This is a guest post by Alvaro ‘Biciclown’ Neil.

Reason #1 : FEW TOURISTS

Very few tourists. Less than 30,000 visitors per year.  As a long term traveler I think (probably I am wrong) that tourists have a negative impact on the kindness of people and the beauty of many places. I am mainly referring to massive tourism, of course.

Bhutan Government understood this idea and they do not welcome massive tourism.  That´s why they charge 250 USD per day for the visa.

But If you are a clown performing around the world for free they may give you a free visa. That is what has happened to me.

Alvaro, one of the lucky few who ever get the chance to visit Bhutan.
Alvaro, one of the lucky few who ever get the chance to visit Bhutan.

Reason #2 FEW CARS

Once you leave Thimpu, the capital, you will see very few cars.  And most of them carrying some of the tourists that could afford to pay that amount of money. Bhutan has only one paved road crossing the country from West to East.  By road you can only enter the country across Puentesholing.

Traditions are still strong in Bhutan.
Traditions are still strong in Bhutan.

Reason #3: NICE PEOPLE

I do not know about you but in my case, “nice people” is the main reason for my bike tour since 2.001. Bhutan is full of nice people.  There are very few thieves and people are very respectful. It is a green and environmentally friendly country. Plastic bags are banned and there are strict norms on business advertisement, the colour of the houses…, everything is organized, clean and pure.

Monks are of all ages in Bhutan.
Monks are of all ages in Bhutan.

Reason #4 : HAPPY

In this country they do not measure the GDP but the Happiness of the people. New political decisions must consider the impact on the Happiness of the people. You will be surprised to know how important happiness is for the government. In conclusion it could be one of your happiest ride of your life.

Lucky to live in a country where Gross National Happiness is what counts.
Lucky to live in a country where Gross National Happiness is what counts.

Reason #5 :PARO FESTIVAL AND CLIMBS

Bhutan is a Buddhist country. The king is a divinity and once a year he attends Para Festival (April). It is a 4 days festival where the monks perform in colourful clothing. Music is from another century. If are there you can shake the King´s hands in one of the most impressive civil and religious buildings of the world: the Dzong.

In Bhutan you will have nice climbs, but not very steep, I did not have to use the first gear of my Rohloff (although my bike weighs 75kg), and paved. Most of them climbs are over 2000 meters. When you get to the top, you will be greeted by a stupa with praying flags.

Even monks celebrate Bhutan's dance festivals.
Even monks celebrate Bhutan's dance festivals.

Alvaro Neil, better known as the Biciclown, is on a mission to spread miles of smiles around the world.  You can follow his 2004-2014 world tour and support clowning here:

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Top 5 Reasons to go Bicycle Touring in Bhutan
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