Thimphu Bhutan - Tourist Places to Visit, Top Things to Do & Nightlife

Bustling - was the word used by our affable guide to describe Thimphu, Kingdom of Bhutan's capital & largest city. Our anticipation peaked as we arrived at one of the world's unusual capital city with a population of around hundred & fifty thousand. Capital of Bhutan since 1961, Thimpu is the official residence of the royal family. Moreover, it is home to the royal government, religious sites, monasteries & tourist attractions. Surrounded by majestic mountains & located on the banks of Thimphu Chu (river) the city lies at an altitude of approximately 8,000 ft. A two night stay is a great way to visit Thimphu's touristy places, soak in the great weather & enjoy the thumping nightlife. Let's look at top things to do in Thimphu during your Bhutan visit:

Located in the heart of the city, one cannot miss the clock tower in Thimphu. Besides, local attractions, shops & restaurants are close to the heart of the city hence can be covered easily in two days.

Visit the Buddha Dordenma Statue:

Visible from any point in the city the Buddha Dordenma statue is one of the largest Buddha statute in the world. Located atop a hill, this beautiful statue is made in bronze & gilded in gold. It has 125,000 smaller Buddha placed inside in it's majestic structure. Also enjoy spectacular views from this point over the city.

National Textile Museum:

Browse ancient Bhutanese textiles at this museum, established in 2001. Furthermore know more about the art behind their creation & preservation. Bhutan has a rich weaving culture & many learn this art form in early stages. And the museum also offers a class if one wishes to learn the art of weaving.

National Memorial Chorten:

The memorial stupa, erected in 1974 as a memorial to the third Bhutanese king is an iconic landmark in Thimphu. A predominately white structure, crowned with a gold spire, it is dedicated to world peace. A place of daily worship for the locals, tourists come here to admire the artistic sculptures & intricate paintings & to pay homage to the shrine of the King.

Changangkha Temple:

Perched on a hill, Changangkha temple was built in the 12 the century. Accessed by a short drive or a 30 min uphill walk, visitors are awed by the speculator views. One of the oldest temple in Thimpu, locals come here to seek blessings for their children & to request auspicious names for their newborns.

Shop at Handicraft Village:

Quaint shops selling handmade textiles, stylish wollens, souvenirs, bags, bright paintings dot the street near the center of town. Prices are fairly reasonable. Although, a few stalls do bargain. We walked here admiring the handwoven textiles, wollens, bags, handicrafts & picked up a few souvenirs for people back home.

Relish Authentic Bhutanese Cuisine:

Although you will find a number of restaurants serving Indian, continental & world cuisine an authentic Bhutanese meal should be on your itinerary. We indulged in an unforgettable experience at Heritage Home located at Babesa service lane near the outskirts. Decorated with antiques, the restaurant at the Bhutanese heritage home served a set meal. Try Ema Datshi (chilies and cheese), Shamu Datshi (mushroom & cheese), Jasha Maroo (diced chicken curry) served with red rice. Finally end your meal with Suja, Bhutanese tea made with tea leaves, water, yak butter & salt.

Shop at Farmers Market:

Shop like the locals at centenary farmers market, a two storied structure with almost 400 stalls. Find fresh produce on the first floor & the local red rice in the cereal section. Buy local red chilies, red rice or taste a variety of seasonal fruits at reasonable rates.

Visit Coronation Park:

Located opposite the farmers market the Coronation Park is popular amongst locals too. A magnificent Buddha statue is poised near the entrance. During summer, the park blooms with varieties of flowers & becomes a popular picnic spot. Take a walk around or admire views of a flowing river while resting on the benches. Also known as centenary park, the surroundings are picturesque so keep that camera ready!

Enjoy the Nightlife:

Thimphu has many Karaoke bars where locals & tourists love indulging in their favorite songs. Mojo park, Space 34, Om bar are a few recommended options. Try the local peach wine or beer while you are at it. To know more about Thimphu upcoming events click here

Indulge in a Hearty Breakfast:

Head to Thija cafe for a hearty breakfast as early as 9 am & watch the locals as they go about their daily lives. The cafe menu is exhaustive at this spacious cafe. Choose a table outdoors to enjoy great views.

How Do I Reach Here:

Although Thimphu does not have an airport, it is fairly accessible from the Paro international airport. The travel time is roughly about one hour from the airport to cover the 55 kms distance. Druk Airlines connects Paro airport with cities like Bagdogra, Kolkata & Delhi in India. In addition, the airport is also accessible from Kathmandu, Nepal and Bangkok, Thailand. However via road, it is connected to India through Phuentsholing border & accessible by a five to six-hour drive.

Where Do I Stay:

Choose from a wide range of Thimphu Bhutan hotels that offer budget stays, 3 star hotels & uber luxurious stays. Splurge at Taj Tashi, Hotel Druk or Le Meridian or choose a heritage home stay. Besides, experience the traditional hot stone bath at heritage homes to heal & relax your body during your Thimphu stay. We stayed at Bhutan Boutique Residency a great find as it was located in the heart of the city, offered great hospitality along with clean spacious rooms.

Thimphu Currency:

The currency used in Thimphu is the Bhutanese Ngultrum. However the Indian currency is widely accepted. Do carry enough cash as most places do not accept cards.

Anything Else?

Visit places of religious importance appropriately dressed. In addition, maintain silence inside monasteries, temples & stupas. Above all do follow the photography rules mentioned at each place of interest. To plan your trip to Bhutan get in touch on 9867207055.


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