By popular request, I'm writing a little more about Bhutan. So many things about this unique kingdom impressed us. For example, the forest cover statistic. (Click on the picture on the right to see the endless forests behind the farmhouse). Over 60% of Bhutan's original forest cover still survives, and is almost all linked by a web of wildlife corridors. In a mountainous country like Bhutan, most species of birds and mammals migrate up and down the mountains according to season. In most countries, protected areas are small islands in a sea of cultivation; but in Bhutan it's still the other way round. The strong Buddhist ethic sits well with nature conservation too.
But development is on the way here too. To accommodate the increasing road traffic, huge widening programmes are on the way, resulting in the blasting away of whole hillsides. The dark car at the top centre of the photo (left) shows the scale of this temporary devastation. Not ideal for plants or any other wildlife!