Keep off the Mountain!

Bhutan strictly controls access to its mountains, but that is because the people want it so. In the battle between sport and spiritual belief, the latter wins for the moment.

Where lies the perfect balance between earning easy dollars and preserving one´s traditions and culture? The dilemma which has confronted Bhutan ever since it opened to tourists extends to mountaineering expeditions as well. Many travel agencies have been established since the Government of Bhutan privatised tourism, and the Government has had to compromise on the number of tourists entering the country. Mountaineering regulations, however, have not been adjusted and remain extremely rigid in accordance with the spiritual sentiments of the population.

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Himal Southasian