…we flew to Bhutan, Druk Yul, Land of the Thunder Dragon. This is the country launching GNH – Gross National Happiness – instead of GNP. I asked people I met if they really were, Happy. And, they said yes, they were. I can understand why.
Through the windows I could see the Himalayas, snow capped mountains welcoming me a second time. In 1986 I went to Nepal and India, but haven’t been in these parts since. I fell in love with Nepal. And now I am passionate about Bhutan.
Paro, Buthan, is said to offer one of the three most dangerous approaches and landings in the world. You could almost reach out and touch the mountain houses…
It was difficult to take photos, but I had to try. Druk Air indeed has got some skilled pilots.
With surrounding peaks as high as 5,500 m (18,000 ft), Paro airport is considered one of the world’s most challenging airports, and only a select number of pilots are certified to land here. I heard they were 14.
The spectacular and dangerous left turn in the valley before landing had us all holding our breath. And, in a way we never let that feeling go…
We were of course met by the Royal Family – portraits of the King, or of his whole family, were present everywhere in Bhutan. Even as pins on the men’s Gho (national dress).
It may be small, but the arrival hall is exquisitely decorated. Finally we are at the entrance to the land of Happiness. The last Shang-ri-La.