Tuesday, we entered the land of compassion, love and humbles. There is only one big check post gate between India and Bhutan at the border in Phuntsholing. I was able to feel the amazing positive vibes of Bhutan as soon as I entered. We got our tourist visas in just 30 minutes as well as permits to ride our bikes in Bhutan. Since both are valid only for seven days, you have to go to the capital, Thimphu to extend them. Opposite the immigration office building is a small restaurant with the best chole bhatura I have ever had. What makes the food delicious is its pureness. You will not find half water in your litre of milk. You will not find the use of bad oil for preparing food. In fact, just a day before reaching Bhutan we heard that Bhutan is going to be the first 100 per cent organic nation in the world.
On our way to Thimphu we had to stop at Gedu, a small village 50 kilometres from Phuntsholing border, because of rains and fog. We didn’t know anyone in Gedu and we were told that there no hotels. We had dinner at a small restaurant and made friends with the owners, who helped us find a guest house. A truly amazing place, we paid just 600 Ngultrum (equal to 600 Indian rupees) for the best hotel room on the trip so far. Next morning, I saw my life’s best sunrise and though it was cold outside, I could not resist taking pictures. We set out finally at noon, reaching Thimphu by nightfall.
In the meanwhile I wrote to the Tourism Council of Bhutan via Twitter and Facebook and tried our luck to find some inspiring people through them. In a few hours we had a response and they arranged some meetings for us — one at the Tarayana Foundation and the other with the Bhutan Youth Development Fund.
Tarayana Foundation works to help enhance the lives of individuals and communities of Bhutan. “We work from the heart for a happy and prosperous Bhutan. And when you work with compassion and integrity, you will always get success,” says Chime P. Wangdi, Secretary General, Tarayana Foundation. Simply Bhutan — a project of Bhutan Youth Development Fund — has created the experiences of a village house. This will help to maintain the real, cultural Bhutan. One can experience the feel of a village house without going out to rural areas.
A nation of humble and compassionate people, Bhutan believes in collective and community work rather than just individual progress. More will always be less to describe Bhutan. In order to feel and experience it in a true way you have to visit here.
The columnist is on a peace mission along with friend Parth Vasvada. The duo will ride across eight countries and 13,000 km Every week they will share their travel tales with us.