Woman visits Bhutan for 1 week, falls in love & marries her guide

Found love in a peaceful place.

Sulaiman Daud | December 14, 2018 @ 05:23 pm

(Editor’s note Dec. 16, 1:45 am: The previous version of this article identified Karen Lim as a Singaporean. The article has been updated to reflect that she is from Australia.)

Bhutan isn’t a country usually associated with romance, because it is a country of happiness.

But one Australian woman found love in the mountain kingdom.

In 2017, Karen Lim, an editor of an online platform, faced a difficult choice.

She had taken up meditation and was interested in spiritual healing after a “turbulent” time in her life, and so made a visit to a Buddhist region a priority.

After considering Nepal and Ladakh, India, she settled on Bhutan.

Love in the mountains

It was meant to be a one-week cultural solo trip.

But Lim got more than she bargained for when she requested a senior guide with good knowledge of Bhutan’s culture and history.

That led her to meeting Ngawang, the strapping, handsome Bhutanese man whom she would later marry.

But before falling in love with Ngawang, Lim fell in love with Bhutan first.

She described her experience as “magical”, feeling at peace with herself.

Said Lim:

“That kind of peace is something you’d probably experienced while you were a child: worry-free, no anxiety, calm, simple and seeing the beauty in the tiniest things.”

Lim said it was easy to fall in love in that kind of environment.

Even a simple act, like holding someone’s hand to help them up while hiking, seemed to “have more meaning that it should.”

The hike up Tiger’s Nest

It was her visit to the world-famous Tiger’s Nest, a sacred Buddhist site and temple, that stood out in Lim’s experience.

Pic from Tiger’s Nest, Paro, Bhutan Facebook page.

She said she made two secret wishes there that came true. But it was significant for her husband too.

A friend of the couple asked Ngawang if he knew the moment he fell in love with her.

He replied it was when the pair hiked up to Tiger’s Nest.

He said:

“Magic happened. And I’m very lucky to have found her.”

Multi-cultural wedding

Her trip was over in a week, but they kept in touch afterwards.

Ngawang visited her next, and then Lim managed to qualify for a year-long work permit in Bhutan.

He asked her to marry him, and the rest was history.

Their ceremony included elements of Bhutanese, Chinese, and Western traditions, honouring their different backgrounds.

Screen shot from Karen W Lim’s YouTube channel.

Said Lim:

“We fought to be together despite all the obstacles in our way and will continue to fight side by side. Because we both believe that love is not giving up on each other when times get tough.”

You can read her full account on her blog, Life in Bhutan.

And you can see a wedding video of the happy couple below:

Top image via screen shot from Karen W Lim’s YouTube channel.


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About Sulaiman Daud

Sulaiman believes that we can be heroes, if just for one day. His favourite Doctor is Peter Capaldi's Twelve, and he lives according to the teachings of Jürgen Klopp. He also writes about film and pop-culture, which you are very welcome to read here.

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