The Himalayan Kindom of Bhutan might be small but it packs a big punch. Nestled between the powerhouses of China and India, this is an independent nation that has never been conquered. This Bhutan photo essay will take you on a virtual journey of this great country.
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Bhutan travel advice
Bhutan certainly isn’t an undiscovered destination, but it does not get the crowds of it’s more illustrious neighbours. So even though visiting Bhutan is easy enough, services are limited. For one, independent travel is not allowed so you must use local tour operators.
From epic mountains to tranquil villages. From ornate monasteries to ancient traditions, Bhutan is a photographer’s paradise. This is a country and prides itself on gross national happiness rather than GDP. This Bhutan photo essay is going to make you want to visit the Land of the Thunder Dragon.
As a mountainous country, there are is no shortage of amazing views all across the country. Whether you decide to hike, drive or simply stop at viewpoints, vertigo-inducing views are amongst the best in the world. There are many mountain passes at high altitudes which will offer those epic scenes to make you say “wow”.
It’s almost as if the Bhutanese are trained to offer those amazing perfect postcard moments. You’ll be driving along the road and stumble into a local festival. Or walking out in the wilderness and see monks dotted around the valley. It truly is a picture-perfect scenario.
From farmhouses to monasteries, the intricate designs and artworks will have you gasping. A plethora of colour and stories, Bhutanese architecture is as unique as it is fascinating.
This is a country that has kept itself isolated for such a long time. So it’s no surprise that ancient traditions and rituals are still as important to daily life as they were all those centuries ago.
Mighty fortresses or “Dzongs” give a glimpse of why this small country had managed to remain unconquered through history. Whether you photograph them from the outside or inside they equally beautiful.
Imagine walking along a vast valley and being the only person there. Go during the low season and you’ll find even more solitude.
The Bhutanese people are amongst the friendliest in the world. It wouldn’t be uncommon for strangers to start a conversation with you, shake your hand or have a drink or two with you.
The Bhutanese are incredibly devoted to their religion. The vast majority are Buddhists and would take any opportunity to pray and offer donations. Head to Bumthang to discover where Buddhism began in Bhutan before spreading to the rest of the country.
You’ll find it difficult to be in Bhutan and not stumble into some form of a festival. These are an explosion of colour, music, dance and even history. Get there early to get a front-row seat and enjoy the show,
Paro Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest)
Not just any monastery, but the mother of all monasteries with one hell of a view. Perched on the side of the mountain and reached by a strenuous three-hour hike, this is one of the bucket list items that you need to tick off.
Everything about Bhutan screams big. But this small country is as beautiful as it is fascinating. A trip to Bhutan will not disappoint…
Why not visit our Bhutan page to find out more about our photography tours of Bhutan.
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Kav Dadfar is a writer and photographer who has written over 500 articles on photography. He is also a judge on the Wanderlust Travel Photography of the Year competition and a speaker at camera clubs and events. He has years of experience shooting assignments with his images having been used by some of the biggest brands in the world.
This Bhutan photo essay is subject to copyright. Words and photos by Kav Dadfar (That Wild Idea) or otherwise recognized. Copying or reposting of photos or article elsewhere is strictly forbidden.