Thimphu – Exploring the Capital City of Bhutan
Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan, is known for preserving its unique culture and tradition while keeping up with modernity. The city has a charming mix of traditional Bhutanese architecture and modern buildings which make it an interesting destination to visit. Here are some of the best places to visit and the ones you should avoid while exploring Thimphu.
Places to Visit
1. Tashichho Dzong
Tashichho Dzong is a beautiful fortress that serves as a religious and administrative center for Bhutan. The fortress is located on the banks of the Wangchu River and is one of the most iconic landmarks in Thimphu. The architecture of the fortress is amazing and boasts of intricate carvings and vibrant colors.
2. Buddha Dordenma
Buddha Dordenma is a magnificent statue of Lord Buddha which is located on a hilltop overlooking the Thimphu valley. The statue is made of bronze and gilded with gold and is one of the largest Buddha statues in the world. The location of the statue offers breathtaking views of the valley and is a must-visit spot for tourists.
3. National Memorial Chorten
The National Memorial Chorten is a stupa located in the heart of Thimphu. The chorten was built in honor of the third king of Bhutan and is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike. The chorten is surrounded by prayer wheels and prayer flags which add to the serenity of the place.
4. Folk Heritage Museum
The Folk Heritage Museum provides a glimpse into the rich culture and heritage of Bhutan. The museum is housed in a traditional Bhutanese house and showcases various aspects of the Bhutanese way of life such as clothing, food, and art.
5. Dechen Phodrang Monastery
The Dechen Phodrang Monastery is a historic monastery that was built in the 15th century. The monastery is located on a hill overlooking the Thimphu valley and provides stunning views of the surroundings. The monastery has a serene and peaceful atmosphere which attracts tourists and locals alike.
6. Takin Preserve
The Takin Preserve is a wildlife reserve located in Thimphu which is home to the national animal of Bhutan, the Takin. The preserve is surrounded by natural beauty and is a great place to spot the rare species of Takin which can only be found in Bhutan.
7. Craft Bazaar
The Craft Bazaar is a traditional Bhutanese market that sells various handicraft items such as textiles, jewelry, and pottery. The market is a great place to buy authentic Bhutanese souvenirs to take back home.
8. Simtokha Dzong
The Simtokha Dzong is a historic fortress that serves as a religious and educational center for Bhutan. The fortress is known for its intricate carvings and beautiful architecture which reflect the rich cultural heritage of Bhutan.
9. Motithang Takin Preserve
The Motithang Takin Preserve is another wildlife reserve that is home to the Takin. The preserve is located in the Motithang district of Thimphu and offers a unique opportunity to get up close with the national animal of Bhutan.
10. Changangkha Lhakhang
The Changangkha Lhakhang is a historic temple located on a hill overlooking Thimphu. The temple is an important religious site for Bhutanese and provides stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
Places to Avoid
1. Centenary Farmers’ Market
The Centenary Farmers’ Market is a bustling market that sells fresh produce and local handicrafts. However, the market can get very crowded and chaotic, making it difficult to navigate.
2. Clock Tower Square
The Clock Tower Square is a popular gathering spot in Thimphu, but it can get noisy and overwhelming due to the traffic and crowds.
3. Changlimithang Stadium
The Changlimithang Stadium is the national stadium of Bhutan and is often crowded during sporting events. Unless you are a sports enthusiast, it is best to avoid the stadium on such occasions.
4. Hong Kong Market
The Hong Kong Market is a shopping area that sells fake designer products. While it may seem like a good deal, it is best to avoid such places as it promotes counterfeiting and is illegal.
Thimphu has a few nightclubs that cater to the younger crowd. However, these places can get rowdy and are best avoided if you are not a party person.
Overview About the City
|Currency||Bhutanese ngultrum (BTN)|
|Average Temperature by Season||Spring (March-May): 13°C to 23°C
Summer (June-August): 15°C to 25°C
Fall (September-November): 10°C to 23°C
Winter (December-February): -2°C to 12°C
|Best Time to Visit||March to May and September to November|
|City Official URL||www.thimphucity.bt/|
|Trip Advisor URL||www.tripadvisor.com/Thimphu|