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The Kingdom of Bhutan

Bhutan, nestling in the heart of the great Himalaya, has for centuries remained aloof from the rest of the world. Since its doors were cautiously opened in 1974, visitors have been mesmerised: the environment is pristine, the scenery and architecture awesome and the people hospitable and charming.

The beautiful and must visit cities, towns and villages in Bhutan are: Thimphu (capital), Phuntsholing, Punakha, Samdrup Jongkhar, Paro, Geylegphug, Trashigang, Wangdue Phodrang, Taga Dzong, Trongsa, Jakar (Dzongkha), Mongar and Damphu.

Reasons for visiting Bhutan are the many forts, fortresses, convents, monastereries and temples, the trekking paths and the stunning nature, Bhutan has a great variety of bird species, flowers & plants and forests (trees).

The stunning nature changes because of the height differences of Bhutan, the lowest point of Bhutan is about 100 meter above sea level and rises well above 7500 meters. Above 4000 meter there's no forest. Between 2000 to 4000 meter you will find beautiful forests and under the 2000 meter tropical or subtropical vegetation. The forest types in Bhutan are: Fir forests, mixed Conifer forest, Blue Pine forest, Chirpine forest, Broadleaf mixed with Conifer, Upland Hardwood forest, Lowland Hardwood forest, and Tropical Lowland forests. Animals you will probaly or hope to see are: the snow leopards (very rare), the Bengal tigers, the red panda, the gorals and the langurs, the Himalayan black bear and sambars, the wild pigs and the barking deer, the blue sheep and the musk deer. In the tropical forests of Southern Bhutan one can come across the clouded leopards (very rare), the one horned rhinoceros, elephants, golden langur that is unique to Bhutan, the water buffaloes and the swamp deer.

Lowest point in Bhutan is the Drangme Chhu river, which flows at 97 meters above sea level and the highest is Kula Kangri, which is 7561 meters.

Bhutan used to be one of the most isolated nations in the world, but developments including direct international flights, internet, mobile phone networks, and cable television have increasingly opened the doors. Yet, Bhutan has balanced modernization with its ancient culture and traditions under the guiding philosophy of Gross National Happiness (GNH).

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