- regional information
Area: 38,394 sq km
Population growth rate: 1.267% (2009 est.)
Independence Date: 1907 - Became a unified kingdom under its' first hereditary king
Government Type: Constitutional Monarchy
Sources of additional information:
GDP: $3.763 billion (2009 est.)
Per Capita GDP: $5,400
Monetary Unit: Ngultrum - Pegged to the Indian Rupee (For exchange rates click here)
Unemployment rate: 4% (2004 EST.)
Agriculture products: Rice, Corn, Root Crops, Citrus, Foodgrains, Dairy Products, Eggs
Industries: Cement, Wood Products, Processed Fruites, Alcoholic Beverages, Calcium Carbide, Tourism
Exports: Electricity (to India), Ferrosilicon, Cement, Calcium carbide, Copper wire, Manganese, Vegetable oil
Lamaistic Buddhist 75%, Indian and Nepalese Influenced Hinduism 25%
Languages: Dzongkha is the official language and similar to Tibetan. The alphabets are exactly the same, but use a different style of script. Most of the consonants in Dzongkha are pronounced the same way they are in English.
Literacy rate: 47%
Do’s and Don'ts in Bhutan:
- It is best to ask permission before entering houses or taking personal photos. If in doubt, ask your guide.
- Relax and enjoy the easy-going rhythm of Bhutan
- It is a good idea to carry your own small supply of toilet paper. In cities where there are flush toilets you will usually find a wastebasket next to the toilet - most sewage systems can't handle paper.
- Foreign tourists are not allowed inside many monasteries/temples. For those where entry is allowed, photography is prohibited inside the temple where sacred statues and scriptures are housed
- Your will be required to remove your shoes and head gear upon entry into monasteries/temples
- While attending festival events within dzong walls, strict dress codes are enforced - long pants, long sleeve shirts and shoes (not sandals) are required. Head coverings (hats, scarves, etc.) are not allowed, so be sure to cover bald spots with sun screen on hot sunny days.
- DON’T use your finger to point, especially at deities or religious objects - instead, use an open hand with the palm up. Do not point your feet at anyone
- DO remove your shoes before entering a monastery/temple or a local home, use your right hand or both hands to give or receive an object, bring small gifts for your guide and for those whose homes you visit
- Bhutan’s climate varies greatly depending on elevation – from the warm, subtropics of the south to the cool, permanent snow-covered Himalayas
- The monsoon season lasts from mid-June until late September
- October-November brings clear skies, warm days and cool evenings
- Autumn is a great season for the best mountain views
- In Paro, the temperatures can reach below freezing in the winter, though the day time temperatures are usually mild, reaching the low 8+ (ºC), and snowfall is minimal
- The summers are generally mild, averaging the upper 20’s