The Kingdom of Bhutan is located in the Eastern Himalayas, between China and India. It a picturesque and mountainous country of about 800,000 people, and much of it's lands are still largely undeveloped. The capital of Bhutan is Thimphu. Buddhism is the prominent religion of the Kingdom. The goverment is one of very few democratic monarchies in the world, and it has been since 1907. The current head of state is the Fourth King since the new form of goverment, His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck, who has been king since 1972.
One of the development goals of His Majesty and the government is "people's participation and decentralization in the government." Some other goals include protecting natural resources and the environment, promoting national culture, and ensuring democratic governance, with the end goal ultimately being happiness for the people. Even though Bhutan is one of the poorer nations in the world by general standards, the people are generally very happy people. As proof of this goal of happiness, several years ago the government got rid of "standard" measurements of progress and success, and began using a model called "gross national happiness."
Further steps have been taken at protecting the country and their culture by controlled tourism and development. In 2004 less than 9000 tourists entered the country. Those who did enjoyed activities such as trekking and kayaking, in addition to getting a glimpse at a unique place and its people.
In 2004 public smoking was banned.