Dancing floors on the boom
Gelephu, March 30, 2009: Entertainment bars playing western music and dancing to the floor was looked at as the agent to erode Bhutanese culture and tradition by the rulers in the past. The things have changed and young generation is moved by the changing scapes of entertainment.
As the country opens its door to international community, either through Television or liberal political system, a number of bars have sprung up in the country. The country had imposed stricter rules and not the bar owners have opposed such rules.
Different kinds of bars have erupted – from tiny ones snuck in some dark corner of a shady building to the posh bars.
Government record as or December says there are a total 6,529 bars in Bhutan, but all these are entertainment bars providing dancing floors. Of these, 4,655 bars are open and the capital city alone has 1,422 of which 800 are operational. TDSC building, opposite Hotel Tashi Taj, alone has 10 bars.
To open a bar in Class A towns (Thimphu, Phuentsholing, Gelephu, Samdrup Jongkhar), one has to pay annual fee of Nu 15,000 for license, for Class B towns (Paro, Mongar, Trashigang, Samtse) Nu 10,000, Class C towns (Punakha, Bumthang, Nganglam, Zhemgang, Kanglung, Haa, Daifam, Damphu, Trashiyangtse, Pemagatshel, Dagana, Gomtu, Trongsa, Lhamoizhingkha, Dewathang, Wangdue, Lhuentse, Tingtibi, Tsimakoti, Gedu) Nu 5,000 and for others Nu 3,000.