Bhutan is known for its policy of Gross National Happiness â€“ the country judges its success not on its economy, but on the quality of life and happiness of its people. Well, they’re really happy this week, because their 31 year old king announced his engagement to 21 year old beauty Jetsun Pema last Friday. What does this have to do with travel? Bhutan is an extraordinary honeymoon destination, especially if you love hiking and exotic locals, like the famous Tiger’s Nest Temple, or want to brag to your globe-trotting friends that you’ve been where they haven’t.
Why is Bhutan so special? Bhutan is in the middle of the Himalayas and, until recently, was purposefully isolated from the rest of the world. Most people still wear traditional dress and live like they have for centuries. Trekking through the landscape is like walking back in time.The country is at its best in spring and fall â€“ but with King Wangchuck’s wedding in October, Bhutan-bound plane tickets will be hard get for that time of year. If you’re thinking of traveling to Bhutan in the fall, book now.
What you should know about Bhutan: To keep the number of tourists down, the Bhutanese government imposes a tariff of $200 per person, per night (this rate will raise to $250 in 2012), and requires that visitors work with a licensed Bhutanese tour operator. That amount covers most accommodations, food, transportation and a Bhutanese guide, and goes toward paying for free healthcare and education for the Bhutanese people. No wonder they’re so happy.