A Buddhist monk enters the formidable doors of Trongsa Dzong, the ancestral home of Bhutan's monarchy. The Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan has sat in isolation for thousands of years and only recently been thrust into the glare of modern times after centuries of solitude. This Buddhist kingdom, high in the Himalayas, had no paved roads until the 1960s, was off-limits to foreigners until 1974, and launched television only in 1999. In 1972, the country stop relying on Gross Domestic Product as the best indicator of Bhutan’s progress in favor of “Gross National Happiness.” So if you want to visit the happiest place on earth, put Bhutan on your travel bucket list.
Bhutan has put environmental conservation at the heart of its political agenda. It’s pledged to remain carbon neutral, made it law that 60% of the country must remain forested for future generations, banned plastic bags, instituted a monthly pedestrian day that bans all private vehicles from its roads, and announced its intention to become the world’s first 100-percent organic-farming nation. It goes without saying that the countryside is breathtakingly beautiful and pristine. Follow me @amivitale
for more stories from around the world. #bhutan #buddhism #asia #amivitale @natgeo @natgeocreative @thephotosociety #seetheworld #photooftheday #photojournalism