This will be the first time the royal couple have visited Bhutan
Country nestles high in the Himalayas between India and China
Kate and William, both 33, will visit King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck
His pregnant wife Jetsun Pema, 25, is due to give birth in Spring
Bhutan is a Buddhist country that measures wealth on happiness
Prince Charles and Prince Andrew have both visited country previously
She is known as the Dragon Queen and the most glamorous woman in the Orient.
He has been dubbed The Prince Charming of the Himalayas, a ruler with the populist touch who is known to invite his subjects into his home for tea and a chat.
And this spring the young King and Queen of Bhutan, dubbed the ‘William and Kate of the Orient’, will host the real Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on an official visit on behalf of the British Government.
Bhutanese are proud of their traditional Buddhist culture – a culture tracing centuries back to Tibet, which has given Bhutan both its written language and its strain of Buddhism. As an independent country, Bhutan has been able to preserve its traditional culture far better than Tibet. And it wants to share that culture – with a select few, well-heeled tourists.
Many climb – though, in sneakers or hiking books rather than in heels – to the Tiger’s Nest in Paro, a Buddhist monastery with gilded roofs that seems to hover ethereally above a sheer cliff face. The hike on steep forest trails winds past rhododendrons and ghostly Spanish moss. With the high altitude, it takes even a young, fit person a couple of hours to make the ascent – and that’s before you get to the more than 700 stairs leading to the monastery at the end.
A Different Kind of Tourist
But few of the foreign tourists on the trail when I visited – or in Bhutan in general – were young or fit. Many rode donkeys up, and used walking sticks to gradually make their way down. Not exactly the energetic young trekkers of Nepal – but then, Bhutan’s tourists are different. Continue reading Why it Costs $200 a Day in Bhutan?
Paraprosdokian sentences A paraprosdokian (from Greek “παρα-“, meaning “beyond” and “προσδοκία”, meaning “expectation”) is a figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected in a way that causes the reader or listener to reframe or reinterpret the first part. It is frequently used for humorous or dramatic effect, sometimes producing an anticlimax. Some paraprosdokians not only change the meaning of an early phrase, but also play on the double meaning,creating a syllepsis.
Ø I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn’t work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.
Ø Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.
27th Dec., 2009: I have wanted to visit Bhutan since I was 10 years old after being enchanted by a feature in a National Geographic magazine. So when destiny called on the phone to my studio in Bangkok last May, asking if I would be interested in helping The Centre for Bhutan Studies (CBS) and the United Nations Development Programme with an upcoming Democracy Conference in Paro, I shouted so loud in delight the house cat kamikazed through a glass screen and landed startled in shards of glass on top of a car in the soi below. I haven’t seen it since.
But between that phone call, the missing cat, and seeing Mt Everest and the mighty Jomolhari out of the Druk Air window three months later, it was all a true lesson in Buddhist patience.
At one point, I was asked to send a scan of my passport. I was in England at the time, away from my own computer and gadgets, so a friend of my mother’s offered to help. He is 86, and had just bought a scanner. He had been practising.
“I think we’ve got it,” he said, placing his third glass of wine on the desk. He then pressed send. Three days later, we received an email from the CBS, saying: “Thank you very much for the delightful picture of a tin of Heinz Baked Beans.”
When I arrived in Bhutan, the CBS was unable to find a place for me immediately, so I made base camp in the Thimphu Hotel for the first few days. It was cheap, loud and cheerful; a mix of Tibetan plumbing (no water, an alarming clanging of pipes, then a sudden, scalding torrent), slow service, and big smiles. I bought a small side-lamp; the connection started smoking. Then the toilet flushed on its own volition. I didn’t dare turn the TV on.
By Samuel Jay Keyser: The “Takin” is Bhutan’s national animal. The mythology around its origin involves the “Divine Madman,” Lama Drukpa Kuenley. In the 15th century when he visited Bhutan, the people wanted to see him perform a miracle. He called for a cow and a goat for lunch. When he was finished, he placed the goat’s head on the cow’s body and commanded the amalgam to rise up and graze.
From an evolutionary point of view this makes the takin the newest creature on the face of the earth. Apparently, taxonomists are unable to relate the takin to any other creature and have given it its own classification, budorus taxicolor.