“April 2019:  two full-of-wonder weeks in Bhutan. Definitely not your usual overseas tourist trip. What stays with me most is the spirit of the people: intelligent, gentle and compassionate. Buddhism permeates the culture and history of this country and whether as a Bhutanese, you are devout or a little bit lazy when it comes to practising Buddhism, most Bhutanese seem to not only practise but to celebrate a compassionate perspective on all life. The Buthanese are proud of measuring their gross national  productivity in terms of happiness. Bhutan Birding and Heritage Tours and Barb Green knows Bhutan well. In a small touring bus with a wonderful driver (Pala) and witty guide(Dorji) we saw much of the rugged country; cultural festivities; the extraordinary talents of weavers and printmakers and craft makers of all types; a range of towns; spiritual and historical fortresses and temples; and got physically active undertaking a number of  memorable treks including climbing up to the iconic Tiger’s Nest Monastery perched precariously 10500 feet up, on the edge of a ravine. This trek is awe inspiring but is doable and not necessarily only for experienced trekkers.

For those interested in horticulture and farming there is much to see and learn. April is spring. A little cool at nights, down perhaps to 3-5 degrees and the day time temperature around 18-20 degrees. For the most part you will be 4000 feet and higher above sea level but for me a keen gardener, I was surprised to see identical flowers , spring bulbs and vegetables that I myself would grow back in Australia.

Barb’s long connection to Bhutan and her warm relationship with the  principals and staff of Bhutan Birding and Heritage Toursin Bhutan means that you get not only access to the physical and spiritual wonders of Bhutan, but an important plus for me, you get to meet local people, to spend time with them and their families in their homes and get to see how ordinary local people live.

You’ve got to tick this one off your bucket list”