Overview of Bhutan

  • Bhutan has been held up as an example of what a country can be when it puts culture, the environment and wellbeing ahead of economic development, but there are challenges too: after the new government took control in 2013, the prime minister admitted that the focus on the Gross National Happiness measure a fewtimes distracted from addressing Bhutan’s problems including unemployment, corruption and poverty.
  • Bhutan tops a list of “big books”: John James Audubon’s Birds of America, Ddedicated Roberts’ Egypt and Nubia, Thomas McKenney and James Hall’s History of the Indian tribes of North America-three 19th Century tour-de-force examples that pushed the technology of printing and binding, stand out in the history of book making because they were so uncommon.
  • Bhutanese Refugee Health Profile
    This CDC resource provides key health and cultural information regarding Bhutanese refugees resettling in the United States, including priority health conditions; background; population movements; healthcare and diet in camps; medical screening of US-bound refugees; and disease burden for specific diseases.
  • Bhutan, a small, reluctant Buddhist
    refuge, seeks to measure its progress in long-term kalpas (a
    measure of millions of years in the Buddhist faith) of good
    karma and gross national happiness rather than in quarterly
    corporate bottom lines.
  • Bhutan’s pristine environment offers ecosystem which are rich and diverse, due to its location and great geographical and climatic variations, Bhutan’s high, rugged mountains and valleys boast spectacular biodiversity, earning it a name as one of the world’s ten most important biodiversity hotspots.
  • Bhutan has also benefited from vaccine diplomacy: India, its neighbor to the south, has been providing free doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, manufactured in India as Covishield, in a move that analysts say is inseemed to counter the growing influence of Bhutan’s other powerful neighbor, China.
  • Bhutan has the largest proportion of land designated as protected areas in the world, with 65% of its territory covered in forest and mountains, protecting richly varied habitats and an amazing diversity of plants and creatures, including snow leopards and Bengal tigers.
  • Bhutan is the only country in the world that has a ‘GNH.’ You may think GNH is just another statistically based term with no real life application, but it refers to “Gross National Happiness.” The process of measuring GNH began when Bhutan opened up to globalization.
  • Bhutanese Refugee Story – From Nepal to Seattle’s Rainier Valley
    This video is the story of Khem Rizal and his family, Bhutanese refugees who after living in a UN camp in SE Nepal for 18 years, were recently resettled in Seattle’s Rainier Valley.
  • Bhutan is not an easy country to travel through; traveling from one place to another usually involves passing over a mountain, on two way roads barley wide enough for one car with a thousand feet drop on both sides.
  • Continent

    All the hotels, resorts and restaurants will offer delicious Bhutanese food,  Chinese, Continental, and Indian cuisines.Bhutanese delicacies are rich with spicy chili and cheese.


    Its small population helped Bhutan move fast, but its success has also been attributed to its dedicated citizen volunteers, known as “desuups,” and established cold chain storage used during earlier vaccination drives.


    Bhutan is reminiscent of the large antiphonaries of the medieval period, books of song meant to be sung from by a large group and big enough for everyone to see.Bhutan, a 2004 gift of an anonymous donor to the Libraries, joined the Book Arts Collection in the Special Collections Division.Similarly large atlases had maps folded when bound so that pages could be turned by a single reader and be part of a private library.The Book Arts Collection is a group of 14,000 pieces, both historical and modern, of examples of book making of various forms.The lure of the book has long appealed to artists and size always has been a special challenge.There are huge 18th Century engravings by Giovanni Battista Piranesi so large they had to be folded to be bound into books.While it certainly held the record for size, there are many elements of Bhutan that fits it into a collection of equally stunning works.

    Do I need a visa to travel to Bhutan?

    All nationalities require a visa for Bhutan and, at this stage, travellers can only enter as part of a group visa on a tour.Independent visas are not issued and the cost of the visa is included in your tour.

    From the UK?

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    Do I need to purchase travel insurance before travelling in Bhutan?

    Absolutely.All passengers travelling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of their tour.Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip.Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.

    Can I use my mobile/cell phone while in Bhutan?

    If you plan on using your mobile/cell phone in Bhutan be sure to activate global roaming and check charges with your provider before you leave home.If your phone is unlocked, you can purchase a local SIM on arrival.The best coverage is with B-Mobile, while Tashi Cell has similar costs but more limited coverage.Please note that coverage will be limited in more remote areas.

    From China?

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    How Is The COVID-19 Vaccination Campaign Going In Your State?

    State-owned newspaper Kuensel stated in an editorial that the country’s efforts to fight the coronavirus pandemic have been “exemplary right from the beginning,” thanks to leadership, front-line workers and what the paper describes as a cooperative public.State-owned newspaper Kuensel stated in an editorial that the country’s efforts to fight the coronavirus pandemic have been “exemplary right from the beginning,” thanks to leadership, front-line workers and what the paper describes as a cooperative public.

    From South Africa?

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    What are the toilets like in Bhutan?

    You will have to adjust to different standards of hygiene and sanitation while in Bhutan.Squat toilets are the norm across the country, which may take some getting used to, though Western-style, flushable toilets can be found in large hotels and some tourist areas.

    Is tipping customary in Bhutan?

    Tipping isn’t compulsory in Bhutan, but many people who work in tourism are accustomed to receiving tips so it’s wise to set aside a small amount to show your appreciation for drivers, cooks and other service workers.Most hotels and restaurants will include a service fee in the final bill.

    Are credit cards widely accepted in Bhutan?

    Credit cards are accepted are large hotels and the bigger stores but a heavy surcharge often applies.Keep in mind that tours in Bhutan are fully prepaid and include all meals and transport, so your only spending money should be for souvenirs, snacks and drinks.It’s best to bring and use US dollars for large purchases.

    Is Bhutan safe for LGBTQIA+ travellers?

    Bhutan, like most Asian countries, is not particularly appreciative of public displays of affection regardless of sexual orientation.

    From New Zealand?

    Go to safetravel.govt.

    What's behind the India-China border stand-off?

    The two countries have been locked in a month-long dispute along part of their shared border.

    How Much Do You Know About Bhutan?

    Can you find Bhutan on a map? What else do you know about this country in Southern Asia with 760,000 people.

    Where Is Bhutan?

    Surrounded by the Himalayas, Bhutan is a small country sandwiched between India and Tibet, just east of Nepal and north of Bangladesh.

    Can I drink the water in Bhutan?

    Drinking tap water isn’t recommended in Bhutan.For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water and fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water instead.Ask your leader where filtered water can be found.It’s also advisable to avoid ice in drinks and peel fruit and vegetables before eating.

    From Australia?

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    From the USA?

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    Toughest one-day bike race in the world?

    Bhutan has for years been closed off to the outside world, but cycling could be its ticket in.

    What is the weather like in Bhutan?

    Bhutan’s weather varies depending on your location and the time of year.

    From Canada?

    Go to travel.gc.

    Is it safe to visit Bhutan?

    Yes, it is safe to visit Bhutan.The crime rate in Bhutan is low although petty crime does happen.Travellers should be alert and keep an eye on their belongings, particularly in crowded or well-touristed areas.

    Need a Visa?

    Do you need a Visa to enter? Let us assist with your travel documents.

    Is Bhutan accessible for travellers with disabilities?

    Intrepid is committed to making travel widely accessible, regardless of ability or disability.That’s why we do our best to help as many people see the world as possible, regardless of any physical or mental limitations they might have.We’re always happy to talk to travellers with disabilities and see if we can help guide them towards the most suitable itinerary for their needs and, where possible, make reasonable adjustments to our itineraries.

    Is this the coolest Bhutan travel video ever?

    Dreamy colour washes, simple aesthetics and static camera angles – this isn’t your…

    What is ATM access like in Bhutan?

    There are ATMs available in Bhutan’s larger cities though they won’t accept some foreign cards.If you are travelling outside of the main cities be sure to carry cash to cover small purchases.

    Viewpoint: Why is Modi meeting Xi now?

    Analyst Shashank Joshi explains why the two Asian giants have decided to ease tension.

    What can I do to avoid bed bugs?

    Although bed bugs do not carry disease, they are an annoyance.See our information page about avoiding bug bites for some easy tips to avoid them.For more information on bed bugs, see Bed Bugs.

    When is the best time to visit Bhutan?

    Bhutan experiences monsoonal weather between June and August and consequently is not a particularly pleasant time to visit the country.

    Why does CDC recommend packing these health-related items?

    It’s best to be prepared to prevent and treat common illnesses and injuries.Some supplies and medicines may be difficult to find at your destination, may have different names, or may have different ingredients than what you normally use.

    What is the internet access like in Bhutan?

    Most tourist hotels will have free wifi, as will many restaurants or cafes in Bhutan’s larger cities.It’s possible to buy a local SIM though internet access will be limited in the remote and mountainous regions.

    History of Bhutan

  • In 1865, Bhutan settled a border dispute with British India (the Treaty of Sinchulu) and agreed to cede land to India in return for annual financial aid.
  • In 1865, Britain and Bhutan signed the Treaty of Sinchulu, under which Bhutan would receive an annual subsidy in exchange for ceding some border land.
  • In 1907, Britain assisted the nation in establishing a stable monarchy, with British India handling its foreign affairs.
  • In 1921, when the British governor of Bengal, Lord Ronaldshay,
    visited Bhutan, he too felt intoxicated at the idea of leaving
    the aggressive, modern world behind.
  • In 1974 a total of 287 tourists visited the Kingdom of Bhutan.
  • In 1985, Bhutan made its first diplomatic links with non-Asian countries.
  • In 1998, King Jigme Singye Wangchuck, who is Bhutan’s fourth hereditary ruler, voluntarily curtailed his absolute monarchy, and in March 2005 released a draft constitution (not yet put to a referendum) that outlined plans for the country to shift to a two-party democracy.
  • In 1999, Bhutan became the last country in the world to legalize television.
  • In 1999, only 7,000 foreign visitors were
    granted visas, and for 2000 the figure rose only to 7,559.
  • In 2007, Bhutan had the second fastest growing GDP in the world, at the same time as maintaining their environment and cultural identity.
  • In 2008, in Bhutan’s first democratic election, 28-year-old Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck was elected president of Bhutan.
  • In 2012, Bhutan formally listed its tentative sites to the UNESCO World Heritage Centre.
  • In 2013, just before that year’s parliamentary election, India withdrew subsidies for oil and kerosene.
  • In 2015, IFC committed a $3.5 million loan to Zhiwa Ling Hotel.
  • In 2018, a journalist was sentenced to three months in prison for libel, after she posted on Facebook about a woman who allegedly mistreated her stepdaughter.
  • In the 1900s they were settling beyond Sikkim in the kingdom of Bhutan.
  • In the 1960s, Bhutan also undertook social modernization, abolishing slavery and the caste system, emancipating women, and enacting land reform.