An Abode Of Gods?
Bhutan is the last bastion of Vajrayana Buddhism, a spiritual practice that is known to be one of the most profound schools of teaching in the Buddhist world. The sacred monasteries that sit precariously on sheer cliffs, the fluttering prayer flags that line the high ridges, the red-robed monks who chant through the day and night, give the kingdom an aura that comes from another time.
The people of Bhutan have drawn a rich culture from this heritage and made it the essence of our unique identity. Bhutan have decided that man can only survive, and truly live, by being in touch with the past. The onslaught of globalization is balanced with the values that have kept human society together through the ages. It is no surprise that the main goal in life for our Bhutanese people is happiness. Even the mandate of the modern Bhutan is Gross National Happiness. In translation, this means that economic development, a goal for much of humanity, is only a means to the real goal of happiness.
The kingdom of Bhutan, today, may be man’s last unventured destination. That is how the Bhutanese people would like to keep it. Thus the carefully controlled tourism policy of the government that says, in essence: take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footsteps.
Where Happiness Matters
You cannot find a more enlightening travel destination today. Perched high on the mighty Himalayan range, the kingdom of Bhutan has defied globalization and chosen to remain a hidden paradise, accessible only to few.
The Land of the Thunder Dragon is marked by raw natural beauty where the dense foliage changes dramatically as the sub tropical jungles at the sea level merge into a fertile temperate zone and rise up to the great northern glaciers. This pristine environment is home to exotic wildlife and is a last refuge for endangered species like the Black-Necked Crane, the Blue Sheep, the Golden Langur, the White-bellied Heron and even the Royal Bengal Tiger.
Low Volume, High Value
We pride ourselves on a sustainable approach to tourism in line with the philosophy of Gross National Happiness. Firstly, to bust a myth: there is no limit to tourist visas. Visitors famously pay a minimum tariff of US$250 per day during Spring and Autumn and US$200 per day during Winter and Summer, making it appear as one of the world’s more expensive destinations. However, this fee is all-inclusive – accommodation (three star hotels), food, transport and an official guide are all provided. You don’t have to travel in a large group and you can arrange your own itinerary. What you won’t find is backpacker-style travel.
This is a country where the rice is red and where chillies aren’t just a seasoning but the main ingredient. It’s also a deeply Buddhist land, where monasteries are part of the mainstream, and where giant protective penises are painted beside the entrance to many houses. While it visibly maintains its Buddhist traditions, Bhutan is not a museum. You will find the Bhutanese well educated, fun loving and vibrant.
A Spiritual Journey
Buddhism and Hinduism are both practiced although the majority of people are Buddhists. There are more than 10,000 stupas or chortens and more than 2,000 monasteries in the kingdom, many built centuries ago in honor of the teachings of Buddhism. Some are national treasures like the Taktsang, the Tiger’s Nest built on a sheer craggy cliff face as if grounded on the deep faith of its people. Bhutan is a scared land with deeply spiritual people.
The hermitages that are built high above some of these sacred sites are a marvel to see; many of them are huts in traditional architecture providing shelter to meditation practitioners amidst deep nature. Spiritual seekers will find numerous spiritual sites throughout Bhutan. Some are within easy reach or a few hours walk, and others require a bit of a trek or climb but it is always satisfying to reach the tops of the numerous monasteries that mark Bhutan”s landscape and to take a moment to contemplate on top of the world.
The tsechus, local community festivals and the sacred architecture represented by the various stupas and mani walls, are a constant reminder that in Bhutan, spirituality is still a way of life despite a fast changing world.
The Last Shangri La?
So why spend your money to come here? Firstly there is the amazing Himalayan landscape, where snowcapped peaks rise above shadowy gorges cloaked in primeval forests. Taking up prime positions in this picture-book landscape are the majestic fortress-like dzongs and monasteries. This unique architecture embodies Buddhist culture and sets the scene for spectacular tsechus (dance festivals). Then there are the textiles and handicrafts, outrageous archery competitions, high-altitude trekking trails, and stunning flora and fauna. If it’s not ‘Shangri La’, it’s as close as it gets.
Bhutan’s Gift to You
When you visit Bhutan, you will become one of the few who have experienced the natural charm of the first country where Gross National Happiness is deemed more important than Gross National Product. By law, at least 60% of the country must remain forested for all future generations. You will experience Bhutan’s natural wonders first-hand when travelling the mountain passes – resplendent with rhododendron blossom in spring. Botanical riches and unique mammals and birds are protected in several national parks, and a mountain trek is one of the best ways to experience the Himalaya.
Breathe Bhutan, Adventures and Holidays was founded on the ideals of ingenuity and entrepreneurship, keeping in mind the expectations of travelers and tourist. Regardless of their travel partner, every tourist that visit Bhutan usually see and do the same thing – depending on the duration of the tour and the season of visit. Breathe Bhutan not only cater to popular tourist attractions and programs but we go out of our way to make sure that clients get a wholesome experience of Bhutan. Breathe Bhutan is constantly exploring new and out of the box activities and experiences.
“We are a small company and thats how we intend to keep it, so as to give the best of our attention to every client of ours. Everybody returned back home with friends in Bhutan”
– Breathe Bhutan
With more than 1700 licensed Bhutanese tour operators to choose from, some handle more than 10,000 tourists a year. If it is not your cup of tea to be one of those 10,000 tourists, who are forgotten right after their departure from Bhutan, get in touch with Breathe Bhutan. We will treat your holiday with passion. You will be remembered, and we will make sure that you never forget us and your travel experience in Bhutan.
For travel information on Bhutan, please visit our partner website Happyul, a travel guide to Bhutan and Happiness.
Feel free to get in touch with us for our unique travel itineraries and tour packages, call us at +975 17110975 / 77430698 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.