The government of Bhutan is probably the only one in the world which measures progress not by Gross Domestic Product but by Gross National Happiness – and it has 72 indicators to measure it. A most unusual country, this tiny Buddhist kingdom, landlocked between its giant neighbours India and China, has zealously guarded its privacy and is wary of the advent of increased visitors and modernity.
Apart from sheer physical beauty, the Himalayas possess a long-standing heritage. A visit to the region is immensely rewarding because of the special culture preserved by its isolated locations, ancient customs and spectacular terrain.
Begin with the capital, Thimpu, and explore its museums and gardens, while getting the feel of local life. Punakha – the most fertile area in the country and replete with natural beauty and Buddhist culture, including the Chimi Lakhang (Temple of the Divine Madman). You visit Paro, a graceful, scenic city which is home to the magnificent Tiger’s Nest monastery, well worth the trek up to see it.