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10+ Facts About Bhutan, a Country With Free Healthcare

This mysterious and picturesque country located between India and China was closed to tourists until 1974. However, today, everyone who’s willing to go through a handful of formalities and spend a bit of money can visit Bhutan. And even though the borders are open, the King still tries to restrict the number of tourists that come through by using different methods.

Bright Side was curious to know why all the people who live in Bhutan are so happy, so we had to study their traditions and numerous bans.

11. No Internet or television

In Bhutan, TV and the Internet only officially arrived in 1999. Mobile phone networks only came about around 4 years after.

10. Free healthcare

Each Bhutanese resident has a right to get free medical care. Both traditional and classical medicine are common in Bhutan, and a person can decide on the method of treatment on their own.

9. National dress code

Bhutanese people wear traditional clothes. Men wear heavy, knee-length robes and women wear long dresses. A person’s status and social level are identified by the color of a scarf draped over their left shoulder. Ordinary people wear white scarfs, and noble people and monks wear yellow ones.

8. Caring about animals and nature

The country is really concerned about ecology and nature. They even pay special attention to growing trees. By the way, in 2015, Bhutan set a world record when people planted 50,000 trees in just one hour.

7. Cuisine features

Most Bhutanese people are Buddhists. Since this religion teaches respect for the whole animal world, vegetarianism is really common here. The main and basic dish is rice. Also, the people grow red rice, which is rather hard and has a peculiar taste.

6. Challenging tourism

Visitors from outside South Asia are charged around $250 a day by the government. The number of visitors in the country at a time is also restricted. These measures are believed to prevent the influence of mass tourism.

5. The tradition of inheritance

NIV / SIPA / East News

Women are respected and honored in Bhutan, and their tradition of inheritance proves that. Inheritance is traditionally matrilineal, with daughters expected to inherit their parents’ home and sons to move in with their wives.

4. Ecology is the most important thing.

Today, the whole world is concerned with helping the environment, and Bhutan is no exception. The government has announced plans to keep agriculture completely organic by the year 2020 and waste-free by the following decade.

3. Wedding traditions

During a wedding ceremony, white scarves are exchanged and a cup is shared. The marriage is officially recognized once a couple has lived for over 6 months together. As mentioned above, tradition favors the couple living in the wife’s family home, but this can change depending on which house needs more labor.

2. Roads

In the capital of Bhutan, there are no traffic lights at all, and it’s not a problem for people. All road signs are drawn by hand.

1. Gingerbread houses

Bhutanese people like to decorate their houses. They draw birds, animals, and different patterns on the walls. We think these decorations look just magnificent.

A traditional house is a rather small building with 3 stories. The ground floor is a space to keep animals, the living space is located on the second floor, and the third floor is used to store hay.

Despite all the bans and strict rules, Bhutanese people are very friendly and happy. Tourists have also become more and more interested in this isolated country.

Would you like to visit Bhutan?

Please note: This article was updated in August 2022 to correct source material and factual inaccuracies.
Preview photo credit NIV / SIPA / East News
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