Bhutan, Land of the Thunder Dragon

These photos are from a road trip in Bhutan in October, 2005. The trip was mostly driving with a bit of hiking. It was organized by veteran traveler Rich Henke and our guide in Bhutan was Hishey Tshering. Hishey has a travel company based in the capital, Thimpu, called Bhutan Heritage Travels.

The national flag of Bhutan.
Bhutan is very mountainous and has only one major airport in the western part of the country at the town of Paro.
Drukair is the national airline with flights from Bangkok and Kathmandu at that time.
View looking northeast at Paro from our hotel called the Gangtey Palace.
Archery is a popular national sport and is often seen on grounds in the capital Thimpu. Photo by Gary Craig.
Crossing a footbridge north of Paro. Buddhist prayer flags are often hung from bridges and shrines at mountain passes.
Prayer flags on another bridge.
Fantastic detail on the Royal Court of Justice in the Rinpung Dzongkhag, an administrative district,
Carving in stone somewhere on the road north of Paro.
A view of the Taktshang Monastery high up on the side of a cliff on the east side of the Paro Valley. The structure is at 2950 meters (9,678 feet) elevation.
Go to the bottom of this page to see a photo of Taktshang in about 1990, before it was rebuilt.
After a steep hike one is rewarded with an amazing view of the monastery also called the "Tiger's Nest".
Another spectacular view of Taktshang.The monastery was rebuilt after a disasterous fire of mysterious origin on April 19,1998. The structure was completely rebuilt and reopened in a ceremony on March 17, 2000.
Colorful truck on the roads in Bhutan.
A lodge and shops in a modern building in Thimpu.
Boys having a good time looking at tourists.
At Dochu La, a pass which is 3140 meters (10,300 feet) on the main highway to Punakha, east of Thimpu.
Punakha Dzong (monastery) along a river at 1350 meters (4430 feet). The building was constructed in 1637 and has suffered numerous fires and earthquake damage over the centuries.
The large monastery at Trongsa at an altitude of 2200 meters (7220 feet) was first established in 1543 and major construction started in 1647. There was a major earthquake in 1897 and rebuilding since then.
Bridge at the entrance to Trongsa Dzong.
Along the walkway to Trongsa Dzong.
Small temple in the mountain town of Ura.
A trail along prayer flags by Ura temple.
Young boy at a festival near Jakar.
Woman in the village of Ura.
Ceremonial horns at a festival near Jakar.
Somewhere along the mountain roads where a film was made about Bhutan in 2002.
Man attending festival near Jakar.
A photo of Taktshang in about 1990. The rebuilt monastery is very close in appearance.