BHUTAN TRAVEL GUIDE
Bhutan is a unique country both culturally and environmentally. Perched high in the Himalaya, it is the world’s last remaining Buddhist Kingdom. It has developed the philosophy of Gross National Happiness; where development is measured using a holistic approach of well-being, not just based on gross domestic product.
Bhutan lies west of the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh and east of Nepal. Thimphu, the capital, is at an altitude of 7700 feet, a small charming city in the heart of the Himalayas. Modernisation is strictly monitored and buildings must be made in the traditional Bhutanese style and cannot even exceed a specified height. In fact, the first and the only traffic light was installed near a chorten (a small Buddhist temple) but was later removed upon the order of the king as not suitable to the environs of Thimphu!
Monasteries with ancient sanctum alive with legends of the past; trails that take you deep into the valleys; people who are happy walking the path of their ancestors - these are just glimpses into your rejuvenation experience in Bhutan.
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BHUTAN QUICK FACTS
Currency: ngultrum (Nu., BTN), pegged 1:1 with the Indian rupee (₹, INR)
Area: 47,000 km²
Population: 754 394 (2018)
Language: Dzongkha (official), Bhutanese speak various Tibetan dialects, Nepalese speak various Nepalese dialects
Religion: Vajrayana Buddhism (official, 74.7%), Indian and Nepalese-influenced Hinduism (22.6%), indigenous beliefs (1.9%), other (2.7%)
Electricity: 220V, 50Hz
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BHUTAN PUBLIC HOLIDAYS
21 February, Anniversary of His Majesty the King, the 5th Druk Gyalpo
2 May, Anniversary of the Birth of the 3rd Druk Gyalpo
2 June, Coronation of the 4th Druk Gyalpo
18 June, Birth of Guru Rinpoche
1 November, Coronation of the 5th Druk Gyalpo
11 November, Anniversary of the Birth of the 4th Druk Gyalpo / Constitution Day
17 December, National Day
Also, Traditional Day of Offering, Losar, Shabdrung Kurchoe, Blessed Rainy Day (Thrue Bab), Lhabab Duchen, and Winter Solstice, which are movable holidays according to the Tibetan calendar; Buddha’s Parinirvana and First Sermon of Lord Buddha, which are movable holidays according to the Buddhist calendar; and Dashain, which is a movable holiday according to the Hindu calendar.
BHUTAN WEATHER SYNOPSIS
Bhutan can also be characterised into six agro-climatic regions: alpine, cool temperate, warm temperate, dry subtropical, humid sub-tropical, and wet-sub tropical. The climate varies dramatically because of the countries varied topography and geographical location at the edge of the tropical circulation in the north and Asian monsoon circulation in the south. The northern part of the country is characterised by snow-capped peaks of elevations above 7,300 meters with abundant glaciers and alpine pastures. Regions at lower elevations and closer to the south tend to have higher temperatures as well as more precipitation while the northern regions of the country are often cooler and experience less precipitation.
HEALTH RISKS IN BHUTAN
Be aware of possible health risks in
Malaria - Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease caused by a parasite that commonly infects a certain type of mosquito which feeds on humans. People who get malaria are typically very sick with high fevers, shaking chills, and flu-like illness. Although malaria can be a deadly disease, illness and death from malaria can usually be prevented.
Dengue - Dengue is spread mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. These mosquitoes bite during the day and night. About one in four people infected with dengue will get sick. For people who get sick with dengue, symptoms can be mild or severe.