Thimphu is the capital of Bhutan and one of the most intriguing capitals in the world. The youthful exuberance of Thimphu is one of the city’s many appealing qualities. Old and new sit side by side, no one seems in a hurry and it is the only capital city in the world without traffic lights. It is a great place to simply do your own thing, and the informal, relaxed and friendly atmosphere is endlessly rewarding.
Best Time to Visit
If you are planning a Travel to Bhutan then the best time to visit is October to December the air is clear and fresh with sunny skies. January and February are colder, but from then until April the climate remains dry and pleasant and in late spring the famous rhododendrons bloom spectacularly, flooding the valleys with colour.
Top Places to Visit in Thimphu
1. Trashi Chhoe Dzong
A whitewashed fortress nestled in the valley north of the Wang Chhu. Topped by red and gold roofs, the fortress and its towers are splendidly proportioned and built of neatly-fitted granite blocks. Entering through the eastern side, visitors are greeted by whimsical statues of the Guardians of the Four Directions. Chana Dorje and Hayagriva act as wrathful gatekeepers, and Drukpa Kunley shines as the popular “Divine Madman.” A mural of the fable of the Four Friends completes the lively picture in the vast courtyard, where the only sounds are the whirr of prayer wheels and the gentle coo of pigeons.
2. Dechen Phodrang
Dechen Phodrang now stands at the site of the original Trashi Chhoe Dzong. Now home to the state’s monastic school, the grounds often hum with the sounds of 450 students reciting prayers. A statue of the Buddha Shakyamuni sits in the downstairs chapel, and the upper floors highlight 12th-century paintings.
3. Motithang Takin Preserve
Takins are the national animal of Bhutan, and the tame animals once wandered the streets of Thimphu before being taken into captivity at the Motithang Takin Preserve. The large fenced area is brimming with the oddball animals, who are best seen during the early morning feeding time.
4. National Textile Museum
There are a number of notable museums in Thimphu. One of the most interesting is the National Textile Museum, focused on the living national art of weaving. The fascinating exhibits detail local dress, major weaving techniques and textiles, and visitors can awe over the resident group of weavers concentrating deeply on their looms inside the shop.
5. Folk Heritage Museum
At the Folk Heritage Museum, visitors can step back in time to the Bhutan of a century ago. The traditional farmhouse is like a living museum highlighting the country’s rich traditions and providing a glimpse into country life.
Other sights worth exploring in Thimphu include the National Library, the private chapel of Zangto Pelri Lhakhang, the National Institute of Traditional Medicine, the large Changlimithang Stadium and Archery Ground, the National Memorial Chorten and the Telecom Tower, which offers wonderful views of the city from over 2,000 meters.