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Archive for December, 2009

Why should you visit Bhutan? What is unique?

December 31, 2009 By: Bridge to Bhutan Category: Gross National Happiness, News, Sustainable Development, Tourism & Bhutan

http://www.rajtent.com/images/prod/lol595/ phentermine dr online Why should you go to Bhutan?

Whenever people (outside Bhutan) hear that I am from Bhutan, they immediately ask me “where is Bhutan?” followed by if they should go Bhutan. The answer to the first questions is simple and now growing roots in the minds of many outsiders as many Bhutanese venture out. They now know that Bhutan is somewhere in the Himalayas and not in the Pacific.

The next question: “So why should I go to Bhutan?” I have been asked this questions several times now that I am living outside Bhutan. In fact, if I got a dollar every time someone asks me this question I think I would be a rich man by now. So here I will try to reason out why you should go to Bhutan.
Bhutan is a tiny country (only about 46,000 sq. km) with [less than about 1 million people.] It is situated in the foothill of the world’s greatest mountains, the Himalayas. It is bordered on the north by Tibet (now part of China) and on the other sides by India. Bhutan is a very INDEPENDENT country. It became a kingdom in 1907 (i.e. 40 years before India got independence from British rule). Before that different parts of Bhutan were ruled by different local governors. I am so happy to point out that Bhutan was never colonized either by British or Japanese. Although small, Bhutan has lot to offer the travelers. Some of these reasons why you should visit Bhutan are listed below (not in any particular order though): (more…)

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From Bangkok to Shangri-la: About Bhutan

December 31, 2009 By: Bridge to Bhutan Category: Bhutan Guest, News, Sustainable Development, Sustainable Travel, Tourism & Bhutan

From Bangkok to Shangri-la by Roger Beaumont*

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.

ROOM WITH A VIEW: The view from a temple (more…)

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Bhutan has a “Changemaker”

December 17, 2009 By: Bridge to Bhutan Category: Health, News, Sustainable Development

Dr. Chencho Dorji, a senior Psychiatrist at the Jime Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital becomes a “Changemaker” from Bhutan.

Dr. Chencho is Bhutan’s first Psychiatrist. His entry, Promoting Mental Health Treatment in Traditional Bhutanese Society has been declared as one of the three proud winners of the Ashoka Changemaker’s “Rethinking Mental Health: Improving Community Wellbeing” competition on December 16, 2009. The worldwide competition was organized and funded by Ashoka, a global association of world’s leading entrepreneurs, thorugh its intitative Changemakers.

More details on the winning entry can be found HERE.

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Is Bhutan’s debt sustainable?

December 13, 2009 By: Bridge to Bhutan Category: Economy, Gross National Happiness, Sustainable Development

Though severely indebted, Bhutan is at a moderate risk of distress

13 December, 2009 – Bhutan is paying Nu 3.8 billion annually to service an outstanding debt of Nu 35b as of October this year, which is five billion less than the cost of the 1020 MW Tala project.

The debt, as a percentage of GDP, is 53 percent with hydropower debt at Nu 21.5b and non-hydropower debt at Nu 13.5b.

The debt figures do not take into account the Rs 5b borrowed this year from India to meet domestic rupee requirements, said Tshewang Norbu of the finance ministry. who made a presentation of the debt situation at a national workshop on strengthening responses to the global financial crisis. (more…)

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Denmark & UNDP grant for Local Governance

December 13, 2009 By: Bridge to Bhutan Category: Economy, Gross National Happiness, Rural Development, Sustainable Development

13 December, 2009 – The government of Denmark and UNDP, Thimphu, are supporting the Bhutanese government to maximise people’s participation in developing and managing their own social, economic and environmental well being, and to minimise the negative impacts of a changing environment.

The Danish government committed DKK 70 million (approximately Nu 600m) on November 20 and the UNDP has committed USD 860,000 (Nu 38.7m approx). (more…)

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