Bhutan: The Cloud Kingdom

20101 hr, 32 mins

High on the eastern shoulders of the Himalayas, the tallest mountains in the world, sits the independent kingdom known as Bhutan. With its highest point over 24,000 feet, it truly is a kingdom in the clouds. But as filmmaker, interpretive field naturalist, and adventure-lecturer Tom Sterling discovered, Bhutan is a country that is very much down to Earth in its politics, philosophy and way of life.

The adage "good things come in small packages" certainly applies to this tiny, predominantly Buddhist nation. It is filled with joyful and warm-hearted people who are more concerned with "Gross National Happiness" than "Gross National Product"; its extraordinary architecture, such as the Taktsang Monastery, Punaka Dzong, and Gangtey Monastery, reflects a deeply steeped devotion to its Buddhist traditions and heritage; and the country's respect for the environment results in near pristine natural landscapes and a prevalence of remarkable wildlife. More than 70 percent of Bhutan is forested, while sanctuaries and national parks fully protect one quarter of the country.

Here, through the eye of an experienced journalist, you view the culture of the "Land of the Thunder Dragon," the legends, the dances, the people; also you will be absorbed in the environment, the mountains and valleys, the trees and plants, the birds and animals. In a world filled with fears of extinction, pollution, crime and global warming, the lessons we can learn from Bhutan are many.