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15 Things We Bet You Didn’t Know About Bhutan

  • His Majesty the fourth King – Jigme Singye Wangchuck abdicated the throne in favor of his son Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck.

    HM King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, The 5th King of Bhutan

    HM King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, The 5th King of Bhutan

  • Bhutan is the happiest country in South Asia and the tenth happiest in the world.

    A student during the National Day celebrations

    A student during the National Day celebrations

  • Television came to Bhutan only in 1999.

    Bhutan Broadcasting Service

    Bhutan Broadcasting Service

  • Only 25.5% of the Bhutanese use public transport.

    A scene at the Thimphu Bus Terminal

    A scene at the Thimphu Bus Terminal

  • Bhutan transitioned into a constitutional democracy in 2008.

    People queuing up for the election

    People queuing up for the election

  • Chili is the main dish in Bhutan. All other dishes merely take up space along the edge of the plate.

    Ema Datshi (Chilly & Cheese)

    Ema Datshi (Chilly & Cheese)

  • Bhutan is the only country in the world to be governed by the philosophy of Gross National Happiness rather than Gross National Product.

    PM Tshering Tobgay having a chat with the people during a festival

    PM Tshering Tobgay having a chat with the people during a festival

  • Bhutan was the first country to ban tobacco.

    No Smoking Sign in Bhutan

    No Smoking Sign in Bhutan

  • Bhutan’s parliament is the most educated parliament in the world. All MPs are required by the constitution to hold a college degree.

    The National Assembly of Bhutan

    The National Assembly of Bhutan

  • Bhutan is the only country where you are most likely to spot a yeti, or the abominable snow man. Don’t believe us? Just come and try!

    HImalayan Yeti Myth

    HImalayan Yeti Myth

  • More than 60% of the Bhutanese population is under the age of 25.

    School children

    School children

  • Bhutan is the only country that follows tantric Buddhism (Vajrayana).

    Mask Dancers during the Tsechu Festival

    Mask Dancers during the Tsechu Festival

  • Of the estimated Bhutanese population of 700,000 people, 244,000 are illiterate.

    Students of Punakha High School

    Students of Punakha High School

  • The history of Lhakhangs in Bhutan dates back to the 7th century when the Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo built 108 temples throughout the Himalaya region to subdue a demon.

    The temple of Kyichu is believed to have been built by King Songtsen Gampo of Tibet

    The temple of Kyichu is believed to have been built by King Songtsen Gampo of Tibet

  • Bhutan got its first paved road only in 1962.

    Almost all the remote villages in Bhutan are connected by road

    Almost all the remote villages in Bhutan are connected by road

 

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