Bhutan, the 'Land of the Thunder Dragon', is a royal kingdom landlocked by the massif of the Himalayas, which has always protected it from the influences of the modern world. Only since 1974 have visitors been permitted to visit this enchanting, mysterious country, one of the last remaining strongholds for the tantric Mahayana Buddhism. The lush, green terrain, snow-capped mountains and forests filled with birds cover no less than 72 per cent of the country, and create an idyllic backdrop in which to enjoy Bhutan's traditional culture, heritage and spirituality. The majestic Dzongs (monasteries) are active communities for studying monks, the décor of homes being a testament to the craftsmen's skills, while the ornately painted wall motifs are symbols of great importance to the gracious and gentle Bhutanese, who are extremely well-educated and friendly.
Travel here to experience the country's national sport, archery, along with vibrant textures and patterns, the distinctive national dress, beautiful flora and fauna (such as 46 varieties of rhododendrons, snow leopards, red pandas and black bears), stunning architectural craftsmanship and ornate temples, along with trails and national parks perfect for trekking and discovery. With a permit and guide, it is possible to visit Bhutan's iconic landmark, Taktshang Goemba, otherwise known as Tiger's Nest Monastery, built into a rocky mountain and comprising caves, chapels, frescoes and statues.