What you should know about this kingdom of happiness

Ha Nguyen
2 min readDec 15, 2020

Under the Himalayas, between India and China, it’s peaceful Bhutan, where

1/ Tobacco is banned

2/ The government focus on measuring GNH — Gross National Happiness instead of GDP — Gross National Production

3/ Free health care and free education

4/ The only carbon-negative country in the world (it absorbs more CO2 than that being produced)

At first, it sounds quite overbearing, which reminds me of North Korea

And also a bit dictatorial…

But would dictatorship be a good thing if the one and only concern/ purpose is wellbeing for all?

Anyhow, it’s another big topic.

I also find this contradictory fact about Bhutan quite shocking

It’s the only country in the globe that bans the slaughter of animals (to show compassion to all living beings).

But it also has the highest (imported) meat consumption per capita in South Asian.

This got me wondering,

Will people want something even more, when they are forced not to have it?

Photo credit Setu Chhaya

One good thing from Bhutan that we can learn from

There is no mass tourism

But low impact tourism instead (limited number of visitors, strict travelling requirements, high cost, etc.)

This makes me think about how much (unnecessary) pollution and waste we, humans, have made by our travelling habit.

Photo credit Prateek Katyal

It’s nothing wrong to love adventure, exploring new places and cultures.

But do we really need that much sightseeing and relaxation?

If we have to trade off by tons of CO2 made from all kinds of vehicles

Or deforestation — trees being cut down (woods for tourist’s supply, space for resorts or guesthouses)…



Ha Nguyen

A child advocate & entrepreneur in Helsinki who cares about education, fairness, the environment & sustainability. Stay in touch on IG: @a.second.of.happiness