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Impressions of Bhutan

Bhutan: the country where, on the entire globe of today, the word ‘authenticity’ probably comes closest to turn from an illusion into a reality. The place also known for not scaling its ‘progress’ in terms of Gross National Product percentages, but by the measure of Gross National Happiness. Based on a mere visit, I cannot possibly judge whether Bhutanese are indeed the happiest people in the world, but I do know for one a specific category of beings spending life in absolute happiness: fish. By Bhutanese law, fishing is indeed completely prohibited in the numerous mountain rivers whirling down from the Himalaya glaciers. Too bad, really, because I distinctly recall that after my visits to the fabulous dzong fortress-monasteries in Punakha and Thimphu, I would have killed for a meal change from the chili-cheese they seem to serve twice a day, every day. Gastronomy is definitely not Bhutan’s main asset; the unforgettable attraction of the country rather lies in its serene atmosphere, the unspoiled mountain settings of its spiritual centres and the easy-going rhythms that take possession of you as a visitor in no time. Even mentally reliving the 'Impressions of Bhutan' gives my Gross Personal Happiness index a serious boost, also years after visiting.

HOMEasi to HOMEbhu

Before visiting the place of your choice:

Cities are not particularly overcrowded in Bhutan, and this is definitely also the case of Paro, which is essentially one long and wide street with side-arms reaching towards the edges of the narrow valley. But Paro offers a fascinating stroll along the colourful daily life of the Bhutanese. Their free time is dedicated to Bhutan’s national sport by excellence: archery. And believe it, they are masters in it, they rarely miss the 28cm wide target from the regular distance of 145m.

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