Likes & Dislikes

Opinions

We were blown away by the level of culture we found when we entered the country and how much cleaner and more orderly it was than its neighbor India. I felt like someone released from prison into the fresh air. This feeling only intensified when I saw our tour guide and minibus, which would lead us on our travels for three days. Our guide wore the kimono-like national dress known as a ghu, and it turned out that this is obligatory for all civil servants (travel agencies are also controlled by the state). The ladies’ outfit (or kira) is quite different from the men’s but is equally uniform and obligatory. The only difference between one outfit and the next is the pattern of the material, but there is complete freedom when it comes to footwear – it was funny to see neon-green sneakers peeking out from under the elegant, traditional dress. I have to say, though, that I did feel some stubborn, liberal antipathy to all this, remembering how much I hated my uniform back in high school.

Bhutan - mom&kid

Bhutan - genre

Practicals

Transport

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Bhutan - man-made roadblock

Bhutan - Timphu - traffic - m.b. photo

Bhutan - suspension bridge between Paro and Thimphu - Elter photo

Fun

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Bhutan - musicians - d.z. photo

Public safety

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Bhutan - tourist pose

Health

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Bhutan - Bhutanese phallic humor

Others

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Bhutan - barber - y.m. photo

Background

Bhutan - national flag featuring a Thunder Dragon, the country's emblem

Destination in brief

Bhutan in brief 

Bhutan is a small South Asian country of 14,987 km² (9,312 mi²) with a population of 822,000 (2019).

75% of the population is Buddhist.     

Bhutan is a kingdom, a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary form of government. The young royal couple enjoys the deepest respect and love from the local population. 

Capital city: Thimphu 

Official currency: ngultrum (BTN)

Bhutan is a perfectly safe country for visitors. Bhutan is the only country in the world where the sale of tobacco is totally forbidden.  

No compulsory vaccination for entry. 

Optimal timing of travel: between October and March. Some say October and November are the best. A visit can be risky between June and September because of the severe monsoon period. 

Most frequent surname: Dorji

Driving is on the left side. 

These are the most significant tourist sights

Thimphu, the capital city, with its vast fortress

Rinpung Dzonf, a 16th-century fortress-monastery overlooking the Paro Valley

Temples, monasteries, dzongs (old, fortress-like religious and administrative complexes)

Dochula mountain pass in the snow-covered Himalayas

Paro Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest), a prominent Buddhist sacred site and temple center in the Himalayas

You will need a passport and visa to enter and exit Bhutan. Visas are only issued upon arrival. You must however apply in advance through a tour operator and receive visa approval before you travel. Keep a photocopy of your passport visa pages and flight ticket separate from the originals when traveling throughout the country.

All visas are approved by the local authority in Thimphu and are only issued to tourists booked with a locally licensed tour operator, either directly or through a foreign travel agent. 

People in Bhutan are deeply religious and traditions are highly respected, including strict regulations honoring religious rituals, customs and the traditional way of life.     

Given the strict puritanism of the authorities on moral issues, it is somewhat surprising to see objects like wooden penises (mostly way longer and thicker than the real thing) sold in many souvenir shops. Visitors can also see large penis-shaped fountain taps and are happy to take photos of fellow travelers or locals swallowing water from it with great gusto.

 

People

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Bhutan - school girls - g.l. photo

Bhutan - young men (one of them has a FC Barcelona bag)

Bhutan - iPhone is a must

Bhutan - child monks - y.m. photo

Bhutan - small kids

Attractions

Thimphu


Bhutan - Thimphu - Clock Tower - K. Elter's photo

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