Travel to Bhutan; a beautiful country with special rules

The Kingdom of Bhutan is a country in Asia hidden in the Himalayas between China and India. It is a beautiful and special country. The kingdom of Bhutan or Druk Yul (the land of the dragon) is ruled by King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk (2006). This kingdom strives to have the happiest population in the world. In the eyes of Westerners, happiness is often linked to freedoms. In Bhutan there are many rules to achieve happiness. How is Bhutan so special?

  • No homeless people in Bhutan
  • Free healthcare
  • Bhutan was ,unplugged, until 1999
  • Bhutan has a compulsory national costume
  • Smoking prohibited
  • Nature and environmental policy is very progressive
  • Limited access to tourists
  • 100% organic farming
  • Only the best pilots are allowed to land in Bhutan
  • Ladies First
  • Marriage Rules
  • The Ministry of Happiness


No homeless people in Bhutan

There are no homeless people in Bhutan. When you lose your house in Bhutan you go to the king. The king assigns you a piece of land on which you can build a house and cultivate the land to live on.

Free healthcare

In Bhutan, everyone has free access to medical care. The Ministry of Health has set itself the goal of becoming the country with the healthiest population. In Bhutan you can choose whether you want to use Western or traditional medicines and these are also available for free.

Bhutan was ,unplugged, until 1999

The people of Bhutan take their culture and traditions very seriously. Much effort was made to keep out foreign influences. For example, until 1999 there was no TV and no internet in this kingdom. This was of course very difficult to maintain, so the king eventually lifted the ban on these media. This made Bhutan one of the last countries in the world where television and the internet were introduced.

Bhutan has a compulsory national costume

The people of Bhutan are required to wear traditional clothing in public. This traditional costume is more than 400 years old. Men wear a so-called Gho and women a Kira. You can even tell someone’s social status by the color of the scarf they wear. Ordinary citizens wear a white scarf and high-ranking people and monks wear an orange scarf.

Smoking prohibited

In 2010, the king introduced a new law. It is prohibited to grow, harvest or process tobacco in Bhutan. Tobacco may therefore not be sold. Bhutan became the first country in the world to ban tobacco in all forms. You cannot smoke in public and tourists have to pay a high tax if they want to bring their cigarettes into the country. If you are caught smuggling cigarettes at customs, you will face a very high fine or even a prison sentence.

Nature and environmental policy is very progressive

The kingdom considers nature and the environment very important. For example, it is legally stated that at least 60% of the land must be covered by forests. In 2019, this percentage is approximately 71%. In 2015, Bhutan set a world record by planting 50,000 trees across the country in one hour. This policy makes Bhutan the only country in the world that absorbs more CO2 than it produces.

Limited access to tourists

As the above facts show, Bhutan considers its own culture, traditions, values and norms very important. Therefore, they do not make it easy for tourists to visit their country. You can only visit Bhutan in groups of 3 or more people. If you want to travel alone or as a couple, you pay extra. All documents and visas must be obtained from a state-owned company. Before your visa is granted, you must pay in advance all costs such as your hotel, your transport, your guide, your insurance and the visa itself. You will be assigned a guide who will accompany you throughout the trip. Moreover, you can only visit places that are specially designated for tourists to visit. A stay in Bhutan is very expensive, you can expect to pay around 225 Euro per person per night.

100% organic farming

Bhutan is well on its way to producing as much organic food as possible. For example, it is currently prohibited to use or import chemical products for agriculture. Everything the inhabitants eat is produced naturally in their own country.

Only the best pilots are allowed to land in Bhutan

There is only one airport in Bhutan. This is located in Paro and is located between the mountains in a valley. Due to its location, it is one of the most dangerous airports in the world. That is why only eight pilots are allowed to land here. In addition, the airport may only be used during daylight.

Ladies First

Women are highly respected in Bhutan. This is evident from the fact that it is not the eldest son but the eldest daughter who is the heiress of a family. Men are expected to earn their own property by working.

Marriage Rules

In Bhutan it is forbidden to marry a foreigner. When a couple gets married in Bhutan, they live in the woman’s house after all the ceremonies. Only when the husband has earned enough for his own home does the family move.

The Ministry of Happiness

Bhutan has a true Ministry of Happiness. This ministry was founded in 2008 to ensure the inner happiness of the population. The ministry believes that Gross National Happiness is just as important as the Gross National Product. According to a 2015 survey done by the ministry, 91% of the population considered themselves happy. The quality of life in Bhutan is measured by the balance between the financial and mental well-being of each resident.

These are some surprising facts about the Kingdom of Bhutan. It is a beautiful country where happiness reigns according to the Ministry of Happiness. Yet there are also abuses in Bhutan. Bhutan is one of the poorest and least developed countries in the world. Tensions have also arisen because there are different ethnic groups living there. This has led, among other things, to refugee camps in Nepal of Nepalese Bhutanese. Underdeveloped or the happiest country? In any case, the Land of the Dragon is a special country.

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