The Last Authentic Travel Experience on Earth? (Bhutan: Meditating with Monks & Indigenous Villages)


Sitting on the western side of the Himalayas, Bhutan is a Buddhist Kingdom that famously prioritises the happiness of its citizens over national wealth. It is also famous for prioritising its citizens’ happiness over national wealth (GDP). We were lucky enough to be invited to explore this unique country steeped in history and culture, where a traditional way of life reigns supreme and we were given access to film places cameras have never been before. Join us as we explore a remote indigenous mountain village, meditate with monks, and are welcomed into the homes of locals.

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A big thanks to our guide Pelden, who has 30 years of experience guiding tours in Bhutan. This means that Pelden knows practically everyone in Bhutan and can tailor your dream, authentic Bhutan experience! Contact Pelden here: [email protected]

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00:00: Why Visit Bhutan
01:49 Child Monks in Bhutan
03:44 4×4 roadtrip to Laya Village
08:27 Indigenous life in Bhutan
12:25 Private Ceremony
14:12 Archery in Bhutan
15:21 Bhutanese Culture
17:49 Penis Artwork, Bhutan
18:01 Meditating with Monks
19:32 Traditional Stone Bath & Homestay
21:35 Tiger’s Nest Trek

Date: August 6, 2023

28 thoughts on “The Last Authentic Travel Experience on Earth? (Bhutan: Meditating with Monks & Indigenous Villages)

  1. You guys!!! I still can’t believe we got to film this experience and get access to places where cameras are usually forbidden! This film has been a longtime dream and a true labour of love, and we really hope you enjoy it. 🥹 Thank you for being here & supporting us! A special thanks to our Patreons for enabling us to continue to document & share our travels with you All💛

  2. Nice video. I have travelled in Bhutan. However the travel experience for a common tourist like me is quite restrictive since the country is quite a restrictive policy not very favourable for exploration on our own. You have to have a local guide to travel most of the remote places. Instead i found Himalaya of the Indian side much more interesting.

  3. One of the voices is saying, “Culture is related to values, so if you lose your culture, it means that you’ve moved on from your values” (at about 15:44, voice of Tshering Tobgay). This remark about culture’s carrying with it a set of values made me reflect on my own culturally-indifferent attitude. All my life I’ve built, torn down, and rebuilt my values. And very early on in the process, I realized that culture is not my friend; that is to say, that, for instance, if I ‘say yes’ to Canadian culture, I am buying in to many values which don’t agree with me. There are those of us that bring new values to humanity and experiment with their expression, staking their lives on it. For example, an aspect of Western entrepreneur culture is ‘the hustle’. I consider myself to be an entrepreneur, but I look down on the hustle. Hustle, to me, is simply using your personal advantages to take faster than others can take. It’s all about being first to take something. Therefore, I want no part in it. Anyway, just a reflection on value-making, and how I have ‘gone my own way’.

  4. As a person who has visited, I would like to highlight what doesn't make the promo reels. Ask a Bhutanese what she wants, and she'll say a job and a better life for her children. Traditional life is hard and monotonous. They want what everyone wants… new clothes, a tv, access to travel and better food. It is the foreigners who romanticize their poverty as somehow being more pure. We would never want to live without our modern conveniences… so why do we support a government which keeps it's own people poor? Just something to consider… Bhutan shouldn't be treated as a national park or museum… It should be allowed to develop as it's people, not just the elites, would choose. 🙏

  5. Just watched your video I live in northern Thailand retired but have always wanted to visit Bhutan . Thinking of next November 2024 with a friend from Baltimore. Was this trip just done in summer ? Looking at a cooler November but dry for most part . Thank you for your info

  6. i cried, im commenting, i was moved by this video. early in the morning where im watching from and just gonna have this video in my mind rent free all day long as i go about my absolutely boring and routine life.

  7. an important and often neglected detail about bhutan is the thousands of refugees expulsed from the country because they werent buddhist. mono-culture comes at great cost.

  8. In South Asia, India has been literally stealing remittance money from its landlocked neighbor like Nepal and Bhutan by not allowing them trade access to sea. That's how they crippled their manufacturing abilities and get a monopoly market. One can sense a immense amount of hate against the Indian origin folks which will surely turn into a genocide if this continues on. Nepalese say Indian behaviour is toxic and that's the base for racism towards Indian nationals. In South Korea, Japan, China, Nepal Indians were referred as dogs and monkeys. They say Indian typical behaviour is the key to that. No wonder Europeans knows them as Hindus not Asians.

  9. I like you two a lot, thus I am going to rewatch this episode so I can illuminate what went right in order to sustain the positives for future episodes.

    I liked the diversity of venues and cinematography. It gave me a greater birds-eye view of the country. There is a raw beauty to the country that is steeped in tradition. I watch documentaries at night in bed. Japan NHK produced many exquisite documentaries in regard to Japan. Most often extroverted translators and guides are used who perform a few functions. They are able to translate stories for the viewers, drill down into the culture and topics, and help to illuminate the real Japan from the "locals" who become engaged and become open and candid. I see that your guide opened doors for you both.

    You two have vivacious personalities which contribute to your episodes. With the guide it became three peas in a pod. It's like it is fun to be around you both. I also see that the "locals" respond positively to that energy and sincerity. The portraits of the Bhutanese were exquisite. Perhaps it was a pretty young lady, a child who has a lot of living to do, or an old man with wrinkles like dry river creeks. I looked at the portraits and wondered what their story was and what their spirit is. Certainly, some look at peace with the world, but some look like they had a long and hard life.

    I am a foodie and writing a cookbook titled Flavors From The World. I like that concept. The lentil soup shot piqued my interest. How is lentil soup made in Bhutan and why is it so good? I googled "lentils soup Bhutan" and found one promising recipe. However, the ingredients were listed but not the spices. It was written to use spices instead of enumerating or listing them. Thus, I looked up Tibetan lentil soup and made it with some modifications. It was delicious and added it to my cookbook. Perhaps you can help me find a Bhutanese lentil soup recipe? lol

    Keep doing what you are doing! Maybe you can give a short summary of a place you are exploring like geography, religion, economy, history………………………… in the start of an episode.

  10. Tour content is just so good! I firts heard about Butan some years ago and, since then, i’ve been curious to see how people lives are in there. Really grateful for this beautiful documentary ❤

  11. Thank you for your film.. I always wanted to visit Buthan.. I am curious though… How come they invited you? And also how did they know about you.. I knew they do not agree with technology… Or?

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