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Bhutan: How the life goes in the happy country?

In order to put at least some English language content to my blog, I decided to translate photograph captions from my story about Bhutan in Czech language. While the original text goes quite deep in discussing the real and claimed state of happiness in Bhutan, the photographs are rather unproblematic wide selection of the shots I made during my several travels to this stunning Himalayan country. Please enjoy the show.

Woman of Layap tribe of northern Bhutan in her traditional hat, watches down from the typical painted Bhutanese window.
Woman of Layap tribe of northern Bhutan in her traditional hat, watches down from the typical painted Bhutanese window.
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Taktsang or Tiger's Nest is Buddhist temple built on the steep rock cliff in 16th century in the Paro valley.
Taktsang or Tiger's Nest is Buddhist temple built on the steep rock cliff in 16th century in the Paro valley.
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Most of the Bhutanese are peasants and herders, living and working in the fashion which didn't change much over the centuries.
Most of the Bhutanese are peasants and herders, living and working in the fashion which didn't change much over the centuries.
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Punakha dzong (castle), called Palace of the Great Happiness used to be the seat of the kings and government till 70's.
Punakha dzong (castle), called Palace of the Great Happiness used to be the seat of the kings and government till 70's.
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Bhutan's push for protecting local culture is exhibited in the due wearing of local traditional dress in schools, government offices and selected professions. Every school has it's distinctive colour pattern for the dress.
Bhutan's push for protecting local culture is exhibited in the due wearing of local traditional dress in schools, government offices and selected professions. Every school has it's distinctive colour pattern for the dress.
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Bhutan traffic police has distinctive style of signalization which resembles the performance of mime. Nice to watch, though difficult the grasp when to go.
Bhutan traffic police has distinctive style of signalization which resembles the performance of mime. Nice to watch, though difficult the grasp when to go.
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Gangkhar Puensum (7.570 meters) is not only highest mountain of Bhutan, but also the world's highest peak not yet climbed by mountaineers.
Gangkhar Puensum (7.570 meters) is not only highest mountain of Bhutan, but also the world's highest peak not yet climbed by mountaineers.
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Only airport in Bhutan is located in Paro two hours from the capital Thimphu. From the pilots' perspective, it's one of the most difficult international airports in the world as the valley is quite narrow and surrounded by the high mountains.
Only airport in Bhutan is located in Paro two hours from the capital Thimphu. From the pilots' perspective, it's one of the most difficult international airports in the world as the valley is quite narrow and surrounded by the high mountains.
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Festivals called tsechu which are held annually in the dzongs are the popular tourist attractions. The mask dances symbolises a heroic deeds of the Buddhist saints.
Festivals called tsechu which are held annually in the dzongs are the popular tourist attractions. The mask dances symbolises a heroic deeds of the Buddhist saints.
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Tourist from Singapore poses with Bhutanese festival monk dancers. Most of the coming tourist are interested in the well preserved Tibeten Buddhist culture.
Tourist from Singapore poses with Bhutanese festival monk dancers. Most of the coming tourist are interested in the well preserved Tibeten Buddhist culture.
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High altitude trekking in Bhutan is experience hard to foreget. The horses carry nearly everything, so the crossing of the high passes is a rather fun.
High altitude trekking in Bhutan is experience hard to foreget. The horses carry nearly everything, so the crossing of the high passes is a rather fun.
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Dance show of the school and people companies during the royal wedding celebrations in Thimphu. Royal couple is present on the banner backside.
Dance show of the school and people companies during the royal wedding celebrations in Thimphu. Royal couple is present on the banner backside.
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Tashichho dzong in Thimphu, the seat of the king, got new lighting for the wedding celebrations.
Tashichho dzong in Thimphu, the seat of the king, got new lighting for the wedding celebrations.
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Exhibition of the palace guard is the new feature as well.
Exhibition of the palace guard is the new feature as well.
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Jolly schoolboys are waiting for the royal couple in Lobesa village.
Jolly schoolboys are waiting for the royal couple in Lobesa village.
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Small monk is carrying the torma offering to the temple.
Small monk is carrying the torma offering to the temple.
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The monks' duty is to study and pray for the Bhutan and for the happiness and salvation of all sentient beings.
The monks' duty is to study and pray for the Bhutan and for the happiness and salvation of all sentient beings.
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Monks are not really ascetics in Bhutan. Their relatives brings them gifts of both money and kind. So it's not unusual to see the monk carrying expensive cell phone or golden wrist watch. Monks are generally well respected by the people.
Monks are not really ascetics in Bhutan. Their relatives brings them gifts of both money and kind. So it's not unusual to see the monk carrying expensive cell phone or golden wrist watch. Monks are generally well respected by the people.
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Mens' penis paintings on the walls of Bhutanese houses are symbols of the fertility and all belongs the one man, the Buddhist saint Drukpa Küenley of 15th century.
Mens' penis paintings on the walls of Bhutanese houses are symbols of the fertility and all belongs the one man, the Buddhist saint Drukpa Küenley of 15th century.
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Popular and unorthodox sage was spreading Buddhist ideas by the dance and song, wild sexual behaviour and excessive drinking.
Popular and unorthodox sage was spreading Buddhist ideas by the dance and song, wild sexual behaviour and excessive drinking.
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National sport of Bhutan is archery. Bamboo bows used in former times were nearly completely replaced by the modern steel and plastic bows imported from the US.
National sport of Bhutan is archery. Bamboo bows used in former times were nearly completely replaced by the modern steel and plastic bows imported from the US.
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Diet is humble in Bhutan and chillies are the most important vegetable as it's main ingredient of the daily staple called ema datshe - chilli peppers in the cheese sauce with rice.
Diet is humble in Bhutan and chillies are the most important vegetable as it's main ingredient of the daily staple called ema datshe - chilli peppers in the cheese sauce with rice.
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Children are creative in inventing of the games and toys in Bhutan as anywhere in the world.
Children are creative in inventing of the games and toys in Bhutan as anywhere in the world.
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Writing and photographs by Michal Thoma

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