The 46 Places to Go in 2013

5 Bhutan 1293127_49418413_Exterior_view_of_Uma_Punakha.jpg This tiny country in the Himalayas has become a model for sustainable travel with the number of visitors (and daily traveler fees they pay) calibrated to preserve the delicate balance between preservation and revenue. Tourism is far from discouraged, however; new projects are making the country more accessible. Drukair, the only airline that goes to the country, is now flying daily from Bangkok, New Delhi and Singapore; there are also plans to start domestic routes inside the country. Hotels, too, are helping to open up new territory. The Como group, which already has a luxury outpost in Paro, has just unveiled the Uma Punakha in Punakha. And the Gangtey Gompa Lodge, which opens in May, will be a new base from which to explore the lush national park of Phobjikha Valley, an eco-tourism hub and home to endangered black-necked cranes. Of course the main draws remain a network of exquisite monasteries and temples and untouched countryside — all in a country that puts happiness ahead of G.D.P. Just remember that you have to travel with a United States- or Bhutan-based outfitter; Bridge to Bhutan for example, is run by two brothers who studied in the United States and are now organizing trips back to their home country. — Ondine Cohane http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/01/10/travel/2013-places-to-go.html?ref=travel Courtesy: The New York Times