No wonder our expectations were very high. And the truth is, it wouldn’t be fair to say Bhutan is just like Switzerland, only with more Buddha’s and worse road conditions. These ten days, we are traveling from the west of the country to the centre and back, and that is a very special experience.Bhutan is one of the youngest democracies in the world. About ten years ago, the country’s fourth king decided the country should become a parliamentary democracy, which it did, in 2008. By the way, this is the same king who introduced the concept of ‘Gross national Happiness’, and who put in a law that at least 60% of the country should remain forested.
These days, the country is ruled by the 5th king. Like his father and forefathers, he is much revered and you will find portraits of one or more of the men in every home, shop and hotel. Obviously, the kings of this country are very intelligent and possess integrity, which is unique in the world, I think.
All in all we are very much enjoying our time in Bhutan. The country is beautiful, the old forts and temples have a unique architecture that we haven’t seen anywhere else in the world, and the people are friendly. Also, I could get used to having a private driver and guide at my disposal, it is a luxury feeling that we’ve never experienced before… the only room for improvement I would say are the road conditions. Although I like a free massage as much as the next girl, the main east-west artery really is in terrible shape. So if you are planning to visit Bhutan, wait a few years or make sure you do the stretch Paro – Bumthang only one way by road, and take a plane the other way.