Bhutan 5 years ago – Part 1

Went to Bhutan in 2011 for 11 days as a birthday treat to myself. I like to getaway during my birthday period because I don’t like to spend it in Malaysia. I want to celebrate my birthday out of KL, even if I’m celebrating by myself. I know it sounds lonely to celebrate my birthday by myself, but in actual fact, almost every birthday trip I had new friends celebrated it with me. To most people birthday should be celebrated with love ones and I don’t disagree, but if I travel to new country by myself then it was inevitable that my birthday celebration was with new friends that I got to know during the trip. And I still stay in touch with most of them. They are nice people. They had enriched my travel experienced and gave me some good memories to remember. The photos below were views from the plane as it entered Bhutan.

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So why did I chose Bhutan? I wanted somewhere exotic and unique. And Bhutan came to mind when I read the news of a celebrity wedding which were held in Bhutan about 7-8 years ago. It piqued my curiosity to find out more about this country as it is the only country that measure the country success using Gross National Happiness instead of GDP! This small kingdom cares more about its citizen happiness than the country financial wealth! Hence I found it interesting. I also wanted to go to a country where not many people, especially women, will choose to go and Bhutan fulfilled my criteria. Beside I also wanted to challenge myself physically to see if I could hiked up to some of those attractions as back then my stamina wasn’t good. Now slightly better, but still not great.

I did some researched and found out that to holiday in Bhutan, I need to spend min $200 per day which will include a private driver, a tour guide, a visa, entry permit and accommodation. I ended up with Como Paro, a 5 star resort located in Paro, about an hour drive from Thimpu, the capital of Bhutan. This was the resort where the HK celebrity couple stayed during their wedding ceremony. Como Paro offered various packages to choose from and you can even tailor made your own package. I chose the package that included 3 meals per day, yoga practice and massage. Of course I had my own personal driver and tour guide too. Hence it was really a luxury travel to a remote country. There is a direct flight from Bangkok to Bhutan operated by the Kingdom. The flight lasted about an hour or so.

I didn’t know what to expect as it was the first time I travelled to a less developed country.  I went with an open mind and without much expectations hence I wasn’t shocked by anything I saw during my stayed.

As seen from the photos, the airport was basic and small but the design was definitely Bhutanese. I was greeted by the Como representative and chauffeured to the hotel directly. The hotel is located very near to the airport so traveling time was short.

When I reached the hotel, I was greeted by the Front Office Manager who happened to be a Malaysian too and it was great to meet someone from the same country and speak the same language. Haha. Her name is Christine Rock. Thanks to her I had a memorable birthday celebration in Bhutan. I was also grateful and thankful to her for keeping me company and hiked up to Tiger Nest with me.

She checked me in and shown me to my room. I booked a Deluxe room and the room was comfortable and nice, but warm as there was no air-cond at all. So I requested for a fan and she arranged for it. I rested for awhile before I went down for a lunch and yoga practice at the later part of the day.

And during the night, I just ate at the restaurant and retired to my room early as there wasn’t anything to do at all. That was how I spent my 1st day in Bhutan.

 

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