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Finding happiness in Bhutan

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Bhutan has made a name for itself as the majestic, magical and spiritual gem of South East Asia.

Not only does the country have a central focus on climate change and national wellbeing, since the 1970s it has been a pioneer of the initiative to scrap the GDP for a different approach to development.

In Bhutan, prosperity is measured through the system of Gross National Happiness (GNH) which means a closer focus on the spiritual, social, philosophical and environmental wellbeing of its citizens and its surroundings.

Bhutan depends heavily on its agricultural sector, meaning the concepts of GNH are introduced in classroom hours too. Students benefit from basic agricultural practice classes and are shown models for environmental protection.

The introduction of GNH into the curriculum has also meant that daily meditation sessions are a part of the regular school day.

The loud shrill of the school bell has even been replaced with peaceful traditional music!

The Perfect Spiritual Retreat

For tourists hoping to get in touch with their spirituality and switch off from the buzz of every day life, Bhutan offers beautiful wellbeing retreats.

Retreats ranging from meditation to yoga are dotted across the country, and are usually next to temples, monasteries and religious schools.

Tourists can choose from weeks of meditation programmes to simply a few hours in the hills where the beauty and peacefulness of nature can be appreciated without any disturbance.

Many tour operators can incorporate a visit to a retreat or Buddhist temple during your trip. Alternatively, you can look for hotels which provide yoga and meditation sessions inside the premises.

If you’re excited about natural remedies, the traditional medicine of Bhutan (called Sowa Rigpa) has been developed by its rich array of flora since the 17th Century and can provide keen tourists with remedies for many different ailments.

The Bhutanese hot springs are also said to have medicinal properties that can help arthritis, body aches, acne and even sinus problems!

Explore Bhutan

If you’re looking for a more active holiday in Bhutan, fear not! There are plenty of activities to keep you entertained during your stay.

On Wheels

Because the landscape of Bhutan is so mountainous, it makes for perfect tracks for both on-road and off-road biking. Lower into the valleys there are calm, paved cycle routes which give tourists the opportunity to view more of the country without huge amounts of traffic.

If you’re feeling adventurous, there are also wild and rugged terrain tracks that offer bikers an intimate and adrenaline-fuelled ride.

Due to the variety of tracks across the country, off-road biking and cycling is becoming an extremely popular way to see the sights of Bhutan.

By Foot

In terms of trekking and hiking, Bhutan has everything. One day hikes, a fortnight camping and trekking trip, even a 31 day hiking adventure!

Whatever distance you choose, you are sure to encounter crystal clear mountain lakes, towering glaciers and many endangered species all with the backdrop of the Himalayas.

By Water

The rivers in Bhutan are one of the country’s best kept secrets. They wind through the high valleys and across low grasslands to meet with the Brahmaputra River in India, and make for the ultimate kayaking and rafting destinations.

The multitude of rivers in Bhutan provides tourists of all abilities to take to the boats and enjoy the country’s natural environment.

For the more experienced kayakers and rafters the rugged, untamed waterways offer strong, swirling currents and small waterfalls, whereas there are slow and gentle flowing currents for beginners and families.




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