Bhutan, tucked between India, Nepal and Tibet, is one of Asia’s best-kept secrets. The Land of Thunder Dragon is also one of the finest models of sustainable development in the world. The Bhutanese government knows the repercussions of rapid development too well. That’s why the country has one foot rooted in its illustrious past. They do not mind forfeiting economic revenues and tourism in order to retain their culture and natural beauty in their purest form. While the country has been successful with their preservation goals, they do not come free. Here we have weighed down some pros and cons of travelling in Bhutan.
In Bhutan, almost two-thirds of its people follow Mahayana Buddhism, which is deeply ingrained in its every aspect. Here, Buddhism is not only a religion to follow but a way of life. The ancient and mythical practices of Buddhism resonate with every little thing, from legendary monasteries of Tango and Tamzhing to the kindness and hospitality of Bhutanese people. If you want to experience Buddhist lifestyle and practices firsthand, there is no other country in the world which does it better than Bhutan.
Tucked in the laps of the Himalayans, Bhutan is as scenic as they come. It boasts of colossal peaks like Gangkhar Puensum, Kula Kangri and Tongshanjiabu, which however are restricted from climbing as they are believed to be the abode of gods and spirits. Thankfully, the country also boasts of over 20 major treks and walks that will take you to the foothills of these mountains.
Anyone fortunate enough to visit Bhutan is bound to marvel at Bhutanese architecture. Heavily inspired by Buddhist art and culture, every building and house is ornately built and aesthetically pleasing. The country is dotted with medieval landmarks dating back from the 17th century that have striking woodwork, stonework, and paintings.
The landlocked country doesn’t have the best of infrastructures. Travelling and getting around can be quite a challenge. There is only one choice, The National Highway, an unpaved, dusty and twisty road largely travelled by antique trucks from India. To top that, there are frequent rock slides and finding a bush during nature’s call is a matter of luck.
Lacking medical remedies
The Bhutanese people get their medication for free from the government hospitals. Due to this, you will hardly find a pharmacy in sight. Also, you might want to put concentrated efforts to stay out of the hospitals, of course. So, make sure that you pack on medications and repellents for your health conditions and common diseases.
Limited food options
The food options are very limited in Bhutan. Do not expect world-class international cuisine as there are only handful of hotels and eateries providing these services. Also, it is a wise choice to be a vegetarian during your stay, as the meat is brought in from Nepal or India in unrefrigerated trucks. Moreover, almost all Bhutanese dishes are made with an abundance of green chilies, which can be quite spicy and hot to suit your taste buds.