Bhutan Country Overview

The last Shangri La on Earth-Bhutan, an essential travel guide to the "land of the dragon" Travelers will find comprehensive information about this mystic land’s diversity-geography, economy, science, people, culture, environment, government and history. The Kingdom of Bhutan is a small landlocked country in South Asian region; it is located in the eastern Himalayas range, and bordered by India and China.

The Kingdom of Bhutan is home to a population of about 691,141, spread over an area of about 47,000 sq. km., with about 70 percent of the land area under the forest cover conserved. Mostly the population lives in the central highlands areas and almost two-third of total population are classified as rural inhabitants as a cultural and traditional life style. The landscape is mostly hilly, with alpine peaks in the north areas close to Tibet, and some sub-tropical plains in the south parts. Bhutan’s Per capita gross national income (GNI), one of the highest in South Asia, has consistently risen from $730 in 2000 to $1,900 in 2008 and up to this date getting more up.

Bhutan’s fact quick look

Location:    Southern Asia region, between China and India

Climate:    varies; tropical in southern plains; cool winters and hot summers in central valley; severe winters and cool summers in Himalayas

Topography:    Mostly mountainous with some fertile valleys and savanna

Resources:    Timber, hydropower, gypsum, calcium carbonate

Hazards:    violent storms from the Himalayas are the source of the country's name, which translates as Land of the Thunder Dragon; frequent landslides during the rainy season

Languages: Dzongkha (official), Tibetan dialects (among Bhotes), Nepalese dialects (among Nepalese)

Ethnicity/race: Bhote 50%, ethnic Nepalese 35%, indigenous or migrant tribes 15%

National Holiday: National Day, December 17

Religions: Lamaistic Buddhist 75%, Indian- and Nepalese-influenced Hinduism 25%

Ruler: King Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchukin (2006)

Total area: 18,147 sq mi (47,000 sq km)

Population (2012 est.): 716,896 (growth rate: 1.18%); birth rate: 18.75/1000; infant mortality rate: 42.17/1000; life expectancy: 66.88; density per sq km: 50

Monetary unit: Ngultrum

Business Hours

Offices:   Monday to Friday from 09:30 - 16:00 for November to March and 09:00 - 17:00 for rest of the months.
Banks:    Monday to Friday from 09:00 - 15:00 and Saturday 09:00 - 11:00

Public Holidays

Festival                                                                    Date
Independence Day                                               August 08
Birthday of HM Jigme Singye Wangchuck              November 11, 12, 13
National Day of Bhutan                                        December 17