“Have you ever dreamed of a place far away from it all? Where the air you breath is soft and clean; And children play in fields of green. And the sound of guns doesn’t pound your ear any more” – This lyric is from the theme song of the movie Lost Horizon. The movie is based on a 1933 novel by James Hilton that tells the story of a fictional place called “Shangri-la” – a peaceful, mystical land inhabited by happy people, an earthly paradise.
In the southern slopes of the Himalayan mountains, there is a place called Bhutan. Unlike Shangri-la, Bhutan is real. But just like Shangri-la, this place is tranquil, beautifully undisturbed, naturally harmonious; settled by friendly, honest and hospitable people. Bhutan manages to preserve the exoticism of the orient and uphold its unique cultural heritage, still untouched by the Western world up to this day.
Bhutan does not have towering high-rises or big, crowded metropolis. There are no traffic jams, smogs or pollution; no MacDonalds or Starbucks; no unruly youth ravaging the streets; no dingy bars nor loud music pounding your ears; no large department stores or over-stuffed supermarkets that tempt the “material girl” in each of us. This country is filled with peace-loving and friendly people who are averse to killing any living thing. And that includes livestock for their own consumption or even mosquitoes. This place is so safe to live in and has almost zero crime rate. Marijuana plants grow wildly together with grass and other plants on the roadside – but nobody seem to be interested in them.
Bhutan is truly an earthly paradise – one among the very few left on this planet.
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