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Bhutan is a beautiful and peaceful country. The surrounding mountains coupled with the wide array of vegetation and wildlife is a beautiful sight that tells you just how magical it is!

Bhutan is a very unique vacation travel destination. It is not commercialized like most vacation destinations you visit. The country cherishes a “high value low volume” tourism policy for the preservation of the country’s unique heritage and culture in a fast changing world. Relatively few travelers get to visit this tiny magical kingdom, but for those who do, the experience is unforgettable!

Size: 38,394 sq. km.

Population: Slightly over 700,000

Religion: Predominantly Buddhism (Mahayana Buddhism)

Language: Dzongkha (national language) and English (widely spoken)

Political System: Parliamentary democracy

Development Philosophy: Gross National Happiness (add video from current homepage)

Time: 6 hours ahead of GMT

Currency: Ngultrum

National Animal: Takin (Budorcas taxicolor) known to the Bhutanese as Dong Gyem Tsey

National Bird: Raven (Corvus Corax Tibetanus)

National Flower: Blue Poppy (Mecanopsis Grandis)

National Tree: Cyprus (Cupresses Corneyana)

National Sports: Archery

Even though Bhutan is a year-round destination, climate is certainly a consideration when planning your journey, especially if you are trekking. However, Bhutan’s altitude range, from subtropical valleys to alpine peaks, and its busy festival calendar means you can visit Bhutan at any time of the year to explore its attractions and witness colourful festivals.

The most popular time to visit Bhutan is during autumn (Sep-Nov). The weather is milder, the skies are generally clearer making it particularly suitable for hiking and trekking. Spring (Mar-May) can be cloudier and have more rain than autumn, however the wildlife and flowers are at their most vivid. hough The magnificent rhododendrons, magnolias and other wildflowers are in bloom and birdlife is abundant. Many of the large festivals take place during these seasons.

Winter (Dec-Feb) can be quite cold, however the skies are usually clear providing good photographic opportunities, and there are also fewer tourists around. Please note that in January and February snow may block some mountain passes restricting access from the west to the central valleys.

The summer monsoon season (mid Jun-Aug) is not highly recommended for travel to Bhutan with high temperatures and a good chance of rainfall.

Bhutan Average Temperatures

JANUARY 9.4 / -5.8°C 12.3 / -2.6°C 17 / 4.3°C 13 / -0.2°C 10.8 / -5.1°C 15.5 / 8.2°C 20.4 / 10.5°C
FEBRUARY 13 / 1.5°C 14.4 / 0.6°C 19 / 7.8°C 13.9 / 0.4°C 10 / -1.4°C 15.9 / 8.3°C 21.7 / 11.5
MARCH 14.5 / 0.6°C 16.6 / 3.9°C 22.8 / 10.4°C 16.7 / 4.4°C 16.2 / 3.5°C 20 / 11.6°C 24.8 / 14.4°C
APRIL 17.6 / 4.6°C 20 / 7.1°C 26.2 / 12.9 20.1 / 6.6°C 18.7 / 3.9°C 22.8 / 14°C 28.3 / 17°C
MAY 23.5 / 10.6°C 22.5 / 13.1°C 29.1 / 17.7°C 21 / 11.6°C 21.3 / 9.5°C 25.1 / 17.4°C 30 / 22.6°C
JUNE 25.4 / 14.1°C 24.4 / 15.2°C 29.2 / 20.1°C 22.2 / 13.6°C 22.5 / 13.5°C 26.1 / 19.5°C 30.7 / 22.6°C
JULY 26.8 / 14.9°C 25.9 / 15.6°C 30.4 / 20.5°C 25.3 / 15.3°C 24.1 / 13.6°C 27.1 / 19.8°C 31.5 / 23.1°C
AUGUST 25.3 / 14.7°C 25 / 15.8°C 29.1 / 20°C 23.8 / 15°C 23 / 13.7°C 25.4 / 19.6°C 30.2 / 22.7°C
SEPTEMBER 23.4 / 11.7°C 23.1 / 15°C 27.5 / 19.1°C 22.6 / 14.2°C 21.6 / 12.1°C 24.7 / 19.4°C 30 / 21.9°C
OCTOBER 18.7 / 7.4°C 21.9 / 10.4°C 26.1 / 14.7°C 21.8 / 11.7°C 19.5 / 5.9°C 22.7 / 15.8°C 29.1 / 17.7°C
NOVEMBER 13.9 / 1.4°C 17.9 / 5°C 22.6 / 9.6°C 19.8 / 6.4°C 16.1 / -0.5°C 19.9 / 11.2°C 26.1 / 13.6°C
DECEMBER 11.2 / -1.7°C 14.5 / -1.1°C 19.1 / 6.3°C 18.2 / 2.5°C 12.3 / -2.3°C 17.7 / 9.5°C 23 / 11.6°C

Gross National Happiness is a holistic and sustainable approach to development, which balances material and non-material values with the conviction that humans want to search for happiness. It is considered as the guiding philosophy of Bhutan’s development process, the philosophy was pronounced by His Majesty King Jigme Singye Wangchuck shortly after his enthronement in 1972. It is used as an indicator to measure the national progress. It serves as a philosophical guiding system for all national endeavors. GNH in its essence articulates that the collective happiness of its people is paramount to the progression of a nation. Gross Domestic Product while important, is deemed inadequate to accurately gauge the progress of a nation in the GNH paradigm. Gross National Happiness constitutes a set of values which are Socio Economic Development, Cultural Preservation, Good Governance and Environmental Conservation.

The intuitive guiding principle of Gross National Happiness led to a practical conceptualization for the foundation of the four pillars which are as follows:

Good Governance

Good Governance determines the conditions in which Bhutanese thrives accordingly with the policies and programs which are developed in Bhutan. These policies and programs are intended to keep conformity with the values of GNH. There are also a number of tools and procedures engaged to guarantee that the values are indeed well-established in social policy.

Sustainable Socio-economic Development

A prosperous GNH economy must value social and economic contributions considering all the aspects of households and families, free time and leisure given the roles of these factors in Happiness.

Preservation and Promotion of Culture

Preservation of the Bhutanese culture is a contributing aspect to Happiness because it instills a unique belonging to one’s land. Developing cultural resilience, which can be understood as the culture’s capacity to maintain and develop cultural identity, knowledge and practices, and able to overcome challenges and difficulties from other norms and ideals.

Environmental Conservation

Environmental Conservation is considered a key contribution to GNH because in accumulation of the existing eco-system services, the environment also contributes to aesthetic and other factors that can directly heal people who enjoy vivid colors and light, untainted breeze and silence in nature’s sound.

The four pillars are further structured into nine domains, which articulate the different elements of GNH in elaboration and forms the basis of GNH measurement, index and screening tools.

• Living standards
• Education
• Health
• Environment
• Community Vitality
• Time-use
• Psychological well-being
• Good Governance
• Cultural resilience and promotion

These nine domains demonstrate that various many inter-related factors are considered to be important in creating the conditions for happiness from the perspective of GNH.