- Official Country Name: Kingdom of Bhutan
- Capital: Thimphu
- Location: Southern Asia
- Area Code: +975
- Time Zone: UTC+6
- Population: 754,394
- Government Type: Parliamentary Constitutional Monarchy
- Religion: Tibetan Buddhism (Kagyu Sect), Hinduism
- Land Area (km²): 38394
- Languages: Dzongkha (Bhutanese)
- Major Tourism Places: Paro, Punakha
The Kingdom of Bhutan, referred to as "Bhutan", is located on the southern slope of the eastern section of the Himalayas between China and India. Bhutan is a landlocked country in southern Asia, bordering Tibet of China in the northwest, Sikkim of India in the west, West Bengal of India in the south, and Shannan of China in the east, with a total area of 38,394 square kilometers.
The Bhutanese are the main ethnicity of Bhutan. Bhutan is the last country in the world to open TV and the Internet. Although Bhutan is one of the least developed countries, it is one of the countries with the highest happiness index in the world.
In the 7th century, Buddhism began to spread into Bhutan. In the 8th century, Padmasambhava preached in Bhutan. Bhutan is a tribe of Tubo (ancient Tibet). In the 9th century, Bhutan began to form independent tribes. After the 12th century, Tibetan Buddhism Kagyu Sect gradually took power to realize the unity of politics and religion. After the reunification of Tibet by the Yuan Dynasty in the 13th century, Bhutan was under the jurisdiction of the Executive Yuan.
In 1669, a 62-year war broke out between Bhutan and the Gandan Pochang regime (Geluk) in Tibet at that time. The Qing government did not include Bhutan as a dependent country. In 1772, Bhutan was invaded by Britain and became a British protectorate. In 1865, the British East India Company forced Bhutan to sign the Treaty of Sintra, and Bhutan was forced to cede 2000 square kilometers of land.
In 1907, Ugyen Wangchuck was crowned as a king. He abolished King Deb, established the Kingdom of Bhutan, implemented the unity of politics and religion, and stipulated the hereditary of the king. In January 1910, the British and Bhutan signed the "Punakha Treaty", which stipulated that Bhutan's foreign relations were guided by the British.
In 1949, India and Bhutan signed the "Treaty of Permanent Peace and Friendship", which stipulates that Bhutan's foreign relations accept India's guidance. India's annual subsidy to Bhutan was increased to 500,000 rupees, inheriting the British privileges in Bhutan. 1971 Bhutan joined the United Nations. In 1973, Bhutan became a member of the Non-Aligned Movement. In 1985, it became a member of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation.
Bhutan is divided into 4 regions, 20 dzongkhag (districts) and more than 5,000 natural villages.
Bhutan Administrative Division
Thimphu City, the capital of Bhutan and the largest city in the country, is located in the Wong Chu River Valley, at an altitude of 2500 meters. It was designated as the capital of Bhutan in 1955.
Bhutan is high in the north and low in the south. The mountainous area in the south has a subtropical climate, characterized by humid and rainy, with an annual rainfall of 5,000 mm ~ 6,000 mm. The central valley area has a mild climate with an annual rainfall of 760 mm ~ 2000 mm.
Bhutan is a religious country where all people are religious, and households have shrines. There are three main religions in Bhutan, Buddhism (National Religion), Hinduism, and Bhutan's primitive religion.
75% of Bhutan's population believes in Buddhism and primitive religions. Bhutan's Buddhism is Tibetan Lamaism, which is the national religion of Bhutan. Bhutanese Buddhism believes in a branch of Tibetan Lamaism, namely the Kagyu Lamaism. There are more than 2,000 ancient Buddhist temples and more than 1,000 stupas in the country.
25% of people in Bhutan believe in Hinduism. Hindus are mainly in the south, with Shiva, Vishnu and Shaktism. There are also Hindu temples in Thimphu. Bhutan also has Bonismo religion, but most of them have been absorbed by the Nyingma.
Dzongkha and English are the official languages of Bhutan, and Nepal ethnic people speak Nepali. Bhutan's language is very rich. Among more than 18 dialects popular in the country, there are 11 dialects in eastern Bhutan alone. The 4 main languages widely used are Dzongkha, Sharchop, Lhotsam and English. Ngalong and Bumtang are other two widely used local languages.
The Royal Government of Bhutan adopted "Dzongkha" as the national language in 1986 and promoted its use throughout the country to completely solve the language barrier of communication between Bhutanese people. As the official language of Bhutan, English is only used by senior national civil servants and senior military officials, mainly for foreign exchanges.
Bhutan Ngultrum is the official currency of Bhutan. The international abbreviation " Nu." is commonly used. The subsidized unit is chhertum: 1 ngultrum= 100 chhertum. The issuance of currency is the responsibility of Royal Monetary Authority of Bhutan. The international organization for standardization has designated its standard code name BTN.
- Symbol: Nu.
- Issuing Bank: Royal Monetary Authority of Bhutan
- Subunit: chhertum
- Banknotes: 1 ngultrum, 5 ngultrum, 10 ngultrum, 20 ngultrum, 50 ngultrum, 100 ngultrum, 500 ngultrum and 1000 ngultrum
- Coins: 5 chhertum, 10 chhertum, 25 chhertum, 50 chhertum; 1 ngultrum, 3 ngultrum
The exchange rate between BTN and other currencies are as below:
1 AUD≈52 BTN; 1 CAD≈55 BTN; 1 CNY≈10 BTN; 1 EUR≈85 BTN;
1 GBP≈93 BTN; 1 JPY≈0.7 BTN; 1 USD≈75 BTN; 1 KRW≈0.06 BTN
Tipping is not mandatory in Malaysia, but small gratuities for great service are very much appreciated. Tipping is a recognition of their service. The tip can be around US$5 per person per day, which is also a common standard for tourism in South Asia. If you are satisfied with the service of the restaurant, it is recommended that you pay a tip of 2% to 5%
How to get to Bhutan? Most of the tourists arrive in Bhutan by air. Paro Airport is the only airport in Bhutan, 65 kilometers from the capital Thimphu. The international airport is located in Paro, which is built in a deep valley at an altitude of 7,300 feet. Established in February 1983, the national airline Druk Air operates routes including Paro to New Delhi, Kolkata, Kathmandu, Dhaka, Bangkok, Bagdogra, Singapore and Yangon, with no domestic routes. If the weather is good, travelers can also see Mt. Everest, Mt.Lhotse, Mt. Makalu, and Mt.Kangchenjunga.
Tourists can also enter Bhutan from the southern land bordering Bhutan and India. Phuntsholing in southwestern Bhutan is currently the only land border crossing open for international tourists. Phuntsholing is about 170 kilometers from Bagdogra National Airport in India and is adjacent to Darjeeling in India. The road starts in the tea plantations of northern India, passes through numerous turns, sharp bends, and a long way through the rocks of the mountains to Thimphu via Chukka. This 176-kilometer journey takes more than six hours by car. Land travel and air travel can also be combined. An Indian visa is required for land travel.
All major towns in the 20 districts of Bhutan can be reached by road. Although Bhutan has many high mountains, steep slopes, and deep valleys, its highway hub is relatively well developed. The characteristic of Bhutan road is steep uphill and downhill, which makes the driving speed slower than usual. The average speed on roads rarely exceeds 40 km/h, while coaches are even slower. However, it is very worthwhile for travelers to enjoy the beauty of high mountains, lush jungle, ancient villages and magnificent temples.
Tourism is one of the important sources of foreign exchange in Bhutan. The tourism industry was opened to the outside world in 1974, but the government has stricter controls and generally only accepts group tours.
►Best Time to Visit Bhutan
Bhutan has a pleasant climate all year round, so it suitable for tourism in any season. But March-June and September-October are more comfortable and more suitable for tourism. It is best to avoid monsoons season from June to September, as it will bring heavy rain and high humidity.
►Best Places to Visit Bhutan
Thimphu, the capital of the Kingdom of Bhutan, is the political, military, religious and cultural center of Bhutan and is a city with a population of approximately 100,000. Although Thimphu is the capital, there are no bustling scenes of other cities or high-rise buildings. The scenery here is beautiful, the air is clean, the streets are tidy, and the folk customs are simple. Thimphu is a religious city, with numerous temples and religious castles. One of the most distinctive scenic spots is Trashichho Dzong.
Punakha is the ancient capital of Bhutan at an altitude of 1220 meters. Punakha Dzong was called Druk Pungthang Dechhen Phrodang in ancient times, meaning "Happy Palace". It is the second largest Dzong in Bhutan. Punakha was the seat of the government. Today, the Dzong is the Winter Palace of King. Built in 1637, Punakha Dzong is a model of Bhutanese architecture. Located at the confluence of two rivers, it outlines the image of a medieval city.