The sale of tobacco products is banned and smoking in public areas is an offence punished with fines. On 19 July 2011, 68 countries joined the Kingdom of Bhutan in co-sponsoring a resolution titled “Happiness: Towards a holistic approach to development,” which was adopted by consensus by the 193-member UN General Assembly. In 2006, based on a global survey, Business Week rated Bhutan the happiest country in Asia and the eighth-happiest in the world.
Climate: The climate varies with altitude, with the highest temperatures and rainfall occurring in the south which bears the brunt of the monsoon between June and September. Temperatures drop dramatically with increases in altitude though days are usually very pleasant with clear skies and sunshine.
Geography: Bhutan is located at the eastern end of the Himalayas. It is bordered to the north by China and to the south, east and west by India. To the west, it is separated from Nepal by the Indian state of Sikkim, while further south it is separated from Bangladesh by the Indian states of Assam and West Bengal. Bhutan's capital and largest city is Thimphu. Its total area was reported as approximately 46,500 km2. Bhutan is divided into twenty district administered by a body called the Dzongkhak Tshokdu. The basis of electoral constituencies in Bhutan is the chiwog, a subdivision of gewogs delineated by the Election Commission. Bhutan experiences five distinct seasons: summer, monsoon, autumn, winter and spring. The land consists mostly of steep and high mountains crisscrossed by a network of swift rivers, which form deep valleys before draining into the Indian plains.
Nature: The Black Mountains in the central region of Bhutan form a watershed between two major river systems: the Mo Chhu and the Drangme Chhu. In the south, the Shiwalik Hills are covered with dense Himalayan subtropical broadleaf forests, alluvial lowland river valleys, and mountains up to around 1,500 m (4,900 ft) above sea level. The foothills descend into the subtropical Duars Plain. Mountain rivers, fed by either the melting snow or the monsoon rains, empty into the Brahmaputra River in India. Watered by snow-fed rivers, alpine valleys in this region provide pasture for livestock, tended by a sparse population of migratory shepherds. The northern region of the country consists of an arc of Eastern Himalayan alpine shrub and meadows reaching up to glaciated mountain peaks with an extremely cold climate at the highest elevations.
Flora and Fuana: The Kingdom of Bhutan is a small, landlocked nation nestled in the southern slopes of the Eastern Himalaya. The tiger, one horned rhino, golden langur, clouded leopard, hispid hare and the sloth bear live in the lush tropical lowland and hardwood forests in the south. In the temperate zone, grey langur, tiger, common leopard, goral and serow are found in mixed conifer, broadleaf and pine forests. Flora and birds abound with more than 770 species of bird and 5,400 species of plants known to occur throughout the Kingdom. Bhutan has a very rich species of flora ranging from altitudes as low as 200m to as high as 4000m. Over 5500 species of vascular plants have been recorded till date including 46 species of Rhododendrons and 369 species of Orchids. The Bhutan Himalayas is also important source of valuable medicinal plants.
Tourist attraction: Bumthang valley is at an elevation of 2,600 meters and is to the east of Tongsa. This valley is the religious hub of the nation and home to some of the oldest Buddhist temples. Timphu valley located at an elevation of 2,300 meters it features Taschichho dzong which is the main secretariat building, houses the throne rooms of the King and is also the summer retreat of central monk body. Wangdiphodrang built in the 17th century is the Wangdi dzong located at the altitude of 1,350 meters to the south of Punakha. The dzong is located at the convergence of Punakhachu and the Tang-chu River. It is one of the most magnificent places of tourist interest in Bhutan. Paro Valley is an exquisite valley and is home to some of Bhutan's oldest temples & monasteries. Paro also houses Bhutan’s only airport. This valley is also one of the most fertile ones in the Kingdom.
Capital city: Thimphu is the capital and largest city of Bhutan. The city is spread out longitudinally in a north-south direction on the west bank of the valley formed by the Wang Chuu, also known as the Thimphu Chuu River. The culture of Bhutan is fully reflected in Thimphu in respect of literature, religion, customs, and national dress code, the monastic practices of the monasteries, music, dance, literature and in the media. Tourism, though a contributor to the economy, is strictly regulated, maintaining a balance between the traditional, development and modernization. In 2008, the national stadium was completed together with a new river-side park. The area around the dzong and government buildings is a particularly green and an attractive district.
Shopping and Cuisine: The Handicraft Emporium on the main street in the capital is open daily and offers a magnificent assortment of hand-woven and handcrafted goods. Some hotels have a souvenir shop. Silversmiths and goldsmiths in the Thimphu Valley are able to make handcrafted articles to order. Popular snacks include momo (Bhutanese dumplings), shakam eezay, khabzey (dried fritters made with flour, water and sugar and deep fried), shabalay, juma (Bhutanese sausages marinated in spices), and noodles. Buckwheat is eaten mainly in Bumthang, maize in the Eastern districts and rice elsewhere. Popular beverages include butter tea milk tea black tea, locally brewed ara , and beer.
Festivals: Tshechus are grand events where entire communities come together to witness religious mask dances, receive blessings and socialize. . In addition to the mask dances tshechus also include colorful Bhutanese dances and other forms of entertainment. The Lhakhang was co-founded by Dasho Gonpo Dorji and Doring Trulku Jamyang Kunzang, the third mind-aspect reincarnation of Terton Jigme Lingpa in 1935. Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal is known as the unifier of Bhutan as a nation state and he was the one who gave Bhutan and its people the distinct cultural identity that identified Bhutan from the rest of the world. Sakteng Festival is living close to nature in this pristine wilderness, the Brokpas way of life has remained virtually unchanged through the years and they still mainly depend upon yak rearing and animal husbandry for their livelihoods.
Regions in Bhutan