All of Bhutan outside of the Paro and Thimphu valleys is classified as a restricted area. Tour operators obtain a 'road permit' for the places on your itinerary, and this permit is checked and endorsed by the police at immigration checkpoints strategically located at important road junctions. The tour operator must return the permit to the government at the completion of the tour, and it is scrutinized for major deviations from the authorized program.
1. (Placename) a kingdom in SW Asia: coextensive with the biblical Moab, Gilead, and Edom; made a League of Nations mandate and emirate under British control in 1922 and became an independent kingdom in 1946; territories west of the River Jordan and the Jordanian part of Jerusalem (intended to be part of an autonomous Palestine) were occupied by Israel after the war of 1967. It contains part of the Great Rift Valley and consists mostly of desert. Official language: Arabic. Official religion: (Sunni) Muslim. Currency: dinar. Capital: Amman. Pop: 6 482 081 (2013 est). Area: 89 185 sq km (34 434 sq miles). Official name: Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan Former name (1922–49): Trans-Jordan
These Transjordanian kingdoms were in continuous conflict with the neighbouring Hebrew kingdoms of Israel and Judah, centered west of the Jordan River–though the former was known to have at times controlled small parts east of the river. One record of this is the Mesha Stele erected by the Moabite king Mesha in 840 BC on which he lauds himself for the building projects that he initiated in Moab and commemorates his glory and victory against the Israelites. The stele constitutes one of the most important direct accounts of Biblical history. Around 700 BC, the kingdoms benefited from trade between Syria and Arabia when the Assyrian Empire controlled the Levant. Babylonians took over the empire after its disintegration in 627 BC. Although the kingdoms supported the Babylonians against Judah in the 597 BC sack of Jerusalem, they rebelled against them a decade later. The kingdoms were reduced to vassals, and they remained to be so under the Persian and Hellenic Empires. However, by the time of Roman rule around 63 BC, Ammon, Edom and Moab had lost their distinct identities, and were assimilated into Roman culture.
According to Freedom House, Jordan is ranked as the 3rd freest Arab country, and as "partly free" in the Freedom in the World 2018 report. The 2010 Arab Democracy Index from the Arab Reform Initiative ranked Jordan first in the state of democratic reforms out of 15 Arab countries. Jordan ranked first among the Arab states and 78th globally in the Human Freedom Index in 2015, and ranked 55th out of 175 countries in the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) issued by Transparency International in 2014, where 175th is most corrupt. In the 2016 Press Freedom Index maintained by Reporters Without Borders, Jordan ranked 135th out of 180 countries worldwide, and 5th of 19 countries in the Middle East and North Africa region. Jordan's score was 44 on a scale from 0 (most free) to 105 (least free). The report added "the Arab Spring and the Syrian conflict have led the authorities to tighten their grip on the media and, in particular, the Internet, despite an outcry from civil society". Jordanian media consists of public and private institutions. Popular Jordanian newspapers include Al Ghad and the Jordan Times. The two most-watched local TV stations are Ro'ya TV and Jordan TV. Internet penetration in Jordan reached 76% in 2015.
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Jordan has been a medical tourism destination in the Middle East since the 1970s. A study conducted by Jordan's Private Hospitals Association found that 250,000 patients from 102 countries received treatment in Jordan in 2010, compared to 190,000 in 2007, bringing over $1 billion in revenue. Jordan is the region's top medical tourism destination, as rated by the World Bank, and fifth in the world overall. The majority of patients come from Yemen, Libya and Syria due to the ongoing civil wars in those countries. Jordanian doctors and medical staff have gained experience in dealing with war patients through years of receiving such cases from various conflict zones in the region. Jordan also is a hub for natural treatment methods in both Ma'in Hot Springs and the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea is often described as a 'natural spa'. It contains 10 times more salt than the average ocean, which makes it impossible to sink in. The high salt concentration of the Dead Sea has been proved as being therapeutic for many skin diseases. The uniqueness of this lake attracts several Jordanian and foreign vacationers, which boosted investments in the hotel sector in the area. The Jordan Trail, a 650 km (400 mi) hiking trail stretching the entire country from north to south, crossing several of Jordan's attractions was established in 2015. The trail aims to revive the Jordanian tourism sector.
Music in Jordan is now developing with a lot of new bands and artists, who are now popular in the Middle East. Artists such as Omar Al-Abdallat, Toni Qattan, Diana Karazon and Hani Metwasi have increased the popularity of Jordanian music. The Jerash Festival is an annual music event that features popular Arab singers. Pianist and composer Zade Dirani has gained wide international popularity. There is also an increasing growth of alternative Arabic rock bands, who are dominating the scene in the Arab World, including: El Morabba3, Autostrad, JadaL, Akher Zapheer and Aziz Maraka.
Along the way we learned the value of being scrappy and entrepreneurial. We realized the world wasn't going to hand us any success in life; it was going to have to be earned through hand-to-hand combat. 5 businesses, 2 houses, 4 kids, 1 giant dog, and thousands of posts worth of trial and error later, we take pride in being a direct result of the truth that you CAN live the life of your dreams, on any budget.