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?

  • Cultural Attributes: Bhutan has three main ethnic groups, viz. Sharchops, Ngalongs and Lhotsampas. Bhutanese are friendly and hospitable people. Bhutan is known... More
  • Personal Apperance: Bhutanese men wear gho, which are longish robes tied around the waist by a cloth belt, known as kera. The... More
  • Food and Recipes: The staple diet is red rice, buckwheat, wheat, maize, pork, beef, chicken, yak meat, cheese, and chilies, which are eaten... 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 Noun Bhutanese (singular and plural)
Population 782,318
Population Growth Rate 1.15%
Population in Major Urban Areas THIMPHU (capital) 99,000
Urban Population 35.600000

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 throne on 14 December 2006 to his son

head of government: Prime Minister Lotay TSHERING (since 7 November 2018)

cabinet: Council of Ministers or Lhengye Zhungtshog members nominated by the monarch in consultation with the prime minister and approved by the National Assembly; members serve 5-year terms

elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary but can be removed by a two-thirds vote of Parliament; leader of the majority party in Parliament is nominated as the prime minister, appointed by the monarch
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal
Citizenship citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: the father must be a citizen of Bhutan

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: 10 years
National Holiday National Day (Ugyen WANGCHUCK became first hereditary king), 17 December (1907)
Constitution history: previous governing documents were various royal decrees; first constitution drafted November 2001 to March 2005, ratified 18 July 2008

amendments: proposed as a motion by simple majority vote in a joint session of Parliament; passage requires at least a three-fourths majority vote in a joint session of the next Parliament and assent by the king
Independence 17 December 1907 (became a unified kingdom under its first hereditary king); 8 August 1949 (Treaty of Friendship with India maintains Bhutanese independence)

Bhutan Video

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Bhutan Geography

What environmental issues does Bhutan have?

Climate Varies; tropical in southern plains; cool winters and hot summers in central valleys; severe winters and cool summers in the Himalayas
Border Countries China 470 km, India 605 km
Environment - Current Issues Soil erosion; limited access to potable water
Environment - International Agreements Party To: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection

signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea
Terrain Mostly mountainous with some fertile valleys and savanna

Bhutan Economy

How big is the Bhutan economy?

Economic Overview Bhutan's small economy is based largely on hydropower, agriculture, and forestry, which provide the main livelihood for more than half the population. Because rugged mountains dominate the terrain and make the building of roads and other infrastructure difficult and expensive, industrial production is primarily of the cottage industry type. The economy is closely aligned with India's economy through strong trade and monetary links and is dependent on India for financial assistance and migrant laborers for development projects, especially for road construction. Bhutan signed a pact in December 2014 to expand duty-free trade with Bangladesh.

Multilateral development organizations administer most educational, social, and environmental programs, and take into account the government's desire to protect the country's environment and cultural traditions. For example, the government is cautious in its expansion of the tourist sector, restricting visits to environmentally conscientious tourists. Complicated controls and uncertain policies in areas such as industrial licensing, trade, labor, and finance continue to hamper foreign investment.

Bhutan’s largest export - hydropower to India - could spur sustainable growth in the coming years if Bhutan resolves chronic delays in construction. Bhutan’s hydropower exports comprise 40% of total exports and 25% of the government’s total revenue. Bhutan currently taps only 6.5% of its 24,000-megawatt hydropower potential and is behind schedule in building 12 new hydropower dams with a combined capacity of 10,000 megawatts by 2020 in accordance with a deal signed in 2008 with India. The high volume of imported materials to build hydropower plants has expanded Bhutan's trade and current account deficits. Bhutan also signed a memorandum of understanding with Bangladesh and India in July 2017 to jointly construct a new hydropower plant for exporting electricity to Bangladesh.
Industries Cement, wood products, processed fruits, alcoholic beverages, calcium carbide, tourism
Currency Name and Code Bhutanese Ngultrum (BTN)
Export Partners India 83.8%, Hong Kong 10.8%
Import Partners India 72.3%, South Korea 6%

Bhutan News and Current Events

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

Bhutan Travel Information

What makes Bhutan a unique country to travel to?

Country Description

Bhutan is a small, land-locked Himalayan country that 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.


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, but 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 an 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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