- Thimphu; 35,000
- 46,500 square kilometers (17,954 square miles)
- Dzonkha, Tibetan and Nepali dialects
- Lamaistic Buddhist, Hindu
- Ngultrum, Indian rupee
- Life Expectancy:
- GDP per Capita:
- U.S. $1,300
- Literacy Percent:
Bhutan Facts Flag
Bhutan is a tiny, remote, and impoverished country between two powerful neighbors, India and China. Violent storms coming off the Himalaya gave the country its name, meaning "Land of the Thunder Dragon." This conservative Buddhist kingdom high in the Himalaya had no paved roads until the 1960s, was off-limits to foreigners until 1974, and launched television service only in 1999. Fertile valleys (less than 10 percent of the land) feed all the Bhutanese. Bhutan's ancient Buddhist culture and mountain scenery make it attractive for tourists, whose numbers are limited by the government.
- Industry: Cement, wood products, processed fruits, alcoholic beverages
- Agriculture: Rice, corn, root crops, citrus; dairy products
- Exports: Electricity (to India), cardamom, gypsum, timber, handicrafts
—Text From National Geographic Atlas of the World, Eighth Edition
Boyd Matson investigates Bhutan's policy of Gross National Happiness.
Guided by a novel idea, the tiny Buddhist kingdom tries to join the modern world without losing its soul.
Two visions of the future compete for the soul of China's western frontier.
Travel Photos From Your Shot
Browse Stunning Images of These Natural Marvels
Shop National Geographic
Special Ad Section
Watch as Nat Geo photographers reveal what drives them to create iconic images.