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Sam's Travels to Exotic Bhutan, The Kingdom of Happiness

If you've never heard of Bhutan, it isn't surprising (and I hadn't either until my wife told me about it a couple of years before we went).  It is a small country that borders India to the south and east, Tibet to the north and which touches the even smaller country Sikkim to the west.  With a land area of 18,000 square miles, it is about the same size as Switzerland.  The Kingdom of Bhutan is a constitutional Monarchy, located in Himalayas range.  With its remote location and with its regulated tourism, it remains largely shrouded in mystery to the rest of the world.  Paro, a small village located in west Bhutan, has its only airport, with connections to Kathmandu and Delhi.  There are no trains, no helicopters and no traffic lights in the entire country and most of the roads are one lane, making  travel and exploration difficult.  The capital, Thimphu is a couple of hours drive away. 

Monk and Monastery  - The Gentle People of Thimphu in the Kingdom of Bhutan  National Memorial Chorten at Sunset - Thimphu, Capital of the Kingdom of Bhutan.   Two Young Monks - Gentle People of Paro, the Kingdom of Bhutan

My wife, daughter and I visited Bhutan in December, 2006 for 4 days.  The short trip to Paro and Thimphu was delightful as we were able to witness first hand this truly isolated country and its wonderful people.  While most tour guides refer to Bhutan as the "Land of the Thunder Dragon", as it's fourth king, the beloved Jigme Singye Wangchuk, has stressed the importance of GNH (Gross National Happiness) over GNP, I think the term "Kingdom of Happiness" much more appropriate, as I found the people we met gentle and happy, as my photos demonstrate.

For more information of the places visited, please click on the following pages:

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I have also included an additional album below, which I hope you find entertaining. 

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Please note that all photographs and text appearing on this site are the exclusive intellectual property of Sam Stearman. No images are within the Public Domain, and no image use is permitted without the written prior authorization of the copyright owner.  If you see any pictures you would like to buy, all the thousands of pictures on this site are available in high resolution digital format, suitable for framing, use in magazines or advertising.  Email me if you would like to know more.

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