Overland Journeys: Himalayan Frontiers

Bhutan is one of the most unique destinations in the world, a small country in the Himalayas which stubbornly protects its cultural heritage and resists outside influences. Located in a stunning setting amidst the mountains and valleys of the Himalayas, Bhutan is renowned for its numerous dzongs - historical fortress Buddhist monasteries which are magnificent architectural structures in spectacular locations. Its unique culture is best experienced in the many colourful festivals which take place thoughout the year, in particular those at Thimpu and Paro. Explore in depth highlights of Bhutan.

Travel Information for Bhutan
Time zone:GMT +6 (Bhutan standard time) Daylight savings:    None
Main languages:Dzongkha
Currency: ngultrum (BTN)

1 = Nu.74.29, $1 = Nu.66.58, £1 = Nu.88.54

(rates as of Sep 2016)

Internet Domain:.btInternational Dialling Code:    975

For help planning your trip to Bhutan including visas, vaccinations, currency exchange, flights, accomodation and insurance, see our Bhutan trip planning page.

Further information on Bhutan

Discover more about Bhutan - the country's geogrpahy and natural features, an assessment of its status on freedom and rights and data on the country's population and economy.

Geography & Natural Features

Map of bhutan

Total area: 47,000 sq km (0 sq km under water)

Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)

Neighbours (border lengths): China (470km), India (605km)

Climate: Climate varies from tropical in southern plains to cool winters and hot summers in central valleys and severe winters and cool summers in the Himalayas.

Highest mountain: Kula Kangri (7,553m)

Freedom & Rights

Summary status and rankings for Bhutan from classifications of different organisations measuring political and economic freedom, democracy and civil rights. See more details of these rankings.

Freedom in the WorldPartly Free -
Democracy IndexHybrid regime 102/167
Economic FreedomMostly Unfree 115/179
Press FreedomNoticeable problems 102/179
ILGA LGBT rightsNo rights -
Corruption PerceptionsLow corruption 30/174
Overall Ranking:    106/195

Other Data & Links

Full name: Kingdom of Bhutan     Status: Independent Country

Population: 733,643 (rank: 161/196)     Density: 15.6 people/sq km (rank: 169/196)

Ethnic groups: Bhote 50%, ethnic Nepalese 35% (includes Lhotsampas - one of several Nepalese ethnic groups), indigenous or migrant tribes 15%

Religions: Lamaistic Buddhist 75%, Indian- and Nepalese-influenced Hinduism 25%

GDP (PPP): $5.24 billion       GDP per capita: $7,000 (rank: 114/195)

Information derived from the CIA World Factbook. Other country profiles: BBC News.