The National Memorial Chorten is a Memorial Stupa of Thimphu which is also known as the Thimphu Chorten. It is a stupa located on the Doeboom Lam in the southern-central end of the city.
Highlights: The National Memorial Chorten is a stupa that was built in the year 1974 to honor the third Druk Gyalpo, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. It is one of the quintessential landmarks of the city given its golden bells and spires. Regarded as the most visible religious landmark in Bhutan, it is a must visit for all.
Location: The National Memorial Chorten is located in Chhoten Lam in Thimphu, Bhutan.
Timings: You can visit the place from dawn to dusk everyday.
Pricing: Entry to the National Memorial Chorten is free.
Jomolhari Trek is the longer version of the Jomolhari loop trekking route that put up the trekkers against marvelous heights, unfathomable valleys, and challenging trekking routes. It also offers the trekkers to experience the breathtaking view of Himalayan Mountains, flourishing valleys, lush green yak pasturelands, lakes, rivers, dense forests and fruit orchards and the spectacular views of Mountain Jichu Drakey, Tshering Gang and Jho Drakey await you. It provides a superb opportunity to experience Bhutanese village life closely and marvel at the ancient architecture.
Location: Starting from Paro the trek passes through Sharna Zampa, Thangthangkha, Jangothang, and Linghsi from where the route diverge from Laya Gasa Trek to reach Shodu, Barshong, Dolam Kencho, Doden to reach Thimphu. Best Time: The best time is from March to May and September to November. Approx Price: The approximate price per person for the 9 day trek is 300,000 BTN. Difficulty Level: Moderately difficult.
Celebrated for two days, Jamolhari Mountain Festival is one of the most exquisite things that you will ever get to see. The magnificent theme and the amazing people define the soul of this festival which is celebrated at the heels of Mt. Jomolhari. This festival is pretty important for the local communities living around this area. There are a number of amazing shows but one in particular will surely overwhelm you.
It is called the snow leopard show. The show aims at making people aware of the declining numbers of snow leopards, which used to be a very common sight at one time. During the festival, you will see the locals clad in colourful traditional dresses. They do the traditional folk dance on the folk songs. The show is something you will never forget your entire life.
Location: At the base of the Jamohhar Mountain. Timing: Usually during the day Price: Part of the package
Trashi Chhoe Dzong is a fortress and a Buddhist monastery that lies on the northern edge of the city of Thimphu in Bhutan.
Highlights: Trashi Chhoe Dzong has long been the seat of the Dharma Raja or the Druk Desi who happens to be the head of Bhutan’s civil government. It has been amalgamated with the kingship ever since the creation of the monarchy in the year 1907. The principal structure of the white washed building is two storied. Further, the three storied towers on all the four corners is towered by the triple-tiered golden roofs. It also has a central tower or UTSE.
Location: Trashi Chhoe Dzong is located in Chhagchhen Lam, Thimphu, Bhutan
Trek amidst the dazzling natural landscape with snowy mountains, lush valleys, dense forests of fir, blue pine and rhododendrons, long stretches of pastureland and clear blue lakes on Druk Path trek in Bhutan. It is a six day trek which lets you spend adventurous time in the lap of the abundant nature. The trek connects the valleys of Paro and Thimpu and offers the glorious view of Mt. Gangkar Puensum, the world’s highest unclimbed mountain peak. Experience the unique culture and ancient architecture of Bhutan on your way with visits to sleepy hamlets and ancient monasteries and temples.
Location: The journey starts from Paro, the historical valley, and ends at Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan.
Best Time: The best time to take this excursion is between March-June and September-November. Approx Price: The approximate price per person for six day trek is 135,000 BTN. Difficulty Level: Easy to Moderate.
If you want see a glimpse of Bhutanese traditional lifestyle, their values and heritage, Folk Heritage Museum is the ideal place for you. The museum was established in 2001 and is set in a 3 storied timber and rammed earth building which still hold its authenticity. The museum artefacts transforms seasonally. Every time you visit, you will get to see something unique and new.
Highlights: Demo of different practices such as Markhu Tsene (oil extraction), Ara Kayne brewing, Zaw Ngowni, Tham Dhungi (pounding and roasting rice) and lot more. Ambience takes you back to 150 years old Bhutanese life with millet, paddy and wheat fields surroundings, vegetable gardens and 100 years old Kitchen. Location: Thimp Price: Others- nu 150 and SAARC nationals – nu 25 Working hours: weekdays – 10:30 am to 4:30 pm; Saturdays – 10:30 am to 1 pm; Sundays: 11:30 am to 3:30 pm Extra info: Lunch and dinner buffet provided for group of 5 and more
Memorial Chorten is one of the most important religious places for Bhutanese people where they worship daily. Throughout the day people walk round the perimeter of the Chorten as a holy ritual. Built in 1974, it is an outstanding illustration of Buddhist culture and architecture.
The whitewashed structure is crowned by a golden spire and is carved with intricate patterns. The spire emanates with the golden glow with the first ray of morning sunlight. The Chorten houses detailed paintings and numerous Buddha statutes.
Highlights: On going inside the Chorten, you can climb to the top to go out on the third floor terrace which is quite a tranquil place. Best time to visit : The Chorten is in the morning with the golden spire glowing in the sun rays. Location: The Chorten is located on Doeboom Lam in Thimphu near the Indian Military Hospital. Timing: 07:00 am - 09:00 am Price: N/A
One of the most challenging treks in the land of Bhutan is the Duer Hot Springs trek, which partially cross roads with Snowman trek which is ideally the most difficult trekking track in the whole world. Duer Hot Springs is the destination of this trek which has a breathtaking beauty worth the grueling challenges on the trail. Ranging from 3000 meters to 4700 meters, the track moves through multiple difficulties, steep heights and low descents.
However after this bone breaking challenge the sight of Duer Hot springs is indeed a reward. Apart from this on the trail one can see beautiful landscapes forested regions with prominent hemlock, maple and juniper trees.
Highlights: Hot Springs Duration: 4 days trekking tour.
The handicrafts market of Thimphu is also known as the Authentic Bhutanese Crafts Bazaar. The shops crafted from bamboo are lined neatly in row at a mile’s stretch, selling colourful and beautiful authentic handicraft of Bhutan. There are almost hundred shops in the market selling various souvenirs, authentic handcrafted apparels, bags, masks and many more items.
The shopkeepers mostly are Bhutanese women who welcome you with a warm smile. The products are all procured from the local villages. The market aims to preserve the Bhutanese culture and promote their traditions and handicrafts.. It is a market where you can spend hours in shopping.
Highlights: Look for beautiful attires with embroidery, souvenirs like carved wooden items, scroll painting, decorative items woven from bamboos, and beautiful jewellery made of gold, silver and precious stones. Location: The market is located at the centre of Thimphu below Norzin Lam. Timing: N/A Price: N/A
National Library of Bhutan or NLB was established in 1967 and possesses a wide collection of 6100 Bhutanese and Tibetan books, xylographs and manuscripts as well as 9000 printing boards and wooden printing blocks for religious books. It has one of the largest holdings of Buddhist Literature in the entire world.
It has a dedicated collection and promotes religious and cultural heritage of Bhutan in the form of ancient printed resources related to history, religion, traditions, and culture of Bhutan.
Highlights: The building is two-storied with staff accommodations, administrative offices along with technical equipments like computers, microfilm section, separate room for wooden books and much more. Located in: Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. Open from : 9:30 am to 5:00 pm (Monday to Friday) in March to October and 9:30 am to 4:00 pm in November to February and remains closed on government holidays and weekends. It is a complete representation of Buddha.
With stalls on both the sides of the Wang Chhu river, the Weekend Market hails vendors from all over the region who start arriving here on Thursday or Friday and remain till Sunday night which is why it has been popularly named as Weekend Market. There is a wide variety of fatty pork, dried fish, and homemade soft cheese.
Not only can this, but also during the winter months, shoppers even pick up a leg of Yak. Seasonal fruits like Jackfruit, curly fem fronds called nakey or bananas are available as well. Also, look out for the cereals like tsampa, red rice and ground roasted barley in the cereal segment.
Highlights: Incense area, filled with different aromatic raw ingredients, pink cubes of saffron used to flavor the holy water used in the pilgrims. It is one of the famous markets of Thimphu, Bhutan and opens on Saturdays and Sundays.
Making use of the traditional methods of producing paper, The Jungshi Handmade Paper Factory manufactures the most authentic and the best quality Bhutanese paper, which is popularly known as Deh-sho. The raw material used here for making paper is the bark of two species of trees i.e. the Daphne tree as well as the Dhekap tree.
Another interesting fact to know is that the entire process making this handmade paper is done with ancient traditional procedures that are being practiced since ages. The visitors have an advantage to try their hand on the paper making craft and make some paper of their own. Other than Bhutanese paper, this factory also produces greeting cards and stationery.
Highlights: This factory also produces lampshades, cards, watermark paper, envelopes, and calendars, all made from the traditional Bhutanese paper and is located in Khuju Lam, Thimphu. Open from: 8:30am to 5pm, Monday-Saturday.
Top Things To Do in Jungshi Handmade Paper Factory
The shortest of Jomolhari trekking route, Jomolhari loop lets the trekkers experience the diverse beauty of the Bhutanese landscape, flora and fauna even for beginners. This short trek is one of the most popular trek routes in Bhutan, and gives you an opportunity to see the majestic beauty of Mt Jomolhari without having to take the difficult and longer path.
Cover an altitude difference of 2500 meters to witness the changing scenery from dense forests, to stretches of pasturelands, sleepy hamlets, valleys dotted with ancient Bhutanese architecture in the backdrop of pristine mountain peaks.
Location: Arrive at Paro and traverse the trek that passes through Sharna Zampa, Thangthangkha, Jangothang, Soi Yaktsa, Thombu Shong to reach back to Paro. Best Time: The best time is from April to May and September to November. Approx Price: The approximate price per person for the 8 day trek is 250,000 BTN. Difficulty Level: Easy
This is no ordinary school, but this institute teaches under privileged children from different background and age. The school was established by Dasho Choki Dorji in memory of the 4th King of Bhutan. The school teaches skills like weaving (ThagZo), Sculpting (Jinzo), Lhadri (Painting), Carving (Pap) and embroidery (Tshem Zo). Bhutan nurtures its culture and heritage with care and passion.
Choki Art School is an example of this kingdom’s fine tradition. The dedication and harmony the school management portrays is worth praising. The school runs mainly on donation and the education, food and lodging are free.
Location: Thimpu Highlights: you can observe how the handicrafts are being made; the students there act like guides and tours with you around the institute. It also has an authentic gift shop, where art products made by the students are sold.
Working hours: 8:30 am – 4:30 pm (Monday to Friday), 8:30 – 4:30pm (Saturdays)
Clock Tower Square is a famous landmark in the capital city of Bhutan, Thimphu. The tower has total of four clocks one on each side and has some interesting and beautiful artistic carvings and paintings.
There are dragons which are crafted by hands, truly depicting the Bhutan as Land of Thunder Dragon. Intricate flower designs add to the beauty of the tower. The structure is a splendid example of the country’s find architecture, traditions and artwork. Small three storied buildings surround the structure with shops and restaurants.
Highlight: Spend some time on the square to watch and admire the life of Bhutanese people. Savour the cuisines served at food joints nearby. Concerts keep happening in the square and if you are lucky, you will get to enjoy one. Location: The tower is located below Norzin Lam in the centre of the national capital of Bhutan, Thimphu. Timing: N/A Price: N/A
First built in 1216 AD by Lama Gyalwa Lhanangpa, Trashichhoe dzong is above Thimphu where Dechen Phodrang now stands. This splendid city is on the west bank of the Wang Chhu and fits perfectly into valley providing the city both monastic weights as well as splendor. It hosts the biggest annual bash of the city and the sight is next to a carnival spreading colorful festivities all around.
The outer structure is two-storey and has three-storey towers at the four corners bulging out over the walls and covered by golden red roofs that present a view that is worth watching. Beautiful gardens and well-maintained lawns surround the impressively large structure.
Highlights: It is the venue for famous Buddhist celebration and Opens From: 5-6pm, Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm, Saturday and Sunday and till 5pm in the winter season and is located in Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan.
Deer Park of Thimphu is a Center for Art and Contemplation. It was established in the year 2007 under the auspices of Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche.
Highlights: The park commemorates the revered event in Sarnath, India. During this event, Buddha turned the Dharna wheel for the benefit of all the sentiment beings. This name helps one reflect on the meaningful significance of all the precious teachings as well as acts which are a reminder of the spirit of compassion and openness in which these are presented.
Location: Deer Park is located in Genyen Lam, Thimphu, Bhutan.
Pricing: All the Deer Park events are free and open for all who come here with a sincere interest of exploring the sacred path shown by Buddha.
Thimphy Tshechu is one of the oldest and most popular festivals of Bhutan. Celebrated for 3 days, this festival first got introduced Gyalse Tenzin Rabgay in 1867 which later suffered some changes by the third Bhutan king in 1950. Usually celebrated in Tendrel Thang, in front of Tashichhoedzong this is a festival which is attained by masses of people from all parts of the country. Even the farmers take a break from their farming life and join hands to worship night and day and play rituals to invoke God.
During this festival Cham dancers perform and provide great details about Buddhism and marks the right way towards honest living and blissful life. It is believed that these dance performances increases good luck and removes misfortune. It is also a social gathering for the people of Bhutan where they celebrate with fine clothes, jewellery and good cuisine
Established in 2001, The Folk Heritage Museum is a three-storey timber building that looks like a traditional farmhouse and seems like it has been furnished about a century ago. It provides the tourists, an insight into the Bhutanese lifestyle and material culture.
For the ones who are keen to have a glimpse of interesting rural life of Bhutan, this place is probably the best for them to visit.This almost living museum is included in the guided tour and has many interesting facts that one might love to be familiar with.
Highlights: Brokpa yak-hair spider hats, antique noodle express leopard skin bags and the restaurants serving Bhutanese cuisine.
Located in:Pedzoe, Lam in Thimphu, Bhutan, it opens from 9:00 am to 4:45 pm (Monday to Friday) and 10:00 am to 1 pm (Saturday and Sunday). Price: It costs Nu 25 for SAARC nationals and Nu 150 for adults.
Perched on top of a ridge above Thimphu, Changangkha Lhakhang is the oldest temple in Thimphu. The temple was built in 12th century and houses the central statue of Chenrizig, a manifestation of Avolokitesawara with eleven heads and thousand arms.
It offers a stunning view of the surrounding Thimphu valley from the top. The structure is a fine example of Bhutanese faith, tradition and architecture. There are a number of black and golden coloured prayer wheels in the temple. The prayer book in this temple is larger than other Bhutanese manuscripts.
Highlights: In the evening, this place offers an opportunity of witnessing the spectacular sight of setting sun on the city. Drop by the paper workshop on the way to temple to view the process of making papers. Location: Located in Thimpu, it is just 10 minutes drive from the main market. Timing: 08:30 AM - 05:00 PM Prices: N/A