masked dancers in Bhutan

Photo Gallery: Bhutan - Land of the Thunder Dragon

Bhutan is the happiest country in the world and is landlocked between India and China by the vast Himalayan mountain range. A fascinating and undiscovered kingdom waiting to be explored with stunning landscapes, exhilarating treks, bustling traditional markets, colourful festivals, and an abundance of historic monasteries and temples. You can hike across mountain trails in Thimphu, do white-water rafting down the Mo Chhu river or just enjoy the friendliness of the Bhutanese people. Bhutan offers a travelling experience like no other.

Bhutan is described as the last surviving refuge of traditional Himalayan Buddhist culture. It is the most isolated nation in the world but despite that has been able to preserve its unique culture and traditions.

Thimphu the capital of the tiny nation offers a combination of spectacular monasteries, panoramic views and traditional markets. On offer are the impressive Thrashi Chhoe Dzong and the largest domestic market in the country with real Bhutanese culture.

Then there is Paro to enjoy peace and serenity, situated on the banks of the Paro Chhu river. A must see there is the 'Tigerís Nest' monastery standing on a sheer cliff overlooking the incredible landscape. Simply amazing.

The former capital Punakha has plenty to offer and there is a lot to be discovered for everybody.

If you are keen to simply enjoy breathtaking scenery then the Black Mountains near Gangtey is for you, while the other alternative is the Phobjikha valley, home to the rare and endangered black-necked cranes, Bhutanís 'heavenly birds', as well as the country's biggest Nyingmapa monastery.

In Bumthang (the most sacred valley) is one of the most peaceful and spiritual places in the kingdom. Made up of four valleys, with rich culture, spectacular scenery and fascinating temples and palaces, all surrounded by hundreds of myths and legends.

Wangdi Phodrang Festival, Bhutan

Buddhist Monks leaving a temple, Bhutan

Prayer wheels, Trashichhoe Dzong monastery, Thimpu, Bhutan

Architectural detail inside the Punakha Dzong, Punakha, Bhutan

Architectural detail of Rinpung Dzong, Paro, Bhutan

Punakha Dzong, Punakha, Bhutan

Taktsang Palphug Monastery, The Tiger's Nest, Paro, Bhutan

108 chortens built by Queen Mother to honor Bhutanese soldiers who were killed fighting Indian rebels in 2003, Dochula Pass, Bhutan

One of the countless traditional phallus shops, Bhutan

Buthanese people wearing traditional dresses, women wear the Kira, men the Gho, Bhutan

A Bhutanese mother with her child, Bhutan

Woman weaving traditional handicraft, Bhutan
 
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