Reasons to Teach in Bhutan!

Looking for another reason to Teach in Bhutan? We are loving this article by Intrepid Travel about reasons why Bhutan might be the most liveable country in the world! If you are interested in experiencing Bhutan, apply to Teach in Bhutan by March 31st!

Colourful festival in Bhutan

What is your favourite part of living in Bhutan? Let us know below!

The Atlantic – A Virtual Drive Through Bhutan

Google’s Street View vans continue to cover countries around the world, allowing people to virtually go anywhere from their computer screens. Courtesy of Google’s Street View team, you can now take A Virtual Drive Through Bhutan. Click on the links in the captions so you can explore more on your own!

The Atlantic - Google Street View

Also check out The Atlantic’s photo essay A Trip to Bhutan for some stunning photographs of the Himalayan country.

First Bhutan International Festival

The first Bhutan International Festival will be held this year in Thimphu! The festival will run from February 14 – 23, with the aim of promoting local arts and creative industries including art, photography, film and music.

BhIF is a non profit annual event – working to build a resilient platform for the ongoing support of the creative arts in Bhutan.
Our mission is to provide a new outlet for artists from across the nation, and invite a cultural exchange with artists from around the world. – BhIF

Photo Credit: His Majesty King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck
Photo Credit: His Majesty King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck

For more information visit Kuensal Online First Bhutan International Festival Feb. 14-23.

One hundred years of coverage of the Kingdom of Bhutan by National Geographic

Ever wondered what Bhutan was like over one hundred years ago? In 1914, National Geographic published its first article about the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan: an account of explorations and surveys by John Claude White, a British Raj administrator and an accomplished amateur photographer. – Castles in the Air: Experiences and Journeys in Unknown Bhutan.

NGS Picture ID:1314757
Photograph by John Claude White

Today National Geographic continues to feature Bhutan as a travel destination, highlighting the nations timeless heritage and its unique progression.

“Bhutan has, across the century, made unique progress as a nation. We have continually fortified the values of our traditions and cultural heritage, and the essence of what was observed of our country, a hundred years ago, still remains.” – Queen Jetsun Pema Wangchuck.

Check out National Geographic’s most recent articles in celebration of their one hundred years of coverage. Conversation with Bhutan’s Young “Dragon King” and Queen of Bhutan Celebrates National Geographic’s Anniversary Coverage.

Bhutan: A Higher State of Being – The New York Times

The Kingdom of Bhutan may seem an unlikely place for bicycling culture, but today the sport  is taking root in the mountainous country! One of the reasons for the increased interest is Jigme Singye Wangchuck, Bhutan’s fourth Druk Gyalpo. He is an avid cyclist who can often be found biking the steep foothills that circle the capital city of Thimphu. Another reason is The Tour of the Dragon, one of the world’s most challenging bike races which takes place in Bhutan once a year. 

Photo Credit: Simon Roberts - Schoolchildren cheering a rider approaching the town of Wangdue Phodrang.
Photo Credit: Simon Roberts – Schoolchildren cheering a rider approaching the town of Wangdue Phodrang.
Photo Credit: Simon Roberts - A rider in the Tour of the Dragon.
Photo Credit: Simon Roberts – A rider in the Tour of the Dragon.

Whatever the reason, the current prime minster Tshering Tobgay says it best. “Gross National Happiness is about wholesome development. And cycling, like any worthy sport activity, is also about wholesome development. It is good for the soul, good for the body and good for happiness. You cannot love cycling and not be an environmentalist. It is one of the reasons we must encourage more cycling in Bhutan.”

Read the full New York Times Style Magazine article here: Bhutan: A Higher State of Being.

Visit Bhutan and National Reading Year 2015!

An eventful year ahead indeed! The Royal Government of Bhutan has declared 2015 as Visit Bhutan Year to celebrate the 60th birth anniversary of His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck the Fourth Druk Gyalpo. Bhutan will also commemorate the events by observing National Reading Year to develop a national reading strategy to instil a healthy reading habit by establishing e-Libraries in all Districts.

DSC_0217 flags

Learn more about what Bhutan has planned for the year 2015 at Kuensal Online – An Eventful Year Ahead!

Jomolhari Mountain Festival

The Jomolhari Mountain Festival, a community based initiative for the conservation of snow leopards, took place on October 8-9 at the base of Jomolhari. The festival included snow leopard themed folk songs and dances, traditional sports such as Khuru (darts), shot put, horse and yak riding, sampling of local delicacies and boutique handicrafts, and various picturesque guided hikes in and around Jomolhari!

Photo Credit: bhutan-bhutan.com - Jomolhari Mountain
Photo Credit: bhutan-bhutan.com – Jomolhari Mountain

Learn more about the Jomolhari Snow Leopard Conservation Programme from The Bhutan Foundation here!

Bhutan’s Thimphu Tshechu Festival!

One of the biggest annual festivals in Bhutan is the Thimphu Tshechu. Tshechu is a religious festival meaning “tenth day” held annually in various temples, monasteries and dzongs throughout the country. This year the festival will take place between October 3rd – 5th in the capital city of Thimphu! This festival is in honour of Guru Rimpoche who brought Buddhism to Bhutan in the 8th century. The Tshechu is also considered an occasion for praying and receiving blessings.

Photo Credit: Tourism Council of Bhutan
Photo Credit: Tourism Council of Bhutan

The highlight of Thimphu Tshechu is the showcase of ethnic folk dance in colourful costumes performed in the courtyard of the famous Tashichho Dzong. Many of the dances performed at the festival are designed to teach lessons about how one’s behaviour on earth affects the afterlife, while others are believed to influence the actions of the spirits or to purify sacred ground.

To learn more about the Thimphu Tshechu and to see a calender of events in Bhutan, visit the Tourism Council of Bhutan’s website!

Fifth Annual Tour of the Dragon Bike Race!

One of the world’s most challenging bike races returns to Bhutan! The fifth Tour of the Dragon will take place September 6, 2014 in the mountainous region of Bhutan, covering 268 kilometres! The race covers elevations ranging from 1,200 to 3,340 meters and crosses four mountain passes before concluding in the capital city of Thimphu, all in one day!

Photo Credit: Tour of the Dragon

The race is aptly named the Tour of the Dragon, not only because it is being held in Bhutan, which is also called the Land of the Thunder Dragon, but also because of its difficulty. As difficult as it is to conquer a dragon, so is it difficult to complete the race! Stay tuned to see if any of the participants can beat last year’s fastest racer, Sonam from Bhutan, who completed the race in 11 hours and 13 minutes!

For more information check out the Tour of the Dragon website!