Total area: 38,816 km2
Population: 691,141 (2009 estimate)
Official language: Dzongkha
Governement: Constitutional democratic monarchy
Internet TLD: .bt
Calling code: +975
Bhutan is a small landlocked country located in South Asia and shares borders with India to the south, east and west and China to the north. Bhutan is the only Vajrayana Buddhist nation in the world, its principles exerting a strong influence on all aspects of life. Considering the primary environment and harmonious society, the little kingdom of Bhutan has been called the "Last Shangrila".
Bhutan is preferred by tourists who wish to spend their holidays among people who preserved their century-old culture and traditions. Government is still loyal to its policy of "low quantity and high quality" thus limiting the number of tourists to several thousands a year, in an effort to avoid the negative impact that massive tourism would have on the culture and environment of the country.
If you are among the lucky ones who get to see Bhutan, make sure to not miss: Bumthang - the city considered the spiritual heart of Bhutan; Thimphu - the capital city, the only world capital without traffic lights; Dechenphu Lhakhang, Taktshang Goemba - the most famous monastery in Bhutan; Trongsa Dzong.
The best time to travel in Bhutan is from September to November, followed by March to May period. Monsoon period, July-August, should be avoided due to heavy rains. Winter is the perfect season to visit the west side of Bhutan, considering that in December-February the roads from Thimphu to Bumthang and the east side could be closed due to heavy snow.
By Maria Morari
The best countries in Asia .
Asia -the world's largest and most populous continent- encompasses some of the most beautiful countries in the world. Mystery, untainted nature, splendid panorama and unique traditions are among the few attributes that characterize this far-away land. Come with us in a virtual trip to discover the best countries in Asia!