When the first Willys jeep arrived in Thimphu, it created a sensation. Seeing it in motion, its headlights blazing and engine roaring, some resident felt that it was a fire-breathing dragon that would devour them all. Others brought it cattle feed, since this strange beast had to carry such heavy loads and cover such long distances. My own first reaction on seeing the jeep was sheer terror-at its size, its noise and the nauseating smell of petrol.
As an introduction to motor travel in Bhutan, by Queen Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck (consort of Jigme Singye Wangchuck, King of Bhutan).
Treasures of the thunder dragon: a portrait of Bhutan. That Willys jeep transported Bhutan from their medieval world straight into the twentieth century, perhaps the only country in the world without traffic lights !!
The year was 1961, when Thimphu became the capital of kingdom of Bhutan, much has changed in Bhutan since those days. Cable television, mobile phones, the latest 4 wheel drives, international hotel chains, like the Taj, Aman and Uma Como hotels have setup shops in this elitist incentive destination.
None of these changes have affected the majority of the population, who pride themselves on a sustainable approach to tourism in line with the philosophy of gross national happiness, where traditional buddhism and modernity live in perfect harmony.
72 hours or a long weekend is about the time you’ll spend in Bhutan. Make the most of it by
Taking part in a game of archery, the national sport of Bhutan.
Trek up to the tigers nest to catch spectacular views of the Takstang monastery.
Have a hot stone bath specially setup for you by the riverside!
Meditate at the Kyichu monastery, Bhutan’s oldest and most beautiful temple.
Get a collection of the worlds most beautiful stamps and have your face put on their stamp!
Dress up in traditional buddhist robes and witness a masked dance ritual in the ruins of the Drukgyel Dzong, an old ruined monastery.
Make sure you have a window seat on your plane. On a clear day you can see 6 of the 8, 8,000 meter Himalayan peaks including Mount Everest.