- Bhutan is wonderful. A country full of charm and quiet serenity. Th great plus was that everything was included in the price: breakfast, tea and coffee, lunch and dinner. No messing about with separate bills and wasted time looking for restaurants, that is until we were in Kathmandu. Given the opportunity I would have skipped Kathmandu and just focused on Bhutan. Sad to say, Kathmandu is getting steadily more crowded, with increased refuse and pollution problems: to enjoy Nepal you have to get into the countryside and away from the urban sprawl. We were told that much of the sewage still flows untreated into the rivers. The atmosphere in Kathmandu is frantic with beggars and street sellers crowding around tourists - as in India. In Bhutan this never happened and I didn't see anyone begging, or hassling people to make a sale.
Bhutan itself is not crowded with tourists and until we did the Tigers Nest walk, we hardly saw other Europeans. The towns and countryside are quiet and clean, the hotels we stayed in were good with some being excellent. The food was often very good and vegetarians are well catered for.
I enjoyed the 'all- inclusive price', the lovely people of Bhutan, the friendly guide and the courteous service provided by the people we met. I also enjoyed the Paro Festival although some of the dances became repetitive, it was different just being with the locals. We also saw the King a few times and yes, he really does mingle with his people. Importantly, I have never experienced such a relaxed holiday. The pace is leisurely and there are very few early starts to the day, the scenery is interesting and the culture is sufficiently different to that of India and Nepal.
The quality is reflected in the price and although the holiday might seem expensive, it offers a unique opportunity to visit a nation measuring its prosperity through its 'Gross National Happiness - GNH. Go before Bhutan becomes the next 'must see experience'.
Published on: 06 April 2016