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BHUTAN

The beauty, culture and friendly people of this remote country, Druk Yul or the ‘Land of the Peaceful Dragon’, will captivate you. Sparsely populated, with a population approaching 550,000 and four main linguistic groups, the country traces its history back to 8th century, with several centuries of rich Buddhist culture and a jealously guarded isolation.

In the lovely valley of Paro are found the majestic fortresses such as the Rinpung Dzong and the Drukgyel Dzong. Fabulous monasteries are also a distinctive feature of the country, such as Taktshang and Trashichhodzong, with superb temples and sacred sites such Kurje Lhakhang. Bhutan’s architecture is remarkable for its distinctive styles and colours. Art, painting, and handicrafts are central to Bhutanese culture too.

In the modern capital of Thimpu, there is the National Library, housing a vast collection of ancient Buddhist texts, as well as local shops, a market, and the Handicrafts Emporium.

Fabulous scenery is to be found in the Bumthang Valley region, and in the fertile Punakha Valley. Superb views of the mountains abound through the Duchula Pass and the highest drivable pass in the Kingdom, Thrumshingla, at 4000 metres. Enjoy the pine and fern-filled forests, maize fields and hamlets as you travel from Mongar to Trashigang, and the dense tropical forest with an abundance of teak, bamboo and ferns, on the journey to Samdrup Jongkhar.