Bhutan: Kingdom of the Clouds
Tucked away in the Eastern Himalayas is nothing less than the crowning apex of nature’s grandeur. It is a country filled with myths and legends. Buddhism permeates every aspect of daily life, hidden valleys shelter age-old temples and monasteries.
National Geographic photographers Cotton Coulson & Sisse Brimberg spent two weeks traveling in the mountains of Bhutan, Druk Yul, (Land of the Thunder Dragon) documenting the life of Tibetan monks. Some of their traditions are disappearing from the rest of the Himalayan world, as Bhutan becomes more open to foreign visitors. The intensely traditional nation has been slow to adopt the modern world; their country-wide ban on television and Internet was just lifted in 1999, and it was only after the previous king abdicated power in 2006 that the nation had its first parliamentary elections. Bhutan, often ranked as one of the happiest countries in the world, is the birthplace of the concept of "gross national happiness," an alternative to the more traditional measure of gross domestic product.