THE LAND OF THE THUNDER DRAGON
Bhutan, home to some of the world's greatest trekking adventures, is situated in a hidden corner of the eastern Himalaya. The rugged country within these borders forms a giant staircase, from a narrow strip of land in the south, at an altitude of 1,000 feet, up to some of the highest of Himalayan peaks in the north, rising to over 20,000 feet. A sparsely populated country, Bhutan enjoys jealously guarded isolation and stunning mountain scenery. More than 90% of the population are hill farmers who live in small villages spread over some 18,000 square miles of rugged and mountainous country. Buddhist teachings and philosophy are influential throughout the kingdom, as they have been since the 7th century and a traditional reverence for nature has led to Bhutan imposing some of the strictest standards of environmental preservation in the world. Almost 70% of the land is still under forest cover and home to some of the rarest of Himalayan wildlife. In this country known as ‘‘the Land of the Thunder Dragon,” the fortunate visitor will find a rare combination of magnificent natural beauty, Buddhist culture and inspiring architecture.