Bhutan is a mysterious country that is all about peace, the environment, and happiness. Sounds pretty awesome right? There are so many intriguing and interesting facts about Bhutan, that I just had to share them here! This tiny, out-of-the-way country is definitely on my bucketlist! Well here are..
24 Interesting Facts about Bhutan
1. Bhutan is one of the most isolated and least developed nations in the world.
2. The capital city is Thimpu, and Dzongka is the official language. There are actually 24 languages spoken in this tiny country though.
3. Bhutan is a democracy and constitutional monarchy. The Bhutanese monarchy was founded in 1907. It held its first democratic elections in 2008.
4. The highest point in Bhutan is Kula Kangri at 7,553 m. The lowest point is Drangme Chhu at 97m.
5. Bhutan is the only country in the world that absorbs more CO2 than it gives out. It is also the only country whose largest export is renewable energy, which is hydroelectric power.
6. It is known as “Land of the Thunder Dragon” because of the violent storms.
7. India took over control of Bhutan from the United Kingdom in 1947. It was recognized by the United Nations as a country in 1971.
8. Deemed to impersonal, the capital city of Thimphu is the only city in the world without traffic lights. Instead they use men in white gloves.
9. Healthcare and education is free in Bhutan for both residents and visitors, despite it’s poverty.
10. Average life expectancy in Bhutan is only 66.
11. Archery and darts are the national sports of Bhutan.
12. Television and internet was banned in Bhutan until 1999. The internet was a gift to his subjects from King Jigme Singye to celebrate his Silver Jubilee in 2000.
13. Homosexuality is illegal and punishable by law here, but polygamy is allowed.
14. Buddhism is the official religion with Hinduism the second popular faith.
15. The tiny country is 70% covered in forest and is one of the leading countries in environmental conservation.
16. The first foreign tourists were allowed into Bhutan in 1974.
17. 54.3% of adults and 76.2% of youth in Bhutan are literate.
18. Plastic bags have been banned in Bhutan since 1999, and instead cotton bags are used to help conserve the country.
19. Bhutan is the only country to outlaw tobacco (effective 2004).
20. The “takin,” a goat-antelope, is Bhutan’s national animal; a unique and strange animal looking like a mix of a cow and goat.
21. All citizens officially become one year older on New Year’s Day. This way, no one forgets anyone’s birthday!
22. More important than the Gross National Product, Bhutan measures the Gross National Happiness as an official development policy. It’s based off of the “four pillars” – sustainable development, environmental protection, cultural preservation and good governance.
25. All tourists have to travel with a tour operator and pay a minimum fee of $250 per day to visit Bhutan, making it both expensive and a giant pain for backpackers to visit.
24. The tiny country is 70% covered in forest and is one of the leading countries in environmental conservation.
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