Tucked away in the Himalayas between the giants of India and China, the Kingdom of Bhutan is one of the region’s least-visited countries.
In 2016, total visitor arrivals increased to just 209,570 — a 35% rise over 2015.
That could be due to the country’s hard-to-reach location.
Bhutan has one airport and only a dozen or so pilots in the world are licensed to fly the hair-raising manual approach through the mountains.
Those who make the trip are rewarded with a distinct feeling that they are the only travelers to have ever set foot in this remarkable place.
In some ways, that’s not too far from reality.
The Government of Bhutan has adopted a policy of pursuing high-end tourism, requiring visitors to pay a minimum of $200 per person per day.
Though steep for many, it’s not quite as prohibitive as it sounds — the $200 can go towards accommodations, transit costs, guides, meals and more.
The program aims to protect the natural beauty of The Land of the Thunder Dragon, a concern travelers will understand once they see Bhutan for themselves.
Bhutan offers intoxicating landscapes, ancient traditions and a surprising mix of landscapes at every turn.
For some of Bhutan’s most evocative experiences, check out the gallery above.