About National Folk Heritage Museum
If you really wish to dive into Bhutan’s true culture and history, the National Folk Heritage Museum is the best place to start from as it beautifully preserves and flaunts the centuries-old folk traditions of the country.
This unique Heritage museum preserves traditional Bhutanese dishes, farming tools, household objects, and as well as important traditional trees. The surroundings of the establishment in which the museum has been constructed has beautifully preserved some of the most authentic folk elements of the historic Bhutan. From traditionally important flora and fauna to the authentic Bhutanese hot baths and water mills, this museum has been preserving Bhutan’s culture in the best way possible. If you visit this place, you will also get a chance to explore through unique and authentic historical Bhutanese furniture too, including chairs, benches, flooring, and other goods. No other tourist place can provide you with a better insight into the lives of the folk people of Bhutan.
How to Reach National Folk Heritage Museum- By Bus:
There are no regular buses from Paro to Thimphu. However, if you make your bookings well in advance, you may be able to get yourself a bus from Paro to the Local Bus Station of Thimphu. You can take a taxi from the Bus station to the Museum which is just 4 kilometres from there.
- By Rail:
Unfortunately, Bhutan does not have any railroads till date; therefore, the only option available for travellers is to travel via road.
- By Road:
There are excellent cab services connecting Paro International Airport to all the parts of Thimphu. You can book yourself a cab from the Airport itself to reach the Museum which is only 49 kilometres from there and should not take you more than 1 and a half hour, even in the worst of the conditions.
Best Time to Visit National Folk Heritage Museum
Months from March to May experience spring in Thimphu. If you wish to witness the colourful valleys of Thimphu filled with blooming flowers, this is the best time to visit. The temperatures during this time also remain quite pleasant, ranging from 7 degrees Celsius to 18 degrees Celsius.
Months from June to August experiences high temperatures, ranging up to 28 degrees Celsius. Not one of the best season to visit Thimphu:
Months from September to November brings back cool breezes to Bhutan and makes it pleasant for travellers from around the world. Average temperatures range from 4 degrees to 22 degrees Celsius.
Thimphu experiences really harsh winters from December to February with temperatures dropping down to up to -10 degrees Celsius. It is inadvisable for tourists to visit the city during this period.
What Not to Miss at National Folk Heritage Museum1. National Library of Bhutan:
Situated within a walking distance from the museum is the National Library of Bhutan. You can take a dive into the history and culture of Bhutan through the ages-old traditional Bhutanese books which are kept well preserved within the National Library of Bhutan.
2. National Memorial Chorten:
One of the most important religious structures of Bhutan, National Memorial Chorten is situated just 2.5 kilometers from the Folk Museum. The religious importance of this stupa, as well as its beautiful architecture, is worth admiring.
3. Tango Goemba:
A 40 minutes uphill trek from the Folk Museum will take you to this 15th-century Buddhist center. The place serves as a center for Buddhist studies and has various chapels, meditative caves, as well as residential quarters. Also, the view of the surrounding mountains and the upfront valley from this very place is breathtaking.
4. Motithang Takin Preserve:
4 kilometers from the museum is the only place throughout Bhutan where you can observe the national animal of Bhutan, Takin. Interestingly, this place was a zoo until some years back. However, the fourth King of Bhutan decided to free all the animals in the wild, keeping in mind the culture of Bhutan. However, the flocks of Taking ended up roaming around the city of Thimphu. This resulted in the setup of this place as a reserve for the tamed animals.
Things to do at National Folk Heritage Museum:
- Learn and practice the traditional farming and cultivating methods of Bhutan using locally developed tools.
- Watch the documentary made exclusively on the rural Bhutanese lifestyle and learn about their traditional values.
- Observe and admire 17th-century Bhutanese tools and utensils preserved in the museum.
- Witness the Leopard Skin Bags and Yak Hair hats traditionally used by Bhutanese folks.
- Get a chance to admire the original preserves of Bhutanese style water mills and stone baths situated in the museum premise.
- Explore and learn about the native Bhutanese plants and trees around the museum building.
Other Essential Information About National Folk Heritage Museum
The Museum is situated well within the capital city Thimphu, 4 Kilometers from the Local Bus Stand. The Museum is situated at a walking distance from the popular Clock Tower Square.
The Museum is open 7 days and week except for National Holidays.
- Summer Timings (April to October): 9:15 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Winter Timings (November to March): 9:15 a.m. to 4 p.m
The entry fee to the National Folk Heritage Museum is as follows:
- Bhutanese Resident: Nu 10
Distance from Nearest Airport:
The nearest Airport to the Museum is Paro International Airport which is 49 Kilometres away and takes almost 1 hour 20 minutes to reach by taxi or private vehicle.
History of National Folk Heritage Museum:
The National Folk Heritage Museum was commissioned by the Queen mother of Bhutan in 2001 to preserve and showcase the cultural heritage of Bhutanese rural people. The museum itself was established inside a restored traditional 3 storeyed Bhutanese style house dating back to the 19th century. The museum is located in a rural setting surrounding with paddy and wheat fields with a preserved traditional watermill as well as traditional hot stone baths situated well within the complex, thus making it a perfect historical location for the purpose.
The architecture of the National Folk Heritage Museum:
The three-storied traditional Bhutanese house within which the museum is set up is constructed using locally available timber and rammed earth. The courtyard situated in the center of the house provides the building with a spacious and as well as an enclosed feel. The ground floor is solely dedicated to providing shelter to the cattle and other animals. The second floor acts as storage for grains and other food products. The third floor is ultimately the one where the residents live.
Tips for Visiting the Folk Heritage Museum:
- No not touch any of the ancient exhibits showcased inside the museum.
- Photography is not allowed within the museum, therefore, avoid indulging in the same and enjoy the rural setting to its best.
- Try to indulge with the locals and get to know about Bhutan’s rich history and culture.