Country File: Bhutan

We’re interrupting our Borneo visit reminiscing to go back a couple years, since we noticed a tour yesterday that we think deserves a signal boost — post on that coming shortly — and we’ll start with today’s Country File: Druk-yul / Druk Tsendhen, “land of the thunder dragon”, commonly known as Bhutan!

Flag of Bhutan

That is a striking flag, is it not? The yellow is for the temporal authority of the Dragon King of Bhutan, the orange is for Bhuddist tradition, and centered symbolizing the bond between them is Druk the Thunder Dragon.

(We like to flatter ourselves that the Canadian flag is a nice one … but y’know, we have a maple leaf. Bhutan has a rampant thunder dragon. Doesn’t really compare, does it?)

And Bhutan … well it’s just a place of superlatives. It’s the only carbon negative country in the world. It’s the only country that publishes Gross National Happiness as its development measurement instead of Gross National Product. You want to travel someplace different? Bhutan is seriously. different.

Brunei joined UNESCO on 13 April 1982, making it a real country by‘s standard; and it’s been overlooked for inscription of any World Heritage Sites so far, but there are eight on the Tentative Lists:

Ancient Ruin of Drukgyel Dzong (08/03/2012)
Dzongs: the centre of temporal and religious authorities (Punakha Dzong, Wangdue Phodrang Dzong, Paro Dzong, Trongsa Dzong and Dagana Dzong) (08/03/2012)
Sacred Sites associated with Phajo Drugom Zhigpo and his descendants (08/03/2012)
Tamzhing Monastery (08/03/2012)
Royal Manas National Park (RMNP) (08/03/2012)
Jigme Dorji National Park (JDNP) (08/03/2012)
Bumdeling Wildlife Sanctuary (08/03/2012)
Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary (SWS) (08/03/2012)

Personally, we’re pretty sure that there is nowhere on the planet as much as an exemplar of living cultural heritage as Bhutan is, and the entire country should be inscribed as a World Heritage Site.

Getting there is quite a job, mind you, neither cheap or easy; but although everybody throws “unforgettable” around for pretty much any half-decent travel experience … Bhutan, it really deserves to be called “unforgettable.” Go if you can!


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  1. […] most striking edifices you’ll find in Bhutan are Dzongs, massive crosses between fortresses and palaces. If you’ve seen any pictures of Bhutan […]

  2. […] we said in the Bhutan Country File that we figure the entire country should be inscribed as a World Heritage Site? We were only […]

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