Yesterday I was gathering some photos to share of my family's visit to the Great Pyramids, but last night I dreamed I was in Bhutan.
Yes, Bhutan captured my innate sense of awe and wonder. My visit to this country enriched me, and after dreaming of Bhutan last night, I am compelled to share a few more of my photos of this unique kingdom in the Himalayan mountains.
Being an isolated country until very recent history, it retains its unique heritage and culture which makes for a marvelous visit in our current world of homogenization. Think about this, television was not introduced in Bhutan until 1999. That isolation preserved not only the pristine landscapes but also the deep importance of the family unit and its Buddhist and cultural traditions. Today, Bhutan, though impoverished, allows only selective tourism and charges a high price to visit, thus discouraging mass tourism.
The Bhutanese people are friendly and helpful which warms a traveler's heart, community dogs are everywhere, and yes, cow's do have the right of way.
Khuru or darts is a national sport in Bhutan and we were fortunate to have the opportunity to drop in on a local match which was terrific spontaneous fun.
Don't be shocked if you catch sight of some phallic images on buildings. This probably dates back to a 15th century lama Drukpa Kunley, who is remembered for his eccentricity. An erect phallus is generally believed to keep away evil people, spirits and gossip.
Bhutan became the first country with specific constitutional obligations for its people to protect the environment, preserving sixty percent of its nation under forestation. In 2010, it banned the production and sale of tobacco products, another first claimed by a country. Though tobacco can be used in private, public smoking is illegal. Bhutan is largely organic and they are poised to become the first 100 percent organic country in the near future.
This is a huge shoutout to our extraordinary guides in Bhutan. Both were generous with their time and spirit and sharing of their lives in their homeland. You made our trip extraordinary.
In Bhutan, the government measures success not just by the Gross National Product like most countries, but more importantly by Gross National Happiness or GNH. I would be happy to be visited by Bhutan again in my dreams.