Willingly or not, celebrity news become international headlines easily, be it American pop star Britney Spears and her body shape, Crown Prince Naruhito of Japan and the succession/inheritance bebate, ex-Playboy girl Anna Nicole Smith and her death, or Angelina Jolie and her new-born twins. Some people are definitely paparazzi’s favorites, with breaking news year-round.
For the past weeks, in Mandarin-speaking world, the most discussed celebrity news is Hong Kong actor Tony Leung and his marriage. [Check out his imdb profile. You should recognize him (or his ass) if you have seen Ang Lee‘s movie Lust, Caution.] After more than 10 years of relationship with his girlfriend/actress Carina Lau, they decide to tie the knot on July 21, 2008. To run away from super aggressive paparazzi, they choose to get married abroad and keep the site a top secret. The whole news is nothing speical at this point.
The unusual part is, they are going to get married in Bhutan, which turns out to be a great choice to them. Why haven’t any other celebrity thought of doing that before?
To protect its environment and people, Bhutanese government places numerous restrictions and rules to tourists, including:
1. People must apply for a visa at least 30 days in advance. The visa only lasts 14 days (extendable once).
2. Tourists must have prepaid bookings for a tour at least US$200 a day.
3. Bhutan doesn’t welcome backpackers, as they have to pay even more if they want to travel alone.
4. Only two legal entry points into Bhutan: the airport and land border with India.
These restrictions, turns out to be the best protection to the celebrity couple from paparazzi, because the marriage site is only leaked to the media seven days ago. It leaves not enough time for paparazzi to obtain a visa, and the media seems to be totally unexpected. Unless hotel staff or guests invited are willing to be paparazzi instead, which is highly unlikely, there is virtually no other ways for the media to get related information except from “official” one.
It’s, therefore, so funny to watch all the media gather at Hong Kong or Bangkok (where they transfer) airport, desperately eager to get a little something from their guests in vain.
Bhutan government can buy a billboard in Hollywood says: “Bhutan, the celebrity protector!”. It will work better than any kinds of advertisement. Their travel income will definitely boost because of it. Stars are rich, after all.