Bhutan, officially the Kingdom of Bhutan, is a Buddhist kingdom on the eastern edge of the Himalayas. Bhutan is known for its monasteries, fortresses, called dzongs, and dramatic landscapes that range from subtropical plains to steep mountains and valleys.
Bhutan receives approximately 134,000 international visitors each year. However, Bhutan is seeking to become a high value destination and is currently imposing a daily fee of US$250 on tourists, which covers touring and hotel accommodation. The tourism industry employs 21,000 people and it growing.
The country currently has no UNESCO World Heritage Sites, but it has eight declared tentative sites for UNESCO inclusion since 2012. These sites include Ancient Ruin of Drukgyel Dzong, Bumdeling Wildlife Sanctuary, Dzongs: the centre of temporal and religious authorities (Punakha Dzong, Wangdue Phodrang Dzong, Paro Dzong, Trongsa Dzong and Dagana Dzong), Jigme Dorji National Park (JDNP), Royal Manas National Park (RMNP), Sacred Sites associated with Phajo Drugom Zhigpo and his descendants, Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary (SWS), and Tamzhing Monastery. Bhutan has one element, the Mask dance of the drums from Drametse, registered in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List. Bhutan also has a great many sites of cultural and historic value that are not included in its UNESCO tentative list.
In the High Himalayas, peaks such as the 7,326 meter high Jomolhari are popular trekking destinations. Paro Taktsang monastery, also known as Tiger’s Nest, clings to cliffs above the forested Paro Valley.
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