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Challenges and change

Yet it is inevitable that Bhutan is changing. Three decades of development have had a dramatic impact on the kingdom which has moved, in a short span of time, from the medieval age into the 21th century. A comprehensive network of roads, school and hospitals reaching their services to the people, a modern telecommunication system, increasing contact with the international community, urbanisation, and a growing private sector cannot but bring change.

Development and progress have also brought their less desirable side effects. Crime, environmental pressures, juvenile delinquency, traffic and pollution, the video culture, housing and urban problems, rural-urban migration, illegal immigration, and numerous other problems are becoming more visible today.

But, just as the Bhutanese people chose to guard their magical kingdom in its pristine form through the centuries, they are determined to balance development and change. The essence of modernisation in Bhutan has been a blend of tradition and progress. The protective Bhutanese psyche, which kept the kingdom in a jealously guarded isolation, is visible in the controlled tourism policy, strong sense of environmental protection, and the careful pace of all-round development.

Bhutan has long decided that economic achievement is no replavement for its unique national identity. In the past, the kingdom fought aggression, in different forms, to safeguard its interests, its priorities, and its identity. The future will be no different.

BHUTAN MANDALA TOURS & TREKS
P.O. Box 397, Thimphu, Bhutan
Telp # 975-2-324842 or 323676 (office)
Fax # 975-2-323675 or 321816
Email: mandala@druknet.net.bt