Prompt #5: If you’ve never been to Asia, tell us about your dream trip in the region. Would you rather find your own paradise among the Thai Islands, or shop for crazy Harajuku fashion in Japan? Are the uncrowded temples of Burma calling you, or are you dreaming of a visit to China’s Great Wall?
This prompt was appropriate timing as I’m currently reading a book about one of my wish destinations, Bhutan. I want to visit Bhutan.
It’s a small landlocked country in the East Himalayas between India & China. Not only is it seemingly factoid-filled (the sale of tobacco is outlawed & the national sport is archery) but it is one of the most bio-diverse nations in the world. The Bhutanese government even has a constitutional policy that there must always be at least 60% green coverage (forest or other vegetation).
(photo courtesy of National Geographic)
What is perhaps the most intriguing thing to be is their take on Gross National Happiness. Choices are guided by the very Buddhist “four pillars of Gross National Happiness”—sustainable development, environmental protection, cultural preservation, and good governance. According to the ruler(s) , this is because measuring signs of happiness & well-being are much more relevant than measuring the amount of consumption occurring. Happy sigh.
Visiting Bhutan is something that (most likely) won’t happen in the near future as the cost to enter & travel is quite high. Foreigners are required to pay around $200 a day for the privilege (& this is after many years of being closed off completely). Of course, that $200 covers most of your on-the-ground costs & includes a personal tour guide to show you around. Someday…