10. The word “Bhutan” translates to “Land of the Thunder Dragon.” It earned the nickname because of the fierce storms that often roll in from the Himalayas.
9. One-third of Bhutan’s population is under the age of 14; its median age is 22.3 years.
8. Bhutanese manners dictate that you are to refuse food whenever it’s offered to you. The tradition is to say the words “meshu meshu” and cover your mouth with your hands. You can give in, though, after two or three offers.
7. Thimpu is only one capital city in Asia that does not have a single traffic light. There was such public outcry when local officials installed a single signal that it was quickly removed, and a traffic officer was re-assigned to the intersection.
6. One of 43 landlocked countries in the world, Bhutan is about the size of Switzerland.
5. Bhutan is one of the last countries in the world to introduce television to its people. The government lifted a ban on TV—and on the Internet—only 16 years ago (1999).
4. At 24,840 feet, Gangkhar Puensum is the highest point in Bhutan—and the highest unclimbed mountain in the world.
3. Bhutan is the first country in the world with specific constitutional obligations on its people to protect the environment. Among its requirements: At least 60 percent of the nation must remain under forest cover at all times.
2. Anyone found guilty of killing a highly endangered and culturally sacred black-necked crane could be sentenced to life in prison.
1. Bhutan is the only nation in the world where the sale of tobacco is banned.