Bhutanese men still stroll the streets in traditional dress, the countryside is dotted with wooden houses and dramatic Buddhist monasteries, and the whole population takes part in colourful festivals.
Bhutan’s natural environment is equally cherished: vast swathes of the country are protected in national parks and plastic bags are outlawed. If Shangri-La exists today, Bhutan is the most likely candidate.
This Shangri-La comes at a price. To keep visitor numbers down, the Bhutanese government imposes a high daily tourist tariff. You’ll have to book an arranged trip and be accompanied by a local guide. However, you can customise your trip to see and do pretty much what like – whether your interest is culture, wildlife, trekking or all three.
Follow the normal Buddhist rules of etiquette: don’t point your fingers or feet at people and remove your shoes before entering important rooms or temples. Dress modestly and avoid public displays of affection. Avoid killing animals and insects.
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