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Bhutan, Druk Yul (Land of the Dragon), is a Himalayan kingdom of deep cultural traditions, serene people, and outstanding mountain scenery. I traveled there October 2000, with a small group of adventure travelers led by Max Holland, owner of the Middle Path tour company. This video captures some scenery, events, and people I saw in my travels to this mountain paradise. After an exciting landing in Paro, we toured the beautiful river valley, visited the Dzong (Bhutan monastery and administrative center) and museum. All along the way, the villagers were busy harvesting the barley and the red Bhutan rice and putting up the red peppers on their rooftops to dry. We also took a hike through the barley fields and visited with some villagers along the way. We traveled to Thimphu where we witnessed the annual Thimphu Tshechu Festival to honor Guru Rinpoche who was an Indian saint that brought Buddhism to this region around 800 AD. The dances by the monks included the Black Hat Dance, Black Hat Dance with Drums and the Dance of the Stag. Visits to the Saturday market gave us opportunities to purchase local crafts including some beautiful covered wooden bowls, intricate woven fabrics, and ornate festival masks. After the festival, we drove through some beautiful river valleys through oak, pine and rhododendron forests, and over the Dochu La Pass (10,023 feet) to the Punakha Valley region. We spent the night in the beautiful stone crafted Zangto Pelri Hotel, located on a hillside high above Punakha. The following day, we hiked up to the hilltop monastery called Ninzegang Lmakmang. The monks were very friendly and welcomed us in and the view of the terraced valley below was spectacular. Passing through Trongsa, we arrived at Jakar and began our four day stay at the beautiful stone crafted Young Felt Guest House. Since it was festival time, we were allowed into the Dzongs and observed the monks chanting and playing the drums and cymbals. We also visited themoreless
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