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On the eastern edge of the magnificent Himalayas is this trekker’s paradise where Gross National Happiness is a measured priority of which environmental conservation is a key pillar. The Land of the Thunder Dragon is covered with forest on over 70% of its area; 90% of the country is only accessible by foot. In these wild lands, an impressive array of large mammals lives. The tropical south is home to Bengal Tigers; Red Pandas occupy fruiting trees in the central temperate zone, while Snow Leopards and Blue Sheep subsist in the alpine north. A standout amongst the country’s 700 bird species is the intriguing and beautiful Rufous-necked Hornbill. Ancient Buddhist mythology is kept alive in the dzongs (fortress-monasteries); ancient art forms such as thangka painting, textile weaving and woodcarving flourish as they have for generations. You can also enjoy some of the many seasonal festivals that celebrate Buddhist culture through music and dance. Modernization is slowly percolating into the way of life, a by-product of which includes some wonderful luxury hotels. Visitors are also required to spend $200.00 per day, but here this is an easy target that is often willingly breached.
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