15 reasons why Bhutan should be in your travel bucket list post-COVID-19

Email

Bhutan, a small Himalayan nation tucked away in the South Asian region makes a perfect travel destination post-COVID-19.

While global tourism is still pretty much on a standstill for most countries, many globetrotters are already itching for their next getaway. 

Here are 15 reasons why you should visit Bhutan after the pandemic.

1. Excellent handling of COVID-19 pandemic
This tiny Himalayan Kingdom has frequently been admired as one of the COVID-19 success stories. While many countries struggle to prevent a widespread outbreak of the novel coronavirus, Bhutan has managed to keep the people safe. The success story is attributed to the guidance of an extraordinary and selfless King, swift government response, mutual trust, unity and support amongst the Bhutanese. Since the first imported COVID-19 positive case on 5 March 2020, a year on, the country has a marvelous 99% recovery rate with only one fatality thus far.

Check out the CNN video here that features the amazing feat of Bhutan’s COVID-19 preparedness and battle against the pandemic.

2. A very safe travel destination for travellers
The crime rates in Bhutan are relatively low compared to many other countries in the world. Little crimes and violence are reported in the country. Furthermore, if you are planning to visit the country, you are required to book your trip through a licensed tour operator. Even if you are a solo female traveller, you can have a peace of mind and know that your safety and well-being is taken care of while you soak in the breathtaking landscapes.

3. They take happiness seriously
Bhutan is well-known for its Gross National Happiness (GNH) philosophy used to measure a country’s progress and development. Instead of measuring economic output through the usual Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Bhutan’s focus on the citizen’s well-being and ‘happiness’ is extremely holistic. All development policies and plans are required to be aligned with the GNH tenets. The concept of happiness in Bhutan is very much derived from the contentment that the Bhutanese feel about their lives. It is also largely influenced by the Buddhist values of simplicity and compassion. When you are in Bhutan, you’ll notice that Bhutanese are generally witty and have a great sense of humour. Be prepared to share lots of laughter during your trip.
4. Bhutan is a world champion in environment sustainability
Bhutan is clearly one of the greenest countries in the world. The constitution mandates that at least 60% of the country has to be under forest cover. Right now, about 70% of the country is covered by forests. It is truly a paradise for all the nature lovers! The Kingdom also holds the significant title of being the only country in the world that is carbon negative. The Bhutanese’s love for mother nature and efforts in environmental preservation is a role model to the world.
5. Friendly dogs
The stray dogs in Bhutan are as chill as the people. In the day time, you will see plenty of dogs basking in the sun, simply enjoying the peace and serenity. Somehow, they only become more active in the evening. Sometimes you can hear them barking and having a meeting during the night (get ready your earplugs if you are a light sleeper). But generally, the dogs in Bhutan are extremely friendly and harmless.
6. Bhutanese are compassionate and hospitable
Some travellers will tell you that Bhutanese are some of the most hospitable people that they’ve ever met. It’s not surprising as Bhutan is a Buddhist nation where the values of compassion and kindness are deeply rooted in their daily lives. You’ll meet guides who are eager to share with you more about their family, food, cultures and traditions. And locals who would stop to attend to injured dog on the road.

7. A spiritually rich nation
When you arrive in the Kingdom, you’ll quickly notice that the country is infused with deep spirituality and humility. Colourful prayer flags can be seen fluttering in every corner, giving you a sense of calmness and peace that is hard to describe. Blessings and prayers for all sentient beings are continuously offered in the many temples and monasteries throughout the country.
8. LGBTIQ friendly
On 10 Dec 2020, Bhutan took historic steps towards decriminalising homosexuality. A joint sitting of both houses of Bhutan’s Parliament approved a bill to legalise same-sex relationships. This makes the Kingdom the latest Asian nation to take steps towards easing restrictions on homosexuality. Once the amendment gets approval from the King, Bhutan will join its Asian peers such as Taiwan, India, South Korea, Thailand and Cambodia in allowing people to have equal rights to love and companionship.

9. World-class architectures
Bhutan’s architectural feats have constantly won praises and admiration. The moment you alight from the aircraft, you are bound to be wow-ed by the distinctive architecture. The multi-coloured wood, small arched windows and sloped roofs are very prominent features of the Kingdom’s architecture from its traditional houses, temples to ancient fortresses. In fact, Bhutan’s splendour architecture has inspired other building designs around the world including the design of one entire university campus in Texas.
10. They talk about phalluses openly
The penis and phallic symbols can be seen in all sizes and colours. These ubiquitous symbols are seen flanking doorways, hanging off rooftops or painted on the corners of homes. Thanks to the ‘Divine Madman’ teachings, traditionally, Bhutanese believe that these phallic symbols help to ward off evil spirits and drive malicious gossip away. It’s also a symbolic reference of fertility and good luck. You can even buy phallus keychains, phallus paintings or wooden phalluses as souvenirs in the handicraft shops.
 
Chimi Lhakhang (Fertility Temple) is an excellent place for you to learn more about the history of this unique symbol in the country.

11. Shopping is a breeze, no need for haggling
Bargaining is not a Bhutanese tradition. Unlike many destinations in the South Asia and Southeast Asian region, you are not required to put your bargaining skills to test. Generally, the prices in the different shops don't differ substantially in Bhutan. That's a huge relief for those of us who has yet to master the art of bargaining.

12. Home to spectacular Himalayan mountains
Bhutan is an ideal location for avid hikers and trekkers as it is home to many breathtaking Himalayan mountains. Compared to its neighbour, Nepal, popularly known for hiking, there are definitely much fewer crowds hiking in Bhutan. Some of the renowned Himalayan mountains in Bhutan include Jitchu Drake, Jomolhari Kangphu Kang, and the highest unclimbed mountain in the world, Gangkhar Puensum. Even if you are not an adventurous soul, you’ll still be treated to the sight of gorgeous mountains on a clear day as you stroll through the capital city.

13. Respectable Royal Family that is loved and revered by the locals
As you interact with the locals, you will come to realise that they have a deep admiration and respect for the King of Bhutan. The current reigning monarch, the fifth King, King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, fondly known as the People’s King is a beloved monarch in Bhutan. The visionary King with extraordinary leadership qualities, compassionate, down-to-earth personality and selflessness is undoubtedly the force of unity behind this small Buddhist nation. You can find photographs of the handsome King hanging perfectly in Bhutanese’s homes, shops and offices. If you are lucky, you might even bump into the King while you attend the vibrant festivals or during your hike up the sacred Tiger’s Nest monastery. There have been incidents shared by lucky travellers where they had the most memorable brief encounters with His Majesty during their trip in Bhutan.
Did you know that the Queen of Bhutan, beautiful Queen Jetsun Pema is the world's youngest queen?

14. Experience one of the most dangerous airport landings in the world
Paro International Airport, the country’s only international airport is known for one of the most dangerous landings. Unlike airports in other countries, Bhutan’s airport does not have an instrument landing system (ILS) or localizer and only one VOR (very high-frequency omni-directional range) to guide the pilots. This means that there is no radar to guide planes into the airport and the pilots have to fly entirely on manual mode relying on visual landmark check-points. Which also makes limited qualified pilots able to land in the airports. You know that you’re in good hands as only highly experienced pilots can land in Bhutan! All you have to do is just sit back, relax and enjoy the stunning sceneries during the landing (get the left window seats for best views).

15. No overcrowding in tourist attractions
Tourist attractions are not overcrowded. Yes, you heard that right. With lesser crowds at tourist attractions, this means that you are able to take picture perfect shots for your social media. You don't have to worry about the extra heads that'll be getting into your shots. Social distancing will also not be an issue as Bhutan has the luxury of space. Bhutan has a very strict tourism policy that promotes sustainable tourism. To prevent the impacts of mass tourism, the Kingdom adheres to a ‘High Value, Low Impact’ tourism policy. All tourists are required to book their trips through a licensed tour agency. There is a fixed daily tariff that you have to pay for the services of your trip including meals, transportation, tour guide and accommodations.
Go and experience the magic of Bhutan for yourself!

For now, you may put the Kingdom into your bucket list and enjoy breathtaking Bhutan virtually.


Related Posts

A Gen Z's Experience Visiting the Kingdom of Bhutan

As we start to see the world around us speed up, we need to slow down and look around.

Jan 11, 2021 12:07

A Winning Chance to Visit the Most Isolated Kingdom in the World

Participate in Druk Asia Bhutan Trivia and stand a chance to win a pair of return flight tickets to Bhutan

Sep 29, 2020 12:14

Travel to Bhutan: experience the beauty of Punakha

Punakha district is easily one of the tourists' favourite valleys.

Sep 07, 2021 15:44

How should I dress in Bhutan?

About to head to Bhutan for the adventure of your lifetime but don’t know what to pack? Fret not. Here’s a guide of...

Sep 06, 2021 11:49

Travel to Bhutan: experience the charm of Paro district

Paro district receives the highest volume of travellers annually. It's also easily one of tourists favourite places in...

Jul 14, 2021 11:20

Travel to Bhutan: attractions in the capital of Bhutan, Thimphu

Western Bhutan is the perfect region to learn more about the beautiful kingdom for those who are visiting Bhutan for the...

Jun 29, 2021 12:58

Latest

News

Visitors can look forward to a brand new experience at Paro International Airport

Bhutan's Paro International Airport was given a major facelift.

Oct 18, 2021 16:35

Bhutan is tapping into solar energy with its first grid-tied solar power plant

Electricity in Bhutan is mostly generated from hydropower, a renewable energy source, unlike fossil-fuel driven power plants that are major...

Oct 05, 2021 16:17

Features

Bhutan is home to one of the most expensive mushrooms in the world

There is even a festival for it, known as the Matsutake Mushroom Festival. There, you’ll get to sample various dishes prepared with this...

Sep 24, 2021 16:10

Guru Rinpoche, the legendary saint who spread Buddhism in Bhutan

He was born from a lotus, fully enlightened. He went on to become the patron saint of Bhutan and established the Nyingma sect of Buddhism.

Sep 17, 2021 13:28

Business

Yathra weaving, the uniquely Bumthang culture

Unlike other places in Bhutan, the people of Bumthang don’t do agricultural work. Instead, they weave yathra products. Traditionally, every...

Sep 13, 2021 17:06

What are the entrepreneurship programmes and initiatives available in Bhutan?

The Bhutanese government has introduced all kinds of initiatives to promote entrepreneurship. Even school kids are groomed to innovate,...

Jun 22, 2021 16:37

Sports

Paro FC reclaimed its champion title for BoB Bhutan Premier League 2021

Bank of Bhutan (BoB) Bhutan Premier League 2021, previously known as Bhutan Premier League (BPL), the top football tournament in Bhutan...

Oct 02, 2021 19:57

Bhutan makes its debut appearance at the Paralympic Games

There is much to celebrate in the sporting history of Bhutan.

Aug 16, 2021 11:50

Travel

Travel to Bhutan: experience the beauty of Punakha

Punakha district is easily one of the tourists' favourite valleys.

Sep 07, 2021 15:44

How should I dress in Bhutan?

About to head to Bhutan for the adventure of your lifetime but don’t know what to pack? Fret not. Here’s a guide of useful clothing items to...

Sep 06, 2021 11:49

Lifestyle

What are the personalities of the 12 zodiac signs?

For Bhutanese, rituals and auspicious timing are part of daily life. When we want to achieve a certain goal, conducting the event at a...

Oct 14, 2021 11:18

What are the zhey dances in Bhutan?

There are a fixed number of steps in each dance, and each step has its own significance.

Oct 08, 2021 13:09

COVID-19

Bhutan is leading in the vaccination race

“Bhutan is now a beacon of hope for the region, at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has upended lives and devastated families." - Dr Will...

Jul 28, 2021 12:01

Bhutan, with a leading vaccination rate in the region, commenced its second vaccination drive

Bhutan's second nationwide vaccination campaign will be held from July 20 - July 26, 2021.

Jul 21, 2021 11:05

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!

Download Daily Bhutan Mobile App

Connecting with us just got easier!