom has achieved this by avoiding rapid urbanization and imposing strict tourism regulations, which has created the perfect balance of modern and ancient. A trip to this secluded hidden gem is a unique adventure to cherish, and it’s guaranteed to create lifelong memories. Keep reading to find out the top five reasons you should visit Bhutan!
Gross National Happiness
When we say Bhutan is unique, we mean it. Here you’ll find “Gross National Happiness” is valued above Gross Domestic Product. People are put before profit, and it’s a refreshing philosophy to see in motion. The phrase was coined back in the 70s by the then-king, and providing the best possible quality of life is still the top priority. The nation has free healthcare and education, and resources are spent on recreation and community centers. The idea of GNH is extremely thought-provoking and a valuable philosophy for everyone to accept.
Breathtaking Natural Beauty
Bhutan is a land of natural wonder. With lush rolling hills, turquoise lakes, and a snow-capped mountainous backdrop, you’ll never get sick of the view. The country is home to diverse flora and fauna, and it’s done a phenomenal job of conservation. In fact, Bhutan is the only carbon-negative country in the world. The region is blissfully free of pollution, so savor that crisp mountain air. Trek through rocky mountain passes and stunning rhododendron forests, all while taking in the awe-inspiring panoramas you just can’t get anywhere else.
The Trek to Tiger’s Nest Monastery
Tiger’s Nest Monastery is a site so spectacular it deserves its own mention. This iconic monastery is one of the country’s most sacred religious sites. The temple sits atop a steep, vertical cliff at over 10,000 feet. You can hike the entire route or ride part of the journey by horseback—both options offer mind-blowing views. The Cliffside monastery was built into a series of caves back in 1692 and used as a renowned place of meditation. When visiting Bhutan, a trip to Tiger’s Nest Monastery is an absolute must. It’s also important to note the kingdom has many more temples, forts, and monuments for you to explore.
Colorful Cultural Celebrations
Bhutan is known for its lively festivals honoring the country’s history and religion. These festivals date back to ancient times and are still celebrated today, making them the perfect way to embrace and immerse yourself in Bhutanese culture. ‘Tshechu’ is the name for the festivals held on the tenth day of a Tibetan lunar month. Locals come together to watch performers in vibrant costumes and elaborate masks tell stories through traditional dance moves. The electric atmosphere is contagious and a highlight of many travelers’ visits.
There’s something to be said for Bhutan’s simple, laid-back way of life. Bhutanese locals are recognized as some of the kindest, friendliest, most hospitable people you’ll ever meet, which is rooted in their Buddhist beliefs. The secluded nature of the kingdom has allowed the country to stay true to itself, and a trip here is a peaceful retreat brimming with cultural authenticity. Spend some time with the locals, and marvel at the skilled work of many artisans. There’s an emphasize on art, and textile making, wood carving, painting, and sculpting are all beloved pastimes—to name a few. While in Bhutan, browse the local artisans’ works for the perfect souvenir to remember your unforgettable adventure.