Leisure Sightseeing

Top Things to Do in Thimphu, Bhutan

best things to do in Thimphu

Thimphu is the capital of Bhutan. It is situated in one of the country’s five valleys and is shielded on all sides by majestic mountains. It is the home of the nation’s Parliament and the king’s base. It is also a cultural hub for the country. There are popular festivals where people from across the world come to dance, sing, and pray. There are ancient monasteries and temples, and here all citizens follow the national dress code. Thimphu experiences a thriving nightlife as the area is full of the young crowd. Here is a list of things should not miss in Thimphu, Bhutan.

The Buddha Dordenma Statue- Thimphu is overlooked by the Buddha Dordenma statue, the largest Buddha in the world. It is about 170 feet tall and houses 1,25,000 other Buddhas inside. The Buddhas are made of bronze and then gold-plated. This Buddha was constructed to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the 4th king of Bhutan. It can be seen from a far distance when you explore the capital, but it is suggested to drive up the mountain to see it from close. The views and details are spectacular.

The Famous Bhutanese Traffic Police- Thimphu is the only capital city in the world that does not have a single traffic light. One of the most interesting things you should not miss in Thimpu is watching The Famous Bhutanese Traffic Police. While on most of the streets, cars give way to one another, there is a crossing where you will see an official, dressed in a uniform and white glove, supervising traffic. He stays inside a lovely hut which is decorated in the national style. He is famous among the locals and tourists. Do not forget to click a photo of him.

Watch Takin, the national animal of Bhutan, at the Takin Zoo- Takin, the national animal of Bhutan is so rare that many believe it to be a mythological creature. Found in the eastern Himalayas, it is half goat and half antelope. They prefer living in the bamboo forests at a great height.  The Bhutanese believe that they are very spiritual and wise creatures. While it doubtful you will see Takin in the wild jungle, you are guaranteed to see it in the Takin Zoo where they roam freely on 8 acres of land.

The Tashichho Dzong- Since 1952, it has been the seat of Bhutan’s government. It includes the throne room and offices of the king and ministries of the finances and home affairs. Other government offices are in nearby buildings. The building is surrounded by beautiful gardens and the Wang Chhu river. Visitors can visit the place after 5 p.m. during the weekdays and the whole day on weekends.

what to do in thimphu

Begin a stamp collection at the Bhutan Post Office Headquarters- Now visiting a post office may seem odd, but in Bhutan, it is a cultural experience that you cannot miss. Bhutan is popular for its stamps. Many consists of rare materials or unusual designs. Others celebrate world events. Stamps of Bhutan are so popular, profits attained from stamp collectors make up an important part of their economy.

Jungshi Handmade Paper Factory- If you are someone who loves to explore the traditional hubs of new locations, then visiting Jungshi Handmade Paper Factory is one of the things you should not miss in Thimpu, Bhutan. The Jungshi Handmade Paper Factory is a renowned and reputed place that handles the manufacturing of typical Bhutanese paper, known as Deh-so. The manufacturers follow an old and traditional method to manufacture paper from dekap trees.

Travelers visit this place to catch a live illustration of the conventional procedure of papermaking. They also enjoy using special tools in the factory. Visitors also buy the traditional Bhutanese paper and carry it home as a unique and interesting souvenir.

Visit Clock Tower Square for attending a concert- The clock tower situated in the heart of Thimphu city features four different clocks on the four sides of the rectangular piece. The walls are designed with beautiful hand-carved dragons and some attractive floral designs, keeping in mind the reputation of Bhutan as the Land of the Thunder Dragon and its several floral valleys. Most of the open-air concerts in this city are held here at the Clock Tower Square. Watching a show here is one of the best things you should not miss in Thimphu, Bhutan.

Tiger’s Nest Monastery- Tiger’s Nest Monastery, also known as Taktsang Monastery, is situated just outside of Paro and is one of the popular things to do in Bhutan. It was blessed as one of the most sacred sites in Bhutan and must not be missed. As most people just spend 4 days in the country, this is popular as it is close to the airport and takes a few hours to climb.

It is a 1000-meter elevation gain to an approximate height of about 3000 meters.

What makes this trek so spectacular is watching the incredible monastery that clings to the side of a cliff. While searching images for Bhutan, chances are you will find the Tiger’s Nest Monastery in the first position. It is beautiful. The monastery is beautiful to watch and monks today also live in the mountains.

Go for trekking to Jomolhari Mountain- If you are having a difficult time finding out what to do in Thimphu that can be both fun and adventurous, try going for a trek to Jomolhari Mountain. It is one of the interesting things you should not miss in Thimphu, Bhutan. This mountain is famous for trekking in the country. Almost the whole trek passes through a small portion of Jigme Singye National Park and Lingshi. While trekking, you can have a glimpse of a wide variety of flora and fauna in the landscape. One of the main attractions of this activity is the splendid sight of the Jomolhari Mountain from Jangothang, the base camp of Jolmolhari.

Buddhist monastery

Visit Dochula Pass- Trekking at the Dochula Pass is one of the adventurous things you should not miss in Thimphu, Bhutan. An uphill drive of about 40 minutes from the main city, this site must not be missed out. Dochula Pass shelters nearly 108 chortens that are built in the loving memory of the soldiers of Bhutan who lost their lives in the war held in 2003. Visitors visit Dochula Pass to take a captivating glimpse of the Himalayas, standing at this place. This site is also a great place for enjoying a picnic.

Druk Path Trekking- This is a quaint trek that lets trekkers walk on the ancient trading routes taken by the local Bhutanese centuries ago. This 5-day long trek connects the valleys of Thimphu and Paro, traverses through some of the most attractive routes. During this trek, you will be taken through the lush rhododendron, juniper forests, pine, apple orchards, yak pastures, and mountain passes like Phume La, and several monasteries. On your way, you will meet the nomadic yak herders and see mountains like Mount Jomolhari, Gangkar Puensum, and Jichu Drake.

Watch the sunset in Changangkha Lhakhang- It is one of the beautiful things you should not miss in Thimphu. The oldest place of worship in the capital, Changangkha Lhakhang is situated on a small hill some few kilometers away from the city center. The shrine houses a beautiful statue of Chenrezig who is considered as an incarnation of Avolokitesawara, one of the main gods in Bhutanese Buddhism. For travelers, the monastery, situated at the top of a hill, offers a great vantage point of the attractive Thimphu valley. At dusk, you can watch the sunset go down on the twinkling city in an attractive Instagram-able moment for all.

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