Bhutan The Falling Paradise That Will Revive Your Soul

7000 kilometers and fifteen hours flight from Paris, this small country deserves. This is the journey apart, from which we learn new life lessons. In the heart of the Eastern Himalayas, the "Land of the Thunder Dragon" does its utmost to remain the most ecological state in the world. The group Six Senses has opened three hotels: the opportunity for an intimate discovery of one of the most secret kingdoms.





In the early morning, the vision of landscapes from the porthole of the plane is already a painting of incredible beauty. The soft reliefs of the northern prairies, the fir tones of the coniferous expanses, the emerald bursts of the Himalayan forests ... All the shades of green seem to be reunited in Bhutan, at altitudes sometimes as high as 5000 meters and where, here and there, stand the famous dzong, these Buddhist fortress-monasteries with unique architecture. The landing at Paro airport is one of the most delicate in the world. Surrounded by mountains and paddy fields between which it is necessary to slalom, the track does not measure more than two kilometers of length; very few pilots are qualified for such maneuvers. But this is just a taste.




  •  The kingdom of mountains and forests
From the opening of the doors, the discovery can begin: what is called journey in English, which includes, even more than the journey, the journey but also all the sensations, the foods of the spirit that we receive on the way, the meetings on the course. In Bhutan, this notion is fully revealed. It is a journey that mixes all the temporalities: monks on the tarmac take selfies in front of the plane of the Drukair, the royal company. On the roads, cars wind between cows and horses, while stray dogs, particularly well treated here (Buddhism, state religion, imposes the respect of all life, to the extent that an animal can be the reincarnation of an ancestor), happily accompany the walkers on the mountain paths. From the airport, it takes about an hour and a half to reach Thimphu, the only capital to have no traffic lights (there is none in the country, and the speed is limited to 50 kilometers / hour).




  • Sublime views


  • The Six Senses Group has just opened three lavish hotels in these key locations, and two new lodges are about to be inaugurated, in the center, near Gangtey Monastery, a winter habitat for black-necked cranes. and, further east, in the heart of a pine forest of Bumthang. Each establishment has its own personality, adapted to the surrounding landscapes and traditions. The largest, in Thimphu, is placed on a body of water that reflects clouds or stars, like a palace in the sky. In Punakha, in the valley, the building is inspired by the surrounding vegetable gardens - crops grow all year round - and stands out as a flying farm above the rice paddies. Finally, in Paro, at 2250 meters above sea level, located among the ruins of the twelfth century, Six Senses lodge is surrounded by the most picturesque wooded peaks.




  • A Controlled Tourism

  • This does not preclude promoting tourism by developing continuing education for travelers. It is forbidden to visit the kingdom without having an official guide at his side, as well as a driver. It is said that a few years ago, a French tourist on an independent visit would have tagged a statue of Buddha ... As for the group Six Senses, he prides himself to multiply the initiatives in agreement with the local populations, in order to respect their inheritance and the environment. He builds organic gardens of several hectares to reduce food imports and train the inhabitants. Everything must grow on the spot. Hikes are organized, called "pliking" (contraction of plastic and hiking), during which plastic waste (they are still rare) are collected along the way. Operations are being conducted to protect the habitat of black-necked, endangered cranes. Still others support communities of monks. In total, 0.5% of the turnover of the hotel chain is donated for actions in favor of sustainable development.

    Respect for nature is a constantly renewed struggle ... A stay allows you to cross the country, to go from one lodge to another, all with a specialized guide that mimics the most picturesque excursions. We sip yak butter salty teas generously offered by the locals, at each meeting. We discover the national sport: archery. We learn in Thimphu, from a monk expert in astrology, that we have possibly been a deer in a previous life. Lampshade offerings are made by reciting mantras and meditating in front of the prayer flags, planted by hundreds on the mountainside. We visit the Fertility Temple in Punakha, where couples come to be blessed and touched with sculpted phalluses to have children. 





    • A preserved natural setting

    Because the beauty of Bhutan is mainly there: it is its natural scenery that makes all the money. The inhabitants are aware of it and cherish it. The trek is not an activity, it is a mode of movement, one that one practices in family or with friends, between the magnolias, the orchids and the flags of prayer, towards the tops. Ecology is also one of the four pillars of the famous Gross National Happiness (BNB), established by King Jigme Singye 
    Wangchuck in 1972, index taking into 
    account the conservation of culture, responsible governance and economic development. Its goal is to reconcile the values ​​of Buddhism while considering sustainable growth. Nearly fifty years later, respect for the environment continues to be part of this program. Bhutan aims to become the first country in the world to live a 100% organic agriculture. The Prime Minister announced at the Rio Conference, in 2012, a deadline of 2020, which will, a priori, not be fully respected. Yet the assets are there. The country's electricity is almost entirely derived from the hydraulic industry; 70% of this production is sold to India.

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