LAND OF THE THUNDER DRAGON ENCHANTS DUTCH ROYAL GUESTS

31 OCTOBER 2007

Crown Prince Willem-Alexander and his wife Maxima are so impressed by the sights - and hospitable treatment - they have experienced during an official visit to the remote Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan they've vowed to return as tourists in the near future.

On the third and final day of this week's trip, the heir to the Dutch throne – who already has in mind a trekking expedition to the mountainous nation – won the admiration of his hosts when he tried out a local sport.

Willem was the picture of confidence when invited to put in some archery practice, while the popular princess also gamely had a go with a bow and arrow, before retiring to take some traditional refreshments.

The globe-trotting pair have been visiting Bhutan at the invitation of the country's young monarch King Jigme Kesar Namgyal Wangchuck. Willem and Maxima met the 27-year-old royal while attending the Bangkok celebrations marking the 60th anniversary of the king of Thailand's accession to the throne last year.

Photo: © Alphapress.com
The Dutch prince proved a confident shot as he tried his hand at archery on the last day of the couple's eventful tripPhoto: © AFPClick on photos for gallery
Photo: © Alphapress.com
His wife Maxima examines a more traditional bow Photo: © AFP
Photo: © Alphapress.com
The Dutch princess then retired to watch from the sidelines with a cup of teaPhoto: © Rex