beyond the beaten path
There are so many reasons that make this tiny country, shrouded by the peaks of the Himalayas and squeezed between the two giants China and India, one of our absolute favourite destinations on this planet. Here’s just a few of them. This small kingdom of just 750,000 inhabitants is one of a handful of countries that were never colonized by a European country, largely thanks to its inaccessible geography, close-knit communities and self-reliance. The absence of outside influence over the years has preserved Bhutan to such an extent that a good part of it still remains unexplored. Bhutan is the first country in the world with specific constitutional obligations to maintain and protect 60% of forest cover at all times. These protected forests, in turn, absorb three times the amount of carbon generated annually, creating a carbon sink and making Bhutan the only carbon-negative country in the world. Bhutan is home to 18 peaks that rise above the 7,000m mark. But because it is forbidden to summit high mountains (as a means not to upset the gods and spirits), Bhutan is also home to the world's highest unclimbed mountains. Every decision made for the country is made with the interest of enhancing GNH, i.e. Gross National Happiness. This is a holistic and sustainable approach to development that aims to achieve a balanced development in all aspects of life that are essential for the happiness of the population. Honestly, how amazing is this?! Last but certainly not least, in order to protect the Bhutanese culture, tradition and environment, the government adheres to a policy of "High Value, Low Impact Tourism." This policy aims to attract discerning tourists who will respect the unique culture and values of the Bhutanese people — and to provide visitors with an unforgettable, nourishing experience.