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RTX4E781
Dance bars and mobile phones: changing face of Bhutan
For decades Bhutan had no television, no traffic lights and a culture that had barely changed in centuries. Today, bars dot the capital, Thimphu, set in mist-covered mountains, while teenagers crowd internet cafes to play violent video games, and men smoke and gamble in snooker halls.
BHUTAN-CHANGE/
RTX4DVRV
January 18, 2018
Drayang dancer Lhaden, 38, prepares to leave her house and go to work in a bar in the capital city of...
Thimphu, Bhutan
The Wider Image: Dance bars and mobile phones: changing face of Bhutan
Drayang dancer Lhaden, 38, prepares to leave her house and go to work in a bar in the capital city of Thimphu, Bhutan. Lhaden, a divorced mother-of-two, dances until midnight, and like thousands of her compatriots, is struggling to make ends meet. "I'm not happy or sad about things, I have no other choice," she said. Lhaden, who earns $125 a month, is counting the pennies. "I live in such a small flat so I can afford food and clothes." REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton
BHUTAN-CHANGE/
RTX4DVTK
January 18, 2018
Men play snooker and gamble in a snooker hall in the capital city of Thimphu, Bhutan. For decades Bhutan...
Thimphu, Bhutan
The Wider Image: Dance bars and mobile phones: changing face of Bhutan
Men play snooker and gamble in a snooker hall in the capital city of Thimphu, Bhutan. For decades Bhutan had no television, no traffic lights and a culture that had barely changed in centuries.

Today, bars dot the capital, Thimphu, set in mist-covered mountains, teenagers crowd internet cafes to play violent video games, and men smoke and gamble in snooker halls. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton
BHUTAN-CHANGE/
RTX4DVR8
January 18, 2018
Drayang dancer Lhaden, 38, performs in a bar in the capital city of Thimphu, Bhutan. There are still...
Thimphu, Bhutan
The Wider Image: Dance bars and mobile phones: changing face of Bhutan
Drayang dancer Lhaden, 38, performs in a bar in the capital city of Thimphu, Bhutan. There are still no traffic lights after residents protested against the installation of one, but otherwise the once-isolated Buddhist country tucked between India and China is changing, and bringing the modern world's problems in its wake. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton
BHUTAN-CHANGE/
RTX4DVS4
January 18, 2018
Drayang dancer Lhaden, 38, checks her mobile phone as she rests at home in the capital city of Thimphu,...
Thimphu, Bhutan
The Wider Image: Dance bars and mobile phones: changing face of Bhutan
Drayang dancer Lhaden, 38, checks her mobile phone as she rests at home in the capital city of Thimphu, Bhutan. Bhutan measures its national wealth by a Gross National Happiness index aiming to build a contented, fulfilled society. But Lhaden, who earns $125 a month, is counting the pennies. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton
BHUTAN-CHANGE/
RTX4DVR0
January 18, 2018
The Buddha Dordenma statue stands in Thimphu, Bhutan. Signs of change are everywhere, pulling the country...
Thimphu, Bhutan
The Wider Image: Dance bars and mobile phones: changing face of Bhutan
The Buddha Dordenma statue stands in Thimphu, Bhutan. Signs of change are everywhere, pulling the country of snow-capped, jagged mountains, forests, rivers and clean air into the modern world.

Smoke billows from construction sites across the country and a giant bronze-and-gold Buddha statue that commands the entry to the Thimphu valley now shares space with modern telecom towers. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton
BHUTAN-CHANGE/
RTX4DVUR
January 18, 2018
Youths play football near a highway in the capital city of Thimphu, Bhutan. On the streets and even in...
Thimphu, Bhutan
The Wider Image: Dance bars and mobile phones: changing face of Bhutan
Youths play football near a highway in the capital city of Thimphu, Bhutan. On the streets and even in the countryside, jeans have become as commonplace as the traditional Bhutanese knee-length gho robes for men and the ankle-length kira dresses that women wear. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton
BHUTAN-CHANGE/
RTX4DVT8
January 18, 2018
An electric heater and television sit in the corner of a traditional farmhouse in Punakha, Bhutan. Bhutan's...
PUNAKHA, Bhutan
The Wider Image: Dance bars and mobile phones: changing face of Bhutan
An electric heater and television sit in the corner of a traditional farmhouse in Punakha, Bhutan. Bhutan's $2.2 billion economy remains predominantly agricultural, but mobile phones and TV sets are everywhere, even in the Phobjikha Valley, a tourist haven about seven hours' drive from Thimphu and in winter, home to Bhutan's famed black-necked cranes. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton
BHUTAN-CHANGE/
RTX4DVSU
January 18, 2018
Farmer Ap Daw (R), 43, talks on his mobile phone as his son Sonam Tshering, 13, lies on a couch and his...
PHOBJIKHA, Bhutan
The Wider Image: Dance bars and mobile phones: changing face of Bhutan
Farmer Ap Daw (R), 43, talks on his mobile phone as his son Sonam Tshering, 13, lies on a couch and his mother Aum Sangay, 68, heats water at their home in the Phobjikha Valley, Bhutan. "Children are spending more time on their mobile phones and not studying," said Daw who also bemoans the rising mounds of trash by the highway. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton
BHUTAN-CHANGE/
RTX4DVUG
January 18, 2018
Youths gather in an internet gaming centre in the capital city of Thimphu, Bhutan, December 11, 2017....
Thimphu, Bhutan
The Wider Image: Dance bars and mobile phones: changing face of Bhutan
Youths gather in an internet gaming centre in the capital city of Thimphu, Bhutan, December 11, 2017. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton SEARCH "BHUTAN" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
BHUTAN-CHANGE/
RTX4DVTM
January 18, 2018
A girl looks from the balcony of a shop in the capital city of Thimphu, Bhutan. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton...
Thimphu, Bhutan
The Wider Image: Dance bars and mobile phones: changing face of Bhutan
A girl looks from the balcony of a shop in the capital city of Thimphu, Bhutan. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton
BHUTAN-CHANGE/
RTX4DVTI
January 18, 2018
A man carries straw on his back near Punakha, Bhutan. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton
PUNAKHA, Bhutan
The Wider Image: Dance bars and mobile phones: changing face of Bhutan
A man carries straw on his back near Punakha, Bhutan. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton
BHUTAN-CHANGE/
RTX4DVT4
January 18, 2018
Houses stand in the capital city of Thimphu, Bhutan. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton
Thimphu, Bhutan
The Wider Image: Dance bars and mobile phones: changing face of Bhutan
Houses stand in the capital city of Thimphu, Bhutan. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton
BHUTAN-CHANGE/
RTX4DVSK
January 18, 2018
The Punatsangchu River runs past an industrial site located near the town of Wangdue Phodrang, Bhutan....
WANGDUE, Bhutan
The Wider Image: Dance bars and mobile phones: changing face of Bhutan
The Punatsangchu River runs past an industrial site located near the town of Wangdue Phodrang, Bhutan. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton
BHUTAN-CHANGE/
RTX4DVSG
January 18, 2018
People farm in the Punakha Valley, Bhutan. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton
PUNAKHA, Bhutan
The Wider Image: Dance bars and mobile phones: changing face of Bhutan
People farm in the Punakha Valley, Bhutan. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton
BHUTAN-CHANGE/
RTX4DVT0
January 18, 2018
Buddhist monks play football in the Phobjikha Valley, Bhutan. A squad of Buddhist monks has discarded...
PHOBJIKHA, Bhutan
The Wider Image: Dance bars and mobile phones: changing face of Bhutan
Buddhist monks play football in the Phobjikha Valley, Bhutan. A squad of Buddhist monks has discarded their crimson robes to play football, in Manchester United and Chelsea jerseys. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton
BHUTAN-CHANGE/
RTX4DVSO
January 18, 2018
Sonam Tshering, 13, feeds cattle in the Phobjikha Valley, Bhutan. "I would love to become a science teacher...
PHOBJIKHA, Bhutan
The Wider Image: Dance bars and mobile phones: changing face of Bhutan
Sonam Tshering, 13, feeds cattle in the Phobjikha Valley, Bhutan. "I would love to become a science teacher and watch Cristiano Ronaldo play for Real Madrid," said Sonam. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton
BHUTAN-CHANGE/
RTX4DVS9
January 18, 2018
A woman carries her daughter near Punakha, Bhutan. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton
PUNAKHA, Bhutan
The Wider Image: Dance bars and mobile phones: changing face of Bhutan
A woman carries her daughter near Punakha, Bhutan. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton
BHUTAN-CHANGE/
RTX4DVRR
January 18, 2018
Zeko, 73, poses for a portrait at his home in Punakha, Bhutan. "I'm happy to have a mobile phone so I...
PUNAKHA, Bhutan
The Wider Image: Dance bars and mobile phones: changing face of Bhutan
Zeko, 73, poses for a portrait at his home in Punakha, Bhutan. "I'm happy to have a mobile phone so I can talk to my relatives and children any time I want," Zeko said. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton
BHUTAN-CHANGE/
RTX4DVU6
January 18, 2018
A tourist bus makes its way along the Phobjikha Valley, Bhutan. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton
multiple cities, Bhutan
The Wider Image: Dance bars and mobile phones: changing face of Bhutan
A tourist bus makes its way along the Phobjikha Valley, Bhutan. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton
BHUTAN-CHANGE/
RTX4DVRZ
January 18, 2018
Drayang dancers Ugyen Tshomo, 29, and Lhaden (R), 38, relax before going to work in a bar in the capital...
Thimphu, Bhutan
The Wider Image: Dance bars and mobile phones: changing face of Bhutan
Drayang dancers Ugyen Tshomo, 29, and Lhaden (R), 38, relax before going to work in a bar in the capital city of Thimphu, Bhutan. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton
BHUTAN-CHANGE/
RTX4DVUI
January 18, 2018
A stream runs through the Phobjikha Valley, Bhutan. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton
PHOBJIKHA, Bhutan
The Wider Image: Dance bars and mobile phones: changing face of Bhutan
A stream runs through the Phobjikha Valley, Bhutan. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton
BHUTAN-CHANGE/
RTX4DVUA
January 18, 2018
Men work at the Punatsangchu hydroelectric power project near the town of Wangdue Phodrang, Bhutan. REUTERS/Cathal...
WANGDUE, Bhutan
The Wider Image: Dance bars and mobile phones: changing face of Bhutan
Men work at the Punatsangchu hydroelectric power project near the town of Wangdue Phodrang, Bhutan. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton
BHUTAN-CHANGE/
RTX4DVTD
January 18, 2018
Smoke billows from machinery at a road construction site near the town of Punakha, Bhutan. REUTERS/Cathal...
PUNAKHA, Bhutan
The Wider Image: Dance bars and mobile phones: changing face of Bhutan
Smoke billows from machinery at a road construction site near the town of Punakha, Bhutan. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton
BHUTAN-CHANGE/
RTX4DVTW
January 18, 2018
A man walks past a housing construction site in the capital city of Thimphu, Bhutan. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton...
Thimphu, Bhutan
The Wider Image: Dance bars and mobile phones: changing face of Bhutan
A man walks past a housing construction site in the capital city of Thimphu, Bhutan. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton
BHUTAN-CHANGE/
RTX4DVR4
January 18, 2018
Youths sit outside a restaurant in the capital city of Thimphu, Bhutan. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton
Thimphu, Bhutan
The Wider Image: Dance bars and mobile phones: changing face of Bhutan
Youths sit outside a restaurant in the capital city of Thimphu, Bhutan. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton
BHUTAN-CHANGE/
RTX4DVU2
January 18, 2018
Youths gather in an internet gaming centre in the capital city of Thimphu, Bhutan. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton...
Thimphu, Bhutan
The Wider Image: Dance bars and mobile phones: changing face of Bhutan
Youths gather in an internet gaming centre in the capital city of Thimphu, Bhutan. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton
BHUTAN-CHANGE/
RTX4DVRB
January 18, 2018
A youth drinks whiskey at a bar in the capital city of Thimphu, Bhutan. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton
Thimphu, Bhutan
The Wider Image: Dance bars and mobile phones: changing face of Bhutan
A youth drinks whiskey at a bar in the capital city of Thimphu, Bhutan. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton
BHUTAN-CHANGE/
RTX4DVRN
January 18, 2018
A man sings in a Karaoke bar beside a portrait of King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck in the capital...
Thimphu, Bhutan
The Wider Image: Dance bars and mobile phones: changing face of Bhutan
A man sings in a Karaoke bar beside a portrait of King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck in the capital city of Thimphu, Bhutan. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton
BHUTAN-CHANGE/
RTX4DVS2
January 18, 2018
Women share a joke in a Karaoke bar in the capital city of Thimphu, Bhutan. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton...
Thimphu, Bhutan
The Wider Image: Dance bars and mobile phones: changing face of Bhutan
Women share a joke in a Karaoke bar in the capital city of Thimphu, Bhutan. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton
BHUTAN-CHANGE/
RTX4DVRE
January 18, 2018
A masked dancer performs on the mountains above the capital city of Thimphu, Bhutan. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton...
Thimphu, Bhutan
The Wider Image: Dance bars and mobile phones: changing face of Bhutan
A masked dancer performs on the mountains above the capital city of Thimphu, Bhutan. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton
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