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Bart Aldrich | profile | all galleries >> Asia: 9 Countries 1992-2012 >> BHUTAN 1998 tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

INDIA | CHINA 1992-2008 | BALI | 150 Asian Portraits | BHUTAN 1998 | BURMA 1996 | Tibet & Nepal | VIETNAM 1995 | LAOS 1996 | CAMBODIA 1992


While Bhutan is definitely one of the smallest countries in the world, the cultural diversity and its richness are profound. A strong emphasis is laid on the promotion and preservation of its rich cultural diversity.
Bhutan's cultural diversity is enhanced by the variety of festivals that are is being observed. My visit was during the autumn festivals. Hoping to keep outside influences to a minimum to help preserve their traditional culture, tourism was limited to only 5,0000 when we visited in 1998 and is capped at 10,000 annually even now. Although they have opened up to more adventure tourism such as river rafting and climbers and allowed a few high-end resort-lodges to be built.
Children are taught English from early on and are eager to practice with native speaking visitors.

With the lowest crime rates in Asia, a simple farming based culture, rich lush valleys and picturesque streams and mountains, a devoutly religious population and a government more concerned with it's peoples happiness than it's GDP, Bhutan just may be the closest thing to the mythical Shangri-La valley of James Hilton's 'Lost Horizons'. I must say we never met more polite children anywhere.

Shot entirely on Fujichrome Provia film.

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All Images © Bart Aldrich, All Rights Reserved. Please contact for permission.

Bhutanese monks Girl at Festival Whriling Dancer Bhutan Punakha Dzong
Praying Hand Bhutan Young Boy Participant at the Autumn tFestival A Friendly Student
Monks In Prayer The Faithful gather at the  Prayer Wheels Bhutan Dressed in her Finest Tashichho Dzong
Taking in the Dancers Prayer Flags Hillside Village Dance Color at the Autumns Festival Antler Dance
Bhutan schoolgirls Prayer Flags on a Ridge Children watching a festival Paro Valley Twirling, leaping Dancers
Young Buddhist Nun Hands with Buddhists Rosary Monk with Carnation Drummers at the Festival Bhutan
Bhutanese Boy Three Faces in a Wndow Bhutan After the Rain Taking in a Festival
Bhutanese Monk at Fesitval Turning a Prayer Wheel Rainy Valley High Mountain Pass Buddhist prayers
Monk Hauling Water Our Travel Guide Archery is the National Sport Student at a Window Woman in Traditional garb
Friends Boys watching a dance festival Buddhist Nuns Monks outside Wangdi Dzong Wangdi at Autmun Festival Time
Still Life with Horns A Thimphu Street