Bhutan. On top of a mountain
Sitting on a camping chair at 4500 metres overlooking a lake. I am in Bhutan, the land of happiness with GNH measurement (Gross National Happiness index). I just washed in the lake, 4 degrees, nice and crispy after 4 days of trekking from Paro to Thimpu. We are half way. I am fulfilling a 20 year old dream and really, this is a dream.
The beauty of the landscape, the kindness of the peoples who give their smiles as a precious treasure. They are poor according to our standards but actually rich of these essentials things.
Bhutan was isolated for centuries. The last Shangri-La. A valley tucked away in mountains, squeezed between China and India. The first road from Thimpu to India was built in 1960.
They have created a universe of their own with great respect for nature unified as a tight community of Buddhist faith. Don’t know much about Buddhism but what strikes me is that it’s a philosophy of being rather than a dogmatic spiritual order.
They are slowly opening up their borders, last year 16,000 tourist came along on the unique Royale Airline Drukk Air who fly twice a week out of Bangkok or Katmandu.
They recently introduced mobile phones and cable TV. Its weird to watch US woman wrestling from ESPN in this country. Imagine the shock they must have had when they first switched it on in 99. Since then there has been a rise in crime. TV networks give us the tools to commit the perfect crimes with dramatization and voyeurism. Going away to this retreat makes you realized that we’ve gone a bit mad, extreme narcissism.
I hope the development Bhutanese are craving wont affect their ethos. In our homogenous world there is few rare gems, we cant take Buthan for granted.