The mountainous Kingdom of Bhutan is a landlocked state in South Asia, at the eastern end of the Himalayas, bordered to the south, east and west by India and to the north by Tibet.
Bhutan is no ordinary place. In this Buddhist country, buying cigarettes is illegal, Bhutanese architecture is the rule, men and women wear the traditional dress to work, giant protective penises are painted on the walls of most houses, and the Gross National Happiness is deemed more important than Gross National Product.
The Buddhist festivals are dazzling feast of colour to the eyes and senses. Monks wearing amazing masks and colourful dresses perform the dances. Entire villages gather to witness these performances; all wearing their colourful very best ghos and kiras. Monasteries and dzongs (fortresses) dot the stunning landscape. Trekking the countryside is the perfect way to appreciate this country at large: the friendly people, white washed houses; red chillie drying on the roofs; terraced landscape; prayer flags blowing in the wind…
The Bhutanese are passionate about their national sport of Dha (archery). Nearly all villages boast an archery range. Competitions are quite entertaining; with two teams in traditional dress shooting at wooden targets placed 140m apart (Olympic standard is 50m). Howls, chanting, encouragement and jokes accompany this.
The undisturbed traditional Tibetan-style culture sets Bhutan aside as the last remaining great Himalayan kingdom.