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Bhutan Facts for Kids

Bhutan is a landlocked country in South Asia. Its official name is the Kingdom of Bhutan. Bhutan’s leader is King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck.

He has been King since 2006. The Prime Minister of Bhutan is Tshering Tobgay.

Bhutan was founded in 1644 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel. Bhutan was always an independent country.

Bhutan Facts for Kids

  • The capital of Bhutan is Thimphu.
  • The official language of Bhutan is Dzongkha.
  • Bhutan’s population is a little over 817,000.
  • Bhutan’s culture stems from Tibetan Buddhism. 97% of the people in Bhutan are Buddhists.
  • People in Bhutan are Bhutanese. Bhutan’s government is a constitutional monarchy and unitary parliamentary democracy.
  • Bhutan opened to the outside world until 1974. Now visitors come in small groups. T
  • he Royal Bhutan Army is Bhutan’s military.
  • Membership in the military is voluntary.
  • The youngest age for recruitment to the military is 18 years old.
  • The Indian Army trains Bhutan’s army. Bhutan has no navy or air force.
  • The Bhutanese receive free education from the government. Most schools have an English curriculum.
  • The currency in Bhutan is the Ngultrum. The economy of Bhutan is very small but growing. Bhutan’s main export if hydroelectricity. It sells it to India.
  • Bhutan’s industries are cement, wood products, processed fruits, and alcoholic beverages. Bhutan’s major industry is agriculture. Bhutan also has rice, fruit, and dairy industries.
  • Bhutan is in the Eastern Himalayas.
  • India borders Bhutan in the south.
  • Tibet borders Bhutan in the north. Bhutan has a total area of 38,394 square kilometers (14, 284 square miles). Bhutan is about half the size of the state of Indiana.
  • The highest point in Bhutan is Gangkhar Puensum at 7,570 meters (24, 836 feet). It is the highest unclimbed mountain in the world. Bhutan has a high respect for nature. People cannot log or mountain climb in Bhutan.
  • Bhutan is the world’s only carbon sink. This means it absorbs more CO2 than it gives out. Bhutan is 72% forest.
  • The climate in Bhutan varies. The southern plains have a tropical climate. The central valleys have cool winters and hot summers.
  • The Himalayas have severe winters and cool summers. Bhutan often has intense storms from the Himalayas.
  • Bhutan is one of the most isolated and least developed countries in the world.
  • Bhutan has more than 770 species of birds.
  • Bhutan has more than 5,400 species of plants. Bhutan has many species of primates.
  • The rare species the golden langur lives in Bhutan. Anyone caught killing wildlife in Bhutan faces life in prison.
  • Bhutan’s national sport is archery. Most villages hold competitions.
  • Bhutan’s nicknames are ‘Land of the Thunder Dragon’ and ‘The Kingdom in the Clouds.’
  • All citizens of Bhutan become one year older on New Year’s Day.
  • The national flower of Bhutan is the rare Himalayan Blue Poppy. The plant only grows at altitudes of 3,000 to 5,000 meters. The flower blooms once and dies. Only a handful of people have seen the Himalayan Blue Poppy.
  • Only nine pilots in the world can land at Bhutan’s airport in the Paro district.
  • The national animal of Bhutan is the takin. It is a goat-antelope. The Bhutanese believe a popular saint made the takin.
  • Bhutan became the first country in the world to ban the sale and production of tobacco in 2010. It is illegal to use tobacco in public in Bhutan.
  • Television and internet were first allowed into Bhutan in 1999. Bhutan was one of the last countries in the world to adopt television.
  • There is a mandatory national dress code in Bhutan. Men wear knee-length traditional garments. Women wear ankle-length dresses. The colors depend on social class and status.
  • Inheritance of land, houses, and animals goes to the oldest daughter in Bhutan.
  • Polygamy is legal in Bhutan. The Bhutanese are not allowed to marry foreigners.
  • Bhutan’s King declared a policy of ‘gross national happiness.’ Happiness is more important than money to the Bhutanese.
  • Thimphu is one of two capital cities in Asia without a single traffic light. The other is Pyongyang, North Korea. The public protested a traffic light. A traffic officer works at the intersection.
  • Bhutanese manners say you should refuse food when offered to you. You can accept it after two or three offers.
  • Bhutan held its first democratic elections in 2008.
  • Bhutan is a small country. Not many people visit Bhutan. Bhutan cares about protecting the environment and the happiness of its people.