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Thursday, 21 January 2016

Book Review : The Dragon's Voice - How Modern Media found Bhutan. by Bunty Avieson

Bhutan is a country that is covered in mystery; barely raising its 'head' from under its cloak. It is an isolated and expensive country for the average person to visit and unless you hold an Indian, Bangladeshi or Maldivian passport, the only way to visit Bhutan is to go on a booked tour, to have a guide and driver, who will escort you to every sight/activity and town. Bhutan does not issue its visas to 'independent' travellers to wander at will around its stunningly beautiful, intriguing, mystical country, that is unless you garner a personal invitation from a Bhutanese person (or company) you have known for a length of time. Because of this, a visit to Bhutan does not enable the average tourist to see the 'real' Bhutan. What is so wonderful about Bunty Avieson's "The Dragon's Voice" is that she quietly and gently lifts the hem of Bhutan's cloak and allows the reader a more in-depth insight of this isolated country.

I devoured this book just prior to my own recent trip to Bhutan and found it fascinating and informative, and I must say delightfully humorous in parts. I loved learning about Bhutan's strong belief in the "Gross National Happiness" doctrine and how it is implemented (and is at times floored) into the country's lifestyle as well as its staunch environmental values, I was intrigued and curious about the strange dating techniques of night hunting and impressed by the clarity and compassion Bunty Avieson showed when describing her observance, understanding and personal experience in challenging the myth that Bhutan is the perfect utopia many in the west believe it to be.

This is a fabulous book, highly recommended to anyone who is thinking of visiting this incredibly stunning country, it will give an invaluable insight to the culture, beliefs and the hidden reality of Bhutan. But even if one is not planning a visit to Bhutan, this book is still a delight to read.">View

Paperback, 240 pages
Published May 1st 2015 by University of Queensland Press

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