The world's last surviving Buddhist monarchy may be modernising (slowly), but if you're looking for a palpable sense of history in a jaw-plummeting mountain landscape, Bhutan is hard to beat.
Cradled by the snow-hatted Himalayas between India and Tibet, the remote and, until recently, almost inaccessible Kingdom of Bhutan has fiercely guarded its secrets, maintaining limited flights and hefty tourist fees in order to preserve its ancient Buddhist cultural traditions. The advantage to those lucky enough to set foot on its mountain soil is the lack of queues, crowds or any of the other tourist trappings that have tainted its neighbours - when it comes to getting away from the tribulations of the modern world, there's no better destination. Unspoilt forests clamber up the plunging valleys, monasteries, temples and fortresses perch precariously over mountain passes, and, throughout the year, colourful masked dance festivals fill the streets of the capital, Thimphu.
Schedule your visit to coincide with one of the many festivals held at various temples across Bhutan from March to December (most are held in October).