Bhutan is one of the most fascinating places I’ve ever been to. It’s one of those places that you want to go to as soon as possible, before it modernizes over the next few years. The Kingdom of Bhutan is truly the world’s last Himalayan kingdom and shangri-la, which is being modernized in a controlled and gradual manner by its benevolent monarchy. Bhutan was one of the last countries in the world to introduce television, in 1999. And although internet and cellphones are allowed in the country, back in 2012 when I was there, they were still not by any means ubiquitous. Bhutanese culture is fiercely protected against the forces of westernization and modernity. All buildings are still constructed and designed in the traditional Bhutanese style, and one thing you will find glaringly absent when you visit, is any form of outdoor advertising. Its people still don traditional costumes, the gho and kira everyday, and it’s a world of screaming colors during festivals when the entire town comes out to celebrate. The country measures Gross National Happiness, and is the only country in the world to do so.

All this will change very soon. Go quickly!

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Watch the religious dance at the Paro Tsechu Festival, where the local Bhutanese come all decked out in the most colorful traditional gho (for men) and kira (for ladies), gathered with their families at Paro Dzong:

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