Bhutan is a beautiful South Asian country. It neighbors China, India, and Nepal. Bhutan might not be as big in size but is certainly one of the happiest countries in the region according to the World Happiness Index. The remote kingdom is nestled in the Himalayas.
The country had been cut off from the outside world for centuries. Although some aspects of the outside world might have entered the country, Bhutan still closely guards its ancient traditions. Bhutan is called “Druk Yul” in Bhutanese and roughly translates as the Land of the Thunder Dragon. It was only in the 1970s that Bhutan started to open up to the world. It was the Wangchuck hereditary monarchy that has been in control of the country since 1907. However, it is important to keep in mind that Bhutan ended up becoming a two-party parliamentary democracy following elections in the year 2008.
Thimphu is the capital of Bhutan. It is the urban center of the country. Bhutan has a population of a little over 800,000. It is one of the least densely populated countries in the region. Taking up an area of 14,812 square miles or 28,364 square kilometers, Bhutan is steeped in cultured and history. Dzongkha is the national language of Bhutan and knowing even a few phrases of the language can make it extremely easy for foreigners to travel around.
The general population of Bhutan practices Buddhism as it is the official religion of the country. However, Hinduism is also practiced by a minority and there are Hindu temples that can also be found in Bhutan. The life expectancy for Bhutanese women is 70 years and for Bhutanese men, the life expectancy is 66 years. The Ngultrum is the official currency of the country. However, foreigners can also make payments in USD and INR.
King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck is the head of state of Bhutan. He had succeeded Jigme Singye Wangchuck, his father and became the monarch of the country in December of 2006. The former monarch had already given up few of his absolute powers in the year 1998 and ruled Bhutan together with the government, a royal advisory council and an assembly. The current prime minister of the country is Lotay Tshering. He was elected as the third prime minister of Bhutan in 2018, succeeding Tshering Tobgay. He is the leader of the cabinet and is considered a great reformer.
It was not until the year 1999 that television first came to Bhutan. The country has isolated itself for many years fearing that outside influencers would end up undermining the local culture and monarchy. But, Bhutan has opened up to the world and has become one of the most popular destinations in the region. More and more tourists are visiting Bhutan every year. Tours in Bhutan have become very common.
Bhutan is blessed with some of the most breathtaking views. It is melting pot of diverse landscapes. The food is extremely delicious. There are plenty of festivals that are held every year.