Why would I want to go to Bhutan?
You mean…aside from these amazing structures?
Why I Want to Go to Bhutan
I am always in search of cultural differences. I love to experience ways of life that are not my own, to the best of my abilities. Sometimes this is very difficult, particularly in areas overrun by tourists or, conversely, areas that have seen a lot of movement away. Bhutan has a unique system to counteract any potential loss of culture.
They charge you $250 a day to be there.
Whoa whoa whoa, I hear you say. But yes, it is the truth. However, that $250 will cover pretty much everything you would normally spend in a country. It will include your stay in high rated hotels or homestays if you are traveling to villages, and includes your meals and transportation. It includes a guide for every day – now this might seem annoying but I think it will be ok, particularly if I’m traveling alone. From what I’ve read, the good guide companies aren’t about babysitting you, more traveling with you. Some villages are very remote, requiring 20km walks they take with you. The guide doesn’t prevent you from seeing the whole country, you just decide where you’d like to go ahead of time and they try to make it work.
Where is it?
It’s a tiny country to the north of India near Nepal!
It’s still expensive, don’t get me wrong, but Bhutan has a good reason. They are trying to preserve their culture. By having a guide you won’t be able to harm the country. It’s ecotourism. The money goes towards preserving the country and its culture. In a way, I’d feel fairly happy to be giving money to this great scheme to keep the people of Bhutan happy. It’s more worth it than a $200 a night hotel in my humble opinion.
Generally, I would prefer to not have a guide for the entire time in any country, but in this case I feel it would give me extra insight into the culture. After all, the guides are all from Bhutan.
There are ways around it. If you are from India you do not have to pay the fee, and if you are invited by a native Bhutan, you do not have to pay the fee.
So What Would I Do?
I would fly into Paro, the shorted runway in the world, which last I heard only 8 pilots knew how to fly into. This would be quite an experience, I’ve heard a lot of people scream their first time!
Even with my limited time in the country (at $250 a day, it will have to be…) I definitely want to see Laya, one of the hardest places to reach in the country, let alone the world. Supposedly it’s a hard 2 day hike, so basically I’m going to need to toughen up a lot for this trip. Laya is where the Layap minority community lives. Even in a country like Bhutan, I want to see all the cultures it has to offer! In a similar search for other cultures within a culture new to me, I would love to visit Brokpa people in Merak.
By now everyone should know my love of hot springs so I’d absolutely schedule in a trip to one of the many lovely springs in Bhutan. I don’t have a particular one in mind, but it is something I’d like to do! Along with an overnight stay in a monastery (which you can absolutely do, despite many people on the internet claiming otherwise >.>) I’d have a lot of highlights for this trip! Of course, no trip would be complete without hiking Tiger’s Nest, and I would love to camp somewhere nearby, high up!
All-in-all I think I’d want this trip to be about 14 days long to really feel like I’m experiencing the country. Of course, this comes to a whopping $3500, so this will probably be on the bucket list for awhile what with all of the much cheaper countries out there!
Bhutan is a fascinating country that I’m definitely going to visit at some point! I think I would like to visit Nepal while here, one of the cheapest countries in the world….