The happiness of a cup of butter tea
A cup of steaming butter tea with salt stands on the shaky wooden table. There is not much else in the small dark living room. Materialism is not highly valued in Bhutan. In this small kingdom in the Himalayas , the Gross National Product has been replaced by Gross National Happiness: the prosperity of the country is measured by the happiness of its inhabitants. And they like to transfer their happiness to travelers who visit their country. Because happiness is a cup of steaming butter tea.A feeling of happiness is almost inevitable for those who make their way through the small winding roads to the sacred Tiger's Nest in Paro. The path is tough, but once at the top you will be rewarded with beautiful views and a magical monastery that miraculously balances on a cliff. Those who still have energy can kayak on the Mochhu . Or take on the challenge with the locals in a game of kuru, darts the Bhutanian way.Besides belief in happiness, there is also belief in Buddhism in Bhutan. The country is dotted with monasteries and temples and the chance that you will end up in a religious festival when you visit is not small: faith is celebrated. Traditional clothing is not only taken out for these festivals. Most of the population also walks daily in a 'gho'. Jeans are rare, even in the capital, Thimphu . With less than a hundred thousand inhabitants, one of the smallest capital cities in the world. Small, but wonderful, with the bell square, the old monastery castle Tashi Codzong or the palace of the king. Also in Paro is an old Bhutanese palace that even after hundreds of years still has the allure of a royal residence. But a stroll through the Sunday market is just as impressive. Kilos of green peppers are piled up here, ready to give the daily plate of rice a spicy edge.Hidden between India and China. Decorated with colorful prayer flags. And wrapped in a blanket of spirituality. The land is like a beautifully wrapped gift.