Small but mighty, drastic in beauty but humble in charm, I have always had a soft corner for Bhutan! According to me the best thing about this country is that it is little discovered and so it’s untamed nature, elaborate traditions and hearty hospitality attracts me tirelessly.
Although I have endless reasons for why I love Bhutan, I can list my top eight which I feel will attract any traveller to Bhutan like a moth to a flame!
Devouring the traditional Bhutanese food with a local family!
Countering the chilly environment of the realm is the spicy hot cuisine Bhutan is much famous for. I stepped into the kitchen of my local host and dived into the traditional Bhutanese cuisine. From learning about their culinary art, their ways of using red rice to the way they employ richly fragrant spices, I also came across their ancestral recipes and a lot more that helps them in cooking the most finger-licking and flavourful cuisines of all times.
Check how good your sight and aiming power is!
I could not resist participating in the national sports of Bhutan - Archery! Usually they place two targets at the distance of 150 metres, but as I was doing this for fun and I had no intention of making a fool of me, I took a shorter distance for my target. The exuberance felt while adjusting my bow, aiming towards the target, and shooting was beyond any roller coaster zeal I’ve ever felt!
Know your happiness quotient
The concept of Gross National Happiness has always excited me! The fact that this country is focused on the wellbeing of their citizens says a lot about how the society works here. I took a private lecture with a professional to have a better understanding of it so that I could fully appreciate the initiative.
Get to the fantastic farms!
I experienced the raw ranch life in the ravishing Bhutanese farmland, and it was as refreshing as a hot sauna after a long day! I heard the unfiltered stories, woke up eyeing a view which was as beautiful as a painting and felt the fresh air rejuvenating my mind and body. With a pristine view of the valley, garland with graceful hills and dreamy lakes - I lived like a Bhutanese local, eased off in a hot stone bath, feasting with neighbourhood families and wearing their conventional clothes.
Sing your stress away
After a few days alone I figured out that the locals here are as tight as a family and as jovial as a group of friends on a road trip! The weekends here are for foamy beers and sour whiskeys. I joined a group of Bhutanese who were extremely welcoming and had an unforgettable night! They made me sing, dance, eat the local snacks and have the time of my life.
When in Bhutan, do as the Bhutanese do
I had heard about the fascinating and unique - naming ceremony that happens in Bhutan and my affection for this country motivated me to go ahead with this! I gave my date of birth at the monastery after which the local lama did the Buddhist name calculations and presented me my novel Bhutanese name! Starting from the name, to the way they explained it to me sitting in the ambience of a sacred monastery, everything was mystic and magical.
The heavenly Khabzey!
During my time in Bhutan, wherever I went I needed to munch the mouth-watering Khabzey which are Bhutanese biscuits and a local delicacy there. It is crumbly texture and sugary taste was so addictive that I decided I needed to learn the authentic way of cooking these so that back at home I can take care of my Khabzey cravings! If nothing can make one fall in love with Bhutan, Khabzey can and they will!
Awaken the soul!
The country preaches enlightenment and tranquillity of the soul, following which I joined a small nun’s group during one of my evening endeavours and tried leaving my worldly sorrows and joys behind as the vigorous chants charmed my mind and body. This was an authentic Bhutanese experience for me amidst sacred chants, blaring trumpets, and echoing Sanctus bells.