Dance of the Lord of Death, Paro, Bhutan
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Dance of the Lord of Death, Paro, Bhutan

© Creative Commons / jmhullot

Bhutan Travel Guide

Key Facts
Area

38,364 per sq km (14,812 sq miles).

Population

725,296 (2013).

Population density

18.9 per sq km.

Capital

Thimphu.

Government

Constitutional monarchy.

Head of state

King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck since 2006.

Head of government

Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay since 2013.

Electricity

230 volts AC, 50Hz.

The Kingdom of Bhutan has adopted a cautious approach to tourism to avoid any negative impact on the country's culture and environment. All tourists, group or individual, must travel on a pre-planned all inclusive guided tour through a registered tour operator in Bhutan or their counterparts abroad. The basic rate is fixed by the government.

There are still plenty of takers wanting to explore the breathtaking mountains and valleys of this astonishing country. The tourism industry in Bhutan is founded on the principle of sustainability, meaning it must be environmentally friendly, socially and culturally acceptable and economically viable. The number of tourists is also kept to a manageable level by the limited infrastructure. The Bhutanese name for Bhutan, Druk Yul, means 'Land of the Thunder Dragon'. Much of Bhutanese history is lost in legends but the first major event was the arrival of Guru Rinpoche, believed to have brought Mahayana Buddhism from Tibet in the eighth century. Bhutan, the world's last Mahayana Buddhist kingdom, became a coherent political entity around the 17th century and has never been conquered or ruled by another foreign power. Bhutan is a peaceful country with strong traditional values based on religion, respect for the royal family and care for the environment.

Travel Advice

Last updated: 15 September 2014

The travel advice summary below is provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. 'We' refers to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. For their full travel advice, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.

Britain is represented in Bhutan by an Honorary Consul. The nearest consular office is British Deputy High Commission in Kolkata.

There is a low threat from terrorism. 

You should arrange your travel well in advance. You must arrange any visit to Bhutan through an authorised travel agent.

Most visits to Bhutan are trouble free. In 2013 there were no cases of a British national requiring consular assistance in Bhutan.

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