Bhutan is a unique country both culturally and environmentally. Perched high in the Himalaya, it is the world’s last remaining Buddhist Kingdom. It has developed the philosophy of Gross National Happiness; where development is measured using a holistic approach of well-being, not just based on gross domestic product.
We visited Paro, Thimphu, Punakha and Taktshang Monastery in 2011 as part of our 3-week Tibet, Bhutan and Chengdu trip.
India has had many different influences throughout its history due to the migration, invasion or expansion of other nations. Some of these nations or people who influenced India include the Mongols (under the direction of Genghis Khan), the Greeks (Alexander the Great), and the British. India gain its independence from British colonization in 1947.
India is a large multicultural country with a population of over one billion. The Indian economy is the fourth largest in the world in terms of purchasing power parity and is the world’s second-fastest growing economy.
We visited Delhi, Jaipur, Agra, Orchha, and Varanasi as part of our 2009 3-week G Adventures Delhi to Kathmandu overland trip.
The Maldives are an archipelago of 1,192 coral islands grouped into 26 coral atolls (200 inhabited islands, plus 80 islands with tourist resorts) in the Indian Ocean. They lie south-southwest of India and are considered part of South Asia.
Maldivians are almost entirely Sunni Muslim, and the local culture is a mixture of South Indian, Sinhalese and Arab influences. While alcohol, pork, dogs and public observance of non-Muslim religions are banned on the inhabited islands, the resort islands are allowed to exist in a bubble where anything goes.
We visited Male, Hulhumale, and Giraavaru (North Male Atoll) our 2016 4-week Vietnam, Laos, Sri Lanka and Maldives trip.
Nepal is a landlocked country in Southern Asia, between the Tibet autonomous region of China and India. It contains 8 of the world’s 10 highest peaks, including Mount Everest – the world’s tallest – on the border with Tibet, and Lumbini, the birth place of Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism.
A monarchy for hundreds of years, Nepal was declared a republic in June 2008.
We visited Kathmandu, Lumbini, Chitwan NP, and Pokhara as part of our 2009 3-week G Adventures Delhi to Kathmandu overland trip. We were in Nepal again in 2011 as part of our trip from Tibet to Bhutan.
Sri Lanka, formerly known as Ceylon, is an island country in the Indian Ocean, south of India. The country is known for its natural beauty. Sri Lanka has stunning beaches all along its coastline, great wildlife and biodiversity and a cultural heritage dating back several millennia.
Sri Lanka was engulfed in a bitter civil war for 30 years between the government and the Tamil Tigers, who were fighting for an independent state for the Tamil-speaking minority. The war ended in May 2009 but the consequences persist, and heavy emigration is still slowing Sri Lanka’s population growth.
We visited Colombo, Sigiriya, Dambulla, Polonnaruwa, Kandy, Adams Peak, Nuwara Eliya, Ella, Yala NP, and Bentola in 2016 as part of our 4-week Vietnam, Laos, Sri Lanka and Maldives trip.
See next – Southeast Asia