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Located at an altitude of 2,320 m (7,600’) THIMPHU is the nation’s capital. It is located in the Western part of Bhutan.  When we were there, King Jigme Singye Wangchuck (1972-2006) was in charge. He introduced TV and the internet, warning his people not to allow it to erode their traditional values. He was very forward thinking, educating the people on AIDs, teaching children English along with their language, Dzongkha. The son of the former king, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wngchuck became the fifth king of the Wangchuck dynasty in 2008.


The valleys of Bhutan are separated by high passes such as those in Western Bhutan: Cheli La Bhutan’s highest pass at 3,988m (13,084’), Dochu La 3,050 (10,007’) Pele La 3,300 (10,825’). Central Bhutan, known for its buckwheat and apple production and the broad valleys of Bumthang. Passes there: Yotang La 3,400m (11,155’), Shertang La 3,573m (11,723’), and Thrumshing La 3,88m (12, 465’) Bhutan’s second highest pass. Eastern Bhutan is lower but also has passes which we did not visit. The passes offer a feast of colorful flags.

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