I first read about Bhutan in my youth, then a few years ago articles about Gross National Happiness circulated. I didn’t find the GNH concept that compelling, the traditional Buddhist Himalayan society the government was trying to slowly modernise to benefit their people certainly is.
I saw visiting Bhutan as an opportunity to visit a society not ravaged by mass tourism, that still held onto it’s strong, yet to be significantly diluted, culture and beliefs. Well to visit it once I could afford to, visiting Bhutan is prohibitively expensive.
Bhutan is a mountainous country with a significant amount of virgin alpine forest, deep valleys and wild rivers. Bhutan is a sparsely populated nation with a population under eight hundred thousand, with the majority of Bhutanese still living from the land as farmers.
Throughout the country traditional clothes are mixed and matched with western attire. A nice metaphor for this modernising country attempting to cherry pick items from the modern age that will enhance their people’s lives without eroding their strong culture.