Central tower of Paro Dzong monastery.

Jonathan Gregson

Western Bhutan

Whether you arrive by air at the dramatic, mountain-bound Paro valley or by road at steamy Phuentsholing, it soon becomes clear that you have arrived at an otherworldly destination. Prayer flags flutter from nearly every rooftop, men and women dress in traditional garb, chortens and stupas decorate river and road junctions, and fortress-like monasteries command mountaintops.


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A jungle of prayer flags a top Cheli La pass (3810m), enroute to Haa Valley from Paro. Bhutan, 2005.


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