Laya Valley: Given the policy of encouraging high-end tourism, a number of luxury travel brands have adopted unique ways to experience the country. COMO Resorts, for instance, offers flights with the Royal Bhutan Helicopter Service, allowing travelers to reach incredibly remote areas that would otherwise take more than a week hiking -- each way.
At 13,000 feet, the Laya Valley is one such destination, nestled in a truly jaw-dropping landscape of snow-capped mountains. This is one part of Bhutan still without a TV network, let alone internet. Life is simple and donkeys are the only form of transport on the mountain trails, here led by a villager.
Tiger's Nest: The country's single most iconic destination is the Tiger's Nest monastery, a 30-minute drive from the country's second largest city of Paro.
To reach it, the only way up and down is a grueling two-hour hike, but the experience and views are worth every painful step. It is Bhutan's holiest site and every citizen is expected to make the pilgrimage there at least once in their lifetime.
Sub-Alpine Himalayas: Bhutan stretches across the Himalayas, meaning that snow-capped mountains seem to creep into every photo.
The highest peaks are in the sub-Alpine Himalayas, with some summits reaching in excess of 23,000 feet. The much-contested discussion on the worlds highest unclimbed mountain also exists in Bhutan -- Gangkhar Puensum is said to come in at just under 25,000 feet.
Paro Airport: Bhutan has just one airport. Only a handful of pilots are licensed to fly the hair-raising manual approach through the mountains.
Fertility: Another definite head-turner in the Punakha Valley comes in a small village where houses are decked in huge depictions of phalluses.
The temple of Chimi Lhakhang celebrates a 16th-century Bhutanese saint with a penchant for food, wine, women and unorthodox ways of teaching Buddhism. He turned the phallus icon from a taboo into a representation of fertility.
To this day, couples come from around the world asking for blessings, while stalls around the village sell varying sizes of "phallus handicraft."
Punakha Dzong Monastery: The valley's tropical climate is ideal for rhododendrons, jacaranda, cherry trees and countless poinsettias to flourish along the roadsides.
Punakha was formerly the country's capital, with the magnificent Punakha Dzong Monastery, built in 1637, as its centerpiece.
To reach the Punakha Dzong Monastery, visitors and monks alike cross a 300-year-old wooden bridge, spinning prayer wheels at both ends as mountain waters flow underneath.
Punakha Dzong Monastery: The monastery has witnessed every one of Bhutan's coronations, while King Jigme and his consort Queen Jetsun Pema were married there in 2011.
Monks clad in scarlet robes walk the courtyards and temples of the complex, while the innermost sanctum contains a monk who is "neither alive nor dead" -- said to be meditating for almost 400 years. Only King Jigme and the head monk are permitted to enter and look upon him.
Archery: Bhutan's national sport is archery and it is taken very seriously. Across the country you´ll see tournaments taking place.
Teams try to hit a target embedded in the ground, about one foot wide by three feet high, from almost 500 feet away. Hitting it doesn't happen frequently.
The contests can last for days and often involve the teams drinking local home brew liquor. Gentle trash-talking is also part of it, as teams sing to encourage their own team's arrows and put off the opposition. When they do hit the target, the team does a celebratory dance to mark its feat.
The dancing policeman of Thimphu: Bhutan's first paved road was built in 1962 at a time when the country only had one stop light, in the capital Thimphu. The stop light was only in place for a day before being taken down and replaced by someone who is an attraction in his own right -- the dancing policeman of Thimphu.
Resplendent in a spotless uniform of blue overcoat, white gloves and peaked cap bearing the colors of the country's flag, the street celebrity directs traffic with theatrical grace, beckoning a few cars one way while stopping others with an upturned palm.
A small hand-painted wooded pagoda protects him from some of the elements, but its open sides allows locals and visitors alike to catch his performance in all its glory.
Laya Valley: Bhutan's Layap people are semi-nomadic herders. They depend on their yaks for meat, cheese, clothing and more, while donkeys do some of the heavy lifting. The women of the small village do much of the laboring as well. These women, with huge stone slabs on their backs, walked up and down hills to transport the stones to a rudimentary shelter being built.
Prayer wheels: Prayer wheels are integral to Buddhism, the religion of almost 75% of the population. Here in the Punakha valley an elderly gentleman was circling the stupor, touching each one in turn to spin it, always counter-clockwise.
The wheel depicts symbols and mantras, while spinning it is akin to orally reciting prayers. When we passed by again two hours later, he was still there, still circling it.