Country Bhutan, where is it on the map? This is a seemingly simple question, but there are many people who cannot have the information to answer it fully. The information below will provide an overview and the most detailed about this mysterious and beautiful country.
Country Bhutan, officially the Kingdom of Bhutan, is a small country located in the eastern Himalayas of South Asia, surrounded by China’s autonomous Tibet region in the north, bordering the states of Assam and West Bengal in the east, south and east of India, separated from Nepal through Sikkim of India. The Kingdom of Bhutan is located on the ancient Silk Road between Tibet, the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia and is have important geopolitical country of South Asia.
The name Bhutan is said to start with the sanskrit transliteration “Bhoṭa-anta” or “The End of Tibet”, also known as the beginning of the Tibetan Plateau culture. Since the 17th century, the official name of Bhutan is Druk yul (the country of the Drukpa Lineage, the Dragon Man, or the Land of the Thunder Dragon); One of the earliest Western records of Bhutan was in 1627, the first time a separate Kingdom of Bhutan appeared on the western map, which was made under the local name Broukpa. Name Bhutan appears only in official correspondence in English when in 1774 Scottish explorer George Bogle realized the difference between Buhtan and other regions so in his final report proposed calling is the The kingdom of Boutan.
Since its appearance in the 17th century until now, the independence of Country Bhutan has existed for centuries and has never been a colony in history. In 2008, Bhutan moved from absolute monarchy to constitutional monarchy and held its first election to the Bhutanese National Assembly. The National Assembly is part of the bicameral parliament, headed by the King known as “The Dragon King. The King is the Head of State, In 2018 the incumbent King of Bhutan presented the crown to his eldest son, At the age of 28, King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck became the youngest ruler of the world.
Bhutan is a country with a relatively small population and area compared to other countries in the world: According data to April 2020, the population of Bhutan is more than 800,000, accounting for 0.01% of the world’s population. The median age is 28.1 years old, is the second least populous country in the region after the Maldives. Bhutan ranks 165th in the world in the population rankings of countries and territories. The population density of Bhutan is 20 people / km2. The total land area is 38,063 km2, ranking 134th in the world, Thimphu is the capital and largest city, Phuntsholing is the financial center, 40.90% of the population lives in urban areas (equivalent to 330,000 people).
Despite its small area and population, Bhutan’s administrative divisions are decentralized clearly from the regional to the village level. Bhutan has developed a distinct national identity based on Buddhism, headed by a spiritual leader called Zhabdrung Rinpoche, a territory composed of many fiefdoms and governed as a Buddhist theocracy. Bhutan is divided into four dzongdey (department). Each dzongdey is further divided into dzongkhag (district). There are 20 dzongkhag in Bhutan, the major dzongkhag are further divided into subordinate units called dungkhag. Village groups formed a unit called a gewog and were governed by a gup, elected by the people. Bhutan’s Dzongkhag: Bumthang, Chukha, Dagana, Gasa, Haa, Luentse, Mongar, Paro, Pemagatshel, Punaka, Samdrup Jongkhar, Samtse, Sarpang, Thimphu, Trashigang, Trashiyangse, Trongsa, Tsirang, Wangdue Phodrang, Zhemang.
Country topography: With an area of only about 14,800 square miles (38,400 square kilometers), Bhutan’s territory is a bit smaller than Switzerland and larger than Belgium, but most of the terrain is made up of mountainsides with country stretching from the plains subtropical in the south to the Himalayas in the north, with peaks higher than 7,000 meters (23,000 ft). Gangkhar Puensum is Bhutan’s highest peak and the highest mountain in the world. Bhutan is not an easy country to traverse; Bhutan’s roads are narrow and zigzag but without a traffic mirror. The country has no toll booths, no traffic lights, highway no street lights, going from one place to another often involves going through a mountain, on two barley roads wide enough for one a car with a thousand feet dropped on either side with windswept paths through beautiful mountains and valleys.
Religion and cultural and spiritual life:
• Bhutan’s state religion is Vajrayana Buddhism according to the Tantric Buddhist texts.
• Bhutan’s national Sport is archery. Basketball and cricket are also becoming popular.
• Bhutanese people receive free basic education and health care from the government. However, the literacy rate is still low: only about 30% of men and 10% of women in Bhutan are literate; Basic health care is free but there is a serious shortage of doctors with a density of over 50,000 people/doctors. The average life expectancy of Bhutanese people is 69.8 years (according to World Health Organization data).
INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT BHUTAN
1) Buddhist Kingdom:
Mahayana Buddhism is the official religion of Bhutan. More than two-thirds of the people follow Buddhism and Buddhism are government supported both politically and economically. The government subsidizes Buddhist monasteries, shrines, monks and Buddhist programs. Buddhists are also very influential in politics with a voice guaranteed in public policy. Even as the world became increasingly globalized, Bhutan preserved its Buddhist tradition and remained the only remaining Buddhist Kingdom of the world.
2) The happiest country in the world:
Buhtan is a small country located on the Himalayas, its population and small area, only small aircraft can fly here, but this is the happiest country in the world, the Kingdom of Buddha spear – the land of the thunder dragon is the only country in the world use ‘GNH.’ GNH is a statistical term and refers to National Happiness. It measures people’s quality of life and ensures a balance between physical and spiritual development. Bhutan has made great this balance and has consistently ranked as the happiest country across Asia and the world.
3) Country of mountains and valleys:
Bhutan is a country of mountains and valleys with a beautiful climate and scenery that varies with altitude. The mountains are extremely cold and snowy, but it is humid and subtropical in the hills, and temperate in the valleys. Despite its small area, the mountainous terrain of Buhtan owns the highest mountain in the world, Gangkhar Puensum, which is 7,570 meters (24,836 ft).
4) National costumes are required
Bhutanese still have to wear national costumes (traditional costumes). While in many countries, traditional clothing is kept for special occasions, in Bhutan it is a casual wear. Traditional costumes for men are gho, for girls kira, children go to school must to wear traditional clothes. Bhutanese people wear traditional attire when working, going to temples, offices or formal occasions. For people who make the government must wear traditional clothes. Bhutan is one of the few countries where men wear skirts – gho dating back to the 17th century and traditionally Tibetan. Men wear traditional knee-length clothing and women wear ankle-length skirts. The color of the dress shows the social class and status of the wearer.
5) Polygamy mode:
While it is not common practice, it is legal in Bhutan, not only do Bhutanese men have the right to marry many wives, Bhutanese women can have more than one husband. In many cultures around the world, it is very rare for a woman to have more than one husband. This makes Bhutanese people more open minded than people in developed countries. However, polygamy is only practiced by small tribal groups in Bhutan today. In addition to the polygamy, Buhtan also maintains the inheritance of women. Legacy (land, houses and animals) is often passed on to older daughters. A man often moves into his new wife’s house without bringing any property, which is an ancient Buhtan tradition when they wants to preserve property in the family.
6) The country with the highest cultural identity preservation:
Buhtan has preserved much of its culture since the 17th century by limiting globalization. In a world dominated by globalization, a thriving economy, access to increasingly advanced technology, religious and traditional identities will gradually destroy many folklore throughout the world. Some countries develop their economies and lose their culture, origins, lifestyles, and languages to globalization. However Bhutan has found the perfect balance. In recent years, the internet, cable TV, mobile phones, as well as many other modern technologies and ideas have become part of Bhutan, but with the desire to preserve cultural values, environmental protection, economy and culture. Buhtan are still growing and changing while preserving the thousand year-old tradition and culture.
7) The country restricts tourism and has the most stable ecosystem in the world:
Most people know very little about Bhutan. In fact, many experienced travelers aren’t even sure where Bhutan is! Despite state-organized tours for foreign visitors, Bhutan is closed to protect old traditions and preserve cultural identity. Despite being a poor country, but Buhtan make selective tourism, Bhutan only allows a certain number of foreigners to enter the country each year and with the high cost of sightseeing that each tourist has to pay per day is a big barrier for many people. According to recent figures, the cost of visiting Bhutan is at least US $ 250 per day.
These restrictions on tourism have helped Bhutan protect its natural resources, preserve the country’s beautiful landscape and have one of the most protected and developed ecosystems in the world because there are almost no losses environmental damage in Bhutan. Bhutan is also the only country with negative emissions.
8) Food and drink:
• Meat and fish in everyday foods that do not originate from Bhutan: Bhutanese people still eat fish but due to the prohibition of slaughter, meat and fish in dishes are mostly imported from other countries, mostly India.
Cheese: Bhutanese love cheeses especially spicy, ema datshi (chili cheese) is often added with chili and pepper to cook with cheese to make a warm and delicious dish. every meal everyday.
• Beverages: Bhutanese people love to drink alcoholic beverages, each Bhutanese adult consumes up to 8.5 liters of alcoholic beverages, more than the world average (6.2 liters). In Bhutan there are more than 6,000 bars, in the capital Thimphu there are also many clubs. Bhutan produces a lot of products such as beer, red wine, light wine to drink with desserts or even spirits. To limit alcohol consumption, the Bhutanese government prohibits bars from selling alcoholic beverages on Tuesdays. So in Buhtan exists the Dry day, called the day without alcohol.
9) Prohibitions and things not in Bhutan:
• Bhutanese are prohibited from marrying foreigners. Homosexuality is also prohibited by law;
• Bhutanese without surname: In Bhutan, each person has two names, but not separated by first and last name. Parents do not name their children but wait for a good day and take them to the temple to be blessed and named by a monk. Because babies can have a completely different name from the whole family, not be able to identify the relationship through the names of people;
• The terrain is mostly mountainous, small population, Buddhist spiritual life, so Bhutan is the only country in the world without criminals, houses need not lock the door; Thimphu is the only capital in the world that doesn’t use traffic lights;
• Do not sell tobacco products. In 2010, Bhutan became the first country in the world to ban the manufacture and sale of tobacco products. Smoking in public places is considered illegal;
• Not to slaughter, to fish or to hunt animals: In Bhutan, fishing or slaughtering animals is said to be wrong and taboo. Indigenous people are not allowed to fish or slaughter animals;
• No cutting of trees: Apart from banning slaughter, Bhutan also mandates that the country has at least 60% of its territory is forest, meaning that banning the tree felling (unless specifically authorized). Bhutan encourages people to plant trees for fuel and construction materials;
• Discourage Western Internet, television and clothing: The Internet and television were banned from before 1999. For more than twenty years in an effort to modernize and globalize, Bhutan has allowed television video and the Internet was used in 1999. Bhutan is one of the last countries in the world to adopt television.
TRAVEL TO BHUTAN
Bhutan is one of the most closed countries in Asia. Visiting as an independent traveler is quite difficult and almost impossible, only can through an officially organized state tour. Although Bhutan now no longer limits the number of tourists each year as before, it can be expensive to explore the country. To get a tourist visa, all visitors to Bhutan must book through a government-approved travel company and pay the full cost of the trip before arrival. The entire stay will be transferred to Bhutan’s Tourism Board first; then transfer to hotel travel agency and arrange itinerary. Foreign visitors have very little choice of accommodation or what to do. Independent travel to Bhutan is opening up but that is not what the government encourages. Normally, visitors to Bhutan must be tourists or government visitors. Other options to visit Bhutan are to receive an invitation from a powerful citizen or a volunteer organization. Except for passport holders from India, Bangladesh and the Maldives, all tourists must follow a planned tour, a guide or a pre-designed travel program.
The basic information when traveling Buhtan
Apply for a Visa
When traveling to Bhutan must apply for a visa in advance, except for those with a passport from India, Bangladesh and the Maldives. Passport holders from these three countries are as area tourists and can receive a free Entry Permit upon arrival, upon presentation of their passport with a minimum validity of six months . Indian nationals may also use Voter identification cards. It is advisable to arrange the trip at least 90 days before departure to allow time for all procedures to be completed. Visas are processed through an online system by travel agencies and approved by the Tourism Board of Bhutan after paying the full cost of the trip. Tourists are issued a visa clearance letter, which will be presented on arrival upon arrival at the airport. The visa is then stamped in the passport.
Go to Buhtan:
The only international airport in Bhutan is in Paro, about an hour and a half from Thimphu. Currently, two national airlines operate flights to Bhutan: Drukair and Bhutan Airlines. Departure points include Bangkok (Thailand), Kathmandu (Nepal), New Delhi and Kolkata (India), Dhaka (Bangladesh), Yangoon (Myanmar) and Singapore. It is also possible to travel to Bhutan from India by road. The main border gate is Jaigon-Phuentsholing.
ATM services are not available in Bhutan and credit cards are not widely accepted. The Bhutanese currency is called Ngultrum and its value is linked to the Indian Rupee. Indian rupees are also widely accepted in Bhutan.
Conclusion: Is visiting and tourism in Bhutan worthwhile?
Traveling to Bhutan is very expensive and not easy to do. However, with its unique Buddhist culture, pristine scenery and fresh mountain air and a country that still retains its medieval features and traditions, Bhutan attracts tourists by its original beauty, pristine, majestic, changing through each festive season with colorful folk, with movements of makeup, masks and unique dances… Bhutan never sought rapid modernization and attaches great importance to environmental protection and cultural preservation. Coming to Buhtan will allow you to find your old life thousands of years ago. You can explore the pristine landscape of the Himalayas, featuring traditional architecture, ancient Buddhist sites, visiting the happiest locals’ lives, spectacular festivals, and dynamic Rich wildlife. It can be said that Buhtan is Himalayan kingdom enveloped in holiness and blessings. The number of people visiting Bhutan is increasing every year, reflecting the growing interest in this country as an interesting tourist destination and worth a visit once in a lifetime.