Where is Bhutan located?

What countries border Bhutan?

Bhutan Weather

What is the current weather in Bhutan?


Bhutan Facts and Culture

What is Bhutan famous for?

  • Food and Recipes: Staple diet is red rice, buckwheat, wheat, maize, pork, beef, chicken, yak meat, cheese and chilies, which are taken as vegetable... More
  • Fashion: Bhutanese men wear gho, which are longish robes tied around the waist by a cloth belt, know as kera. The... More
  • Cultural Attributes: Bhutan has three main ethnic groups, viz. Sharchops, Ngalongs and Lhotsampas. Bhutanese are friendly and hospitable people. Bhutan is known... More

Bhutan Facts

What is the capital of Bhutan?

Capital Thimphu
Government Type constitutional monarchy
Currency Bhutanese Ngultrum (BTN)
Total Area 14,824 Square Miles
38,394 Square Kilometers
Location Southern Asia, between China and India
Language Dzongkha (official), Bhotes speak various Tibetan dialects, Nepalese speak various Nepalese dialects
GDP - real growth rate 6%
GDP - per capita (PPP) $8,100.00 (USD)

Bhutan Demographics

What is the population of Bhutan?

Ethnic Groups Bhote 50%, ethnic Nepalese 35% (includes Lhotsampas - one of several Nepalese ethnic groups), indigenous or migrant tribes 15%
Nationality Adjective Bhutanese
Nationality Noun Bhutanese (singular and plural)
Population 782,318
Population Growth Rate 1.15%
Population in Major Urban Areas THIMPHU (capital) 99,000
Predominant Language Dzongkha (official), Bhotes speak various Tibetan dialects, Nepalese speak various Nepalese dialects
Urban Population 35.6%

Bhutan Government

What type of government does Bhutan have?

  • Executive Branch: chief of state: King Jigme Khesar Namgyel WANGCHUCK (since 14 December 2006); note - King Jigme Singye WANGCHUCK abdicated the... More
  • Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal More
  • Citizenship: citizenship by birth: no citizenship by descent only: the father must be a citizen of Bhutan dual citizenship recognized: no residency requirement for... More
  • National Holiday: National Day (Ugyen WANGCHUCK became first hereditary king), 17 December (1907) More
  • Constitution: history: previous governing documents were various royal decrees; first constitution drafted November 2001 - March 2005, ratified 18 July 2008 amendments:... More
  • Independence: 17 December 1907 (became a unified kingdom under its first hereditary king) More

Bhutan Geography

What environmental issues does Bhutan have?

Bhutan Economy

How big is the Bhutan economy?

Bhutan News & Current Events

What current events are happening in Bhutan?
Source: Google News

Interesting Bhutan Facts

What unique things can you discover about Bhutan?

  • Bhutanese consider a clear “no” to be too blunt for good manners. Thus, they have perfected various ways of saying yes, which vary from full agreement, through “I’m not sure,” to the full meaning of no, which is likely to be expressed with nothing stronger than “perhaps.”
  • Bhutanese exchange presents as a form of etiquette. Those receiving a gift do not open it until they are alone. To do otherwise would be more than bad manners, it would imply that the recipient wants more of the same. Gifts between equals are always reciprocated. However, when a gift is of significant value and comes from a person of high status, it is reciprocated with loyalty and service rather than with a gift. Cloth is highly valued in Bhutan. Traditional gifts at funerals and other occasions are pieces of cloth, given in uneven numbers. The more cloth given, the higher the status of the giver. Money put in an envelope may be used as a substitute, along with the obligatory white scarf. The symbolic value of the scarf is of vital importance when visiting dzongs, monasteries, or taking part in official ceremonies. The act of giving a white scarf speaks louder than words and is a must for every Bhutanese at any important event. These scarves are regifted until they show si
  • Bhutanese titles:
    Any Bhutanese of high status is addressed by his or her title, followed by first name or both names.
    Dasho refers to a male member of the royal family, to those who have been honored by the king with the red scarf, and by polite extension to senior government officials.
    Ashi is used with a female member of the royal family.
    Lyonpo is reserved for ministers.
    Lopon is used when speaking to a senior monk.
    Rimpoche is used when addressing a reincarnated lama; and Anim when speaking to a nun.
    Aap is used when speaking to a man (equal)
    Busu for a boy;
    Am is for an older woman; and
    Bum for a girl
    Aapa, Ama, Alou, Bumo, are used respectively for men, women, boys, and girls of unknown name, for instance, restaurant staff.
  • One of the most popular figures in Bhutanese history was Drukpa Kunley (1455-1529). Known as the "divine madman" because of his shocking behavior, Drukpa Kunley was an eccentric person. An aristocrat form the great Gya family, he refused to take his monastic vows and instead wandered the country teaching Buddhism through songs. It is difficult to attribute historical significance to Drukpa Kunley, although every Bhutanese will place him among the most important national historical characters.
  • The term “gross national happiness” was coined by King Jigme Singye Wangchuck, who hopes to create a unique Bhutanese national identity built on traditional values.

Watch video on Bhutan

What can you learn about Bhutan in this video?

Bhutan Guide YouTube, Expoza Travel

Bhutan Travel Information

What makes Bhutan a unique country to travel to?

Country Description

Bhutan is a small, land-locked Himalayan country which completed its transition from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional monarchy in 2008. The United States does not have diplomatic relations with Bhutan and there is no U.S. diplomatic presence there. Consular issues relating to Bhutan, including assistance to U.S. citizens, are handled by the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi.

Crime

There is relatively little crime in Bhutan. Petty crime, such as pick-pocketing and purse snatching, is occasionally reported. While generally safe, the capital Thimphu has begun to see burglaries, street fights and an increasing, although still small, number of drug abusers. Reasonable precautions should be taken when visiting the town and, in particular, when going out at night.

Do not buy counterfeit and pirated goods, even if they are widely available. Not only are the bootlegs illegal in the United States, you may also be breaking local law.

Criminal Penalties

While you are traveling in Bhutan, you are subject to its laws even if you are a U.S. citizen. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different from our own. In some places you may be taken in for questioning if you don’t have your passport with you. In some places, it is illegal to take pictures of certain buildings. In some places driving under the influence could land you immediately in jail. These criminal penalties will vary from country to country. There are also some things that might be legal in the country you visit, but still illegal in the United States, and you can be prosecuted under U.S. law if you buy pirated goods. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime, prosecutable in the United States. If you break local laws in Bhutan, your U.S. passport won’t help you avoid arrest or prosecution. It’s very important to know what’s legal and what’s not where you are going.

While some countries will automatically notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate if a U.S. citizen is detained or arrested in a foreign country, that might not always be the case. To ensure that the United States is aware of your circumstances, request that the police and prison officials notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate as soon as you are arrested or detained overseas. Although no formal diplomatic relations exist between the United States and Bhutan, engagement is maintained through the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, India.

Medical Facilities and Health Information

Medical facilities in the populated areas in Bhutan such as Thimphu and Paro are available but may be limited or unavailable in rural areas. U.S. citizens in need of urgent medical care should try to get to the Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital in the capital city, Thimphu. For emergency services in Thimphu, dial 113 for police or 112 for ambulance. Medical services may not meet Western standards, and some medicines are in short supply. Certain emergency medical services are provided free of charge to all tourists. Visitors planning to trek in Bhutan should pay special attention to the risk of altitude illness. Altitude sickness is a risk above 8,000 feet and travelers to that altitude should consult an appropriate health care provider 4 to 6 weeks before their trip. Treks in Bhutan can take visitors days or weeks away from the nearest medical facility. Helicopter evacuation from remote areas in Bhutan is available through the registered tour operators at the U.S. citizen’s expense. The U.S. Embassy in New Delhi can also help arrange evacuations through private companies at the U.S. citizen’s expense. We strongly urge you to ensure that your medical insurance covers such evacuations, which can be extremely expensive.

The Government of Bhutan recommends that visitors obtain tetanus, typhoid, and hepatitis A inoculations before traveling to Bhutan. Hepatitis B, Japanese Encephalitis, and rabies vaccines are recommended for prolonged stays for people at risk. The influenza vaccine is also recommended.

Tuberculosis is an increasingly serious health concern in Bhutan. For further information, please consult the CDC's information on TB.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the risk of malaria exists in rural areas below 1,700m (5,577ft) in the southern belt districts of Bhutan (Chirang, Geylegphug, Samchi, Samdrup Jongkhar, and Shemgang) along the border with India. Dengue is also a risk; you should take measures to prevent insect/mosquito bites in the higher risk areas in the south from July to December.

Although yellow fever is not a disease risk in Bhutan, the government requires travelers arriving from countries where yellow fever is present to present proof of yellow fever vaccination.

Safety and Security

In May and October 2011 small improvised explosive devices were detonated in the southern border towns of Phuentsholing and Gelephu. These were the first such reported incidents of these types for several years. Except for one bombing that took place in the capital, Thimphu, most of the other incidents occurred in areas near the border, far from tourist destinations and resulted in little damage. The government has blamed various groups for these bombings. Groups demanding the repatriation of Nepali-speaking Bhutanese refugees currently living in camps in Nepal have in the past resorted to protests and small-scale violence.

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions

While in Bhutan, you may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Bhutan is provided for general reference only and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

General road conditions outside urban areas are poor, and emergency services generally are not available. Because of the mountainous terrain, roads tend to have steep drop-offs and blind curves. During heavy rains there is a risk of falling rocks and landslides which can block roads. However, because Bhutan requires tourists to arrange their trips through registered tour operators and travel in groups with experienced drivers, most tourists will not drive themselves.

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