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Great PaulVDV 2022-05-15 6:55

Hello Gert,
I've never been to Bhutan and I don't really know anyone in my own country who has ever been there. I know Bhutan was little visited compared to other countries nearby and a trip there was quite pricey compared to other destinations.
In those circumstances you may find it perhaps easier there to find people who pose "happily" and who don't do this for commercial reasons.
By keeping the crowds of foreigners out, the country will undoubtedly look more authentic, which is certainly an added value for the few visitors.
However, I never heard whether or not the inhabitants of this country led a better life than the inhabitants of other countries/parts of countries in the Himalayas.
Nepal has been visited by foreigners for many decades and that has yielded very little for the residents, I could see for myself in 2019.
This lady wears her nose ring and earrings with pride. Her necklace and her belt also stand out.
Perhaps this was her festive outfit.
I like the colour and patterns of her belt.
Best regards, Paul

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Old 05-15-2022, 02:28 PM
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holmertz holmertz is offline
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Default To PaulVDV: very normal

Thank you Paul,
I was surprised to find Bhutan such a relatively "normal" country. There is no doubt a lot of poverty, especially in faraway places, but most people looked reasonably well off, "everyone" speaks English and it's one of the cleanest countries I have seen, very different from its neighbours and virtually anywhere else in the developing world. Absolutely no littering! It's a very green country because there are strict laws regulating forestry. Tourism is strictly organized, so foreigners can't run around causing trouble or making fools of themselves. I travelled alone with a guide and a driver, but if there wasn't anything particular on the agenda for an afternoon I could tell them to do whatever they wanted, so I could go for a walk with the camera. I never felt bothered by being in a "group". You have to pay quite a lot, but it's not as bad as it may sound, because the daily cost includes hotel, all food, travel, guide, entrance fees. My hotels were fairly basic but always clean and comfortable, and all restaurants taking foreigners are checked to make sure the food is hygienic and safe. Seeing Bhutan is not really an adventure, but sometimes it's a relief not to depend on overcrowded buses or shared taxis that leave hours later than expected.
Best regards,
Gert
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Old 05-15-2022, 03:09 PM
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Thanks for the explanation, Gert.
Since there are so few visitors, most residents have little or no contact with foreigners.
Are they not suspicious of strangers?
Do they know much about what is happening in the world?

Regards,
Paul
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Old 05-15-2022, 04:02 PM
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holmertz holmertz is offline
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Before the pandemic the number of foreign tourists had risen sharply since 2000, so most Bhutanese should by now be quite used to seeing foreigners. I didn't notice any suspicions and I never had crowds of people surrounding me or staring at me out of curiosity, as still seems to be common in for instance Bangladesh. I'm afraid I never discussed international politics with any locals, but my guide and driver seemed well informed.
Gert
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