Top tip: Time is of an essence
Bhutan is situated in the Eastern Himalayas of the Indian Sub Continent on the border between the North West of India (Assam) and China. The altitude varies from 300m in the lowlands region to 7000m in the Himalayan Plateau.
There are three distinct climatic regions: The Foothills, where the weather and vegetation is tropical including many species of wild orchid. Deer, lion, leopard and the rare golden monkey can be found. The Inner Himalayan region where the climate is temperate and area is rich in deciduous forests. The wildlife includes bear, boar and sambar. The High Himalayan region is cold due to the altitude which also makes it thinly populated. However, the steep slopes of the mountains are home to many species of animals including snow leopards and musk deer.
There are four distinct seasons similar in their divisions to those of Western Europe. The Monsoon occurs between June and August when the temperature is normally between 8° – 21° C (46° – 70 °F). Temperatures drop dramatically with increase in altitude. Days are usually very pleasant (average about 10° C/ 50° F) with clear skies and sunshine. Nights are cold and require heavenly woollen clothing, particularly in winter. Generally October, November and April to mid-June are the best times to visit– rainfall are at a minimal and temperatures are conducive to active days of sightseeing. The foothills are also very pleasant during the winter.
Facts and Figures
|Area||38,364 sq km (14,812 sq miles).|
|Population||691,141 (2009 estimate)|
|Capital||Thimphu- population 79,185 (2005).|
|Language||Dzongkha is the official language. A large number of dialects are spoken, owing to the physical isolation of many villages. Sharchop Kha, from eastern Bhutan, is the most widely spoken. Nepali is common in the south of the country. English has been the language of educational instructio since 1964 and is widely spoken.|
|Religion||The Tantric form of Mahayana Buddhism (Drukpa Kagyu) is the state religion; the majority of Bhutanese people follow the Drukpa school of the Kagyupa sect. Those living in the south are mainly Hindu.|
|Time||GMT + 6|
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