For your next holiday if you want to escape to a place with no road rage or traffic, think Bhutan. The tiny kingdom nestled in the Himalayas boasts of the only capital city in the world with no traffic lights – Thimphu. It’s also a country whose government measures progress not in terms of GDP, but GNH, Gross National Happiness, so a visit there may be your most cheerful holiday yet.
Bhutan’s history can be traced back to as early as 2000 BC. Tucked into the mountains, the country is flanked by India and China, but is deeply protective of its beliefs, culture, language and its royal family. Any access by outsiders is closely watched and monitored. Though the Tourism Council of Bhutan recognizes tourism as an important factor for the country’s socio-economic progress, it encourages only ‘high-value, low-impact tourism’, which rather than detracting, only adds to Bhutan’s magic.
The amazing blend of spectacular scenery and preserved culture make the Bhutan experience an unforgettable one. You can visit the centuries-old Taktsang monastery and the Punakha Dzong fortress, built at the confluence of the rivers Mo and Pho, which protected Bhutan from Tibetan invasions in the past. Also, tourists can enjoy cycling tours in the hills, as well as white-water rafting and trekking. The terrain is 60% covered in forest, so exploring mountainous forest trails is a popular activity for visitors.
Bhutan has only one international airport, Paro, which is served by just two carriers, Drukair and Royal Bhutan Airlines, but you can get connections easily as there are daily flights from Bangkok, Singapore, Kathmandu and many Indian cities.
To visit Bhutan, you’ll need to contact a designated agency to arrange your trip before applying for a visa. This will actually make things much easier as every aspect of your holiday will then be looked after, and all you need to do is sit back and enjoy the trip.