Bhutan, the country of dragon, one of the least visited nations, and where government cares about people’s happiness seriously (it is a country where Gross National Happiness (GNH) is the official development policy.) We’re about to cross the border tomorrow. Stephen will be (continuously) traveling with me for this trip to Bhutan. I’m writing this message in Jaigaon, the border town between India and Bhutan. It doesn’t really feel like India, except all the cows on the street. We just got off from the train that took 37 hours to cross India from New Delhi to Harishima. It was a looooong journey. I’m extremely tired but quite excited about Bhutan trip! I’ll be taking so many photos!
For those of you who are on social media channels, please follow #ourBhutan for the live update.
Why am I going to Bhutan?
It was all started when I got a message a week ago. I was working hard in Rishikesh, and Bridge to Bhutan contacted me. They were wondering if I was going to Bhutan since I was so close. It was in fact, right there. Bhutan, the country I know so little. I would quote Bhutan chapter of Eric Weiner’s “Geography of Bliss” at this point, if I have the copy in my hand. (Eric Weiner went to Bhutan as part of his research on finding the happiest place on earth.) As the one who’s seeking for true happiness in life, Bhutan seemed like a necessary place to visit. However, I’ve learned their tourism policy not too long ago. That’s one of the reasons why the nature is so well preserved there. I was intrigued by the untouched nature and the statement about ‘the happiest place on earth’. I mean, we all want to be happy, right? Maybe I’ll learn the secret.
In my mind, I thought I would go to Bhutan when I’m loaded, and old (because I didn’t think that I will be loaded anytime soon…)
But here I am. Thanks to Bridge to Bhutan and Royal Government of Bhutan, I’m going to Bhutan tomorrow when I’m young and not loaded. Thank God I don’t have to wait another 30 years for this amazing opportunity.
What to do in Bhutan
I had to write a reasons and purposes to visit Bhutan on my application, and this was what I wrote. I’m going to execute this as I planned.
✪ Scenery: beautiful landscape of the Himalayas is an outstanding reason to visit Bhutan, not to mention its untouched nature. As a photographer and a storyteller, I’m aiming to capture the beautiful mountains of the country, and witness the people’s lives in Bhutan. It would be a terrific opportunity to grow my photography career and promote your beautiful country.
✪ Curiosity: in fact, the world doesn’t really know much about Bhutan, and that’s what makes it a more desirable place to explore. It’s my wish to inspire more travelers to visit Bhutan.
✪ Night sky: Bhutan’s untouched nature is going to be the perfect place to watch the night sky, and an amazing place to be for an amateur astronomer like me.
✪ Cuisine: tasting different style of food is one of the biggest joys of traveling the world. I’d like to promote Bhutan’s food and culture through storytelling and photography.
✪ Culture: I’m from a country of strong culture (Korea). It’s always great to experience customs and culture of other countries.
This is our official itinerary to enjoy Bhutan in Summer:
Aug 02, Fri: Phuentsholing to Thimphu (5h drive)
Aug 03, Sat: Explore Thimphu
Aug 04, Sun: To Punakha (2.5h drive)
Aug 05, Mon: Return to Thimphu (2.5h drive)
Aug 06, Tue: Early morning to Paro (1h drive); Excursion hike to Tiger’s Nest Monastery
Aug 07, Wed: Departure to New Delhi
On my way back to Delhi, I will take one of the most expensive flight (considering it’s only 2 hours and 30 minutes) that flys right above the Himalayas. I’m quite excited about that too. Wish the weather is clear!
I’ll try to broadcast the trip through social media along with updates on the blog. Stephen and I will tweet with #ourBhutan (follow @RunawayJuno & @bohemiantrav ). You can also see my updates from Runaway Juno Facebook (http://facebook.com/RunawayJuno ).
I CAN’T WAIT!
#Disclosure: I’m traveling with Bridge to Bhutan and Royal Government of Bhutan. However, all the content will be reflecting my own opinions, as always.