In a remote, mountainous corner of eastern Bhutan, Bumdeling Wildlife Sanctuary has celebrated the arrival of over a dozen black-necked cranes. Listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, these migratory birds spend their summers at high altitudes on the Tibetan Plateau, and in winter descend into river valleys. Officials say typically around 100 cranes come to Bumdeling for the winter. The black-necked crane is revered in Buddhist tradition and is culturally protected across much of its range. In Bumdeling, local residents, with the support of the park, have formed crane conservation groups which work to limit any threats and develop good winter feeding habitat for the cranes. Contact us to find out about opportunities to visit this area and Bhutan’s other natural wonders. 

Festival season in Myanmar has begun, arguably the best time to explore the thousands of pagodas and the array of cultures and customs found here. One the most popular destinations among both local and foreign travellers in Myanmar is Kyaiktiyo Pagoda, often simply known as the Golden Rock, located atop a mountain about 160 km from Yangon. Every year, from October to March, throngs of people visit this site to pray, to enjoy the trek up the hill and to take in the spectacular view. The Golden Rock, offering both natural splendour and a genuine taste of local culture and Buddhist pilgrimage practices, is just one of many sites that attract visitors to this country. Contact us for more information about visiting Myanmar. 

The Philippine island of Bohol, adjacent to the city of Cebu, is the habitat of the Philippine Tarsier, one of the smallest known primates. These tiny creatures, about the size of a human hand, have the largest eye to body size ratio of any mammal, giving them excellent night vision. With eyes so large they cannot rotate in the sockets, the tarsier’s neck allows its head to rotate a full 180 degrees in either direction. Entirely carnivorous, tarsiers are ambush predators, feeding primarily on insects. Elongated hind legs and feet make tarsiers incredible jumpers, able to cover up to 16 feet in a single leap. 

Laterite, a soil type mined when wet and cut into blocks which harden with exposure to the atmosphere, has long been used for construction and sculpture in areas where the material naturally occurs. In the outskirts of Hanoi, Vietnam, the area of Duong Lam features several well-preserved villages which feature many structures built with this hardy material. The unique appearance of laterite offers a picturesque backdrop to the traditional lifestyles still maintained here. Contact us for details on how to get there.

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