A picture is worth a thousand words, as they say. And I have some 340,000 plus words awaiting you, but unfortunately Bhutan is not a country with high speed (or anything near high speed) internet access. I write this post from a page that took 5 minutes to load.
So in the absence of images, allow me to share a few random notes about Bhutan with you:
1. The Dzongs that we have seen here are spectacular. The modern architecture is of a very limited and enforced design type.
2. The only way anyone (except Indians) can visit Bhutan is on a package tour, and they currently average about 15 thousand per year.
3. In discussions with our tour guide we have learned that most construction labor is imported from India.
4. We have also learned that they don’t particularly seem to like Indians (or other foreigners, for that matter) as staying or getting anything like citizenship is an impossibility if you are not born of Bhutanese parents. If you are born in the country and only one of your parents is Bhutanese, you don’t even get full citizenship rights like voting and holding office.
5. An inordinate amount of drinking must go on here, for almost every shop is also a bar as in “Grocery cum Bar”, “Restaurant cum Bar”, “Hardware Store cum Bar” etc. (There will be a documentary photo collection to follow soon.)
6. The entire country seems to be under construction, with most projects scheduled to be completed by 2008, the year of the coronation of the next king. These projects include, among other things, a national highway, parliament building, botanical gardens, and much more.
7. Our guide informed us that being Buddhists, the people of Bhutan don’t approve of killing. He then informed us that most Bhutanese are meat eaters, and that they import their meat from India, leaving the killing (and one supposes the bad karma) to their southern neighbors.