10 Interesting Facts About Bhutan That You Probably Did Not Know
1. The name of the country “Bhutan” translates to “Land of the Thunder Dragon.” It is believed to have earned the nickname because of the fierce storms that often roll in from the mighty Himalayan Range.
2. Bhutan is the first country in the world which has put specific constitutional obligations on its citizens to protect and conserve the natural environment. According to law, at least 60 percent of Bhutan must remain under forest cover at all times.
3. Thimphu is one of just two capital cities in Asia that does not have a single traffic light. (The other is Pyongyang, North Korea.) When the local officials installed a single signal, there was such public outcry so much so that it was quickly removed, and a traffic officer was re-assigned to the intersection. The Bhutanese preferred their policemen.
4. Bhutan is the only country in the world where the sale and production of tobacco is banned. Smoking in public areas is illegal. However, tobacco can be used in private.
5. Anyone in Bhutan who is found guilty of killing a highly endangered and culturally sacred black-necked crane could be sentenced to a life term in prison.
6. Bhutan is one of the last countries in the world to introduce television. The government lifted a ban on TV and on the Internet as late as in 1999.
7. In Bhutan, etiquette dictates that you are always to refuse food whenever it’s offered to you. The Bhutanese tradition is to say the words “meshu meshu” and cover your mouth with your hands. However, do not worry; you can give in after two or three offers.