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Thimphu – the capital city of the tiny kingdom of Bhutan is two hours’ drive (65 kilometers) from Paro.  It is the one among the two capital cities in Asia without traffic lights. The other is Pyongyang in North Korea.

Thimphu Location Map

Thimphu on Bhutan Map

The main traffic is controlled by a smartly dressed traffic police-man wearing white gloves. Some people are so fascinated by the sight of the traffic police-man gracefully waving and showing the way to vehicles that they spend time watching  them in action.

Spread across 2,067 square kilometers, with a population of more than 100,000,  it is located at an altitude of 2,380 meters.  Thimphu has people from different districts; a lot of people migrate to Thimphu in search of a better life.

Thimphu became the capital only in 1961 and today it is the government and monastic headquarters. It was only after Thimphu became the Capital that developmental activities started taking place. The Royal family members also live in Thimphu.

Thimphu has mild summer with temperature varying from 15 to 30 degree Celsius and in winter the lowest temperature is minus 1.1 degree Celsius.

It is the most happening town in Bhutan and is very active during the day. Thimphu has a comparatively active night life with discotheques and drayangs (bar with entertainers). If you want a taste of  night life in Bhutan, Thimphu is just the place for you.

An interesting combination of tradition and modernity can be seen here.

Many of the sights in Thimphu can be reached on foot. Some of the must-visit places in Thimphu are as follows:

Attractions in Thimphu

Centenary Farmers’ Market

  The centenary farmers’ market was inaugurated to celebrate the monarchy’s centenary reign. It is a good place to visit to see the wide range of Bhutanese goods and vegetable market. It is open from Friday afternoon to Sunday. … View details

Changangkha Lhakhang

Situated on a small hill overlooking the Thimphu valley the monastery was built in the 13th century by Lam Phajo Dugom Zhigpo. Children born in Thimphu are taken to this temple because it is considered the spiritual home of the children born in Chang … View details

Dechen Phodrang

Thimphu DechenPhodrang

At the end of Gaden Lam is the Dechen Phodrang, the site of Thimphu’s original dzong. Since 1971 it has been the state monastic school, where an eight-year course to almost 500 monk students is provided. The 12 century paintings in the monastery’s … View details


Marked by an array of prayer flags & 108 chortens, "The Dochula pass" is at an altitude of 3,050 meters above sea-level and it is the first high pass in the western region which is 23 kilometers from Thimphu on the way to Punakha. On a clear … View details

Institute for Zorig Chusum

Also known as the painting school, the institute has students learning the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan. The institute offers an eight-year course in the techniques of traditional art in 13 traditional arts such as painting, woodcarving, … View details

Kuensel Phodrang (Buddha Point)

Buddha Dordhenma at Buddha Point

It is one of the most happening points in Thimphu. It is locally named Buddha Point but the actual name is Kuensel Phodrang. It is called the Buddha point because the largest statue of Buddha in the country sits there. The 51.5 meter bronze statue is … View details

Memorial Chorten

Thimphu Memorial Chorten

The chorten was consecrated in the memory of the Third King of Bhutan, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck on July 28, 1974, following his unexpected death while travelling outside the country. The whitewashed chorten has four stone snowlines guarding the four … View details

National Institute of Traditional Medicine

Bhutanese Traditional Herbal Medicine

Bhutan although modernized with time still emphasizes on traditional medicines. There are some people who still prefer traditional medicines over modern. The traditional medicine is popular among locals and some foreigners. The National Institute … View details

National Library of Bhutan

National Library of Bhutan

With extensive collection of Buddhist literature mostly block-printed format, the library contains works of several hundred years old literary treasures of Bhutan. It also has a small collection of foreign books. The library has texts relevant to … View details

Takin Preserve

Takin in Takin Preserve Thimphu Zoo

The preserve houses the Takin, a unique, endangered species found only in Bhutan, Nepal, China and Burma. Bhutan has chosen it as the national animal due to its significance in the country’s religious and cultural history. … View details

Tashichho Dzong Fortress

Tashichho Dzong Fortress

One of the popular and biggest landmarks in Thimphu, the Tashichhodzong stands tall two kilometers away from the main town. It is the main secretariat building which houses the offices of the King and the Throne Room. The central monastic body and … View details

The Folk Heritage Museum

The Folk Heritage Museum in Thimphu Bhutan

A three-storeyed building dating back to the mid 19th century, it offers us a glimpse of a traditional Bhutanese farmhouse and rural past with millstones dating back to more than 150 years, traditional kitchen garden and hot stone bath. … View details

The National Textile Museum

Established in 2001 under the patronage of Her Majesty the Queen Mother, Ashi Sangay Choden Wangchuck, the National Textile Museum showcases a wide range of beautiful Bhutanese textiles including the crowns and attire used by the Monarchs and members … View details

Zangto Pelri Lhakhang

It is said to be a replica of Guru Rinpoche’s celestial abode and was built in the 1990s by the Late Dasho Aku Tongmi, who composed the national anthem. … View details