Friday, March 1, 2019

Bhutan: Portrait Series

This blog post about Bhutan definitely one of the hardest posts to write because there’s just so much I want share but I can’t seem to find the right words. Also one of my favourites because I get to share with you all a little slice of happiness from the happiest country in the world and possibly most beautiful place I’ve been incredibly lucky and blessed to visit. Bhutan: a dream come true. It all started from a picture of Tiger Nest or Taktsang Monastery I saw on Instagram last year. Bhutan sure looks magical. Then I started to read more people’s trip to Bhutan, research how to get there but of course I never really put it on top of my bucket list because it’s so expensive so yes I thought I would never make it to Bhutan. But life shows me you should never underestimate the power of your dreams, as if I forget my life has been a series of thousands of tiny miracles and dreams come true. So about 4 months ago I booked my trip to Bhutan through Druk Asia. I just thought now or never, this is a once in a lifetime experience. I told the agent I wanted to see cultural festivals in Bhutan and oh it’d be great if I can visit sometime in June because I’m turning 30 soon. But based on research it’s good to visit Bhutan during off season around December to March. Slightly cold, clear blue skies and less expensive. Finally I decided to go in February during the Punakha Festival week. And honestly it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Once again things just fall into place, everything was so perfect…way better than my expectation or imagination. I knew Bhutan was going to be a beautiful destination, but I don't think I was just prepared for just how amazing it is. Magical. While I can’t even find words to describe it, perhaps some portraits below can explain a bit. 

If I have to choose top ten best moments in my life, then Bhutan would be one of it. The moment I landed in Paro International Airport, I knew this trip is going to change my life. Maybe some of you know to visit Bhutan you have to get visa and join tour. Which means you’re going to get your own tour guides, driver, they take care of everything from accommodations, meals, to all your itinerary. All you have to do just sit still look pretty. For someone who has been traveling solo for over 10 years this is something new for me but I admit it’s nice that for once you don’t have to figure out how to get to certain places, no stress, let someone else do the job and you just enjoy. It’s funny the day before I left for Bhutan, I had this picture in my mind of my guides would be old, small and boring but I’m glad I got two coolest men to show me around Bhutan. Yeshi and Namgay, both super cool, kind, funny. We instantly become bff the moment we said hello in the airport. Sitting in the car on the way to Thimphu, I remember I looked out the window and smile. A part of me still find it hard to believe I made it to Bhutan, the rest just super grateful for life once again send the right people into my life. My curiosity and willingness to be uncomfortable has placed me in some of the most extraordinary places with even more extraordinary people. In a country where there’s no McDonalds, KFC, H&M, malls, not even 7 Eleven, and television comes to Bhutan only in 1999, I learned so much about life. Bhutan shows me the beauty of simplicity, the joy of having just enough, to live in the moment and essential rules for a happy life. While the world outside there so hectic, noisy and complicated, people seem so busy chasing one thing to another and comparing their lives with others, life in Bhutan is so much simpler, lighter and happier. Now I completely get it when people say Bhutan is the happiest country in the world. I also discovered new passions, experienced new things. I hiked all the way up to Taktsang Monastery ( it’s still unreal that I have pictures of Tiger Nest in my camera ). I made new friends, I found family. Home away from home. I fell in love with chilli cheese, I learned how to flirt in Bhutanese and of course huge fail. I got to pretend to be CNN travel host or NatGeo photographer on assignment to Punakha Festival. I spent my days creating stories through photography, something I truly love and am passionate about. The kind of joy I find it hard to explain but I do hope you can see that and finally enjoy the pictures as much as I do. Portraits that simply reminds me of the power of love, simple joy, that it doesn’t cost a lot to see the beauty of life, dreams…the power of dreams, hope, passion, happiness, gratitude.

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