Theme Week Bhutan – Thimphu

31 July 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  7 minutes

Tashichho Dzong © Bernard Gagnon/cc-by-sa-4.0

Tashichho Dzong © Bernard Gagnon/cc-by-sa-4.0

Thimphu is the capital and largest city of Bhutan. It is situated in the western central part of Bhutan, and the surrounding valley is one of Bhutan’s dzongkhags, the Thimphu District. The ancient capital city of Punakha was replaced as capital by Thimphu in 1955, and in 1961 Thimphu was declared as the capital of the Kingdom of Bhutan by the 3rd Druk Gyalpo Jigme Dorji Wangchuck.   read more…

Theme Week Bhutan – Paro

30 July 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  7 minutes

Taktsang Monastery © Bernard Gagnon/cc-by-sa-4.0

Taktsang Monastery © Bernard Gagnon/cc-by-sa-4.0

Paro is a town and seat of Paro District, in the Paro Valley of Bhutan. It is a historic town with many sacred sites and historical buildings scattered throughout the area. It is also home to Paro Airport, Bhutan’s sole international airport. The main street has many examples of traditionally decorated buildings. Paro is home to Bhutan’s tallest building, the Ta-Dzhong, which is 22 meters (72 feet) high, and has 6 floors. It was completed in 1649.   read more…

Theme Week Bhutan – Trongsa

29 July 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  4 minutes

Trongsa © flickr.com - Thomas Wanhoff/cc-by-sa-2.0

Trongsa © flickr.com – Thomas Wanhoff/cc-by-sa-2.0

Trongsa, previously Tongsa, is a Thromde or town, and the capital of Trongsa District in central Bhutan. The name means “new village” in Dzongkha. The first temple was built in 1543 by the Drukpa lama Ngagi Wangchuck, who was the great-grandfather of Ngawang Namgyal, Zhabdrung Rinpoche, the unifier of Bhutan.   read more…

Theme Week Bhutan – Wangdue Phodrang

28 July 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  6 minutes

Wangdue Phodrang Dzong under reconstruction in 2019 © Christopher J. Fynn/cc-by-sa-4.0

Wangdue Phodrang Dzong under reconstruction in 2019 © Christopher J. Fynn/cc-by-sa-4.0

Wangdue Phodrang is a town and capital (dzongkhag thromde) of Wangdue Phodrang District in central Bhutan. It is located in Thedtsho Gewog. The town shares its name with the Wangdue Phodrang Dzong built in 1638 that dominates the district. The name is said to have been given by Ngawang Namgyal, the 1st Zhabdrung Rinpoche, who was searching for the best location for a dzong to prevent incursions from the south. At the chosen spot, the Zhabdrung encountered a boy named Wangdi playing beside the river and hence named the dzong “Wangdi’s Palace”.   read more…

Theme Week Bhutan – Phuentsholing

27 July 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  6 minutes

Bhutan Gate in Phuentsoling, border between Bhutan and India © Afifa Afrin/cc-by-sa-3.0

Bhutan Gate in Phuentsoling, border between Bhutan and India © Afifa Afrin/cc-by-sa-3.0

Phuntsholing is a border town in southern Bhutan and is the administrative seat of Chukha District. The town occupies parts of both Phuentsholing Gewog and Sampheling Gewog. Phuentsholing adjoins the Indian town of Jaigaon, and cross-border trade has resulted in a thriving local economy. The town had the headquarters of the Bank of Bhutan previously but shifted to Thimphu. In 2017, Phuentsholing had a population of 27,658.   read more…

Theme Week Bhutan

26 July 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Theme Weeks, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  15 minutes

Rice terraces - Eli Shany/cc-by-sa-3.0

Rice terraces – Eli Shany/cc-by-sa-3.0

Bhutan, officially known as the Kingdom of Bhutan, is a landlocked country in the Eastern Himalayas. It is bordered by Tibet to the north and India to the south. Nepal and Bangladesh are located in proximity to Bhutan but do not share a land border. The country has a population of over 754,000 and a territory of 38,394 square kilometers (14,824 sq mi) which ranks 133rd in terms of land area, and 160th in population. Bhutan is a constitutional monarchy with Vajrayana Buddhism as the state religion.   read more…

The Gross National Happiness

5 June 2013 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  5 minutes

"Gross National Happiness is more important than Gross National Product" by Jigme Singye Wangchuck, king of Bhutan. Slogan on a wall in Thimphu's School of Traditional Arts. Photo: Mario Biondi

“Gross National Happiness is more important than Gross National Product” by Jigme Singye Wangchuck, king of Bhutan. Slogan on a wall in Thimphu’s School of Traditional Arts. Photo: Mario Biondi

The assessment of gross national happiness (GNH) was designed in an attempt to define an indicator that measures quality of life or social progress in more holistic and psychological terms than only the economic indicator of gross domestic product (GDP).   read more…

Overview Theme Weeks

27 December 2011 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Theme Weeks Reading Time:  19 minutes

Theme Weeks (Latest addition: February 2024) In irregular intervals we publish Theme Weeks about cities, regions, and countries. Here you can find the complete list.   read more…

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Country overview

9 November 2011 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  5 minutes

In addition to the regular search function, a country overview is available here. Click on the country name to see all currently available blog entries.   read more…

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