Biking Over the Dochu La, Kingdom of Bhutan

I started my bike ride across Bhutan with a few friends. When they went home, I continued across the Kingdom solo. Photo © Nathan Ward.

A Buddhist Fortress - Punakha Dzong, Bhutan

Punakha Dzong, a Buddhist monastery and former monk warrior fortress, sits on the banks of the wide and fast Punakha River. Photo © Nathan Ward.

Wild & Healthy Himalayan Forests, Bhutan

The Kingdom of Bhutan has long outlawed logging and the mountainsides are covered with some of the most incredible virgin forests left in the entire Himalayan Region. Photo © Nathan Ward.

Villagers in Traditional Festival Dress, Bhutan

Dzongka people from the mountains near Enducholing Palace streamed down the hillsides all day to view a traditional Bhuddist festival. It was like stepping back in time. Photo © Nathan Ward.

Being Blessed by the Thangdrel, Bhutan

This huge handmade silk thangdrel is unrolled by monks just once a year on an auspicious festival day. The roll it up again before the morning sun touches it. So, get up early. Photo © Nathan Ward.

Masked Dancers at Enducholing Palace, Bhutan

Dressed as gods and animals, Bhutanese dancers twirl and dip wildly while monks beat drums and blow long horns. Rituals as old as human time in the Himalaya. Photo © Nathan Ward.

Prayer Wheels & Beads, Bhutan

An old woman sat by the roadside spinning her handheld prayer wheel and fingering prayer beads. Om mani padme um. Photo © Nathan Ward.

Peaking Out at the Palace Courtyard, Bhutan

This Bhutanese girl was peaking out the palace window at dancing in the courtyard below. Photo © Nathan Ward.

The Thinnest National Himalayan Highway, Bhutan

The first road in Bhutan, built in 1963, the National Highway often cuts just a single lane wide across the wildly steep Himalayan mountainsides. Photo © Nathan Ward.

Merak-Sakten Yak Herding Woman, Bhutan

"Take me back to Thimphu with you. I'll be your wife!" she said. "I already have one," I told her. "No problem. We'll live together," she replied. Photo © Nathan Ward.