Just back from this trip. Arriving in Bhutan following the frenetic pace in Kathmandu is like bathing in a crystal clear lake. It's a chance to reset your mind and feel part of the Gross National Happiness which is part of the mindset of the people of the country, not just a phrase.
Our trip coincided with the Thimpu festival. We saw rehearsals and smaller festivals on the lead up to the main event. The dances are exquisite and appreciated reverentially by the crowds. Phallus bearing clowns mimic the dancers and entertain the audience.
We had a great tour leader, Laura, for this trip. Our local guides were fantastic and our driver very skilled as we went along the mountain pass roads.
The trip to the Tiger's Nest Monastry at Paro is a real highlight. If you can't make it to the top it's still worth heading part way to the cafe for the great views.
My overall impression of Bhutan is one of calm friendliness. Buddhism is really fully part of life and its worth having an overview before you go as you will be visiting a lot of Dzongs and monasteries. Another tip is to try a rum Dragon Warmer in the Phobjika valley before you retire to the hotel room with a log burning fire! (BI -Sep10 2010)