Thimphu is the capital and also the biggest city of Bhutan. Situated on the bank of River Thimphu Chuu, city is nestled in a valley with old traditional touch in the north stretching to disciplined high rises as you move to the south. Thimphu provides an incredible combination of natural beauty and Bhutanese culture. Here are the top things that you should explore in the city of Thimphu –
1. Experience the splendid Tashichho Dzong
A visit to Bhutan will be incomplete if you miss out the magnificent Dzongs of this beautiful Buddhist country. Tashichho Dzong Thimphu (Also known as Trashi Chhoe Dzong), seat of Bhutan’s government and National Assembly is one of the most splendid and impressive of all Bhutan Dzongs. You may read more about the Dzong at our blog – Tashichho Dzong: Splendid & Beautiful
2. Enjoy an Archery Tournament
Archery is the national sport of Bhutan and we were lucky to witness an Archery tournament in Thimphu’s national Archery stadium of Changlingmethang. The way Archery tournaments are played in Bhutan is quite different. Players would be in their national dress, make a lot of noise, even hoot opposition for missing targets and when target is hit, they do their traditional dance to celebrate the hit.
3. Go for a hike to Tango & Cheri Monasteries
Tango and Cheri Goemba come at the top of the list if you are looking for day hikes around Thimphu. These are beautiful monasteries set on adjacent hills with Thimphu Chu (River) flowing right in the middle. Located around 18 kms north of Thimphu, ride to the base point is itself quite charming as you pass through the interiors of Bhutan with a halt at Pangri Zampa Lhakhang mid way which is the national center of traditional astrology in Bhutan. You can read more about our hike at our blog – Tango & Cheri Goemba: A day hike from Thimphu
4. Explore Bhutan through its Museums
There are many museums in the capital city with different themes of Bhutanese culture. We visited three of these museums and found each of them quite unique –
- Bhutan Postal Museum: Visit to get your customized stamps
- Folk Heritage Museum: Explore both Bhutanese heritage and taste at museum restaurant
- Bhutan Textile Museum: Showcase of Bhutanese Textiles
5. Visit Changangkha Lhakhang, oldest temple in Thimphu
Changangkha Lhakhang is a popular 12th century temple perched on a hill around 2.5 kms from Thimphu Clock Tower and can easily be reached through a short walk. You get to experience the panoramic view of the whole town as you sit on the bench right next to the temple entrance.
6. Don’t miss the only traffic signal in Bhutan
A walk through the city will unfold many mysteries that this beautiful city holds. You will be fascinated looking at the people silently rotating prayer wheels at city temples and youngsters practicing hip hop at town square. Bhutan does not have traffic lights and has only one signal in the whole country that too controlled manually. Sometimes ago, traffic lights were put here but later they were removed. Bhutanese did not find traffic lights in accordance with their culture. Yes, they value their values the most.
It is fun being in Thimphu as mountain views around the city will grasp your heart and sound of river will soothe your soul. Happy exploring the beauty and peace in this beautiful country!!