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A Trip to be Cherished
Just back from a 7D/6N tour of Bhutan by DrukAsia arranged by the ever consummate travel advisor Mr Sonam Younten who has all the answers in his finger tips as mentioned by most travellers. I am by nature a quiet,contemplative person and was truly grateful on arrival in Paro to be met by our guide Sonam Lhendup and driver Suman.Sonam Lhendup is soft spoken,informative,calm demeanoured person and i felt like i was following a monk.Suman a very skilful driver was equally soft spoken and quiet natured and always had a genuine smile on his face whenever he meets us.Both made a perfect pair.
There is nothing much i can expand on what everyone has already written about Bhutan being a wonderful and unique country. Whether all Bhutanese are truly "Happy" i am not sure but it certainly made me extremely happy being there for a week.Except for the town folks living in Thimpu,Paro and Phunaka most Bhutanese still lead a very basic agrarian life tending to their fields,their animals,their religious rituals as how their ancestors had lived hundreds of years ago in total ignorance of the outside world.
Religion is a very important part of their daily lives as you can see they are always either chanting,turning the prayer wheels,counting beads or performing prostrations in front of deities that truly fascinates me.This probably gives them happiness and peace of mind even though they are poor materially.Unlike us who are plucked in to the world 24/7,with information overload,material wealth and abundant food. Peace and Happiness seems rather elusive.Perhaps we do have a lot to learn from the Bhutanese.
Our highlight of the tour was the visit to Chhundu "green" school where we managed to interact with the teachers and kids during their lunch break that was provided by the school.Since it was in the itinerary we decided to bring from Singapore plenty of books,stationaries and sweats to be distributed to the kids.The kids were really happy and excited with the stuff we brought them.It was a wonderful experience talking to kids and the teachers who are very dedicated in their roles.Then we had a wonderful picnic lunch near the school grounds.
The hotels provided by DrukAsia were good,the food decent and at times even exceeded our expectations especially Yue Ling and Roots restaurants.Zhamkeng Resort location overlooking Phunakha town was excellent.Food was great at Metta Resort in Paro.
Off-course the ultimate and unforgettable destination was the hike to Taktsang Monastery (Tigers Nest).I wish there was an easier way to reach the top especially for the older folks.A cable car would certainly help.
On the whole it was a wonderful,eye opening and partly spiritual experience visiting Bhutan. I would certainly consider returning anytime if only they could abolish the daily tourist tariffs.
Once again i like to thank DrukAsia's Sonam Younten,our guide Sonam Lhendup,driver Suman and wish all Bhutanese Peace Love and Happiness always.