Sustainable living is at the core of Bhutan’s daily world. Embedded in its governance is the pursuit of happiness and the promise of being not only carbon neutral but carbon negative as well. And that is no mean feat even though it has reluctantly opened up its doors to tourism. While traveling in Bhutan, travelers must be respectful and responsible visitors and avoid contamination of the environment and the precious culture of this tiny Himalayan kingdom.
When men and mountains meet
Slow travel the eco-friendly way by mountain bike is one of the most exhilarating ways to savor the delights of its pristine beauty and the unique culture of the communities residing in Bhutan’s superb mountain scapes. Mountain biking is relatively new in Bhutan and you are going to just love this wonderful opportunity for up-close and personal interactions with the land and its people.
Enjoy a cup of butter tea and chit chat with locals and delve deep into their pastoral ways. This marvelous adventure takes you through gorgeous forest trails and mountain back roads and tiny farmhouses for a super feel-good exploration of Bhutan’s natural beauty.
As you pedal along its picturesque trail, you are sure to marvel at how rule of law the countryside has managed to preserve its ‘clean and green’ and allow both locals and visitors to enjoy nature in all its pristine glory. Do keep in mind that for others to enjoy this wonderful experience, you are mindful of your actions to keep the environs.
Go local at the Hot Springs at Gasa
It may come as a surprise to you how hot springs rate very high in Bhutan’s healthcare pursuits since ancient times. Do travel to Gasa in Punakha district, where you can enjoy an exceptional therapeutic and cultural experience that will leave you rested and rejuvenated. The hot spring here features five public bathhouses apart from the one set aside for the royals, where one can take a dip in the mineral waters (drubchu) which can vary in temperature and different medicinal properties (smenchu). Several guesthouses around the springs may be booked in advance. There are spiritual connotations to the whole experience, as well as the springs are considered to be the blessings sent by Buddha. Hot spring therapy in Bhutan is a serious healing practice for various body ailments. You also get to meet other guests and can enjoy the general bonhomie that suffuses this unique local experience.
While traveling across Bhutan, do be mindful of your actions and respect the culture and traditions of the communities and their natural environments. This goes a long way in contributing to the conservation of Bhutan’s natural and cultural heritage.