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Tranquil beauty of Bhutan: Land of the Thunder Dragon

By Nourah Khan
Travel Writer
The Times Kuwait


Nestled in the eastern Himalayas, the kingdom of Bhutan beckons travelers with its serene landscapes, vibrant culture, and deeply rooted traditions. As one of the world’s last remaining Buddhist kingdoms, Bhutan offers a unique and authentic experience for those seeking adventure, spirituality, and connection with nature.

Bhutan’s natural beauty is unparalleled, with towering peaks, lush valleys, and pristine forests at every turn. The country is renowned for its commitment to environmental conservation, with over 70 percent of its land designated as protected areas. Visitors can explore the breathtaking landscapes of Bhutan through trekking, mountain biking, or simply immersing themselves in the tranquility of nature.

Beyond its natural splendor, Bhutan is rich in culture and heritage. The Bhutanese people take great pride in preserving their traditions, from colorful festivals to intricate handicrafts. A visit to Bhutan offers the opportunity to witness traditional Bhutanese architecture, adorned with intricate wood carvings and vibrant paintings. Travelers can also engage with local communities, learning about ancient customs and participating in age-old rituals.

Bhutan, as I saw it, is suitable for people interested in learning about culture, customs and traditions, and for those looking for peace and tranquility. The style of tourism in it is very different from other countries.

Bhutan’s commitment to sustainable tourism ensures that visitors have access to unique and authentic experiences while minimizing the impact on the environment and local communities. From homestays with Bhutanese families to traditional hot stone baths and farm-to-table dining experiences, travelers can immerse themselves in the rich tapestry of Bhutanese life.

I was impressed by the level of hotels I stayed in in Bhutan. I did not expect this level of luxury. I stayed in three wonderful and luxurious hotels, all of which belong to the Six Senses Hotel brand.
The beauty of the hotels and their stunning views of the Himalayas made me wish to extend my stay in Bhutan, but the matter is difficult because I obtained a visa with a specific date that must be adhered to.

Travel to Bhutan is regulated through a sustainable tourism policy that prioritizes quality over quantity. Visitors are required to book their trip through licensed tour operators, who arrange all travel logistics, including visas, accommodations, and guided tours. While Bhutan may not be the easiest destination to reach, the journey is undoubtedly worth the effort for those seeking a truly transformative travel experience.

You cannot leave Bhutan without putting in your schedule climbing one of the famous peaks in this country.

Perched precariously on the edge of a sheer cliff, Tiger’s Nest Monastery, also known as Paro Taktsang, is a testament to Bhutan’s rich spiritual heritage and awe-inspiring natural beauty. Nestled amidst the mist-shrouded mountains of the Paro Valley, this sacred site has captivated pilgrims and travelers alike for centuries, drawing them into its mystical embrace.

Legend has it that in the 8th century, Guru Padmasambhava, the revered saint who introduced Buddhism to Bhutan, flew to this spot on the back of a tigress, meditating in a cave for three years, three months, three weeks, and three days. Thus, the monastery earned its name, Tiger’s Nest. This mythological origin story adds to the allure of the monastery, imbuing it with a sense of mystique and reverence.

The trek to Tiger’s Nest is not for the faint of heart, requiring a steep ascent of approximately 900 meters (2,950 feet). However, the journey is as much a part of the experience as the destination itself, with each step offering opportunities for self-reflection and spiritual renewal. Along the way, visitors are greeted by friendly locals selling refreshments and souvenirs, providing encouragement and support to weary travelers.

Tiger’s Nest Monastery stands as a symbol of Bhutanese identity, resilience, and spiritual devotion. Despite the challenges of its remote location and treacherous terrain, the monastery continues to inspire awe and reverence in all who visit, serving as a beacon of enlightenment and inner peace in an ever-changing world.

A journey to Bhutan is not merely a vacation but a pilgrimage to a land of spiritual serenity, cultural richness, and natural splendor. Whether trekking through the Himalayan foothills, attending a vibrant festival, or simply soaking in the majestic beauty of the landscape, travelers will find themselves captivated by the magic of the kingdom known as the Land of the Thunder Dragon


Noura Khan

Noura Khan, a travel influencer and content creator, is a Kuwaiti national, holds a degree in law from Kuwait University and has worked as a journalist prior to taking up a position in the government. In 2018 she started blogging on travel and visited more than 57 countries since. She has more than 97k followers on her blog post @nourajtraveller is well appreciated for content and travel information. Noura writes exclusively for The Times Kuwait on her travel visits.


 



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