Tucked in the lap of the timeless Himalayans, Bhutan, the only Vajrayana nation in the world, is a destination that few travelers make it to. Despite its natural scenery, a harmonious society, and a strong sense of culture and tradition, very has been told and written about the “Last Shangri-La”. Here we have listed down five things to keep in mind while travelling in Bhutan so that you don’t offend anyone.
Bhutan is slowly pacing towards development with one foot in the past. Religion and culture is still deeply ingrained in its way of life. Almost all the time, you will see men and women dressed in their traditional attires. That’s why it is wise for tourists to dress modestly. Excessive show of skin is looked down upon and will often be met with glaring glances. Also, when you are entering Dzongs, you have to make sure your jacket isn’t unbuttoned or unzippered. Luckily, Bhutan’s climate is moderately cool throughout the year.
No critical comments on monarchy
Although Bhutan isn’t an absolute monarchy since 2008, the royals are just as famous as they were, with a very impressive approval rate and popularity. That is why, tourists should absolutely refrain from making any kind of negative comments on the Bhutanese Royal family. The population still very much regard them as the pride of nation and speak highly of them. That’s why, when talking politics with a local, abstain from making any undesirable comments on the royalties, even if you are not on same page.
With countless beautiful Dzongs and monasteries dating back to couple of centuries, Bhutan is a country deeply saturated in its faith to god, culture and traditions. The Bhutanese people are also famous for celebrating several spectacular festivals throughout the year. That’s why, Bhutan trip will also be a unique chance to experience spirituality for you. However, make sure that you steer clear of doing or saying anything blasphemous. Some examples of blasphemy include wearing leather items and footwear in religious areas, wearing revealing clothes, entering restricted areas only meant for Buddhists and so on.
Abusing the environment
The Bhutanese development model is one of the most sustainable one in the entire world and lauded by the whole world. Bhutanese people take their responsibility to protect the environment rather seriously. Make sure that you do not litter in public places even if you are in faraway hills with little to no people. The use of plastic too is largely frowned upon, and so is smoking in public places.
Public Display of affection
By now you probably know that Bhutanese community is a rather traditional one. That’s why, you should steer clear of showing public display of emotions. These gestures are still perceived as very private and is not talked about in open. If you want to indulge in some romantic gesture with your partner, make sure that you are in a private space, unless you want to receive unwelcomed stares and even interrogation in some cases.