- World-class architectures
- They speak openly about the phalluses
- Shopping is a snap, no haggling
- Home to spectacular Himalayan Mountains
- The respectable royal family is loved and revered by the locals
- Experience one of the most dangerous airport landings in the world
- No overcrowding at tourist attractions
- Religious beliefs / Buddhism
- Landscape / Biodiversity
- Tourist attractions
- Culture and society
- Feel royal
- Excellent management of the COVID-19 pandemic
- A very safe travel destination for travellers
- They take happiness seriously
- Bhutan is a world champion in environmental sustainability
- Friendly dogs
- Bhutanese are compassionate and hospitable
- A spiritually rich nation
- Suitable for LGBTIQ
Bhutan’s architectural prowess has consistently won praise and admiration. As soon as you step off the plane, you are bound to be in awe of the distinctive architecture. Multicoloured wood, small arched windows and sloping roofs are very important features of the architecture of the Kingdom, from its traditional houses, and temples to ancient fortresses. The splendour of Bhutan architecture has inspired other building designs around the world, including the design of an entire college campus in Texas.
They speak openly about the phalluses
The phallic symbols can be seen in all sizes and colours. These ubiquitous symbols are seen flanking doorways, hanging from roofs, or painted on the corners of houses. Through the teachings of the “Divine Madman,” Bhutanese traditionally believe that these phallic symbols help ward off evil spirits and drive out malicious gossip. It is also a symbolic reference to fertility and luck. You can even buy phallus key chains, phallus paintings, or wooden phalluses as souvenirs at craft stores.
Shopping is a snap, no haggling
Negotiation is not a Bhutanese tradition. Unlike many destinations in Southeast Asia and Southeast Asia, you don’t have to put your negotiation skills to the test. Usually, the prices in different stores do not differ significantly in Bhutan. This is a huge relief for those of us who have not yet mastered the art of negotiation.
Home to spectacular Himalayan Mountains
Bhutan is a great place for avid hikers and hikers as it is home to many breathtaking Himalayan mountains. Compared to its neighbour Nepal, popularly known for hiking, there are certainly a lot fewer people hiking in Bhutan. Some of Bhutan’s renowned Himalayan Mountains include Jitchu Drake, Jomolhari Kangphu Kang, and the tallest unclimbed mountain in the world, Gangkhar Puensum. Even if you are not an adventurous soul, you will still be entitled to the sight of magnificent mountains on a clear day while walking around the capital.
The respectable royal family is loved and revered by the locals
As you interact with the locals, you will find that they have a deep admiration and respect for the King of Bhutan. The current reigning monarch, the fifth king, King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, affectionately known as the People’s King, is beloved in Bhutan. The visionary king with extraordinary leadership qualities, a compassionate and down-to-earth personality and selflessness is undoubtedly the force of unity behind this small Buddhist nation. You can find photographs of the handsome king perfectly hung in Bhutanese homes, shops and offices. If you’re lucky, you might even bump into the King while you attend the lively festivals or during your trek to the sacred Tiger’s Nest Monastery. There have been incidents shared by lucky travellers where they had the most memorable brief encounters with Her Majesty during their trip to Bhutan.
Experience one of the most dangerous airport landings in the world
Paro International Airport, the country’s only international airport, is known for one of the most dangerous landings. Unlike airports in other countries, Bhutan Airport does not have an Instrument Landing System (ILS) or locator and a single VOR (Very High-Frequency Omnidirectional Range) to guide aircraft pilots. This means there is no radar to guide planes to the airport and pilots must fly entirely in manual mode relying on visual checkpoints. This also makes the limited qualified pilots able to land at airports. You know you are in good hands because only very experienced pilots can land in Bhutan! All you need to do is sit back, relax, and take in the stunning scenery as you land (get the seats in the left window for the best views).
No overcrowding at tourist attractions
Tourist attractions are not overcrowded. Yes, you heard right. With fewer crowds at tourist attractions.
Religious beliefs / Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion of around 300 million people around the world. Over two-thirds of Bhutanese citizens follow Vajrayana Buddhism (also the state religion) and approximately one-third follow Hinduism, which is the second most dominant religion in Bhutan. People from all over the world come to visit Bhutanese monasteries.
Landscape / Biodiversity
As you travel through Bhutan, you will find steep, tall mountains crisscrossed by networks of swift rivers. The extraordinary geographic diversity and diverse climatic conditions play an important role in contributing to the exceptional range of biodiversity and ecosystems of Bhutan, which are worth visiting.
Bhutan has five important seasons: summer, monsoon, autumn, winter and spring. The western part of Bhutan experiences more abundant monsoon rains while the southern part experiences hot and humid summers and cool winters and central and eastern Bhutan remains temperate and drier than the west with hot and humid summers. Cool winters. Bhutan, therefore, allows you to choose the place and time of year to visit, depending on the preferable climatic conditions.
Thimphu has one of the largest bronze and gold-gilded Buddha statues towering over Thimphu in Bhutan and the nearby National Memorial Chorten, where Buddhists turn clockwise while reciting prayers and doing turn prayer wheels. There is the Tiger’s Nest (Taktsang), which is a magnificent cliff-side monastery in the upper Paro Valley, Bhutan. Punakha Dzong, Zuri Dzong Hike, Gangtey Valley and Bumthang Valley are other breathtaking destinations in Bhutan
Ema Datshi, the national dish of Bhutanese is a very spicy dish made with cheese and chilli peppers and take great pride in it and you have to try it too. The people are also very proud to say that Bhutan is the first country in the world to have banned the sale of tobacco under its tobacco law of 2010, which guarantees clean and fresh air.
Culture and society
Bhutanese tradition is deeply rooted in its Buddhist heritage, whether it is the dress (National dress for Bhutanese men, Kho and Kira women), language (Bhutanese or Dzongkha), cultural activities (especially masked dances, dance dramas accompanied by music at festivals) or its national archery sport, which you might get a feel for when you visit Bhutan. Also, you can see a convention in Bhutanese families where the inheritance is usually passed down from women rather than men i.e. girls inherit the house from their parents and the man is supposed to make his way in the world and is invited to relocate. At his wife’s home. Another distinct feature includes polygamy. Although rare, it is accepted to keep the property in a confined family unit rather than dispersing it.
Bhutan moved from absolute monarchy to constitutional monarchy and held its first general election in 2008. The current king is Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck who married Jetsun Pema on October 13, 2011. And it may surprise you that spotting/meeting the King of Bhutan is not as difficult as you might think.
Paro Airport is Bhutan’s only international airport. Although Bhutan did not have a railroad before, it has agreed with India to connect southern Bhutan to the vast Indian network. In terms of road connectivity, the side road acts as the main east-west corridor of Bhutan, connecting Phuentsholing in the southwest to Trashigang in the east and also connecting the capital Thimphu with other major population centres. Such as Paro and Punakha.
The currency of Bhutan is the ‘ngultrum’. Its value is fixed at the Indian rupee, which is also accepted as legal tender in the country. Although Bhutan’s economy is one of the smallest in the world, it has grown rapidly in recent years. Agriculture played a bigger role in running the economy earlier than now, Bhutan established itself as the number one country in the world with 100 per cent organic farming which is commendable.
Hand-woven textiles, Yatras or Yethras (colourful bands of woollen fabric, dyed with natural colours, which are used to create blankets, jackets, bags and rugs, especially those produced in Jakar, Bumthang), Buddhist paintings (usually fabric), stamps (Bhutan being considered
Excellent management of the COVID-19 pandemic
This tiny Himalayan kingdom has often been admired as one of the success stories of COVID-19. As many countries struggle to prevent a widespread outbreak of the novel coronavirus, Bhutan has succeeded in keeping people safe. The success is attributed to the advice of an extraordinary and selfless king, the rapid response of the government, mutual trust, unity and support of the Bhutanese. Since the first imported positive case of COVID-19 on March 5, 2020, a year later, the country has had a marvellous 99% recovery rate with only one death to date.
A very safe travel destination for travellers
Crime rates in Bhutan are relatively low compared to many other countries in the world. Few crimes and violence are reported in the country. Additionally, if you are planning to visit the country, you should book your trip with an approved tour operator. Even if you are travelling alone, you can have peace of mind knowing that your safety and well-being are taken care of as you soak up the breathtaking scenery.
They take happiness seriously
Bhutan is well known for its Gross National Happiness (BNB) philosophy used to measure a country’s progress and development. Instead of measuring economic output through the usual gross domestic product (GDP), Bhutan’s focus on the well-being and “happiness” of citizens is extremely holistic. All policies and development plans should be aligned with the BNB principles. The concept of happiness in Bhutan is largely derived from the contentment that the Bhutanese feel about their life. He is also largely influenced by the Buddhist values of simplicity and compassion. When you are in Bhutan, you will notice that Bhutanese are generally spiritual and have a great sense of humour. Be prepared to share a lot of laughs during your trip.
Bhutan is a world champion in environmental sustainability
Bhutan is one of the greenest countries in the world. The constitution states that at least 60% of the country must be under forest cover. At present, about 70% of the country is covered with forests. It is truly a paradise for all nature lovers! The Kingdom also holds the significant title of being the only country in the world to be carbon-negative. The love of Bhutanese for Mother Nature and their efforts to preserve the environment is a model for the world.
Stray dogs in Bhutan are as cold as people. During the day you will see lots of dogs basking in the sun, enjoying the peace. Somehow, they only become active in the evening. Sometimes you can hear them bark and have a meeting overnight (pack your earplugs if you are a light sleeper). But generally, dogs in Bhutan are extremely friendly and harmless.
Bhutanese are compassionate and hospitable
Some travellers will tell you that Bhutanese are some of the most hospitable people they have ever met. This is not surprising as Bhutan is a Buddhist nation where the values of compassion and kindness are deeply embedded in their daily lives. You will meet guides eager to share with you more about their family, food, cultures and traditions. And locals stopping to take care of an injured dog on the road.
A spiritually rich nation
When you arrive in the Kingdom, you will quickly notice that the country is imbued with a deep spirituality and humility. Colourful prayer flags flutter around every corner, giving you a sense of calm and peace that is hard to describe. Blessings and prayers for all sentient beings are continually offered in the many temples and monasteries across the country.
Suitable for LGBTIQ
On December 10, 2020, Bhutan took historic steps to decriminalize homosexuality. A joint session of both houses of Bhutan’s parliament approved a bill to legalize same-sex relationships. This makes the Kingdom the last Asian nation to take action to ease restrictions on homosexuality. Once the amendment is approved by the king, Bhutan will join its Asian peers such as Taiwan, India, South Korea, Thailand and Cambodia to enable people to have equal rights to love and company.