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Bhutan A


A peaceful, isolated land nestled in the cradle of the Himalayas, Bhutan may not be greatly developed or progressive from a modern point of view, yet it scores high on the happiness quotient. In 2006 Business Week rated Bhutan the eighth happiest country in the world. It's worth visiting Bhutan just to find out why! The people of Bhutan are so fiercely protective of their culture and traditions that tourism is tailored to keep their interests intact. Despite their insulation, the Bhutanese are warm, welcoming and hospitable. Besides its rich heritage, Bhutan offer visitors the delight of a stunning natural beauty, exotic monasteries, charming wooden houses, arts, crafts and, of course, oodles of happiness. Thimpu may be the only capital without traffic lights, yet it is one of the undiscovered wonders of the world. The city is rich in Bhutanese art and architecture, culture and traditions. The distinctive, elaborately decorated facades are a memorable sight here. Shopping for traditional handicrafts in the many markets and emporiums is a visitor's delight with exotic papier-mâché masks, prayer wheels, handmade paper and silk or woolen apparel on display. Two must-do sites are the Trashi Chhoe Dzong or the fortress of Glorious Religion, and the Memorial Chorten. The culture of Bhutan is overtly ancient and extremely well preserved. The citizens proudly flaunt their national dress in all public areas. Buddhism is the most widely practiced religion here and Hinduism comes second. The Buddhist faith plays a pivotal role in the lives of the people. There are annual religious festivals that are occasions of great spiritual significance. Visiting the mesmerizing monasteries and stupas in Bhutan is an incredible and immensely peaceful experience for tourists. Prayer wheels and flags are a common and engaging sight along the hills. Majority of the Bhutanese live in small villages in rural areas, where they still lead a simple life, untouched by the slowly creeping pace of urbanization in some areas. The rich flora and fauna of Bhutan makes for a wondrous experience. The varied floral species includes Rhododendrons, Junipers, Magnolias, rare Orchids, Edelweiss, medicinal plants, tropical trees, pine and oak. The lush forests are home to the Golden Langur, Red Pandas, Black-necked Cranes, Snow Leopards, Himalayan Brown Bears, Tigers, Mountain Goats and Blue Sheep. Tourist attractions include the fertile Paro Valley, which houses some of the most exquisite monasteries and temples. Bumthang Valley is the religious hub of the nation while Tongsa showcases the most spectacular landscapes. Bhutan is a true explorer's delight, a world that could have been lifted straight from the pages of a picture book. It would be well worth your while to bookmark a visit to this pristine wonder.




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