I’m in love with this  magical kingdom! From the moment we landed my senses have been absorbing every sight, smell and sound.  The air is crisp and clear, the rivers sparkle, the forest are pungent with pure smells and everyone smiles.

This is our guide, Tandin on the left and our young driver on the  right.  Note their traditional attire and the valley behind them.

  • Bhutan has approx. 650,000 people
  • They became a democratic constitutional monarchy in 2008
  • There are no traffic lights
  • More than 75% of the people practice Buddhism with Nepali Hindus comprising more than 20% of the balance

Everywhere you look are monasteries, stupas and prayer flags.

Bhutanese style vertical prayer flag

National Museum formerly a Dzong

A Dzong is a monastery which also functioned as a fortress.  This Dzong in the round was restored and is used as the National Museum. Like most buildings in Bhutan, it is unheated and has very steep steps between the six different levels. No pictures were allowed inside unfortunately.  It is filled with Tangkas from the 17th century, incredible Buddhist statuary, arms and armor, textiles, stuffed indigenous animals, massive urns, teapots, jewelery and stamps!

Turning a Prayer Wheel

From here we drove to Thiampu, the largest city (population 37,000!) and settled in for the night.