Seeking Shangri-La: Business as Unusual in Bhutan

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Mostly you notice the natural beauty. Driving the roads and trekking the trails across Bhutan, we traced the bulges and hollows of the richly forested mountain sides. We ascended and descended steeply sloped valleys one to two kilometers deep. We …

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Druk and Dzong: Bhutan’s Cultural Heart

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By 1616, Ngawanag Namgyal aka Zhabdrung, a revered leader originally from Tibet, unified the divided fiefdoms of Bhutan into a holy Buddhist empire. All over the country you see golden statues and images of Zhabdrung sporting a Chinese-style goatee. Around …

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A Jolly Good Fell-ous: The Saint of Crazy Wisdom

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The Tibetan branch of Buddhism starts about the 8th century with Guru Rinpoche, the most revered of the Buddhist teachers, then was imported into Bhutan by him and his disciples shortly thereafter. Over time its devotees evolved a vivid imagery …

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That’s Entertainment: Missing Out on Nature in Nepal

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We’ve written before about the unrealistic expectations of visitors going on safari in Asia’s national parks (click here to read the article). During our three day visit to Chitwan National Park in the south of Nepal, we noticed something disturbingly …

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Native Son: Honoring Buddha’s Birthplace

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It’s no surprise that adherents to three of the great religions established in the last three thousand years revere places associated with the lives of the great prophets who founded them. Not the least of the holy places are the …

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The Spaces We’ve Seen: Kathmandu’s Piazzas

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Noon, Saturday 25 April 2015. In a few horrifying minutes, shortly after we finished writing this tribute to the wondrous plazas of Kathmandu, they were in ruins. Thousands are dead across the country, as well as neighboring parts of India …

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