Hear about travel to Bhutan as the Amateur Traveler talks to Beth Whitman from WanderlustAndLipstick.com about this country that she has fallen in love with.
Beth has been to Bhutan 11 times and leads tours there now. Of the country, she says, “It is a place that I have fallen in love with and continue to return to. Many people when I tell them that I am going to Bhutan say ‘where is that?’ Bhutan is a country that is nestled in between northeast India and Tibet.”
“For much of its history, it was pretty much untouched and almost off-limits to foreigners. It wasn’t until 1974 that the country opened up and started allowing visitors. Tourism has developed since that time frame but it is still relatively pristine and there’s still relatively few travelers who go there. It’s really on the frontier of travel. It’s one of the last places that you can go to. I think that in itself is a big draw.”
“It’s also a country that is incredibly beautiful. It’s at the foothills of the Himalayas. The government has done a wonderful job of trying to preserve the culture there and the environment. You’ve got a philosophy, the ‘Gross National Happiness’ which I am sure most people have heard about. It’s probably the safest country on the planet.”
Beth describes an itinerary that is packed with Buddhist monasteries and dzongs, with curvy mountain roads and markets. She starts us in Paro but saves the famous “Tiger’s Nest” hike for later in the trip when we are more used to the elevation. She takes us to the capital of Thimphu, Punakha and the Phobjikha Valley.
Along the way, you can try the local cuisine, observe an archery competition and maybe see a surprise in one of the monasteries that we can only whisper.
It won’t be cheap. This is not a backpacking hostel destination but it is a destination that keeps drawing Beth back year after year.
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