---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Inna Bakker <>
Date: Sat, May 4, 2013 at 12:42 PM
Subject: : # 9 Bhutan

My dear family and friends
we flew  Srinagar-Delhi-Kolkata, stayed overnight in Kolkata, then flew to Paro international airport in Bhutan

very small Himalayas Kingdom  of about 700,000 people which opened to the world only in 1960, government tourism started in 1974,
private tourist companies started in 1990, nature is spectacular like in Switzerland, people are gentle, happy and peaceful, their king started the concept --gross national happiness - GNH, instead of gross national product - GNP like in most countries,

2nd photo of a young man is our wonderful guide Sonam from whom we learned so much about the country, Buddhism, history and present, see photos of a beautiful Bhutanese architecture, temples and monasteries, monks and nuns which are 20 % of the population - about 140,000 people,
now main income of the country is tourism and electricity which they sell to India and Bangladesh,

we visited the art school  of 230 students in the capital Thimphu which has embroidery class, sculpture, metal work, sewing, paintings classes, all students wear uniforms, people like their king very much and every there are  portraits of him and his wife, they are both 32 years old and a very handsome couple and very helpful to people,

Archery is a national sport in Bhutan,

Bhutanese are  very proud that their  small country was never conquered by anybody,

we visited  folk heritage museum and saw the old house how Buddhists lived in the old time,

we enjoyed our visit very much and love the country and people,

about our group:  we had between 5 and 10 people  because some joined and left in the different cities, only 2 women, the rest are man, these people are the most traveled people in the world, they are members of TCC Travel Century club -- the only one in the world where to become a permanent member one has to visit 100 countries, club has their own list of countries and places beside United Nations list of member countries, most travelers in our group visited between 200 and 300 places in the world, they are 80 years old, we spent 3 weeks together of very intense traveling, getting up at 5 am, going through countless airports and securities checks and no complaints, no bickering, no negative emotions, no " kveching', just humor, jokes, friendliness, get up and go, very admirable people, in this group i am the youngest and the least traveled, i am a transitional member  of TCC because i made 75 countries on their list, by the time this trip is over my count will be 90,

the trip is fantastic, we have a leader who takes care of us  like a daddy--papa, it makes it easier and a lot of fun,


love to all, Inna

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