Bhutan Travel Facts

By | March 19, 2022

Bhutan is considered one of the most pristine countries on earth. The kingdom is located in South Asia and is about the size of Switzerland. It borders the Himalayas to the north. The neighboring countries are China and India. Tourism is only state-controlled here in order to preserve the beauty of the country.

Capital City Thimphu
Size 38.394 kmĀ²
Resident 750.000
Official Language Dzongkha
Currency Ngultrum, Indische Rupie
Time Zone UTC+6
Telephone Area Code +975

Source: Destination Explorer

Fast facts to know

  • Bhutan has a well-preserved Buddhist culture.
  • Entry is only possible with a special visa, which can be applied for through a registered travel company! > More information.
  • Individual trips are only possible with a driver and companion, so the landscape is untouched and clean.
  • Kingdom of Bhutan aims to become the world’s first eco-state.
  • There are no fast food chains in Bhutan.
  • State regulation: every tourist must spend at least 200 USD daily (for guide, accommodation, transport and food)!
  • The highest mountain on earth not yet climbed is located in Bhutan: Gangkhar Puensum (7,570 m).
  • Democratic monarchy in which, in addition to a hereditary throne holder, a parliament determines the fate of the country.
  • Conservation is enshrined in the constitution.
  • Bhutan is known by the locals as the land of dragons (Druk yul).
  • Religion (Buddhism) is of central importance.

Exciting cities in Bhutan

  • Thimpu
  • Unemployment
  • Punakha
  • Mongar
  • Trongsa
  • Lhuntse
  • Bumthang
  • Trashigang

History of Bhutan

  • 8th century Indian missionaries bring Buddhism to what was then a Hindu feudal princedom.
  • 9th century Tibetan rule.
  • Buddhism declared state religion in the form of Tibetan Lamaism in the 12th century.
  • 17th century Unification of the country’s previously independent principalities into a theocratic empire.
  • In 1772 the border conflict with the British East India Company began, which had lasted for almost a hundred years.
  • 1910 Britain formally recognizes Bhutan’s independence.
  • 1949 Bhutan signs a treaty of friendship with India.
  • In 1964, the king took over all state power.
  • 1968 Parliament gains certain legislative powers.
  • Political parties remain banned until 2007.
  • In 1971, Bhutan was recognized under international law (admission to the United Nations).
  • In 2008, the king announced the introduction of a constitution with the aim of making Bhutan a democratic constitutional monarchy.

Climate & travel weather in Bhutan

  • Three climate zones:
    • Southern plain with subtropical to tropical climate.
    • Central Bhutan with a temperate climate.
    • High mountains with harsh winters and cool summers.
    • Summer with monsoon and lots of rain.
  • Recommended travel time:
    • March to May: In spring nature with blooming carpets of flowers.
    • September to November (expensive main season): clear view of the mountains.

Ideas for trips in Bhutan

  • Punakha Dzong & Punakha Festival.
  • Thimphu Dzong.
  • National Museum in Paro.
  • Tiger’s nest at the Bhutanese Tsaktsang.
  • Choekhor valley with the worth seeing Jakar Dzong and the Lodrakarchu monastery.
  • Kichu Lakhang.
  • Weekend market Thimpus.
  • Gardens of Tashicho Dzong.
  • Drukwangyal Lhakhang Tempel am Dochu La Pass.
  • Kurje Lhakhang Monastery.
  • Deer Park Thimphu.
  • Hike in Phobjika valley.
  • Excursion on horseback.
  • Go hiking or trekking to one of the many wonderful monasteries.
  • Cultural tour through the mountain villages.
  • National sport of Bhutan: try archery.

Eating & Drinking in Bhutan

  • Traditional menu with lots of wheat, corn and red rice, as well as lots of fresh vegetables and meat on the side.
  • Popular: Chicken stews with vegetables, tomatoes and mint.
  • Gladly seasoned with ginger, garlic, cardamom, turmeric and caraway.
  • Typical Bhutanese meals consist of lots of rice, various dishes and sauces.
  • Number of courts increases with family status.
  • Favorite meats in the north: yak or pork, in the south: mutton and lamb.
  • Beef and chicken are also widely available.
  • Rice (white and red) is a staple food in Bhutan.
  • Meat soups and stews are often prepared with rice, fern, lentils, dried vegetables, cheese and, of course, chili.
  • Tea very common – either as Seudja (made with salt and butter) or Nadja (Indian style with milk and sugar).
  • Nationalgericht: Ema Datsi
  • Typical dishes:
    • Ema Datsi (chili as a vegetable, cheese sauce made from yak cheese, lots of rice).
    • Olachotho (orchid flowers cooked with salt, chili and cheese).
    • Kabze (dried egg batter pieces).
    • Zow shungo (rice dish served with leftover vegetables).
    • Jasha maru (Huhn).
    • Phaksha Paa (dried ham, chili and vegetables).
    • Zoedoe (type of cheese from eastern Bhutan).
    • Jasha Tschoem (spicy chicken curry).

Particularly scenic

  • Dochula Pass with a view of the ice giants of the Himalayan mountains.
  • High mountains with mighty 7000m peaks.
  • Haa Valley Himalayan landscape and the rhododendron forests.
  • National Parks:
    • Jigme-Singye-Wangchuck-National Park.
    • Jigme-dorji-National Park.
    • Royal Manas National Park.
    • Thrumshing La-National Park.

Bhutan Travel Facts