By Novagrace Carganillo Articles Posted 4 months ago 147 views


Bhutan is a tiny landlocked country located in Eastern Himalayas in Southeast Asia, wrapped in mystery and magic, sandwiched between two of the world's oldest and most remarkable civilizations, China and India. This fascinating country is full of surprises that you won't discover unless you visit. So, here are astonishing facts about Bhutan that will make you want to travel there.


1. The World's ONLY Carbon Negative Country

Bhutan is the world's only carbon negative country, meaning it absorbs more carbon dioxide than it emits. In recent years, firewood collection and industrial development have been a significant concern for Bhutan, resulting in pollution and the annual release of around 2.2 million tons of carbon dioxide. However, it is carbon negative due to its lush woods, which operate as a carbon sink and absorb the majority of the carbon dioxide.


2. Bhutan Has No Traffic Lights

Bhutan's steeply curved roads in the hilly areas make for a fairly perilous journey. These roads frequently have herds of animals, such as cows and buffaloes, roaming around. In the midst of the road, even people pause to greet one another. Traffic signals are not necessary in Bhutan since everyone drives slowly and safely.


3. Isolated from the Rest of the World Until the 1970s

Bhutan was completely secluded from the rest of the world until 1974, when the media was allowed to cover the coronation of the new king, about 64 years after it was discovered. Televisions first appeared in Bhutan in 1990.


4. Happiness Triumphs over GDP

Bhutan does not believe in GDP as a measure of economic growth and development. It has also introduced a new metric known as Gross National Happiness. Bhutanese people have four pillars or quantitative indicators for measuring GNH: sustainable development, preservation and promotion of cultural values, good governance, and a healthy environment. That was a wonderful Bhutan fact!


5. Only 8 Pilots are Eligible to Fly to Paro Airport

Paro is known as the world's most dangerous airport for landing. What's more, guess what? Only 8 trained pilots are permitted to do so. If you ever get to land in Paro, it will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.


6. Bhutan Says NO to Plastic

The first ban on plastic bags was enacted in 1999. Despite being enforced twice more in 2005 and 2009, it failed due to a lack of alternatives. It was implemented in 2019 due to the pressing demand for trash management in Bhutan. To sensitize citizens, information on alternatives such as homemade carry bags, jute bags, and hand-woven bags is being disseminated.


7. Birthday on New Year's Eve

When was the last time you forgot a significant other's birthday? Bhutanese, fortunately, do not face this problem. One fascinating aspect of Bhutan is that on New Year's Day, all inhabitants officially become a year older. If people forget their birthdays owing to illiteracy or other factors, celebrating on New Year's Day makes it easy to remember. Bhutanese prioritize the year over the month or day, hence the tradition.


8. Bhutan's Highest Unclimbed Mountain

Here's a Bhutan fact that many people may not be aware of. Gangkhar Puensum is Bhutan's tallest peak, and it has never been conquered. It has an elevation of 7570 meters. Bhutan has prohibited access to the peak since 1987. Previously, numerous futile attempts had been undertaken to ascend the mountain. The first team to try the peak was unable to locate it due to inaccurate maps!


9. Killing Anything is Illegal

Bhutan is a country that values animals. Bhutanese citizens are not permitted to kill animals or birds. They are really concerned about the environment. They do, however, consume a substantial amount of meat. This regulation is based on Buddhist teachings that ban the killing of any living entity. The meat is completely imported from other countries. The government has recently considered outlawing its consumption entirely.


10. Bhutan Has Never Been Conquered

Bhutan has never been dominated by an external power, owing to its inaccessible region and the wise decisions and tactics of numerous kings and gurus who struck wise deals with the British as they expanded their base in India and Nepal.


11. Bhutan was the Last Country to Introduce Television

This Bhutan statistic will make you wonder, "How did they survive without television for so long?" Bhutan began television in 1999. It had previously been prohibited because the Bhutanese government felt it would taint the country's Buddhist way of life. The first show telecast was the 1998 World Cup Final in France.


12. Bhutanese People Love Spices

Bhutanese people enjoy eating spicy foods. It is stated that they will not consume a dish unless it is sufficiently spicy. Chilies are a vegetable that adds flavor to any meal rather than a condiment.


13. It is Customary to Refuse Food the First Time

A fascinating fact about Bhutan that visitors should be aware of is that the Bhutanese always refuse food the first time it is offered to demonstrate respect and gratitude. They say "Meshu" and close their mouth.


14. Fertility and Good Luck Phallus

Keep your giggling to a minimum for this Bhutan fact. A phallus is drawn on the walls as a symbol of good fortune and fertility. It is a long-standing custom in Bhutan. The concept that it may fend off bad spirits is strongly embedded in the Bhutanese people's beliefs. They are even used to replace scarecrows.


15. Patriarchy? Matriarchy Is More Likely

Women lead families and operate all businesses, from shops to farms. They even inherit properties, and a man moves into his wife's residence after marriage. Feminism does not appear to be a major issue in Bhutan.


Now that we've shared these fascinating Bhutan facts, we hope they've given you a new perspective on the country. Visit Bhutan to learn about its fascinating culture and to live it for yourself!