5 Inspiring Books to Read before Travelling to Bhutan

Traveling to a completely new place can be daunting sometimes; some might even experience cold feet.   It is wise to learn about the place and get familiarized with some if not all of its aspects. How can you do that? Well, some prefer watching travel videos on social media, some prefer reading travel blogs written by other travel bloggers on Bhutan, some prefer on-point guide books but if you are someone like me, you would definitely love what I am about to list down. Below is a list of 20 amazing slash inspiring books on Bhutan which will completely change the way you look at the tiny nation in the Himalayas. The books are not the typical guide books where you will be steered towards things to do or see. These books will introduce you to the real Bhutan, written by people who have experienced Bhutan, not for short visits but have lived here for years and have fallen in love with its people, culture and the simple joys of living. Check out such 5 books and gear up for your adventure.

Married to Bhutan by Linda Leaming

Married to Bhutan-“How one woman got lost, said “I do” and found bliss” is an autobiography of an American woman who visited Bhutan as a tourist when she was traveling around.  She was taken aback by Bhutan’s unique culture and pristine landscape and especially its people who she came across as warm, compassionate and kind people. This is why she decided to return to Bhutan after some years.  The book is more of a memoir of her life about how she moved to Bhutan to teach English and fell in love with a Bhutanese artist and married him, about how she learned and realized that happiness is indeed possible. If you love non-fiction, travel stories or rather love stories then this book is for you.

Beyond the Sky and the Earth by Jamie Zeppa

Jamie left her comfortable life in Canada and moved to Bhutan as a volunteer English teacher in the nineties.   Beyond the sky and the earth is a memoir of Jamie’s life and her experiences while working in one of the remotest parts of eastern Bhutan. It’s an account on her day-to-day life, of her interactions with her students and her enticing love affair with a college student who she happened to marry some years later.

Butter Tea at Sunrise by Britta Das

Much like the aforementioned two books, the author is also a volunteer but as a physiotherapist and in one of the most remote hospitals in eastern Bhutan. The book starts with a beautiful account on the landscape of the setting and the narrator tells us how she decided to volunteer for Bhutan and how she wanted to put her knowledge to good use where it was most necessary but her good intent is immediately put to test by the hardships she has to face as soon as she sets foot in the hospital. With Bhutan just beginning its developmental activities the loud construction noises, the shortage of water, frequent loss of electricity and not to mention the unimaginable fleas and mosquitoes. But as time passes by, she meets all these humble patients and she begins to realize how she made the right choice by coming. She falls in love with the rich culture and tradition of the country and gains insights about Buddhism; she also meets the love of her life here in the mountains, who is also a volunteer doctor from India. The two get married at Mongar Dzong in front of Lamas by exchanging khadars. The book showcases Bhutanese culture from a very individual and special perspective.

The Circle of Karma by Aum Kunzang Choden

Aum Kunzang Choden is a highly revered Bhutanese Author; she has authored numerous books from which some are even taught at schools as a part of the English curriculum. The book ‘the circle of karma’ is about a young girl in a remote village of central Bhutan; Bumthang. And how she has to face hardships for being a girl or a woman in a society where a male is thought to be the dominant gender. The book is about Tshomo’s life, of how she grows and how she travels to places eventually taking her to India. The book also closely depicts Buddhism in Bhutan.

Lonely Planet’s Travel Guide on Bhutan

One of the best comprehensive travel guides available in the market, the travel/destination experts at Lonely Planet leave no stones unturned to give its followers the best information based guides. The book will basically act as a guide to Bhutan with all the essential subject matters incorporated into one book.







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