Definitely ONE OFF MY BUCKET LIST. I am still feeling OLD and TIRED, having just arrived from this dream trip to Bhutan. Not up to writing up my adventures yet. But this I must say. The flight into Bhutan is one for the books. What introduction to the Land of the Thunder Dragon, home of the concept of Gross National Happiness. As they say, HAPPINESS IS A PLACE. And that place is called Bhutan.



How many times have I been on a plane? A helicopter? A train? A boat? I didn’t give much thought about flying into Bhutan. But I sure know that this little Kingdom lies in the Eastern Himalayas right there above India, near Tibet. Snow-capped mountains shining like a jewel filled my plane’s window as we made the approach on our Airbus A319.



I imagined a small airport, and it was. After all, it is a small country. That explains why I found the US$756 round trip fare from Bangkok too pricey. And I was even told Druk Airlines — the only airline allowed to fly in and out of Paro Airport — gave us a hefty discount! Well, discount my foot I thought! From Bangkok, it took 2 hours to land in Dhaka, Bangladesh for a brief stopover. A few passengers got off, with just as few joining us on the 1 hour trip to Paro.



From my window seat, I saw how rugged the landscape is. Those lines down below must be the roads zigzagging around mountains. From a distance, I saw mountains in different hues of blue, even near-green, capped by the white snow shining like a golden tiara under the glare of the sun.



Then the plane made its approach. I could almost feel the pine trees brushing the soles of my feet as one of the highly-trained 8 Druk airlines pilots maneuvered the plane between 2 mountains ………… then actually leaned, veered to the left, turning really, really left, and landing in this short airstrip with a Dzhong or Monastery right there at the end of the runway!



Phew! What a flight. Leaning and swerving around mountain peaks and into the valleys was just insane!! And I have just landed. How exciting can that be? Well, more excitement follows as I begin my series of blogs on Bhutan starting with this and this.  And don’t forget to check out my most awesome hike ever. The hike to Taktshang or Tiger’s Nest Monastery is NOT for the faint-hearted, but I’m mighty proud to say I survived it! 

Btw, did I tell you that Druk pilots land VISUALLY (no radar), and literally lands the plane on a wing and a prayer? Oh yes, AND I KID YOU NOT!!!


This piece was written in a record time of 10 minutes to join this year’s final month’s blog carnival “The Journey is the Destination” hosted by one of the bloggers whom I deeply admire, Kara Santos of TravelingUp.


Do check out subsequent blogs on this happy place.  I have been on a roll. And for good reason!