A piece of Shang-ri-La
Tiger’s Nest Monastery, Bhutan
BHUTAN IS ONE OF THOSE PLACES YOU CAN’T GET TO FROM HERE. And if you’re a budget traveler, you can’t get there from anywhere. Bhutan enforces a fixed daily rate of US$250 on tourists during high seasons and $200 during off seasons. You are not permitted to travel without a guide and driver, and there are some restricted areas you still can’t visit. If you travel as a single traveler as I did, you pay a surcharge of $40 per day. When I asked Kinga, my guide, why the government restricted travelers like this, he said: “To keep the backpackers out. We want to protect our culture. We don’t want Bhutan to become another Katmandu.” I guess you have to respect that kind of thinking.
Water-driven prayer wheel in a forest of pine and cypress
Traditional window in a wall of stone
To facilitate maintaining their…
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