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High up and Happy - In The Mountains of Bhutan

by Huw Owen

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In contrast to most other countries in the world who measure their progress according to GDP, Bhutan measures its progress according to a Bhutanese concept of Gross National Happiness. It's an attractive idea, and one which marks Bhutan out as somewhere that's a little bit different.Bhutanese Children

And different it certainly is. The spectacular, soaring Himalayan scenery can also be found in Nepal and Tibet, but is nevertheless a reason to visit in itself. What makes Bhutan unique is its approach to tourism, and the benefits that brings to visitors. Bhutan is not trying to develop itself as a mass market destination. You won't find 1,000 room resorts here. Instead, it aims to build its tourism industry in a sustainable way that benefits all. The reality of this is the daily tourist tax (paid up front as part of your trip), and the fact that tourism is highly regulated by the government. For the visitor, this means Bhutan is not the cheapest of destinations. On the plus side though, it means that the country and it's culture are pristine - completely unspoilt. Yak - Bhutan MountainsIt is perhaps the best place in the world to experience a real, living Buddhist culture - one that has been untainted by exposure to western values. Television was first introduced as recently as 1999, and well over half the population still makes their living from subsistence agriculture, so to travel to Bhutan is to immerse yourself completely in a distinctly different culture.

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Check our Bhutan pages for more information on the country as well as itinerary ideas. All our trips are private and can be tailor-made to your requirements and dates. To speak to someone in the TravelLocal office, call 0117 325 7898.

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