Bhutan 21.9.-5.10.2004

Why Bhutan?

A question I was asked several times before I left. I had a very intense interest in this country since I first learnt about it and its way of development from an isolated medieval Himalayan kingdom to a modern and open society with a strong belief in its tradition and culture. Before I left my passion for Bhutan was an abstract one. I had read a lot of books and articles on the Web, followed the recent development in the Kuensel online newspaper, but still my picture of it was fuzzy and somehow idealizing. Hence, my expectations were high and I was a bit anxious about the reality being totally different from what I fancied.

Now I'm back having experienced the friendliness of Bhutanese people, the beauty of the scenery and the awesome architectonical masterpieces of the country. It exceeded my expectations in a way I never had anticipated. Bhutan definitely is not the last Shangri-La and it has its problems to deal with, like every other country in the world. It's also a rapidly changing society and the 'blessings' of the 21st century are dawning irresistible. But still there is a difference and this made my trip to Bhutan an unforgettable experience.

Unfortunately I am not able to tell you everything about the country that is worth knowing, but if you want to inform yourself, you should have a look at some of these Web sites (and there are plenty more):

Bhutan Tourism Corporation Limited has a very informative site about Bhutan. the official Web portal of Bhutan.
Bhutan - Fortress of Gods Excellent web site about the Bhutan exposition that toured through Europe in 1998.
Centre for Bhutan Studies Dedicated to research about Bhutan
Kuensel The National Newspaper of Bhutan