Why is Bhutan so special.
Bhutan is often called the “Land of the Thunder Dragon,” “Druk Yul,” and “The Last Shangri-La.” Druk Yul translates to “The Country of Drukpa Lineage reference to the dominant Buddhist religion practiced in the country). Enchanting Bhutan is the perfect destination for nature lovers who come to the magical gateway to rediscover themselves in heaven like nature.
The peaceful atmosphere, fresh unpolluted air, clean roads, and rivers are some of the first things that tourists feel and see when they are here in Bhutan. The small scale country offers more than just its untouched environment and beauty. The small Himalayan country surrounded by giants like China and India is known for its rich history, culture, and heritage.
Bhutanese people pride themselves on being kind and friendly towards strangers. This tiny mystical country prioritizes its citizen’s happiness above all via Gross National Happiness (GNH). That is why Bhutan’s crime rates are very low and violent crimes are almost non-existent.
This Kingdom is carbon negative since the people and nature coexist in harmony. As of November 8, 2020, Bhutan’s population is 7,71,601. Read to know more about why a small mystical nation like Bhutan is special
Here are 9 reasons why you need to put Bhutan on your bucket list
right away and why Bhutan is special
1. Is Bhutan really the only Carbon Negativecountry in the world?
Bhutan is the only carbon negative country in the world. The constitution states 60% of the country must be under forest coverage at all times. Currently, 72.4% of Bhutan is covered with forest, protecting its wildlife and nature. The country’s primary revenue sources are mainly Agriculture (80% of the population are farmers or involved in it), The Hydro Power Project (flowing water converted into mechanical energy into electricity), and tourism. This is why protecting forests and nature is important to the Bhutanese.
2. How did Bhutan deal with Covid-19.
Bhutan has no deaths related to Covid-19. All 364 Covid cases (345 recovered) were imported into the country. Bhutan closed its doors to the outside world on 5th March due to the rapid increase in Covid cases worldwide.
The Bhutanese government’s wise initiative, locked down the nation on August 11, 2020, to prevent the spread of the virus in the country. This lockdown happened after a 27-year-old female returned from Kuwait tested positive during her second RT-PCR test. After her first negative test result, she traveled to various Dzongkhags (Cities) that increased the risk of spreading the virus.
Government and Dessups (Volunteers from all walks of life, the guardians of peace during this pandemic initiated by the King) patrolled and supplied the necessities to its people. The 5 th Dragon King provided Kidus (Royal Grants Relief) to his people who struggled due to the virus.
3. Are Bhutanese people nice to outsiders
Past visitors rate the Bhutanese as welcoming and friendly to foreigners and that is one of the main reasons for their wonderful experience in the country. The Kingdom of Bhutan is a Buddhist country and strongly believes in being kind towards others. That is why you will never find a local harassing or being rude towards guests and visitors. Being kind is simply a natural instinct for Bhutanese.
4. Why do Bhutan Limit Tourists.
The Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) and the 4th Dragon King created the policy of “High Value, Low Impact”. This policy helps Bhutan maintain its untouched environment and culture.
The daily fee of USD $250 per person, though seemingly expensive at first glance, when calculated, is reasonable enough and provides value to the guests. The tariff covers your visa fee, a licensed guide, driver and transportation, accommodation at 3 stars hotel (homestay and camps can be arranged), entrance fees to tourist sights, food, trekking gear, and all the taxes you are required to pay. The only costs not covered are flights (in and out of Bhutan), souvenirs, and alcohol.
During peak seasons of March-May and September-November, tourists will have to pay a daily tariff of USD 250.
For the low season of December-February and June-August, the daily tariff comes down to USD 200 per day.
Note: Tips for guides and drivers are expected at 10% of the tour cost. (Now you don’t have to worry if you underpaid or overpaid the tips.)
5. Does Bhutan have traffic lights
Bhutan does not have traffic lights and the government wants to keep it that way. Life without traffic lights is possible and it is good for the environment and aesthetically adds beauty to the city. Instead of traffic lights, you will see our Traffic Police giving directions. This has become a tourist attraction as well.
6. What does Gross National Happiness (GNH) mean to Bhutan. How is it measured
GNH was created by the 4th King of Bhutan for his people. The king created GNH policy for the happiness and wellbeing of his citizens while preserving the culture and environment.
Bhutan’s government came up with 4 pillars of GNH. They are:
- Sustainable and Equitable Socio-economic development – GNH preaches social and economic support from the people, unrestricted time, and freedom.
- Conservation of environment- Preserving the environment is believed to be therapeutic. It heals people with fresh air and appealing views of nature
- Preservation and promotion of culture- Keeping the Bhutanese culture and identity alive in modern time contributes to the happiness and wellbeing of the citizens.
- Good governance- The government believes its people can only succeed under good governance by implementing policies and programs that help Bhutanese. (Providing free training for skills so they can get employed-increasing employment rates)
7. Is Bhutan airport dangerous
Bhutan is snuggled between the steep mountains of the Himalayas, making the only international airport in the country, Paro Airport one of the dangerous airports in the world. Only 8 best pilots in the world are qualified to land in Bhutan. Flying to the country is one of the most thrilling and out of the world experiences. The beautiful views of the Himalayan Mountains and landing close to the valleys are a once in a lifetime experience.
8. What is Bhutan known for
Bhutan is known for its colorful and exciting festivals. It is an ancient expression of our Buddhist culture. The unique clothing, dances, and masks tell you the story about life after death. How each action you take after you are born affects you after death.
9. Is Bhutan a Fairytale Kingdom.
Unlike other countries in history where people protested against absolute monarchies, in 2006, the 4 th King of Bhutan gifted the people with a democratic constitutional monarchy even though Bhutanese did not want it. Not only is that a historical moment for the country and its people, but the 5th King also married a commoner that was covered by international news media, comparing the 5th King and Queen of Bhutan to Prince William and Duchess Kate Middleton.
The mysterious Kingdom of Bhutan has made a name for itself. From being called the Last Shangri-La to being known as the only carbon negative country, this mystical and almost fairytale-like country has earned every title. The charming views, friendly hospitalities, history, and culture, make up for the expensive tourist fees. Go ahead and put Bhutan on top of your” To Travel Bucket List” if you haven’t already, and remember “High Value, Low Impact,” so don’t waste any more time.