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What to Do in Thimphu?

Visit Jungshi Handmade Paper Factory, Bumthang Owl Trek, Trek to Jomolhari Mountain, Go to Dochula Pass, Simtokha Dzong, Get to know Bhutan at National Library of Bhutan, Druk path Trekking, Shop at Weekend Market, Dagala Thousand Lakes Trek, Witness the Buddha Dordenma, Bumdra Trek and many more.

Bhutan offers a plethora of things to do in Thimphu which will suit all kinds of travelers. This amazing place is known for its adventure opportunities as well as heavenly beautiful landscapes that are just remarkable sights to behold. You will have a wholesome experience in this country enjoying its rich diverse culture and traditional norms. In the course of your trip you can get to learn more about the Bhutanese Lifestyle exploring the Bhutan Heritage Museum, shop local products at the Centenary Farmers Market, explore various stamp collections at Bhutan Postal Museum and much more. 

The best answer to what to do in Thimpu would be trying to make Bhutanese Paper at Jungshi Handmade Paper Factory, attending a connect at the clock tower square and heading out on a hiking tour to Tang Buddhist Institute. You can enjoy watching the scenic sunset at Changangkha or admiring the beautiful artwork of Simtokha Dzong.  Other famous activities include learning more about Buddhim at Tashichho Dzong, learning the process of weaving at the Royal Textile Academy, getting into the wild at Bumthang Owl Trek, and Trekking At Jomolhari Mountain Ranges. 
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Must Things to Do in Thimpu

01

Witness the Buddha Dordenma

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Visiting Buddha Dordenma is one of the most important things to do in Thimphu in order to catch a truly mesmerizing glimpse of the breathtaking Thimphu Valley. Situated atop a medium-sized hill in the Kuenselphodrang Nature Park, the site shelters a huge bronze figurine of Lord Buddha in the seated posture. The statue measures near about 51 feet in height. The body of the statue manifests around 125,000 tiny figurines of Lord Buddha.  

Visitors come here to pay their respect and admire Bhutan’s largest statue, the Buddha Dordenma. 

Location:
Kuenselphodrang, Thimphu, Bhutan

Timing:
9 AM to 5 PM (All days except Monday)

Price:
No Fee

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02

Attend a Concert at Clock Tower Square

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Situated in the center of Thimphu, the Clock Tower showcases 4 clocks on each side of a rectangular column. All the four walls are engraved with mesmerizing dragon images along with some stunning floral designs. This design signifies the reputation of Bhutan as the “Land of Dragons” as well as manifests the breathtaking floral valleys of the country.

Almost all the open-air shows and concerts of Thimphu are conducted at Clock Town Square. So, if you are unable to figure out
what to do in Thimphu, just head to this destination and enjoy watching a concert. 

Location:
Hogdzin Lama, Thimphu, Bhutan

Timing:
Open 24 hours (All days)

Price:
NA


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03

Visit Simtokha Dzong

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Image Credit : Carsten ten Brink

The Simtokha Dzong is located atop a hill overlooking the entire city of Thimphu. This 16th century Dzong has an interesting legend of a demon vanishing into a rock here. This was the first ever Dzong to have both a monastery and an administrative office.

This place has ancient carvings and painting, considered to be the most beautiful in Bhutan. The pillars have installations of tails of tigers and guns hanging.

Location:
Old road between Paro and Phuentsholing

Timings:
Monday- Sunday: 9:00 am- 5:00 pm

Prices:
There is no entry fee


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04

Visit Jungshi Handmade Paper Factory

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Image Credit : Bob Witlox

If you’re someone who loves exploring the traditional hubs of new places, then visiting Jungshi Handmade Paper Factory can be the most suggested things to do in Thimphu. 

The Jungshi Handmade Paper Factory is a reputed and renowned place that deals in the production of the typical Bhutanese paper, Deh-sho. The manufacturers follow an old, traditional technique to generate paper from dekap trees, rather than the modern method. 

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

Location:
Khuju Lam Street, Thimphu, Bhutan

Timing:
8.30 AM to 5 PM (Monday to Saturday)

Price:
No Fee

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05

Experience Wildlife Motithang Takin Preserve

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One of the most exciting things to do in Thimphu is heading to Motithang Takin Preserve to spend some time with Takins. The Takin is believed to have been created by a mad saint using a goat’s head and a cow’s body. This peculiar animal has a special place in the culture of Bhutan. 

Apart from takins, the Motithang Takin Preserve also shelters barking deers and sambars. The place usually attracts wildlife and nature lovers, who flock here to enjoy watching the animals and doing wildlife photography. 

Location:
Motithang, Bhutan

Timing:
9 AM to 4 PM (All days)

Price:
INR 100

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06

Know About Bhutan at National Library

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Image Credit : Hriday

There is no better way to get to know a country, especially one that is as rich as Bhutan culturally and artistically, than by reading. The National Library has a collection of hundred-year-old manuscripts, scrolls, and books.

This library houses the world’s largest book weighing 68 kilograms and over 2 metres in height. The library is located amongst lush green hills and blue skies, making it one of the most picturesque libraries in the world.

Location:
PO Box 185, Pedzoe Lam, Thimphu

Timings:
Monday- Friday: 9:00 am- 1:00pm and 2:00 pm- 5:00 pm

Prices:
BTN 20, INR 20

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07

Go to Dochula Pass

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Trekking at the Dochula Pass is one of the most adventurous activities to do in Thimphu. An uphill drive of 40 minutes from the city, this spot can never be missed out. Dochula Pass shelters around 108 chortens that are constructed in the loving memory of the soldiers of Bhutan who lost their lives in the war of 2003 against Indian insurgents. 

Tourists visit Dochula Pass to take a mesmerizing glimpse of the Himalayas, standing at this spot. The place also makes for an excellent picnic site for the locals.   

Location:
The pass from Thimphu to Punakha 

Timing:
6 AM to 5 PM (All days)

Price:
No Fee

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08

Watch the Sunset at Changangkha Lhakhang

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If you’re a nature lover, then taking a glimpse of the sunset at Changangkha Lhakhang can be one of the best things to do in Thimphu.

Situated on a hill at a distance of 2km from the center of Thimphu, Changangkha Lhakhang happens to be the oldest site of worship. This shrine shelters a truly mesmerizing figure of Chenrizig. The mythological character Chenrizig, is believed to be the incarnation of a primary God of Bhutanese Buddhism, Avalokitesvara.

The monastery forms a good vantage for tourists who want to take a panoramic view of the breathtaking Thimphu valley. Visitors enjoy watching the sunset at dusk from this spot. The beautiful scenery is worth capturing and preserving forever. 

Location:
Changangkha Lhakhang Footpath, Thimphu, Bhutan

Timing:
8.30 AM to 5 PM (All days)

Price:
No Fee

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09

Spend Your Day at Simply Bhutan

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This is a living museum, which will take you the closest to the traditional Bhutanese lifestyle, is amongst the best things to do in Thimphu. This museum provides a great educational tour for those who want to understand the simple lives of the happiest people in the world!

Here, you can learn how to make arak (the local alcohol), take pictures in traditional Bhutanese clothing, buy souvenirs, and attempt archery. One should not miss tasting the local food here.

Location:
GPO Building, Chang Lam, Thimphu

Timings:
Monday to Friday: 9:00am- 5:00 pm, Saturday: 9:00 am-12:00 pm, Sunday closed

Prices:
BTN 200, INR 200

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10

Shop at Weekend Market

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Shopping at the weekend market is undoubtedly the most fun-filled activities to do in Thimphu. The sellers of different goods enter into the city on Thursday itself and stay up until late Sunday. A host of tempting Bhutanese delicacies are sold in this market. Visitors enjoy shopping for wild honey, dried fish, homemade cheese, saffron, and incense sticks. Other commodities available in the market include – white and red rice, fruits, herbs, and spices. The entire market is segregated into different parts based upon the kinds of products sold. 

Location:
Chhogyal Lam, Thimphu, Bhutan

Timing:
Anytime during the day (Saturday and Sunday)

Price:
Depends on what you buy

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11

Bumthang Owl Trek

The Bumthang Owl Trek is considered to be amongst the wildest and most intriguing activities in Thimphu. On this trek, you are bound to run into hundreds of these majestic birds. Listening to them hooting at night is a very different experience. This three-day long trek takes you around the Bumthang and Choekhor valleys.

You will get a chance to meet the nomadic Khep and Brokpa tribesmen, cross the Drangela Pass (11,000 ft.), get amazing views of Mt. Gangkarpunsum (24,000 ft.), and see the beautiful Zampalam Chuedek, and Tharpaling Gompas.

Location:
The trek starts at Manchugang, Wangdue Phodrang District

Timing:
March-May and September- Mid November

Prices:
BTN 1,50,000, INR 1,50,000

12

Druk Path Trekking

 This is a quaint trek that allows trekkers to walk on the ancient trading routes taken by the local Bhutanese people centuries ago. This five-day long trek, connects the valleys of Paro and Thimphu, traverses through some of the most beautiful routes.

This trek takes you through lush rhododendron, pine, and juniper forests, yak pastures, apple orchards, and high-mountain passes like Phume La, and monasteries. On the way, you will meet the nomadic yak herders and see mountains like Mount Jomolhari, Jichu Drake, and Gangkar Puensum.

Location:
The trek starts from Ta Dzong and Damchena village, Paro

Timings:
September- November

Prices:
BTN 48,000, INR 48,000




13

Visit Memorial Chorten

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Memorial Chorten is one of the most iconic landmarks of Bhutan and is a magnificent sight. This is a monument dedicated to world peace and a visit to this place is amongst the must things to do in Thimphu. The monument is painted in stark white and golden spires.

Set against the lush green hills, this place is very serene and peaceful. It is dotted with beautiful paintings, murals, and sculptures. The locals place their highest faith in this memorial and you will see elderly monks circumventing it and paying homage.

Location:
Chhoten Lam, Thimphu

Timings:
7:00 am- 9:00 pm

Prices:
BTN 300, INR 300

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14

Explore the Folk Heritage Museum

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This museum is built in an actual Bhutanese house and is considered amongst the top activities in Thimphu. This is a recent addition to Thimphu landscape to educate visitors about the simple and rustic lifestyle of Bhutanese people, their clothes, and daily use things.

This place has beautifully replicated a rural village’s setting complete with millet, wheat, and paddy fields. It holds a 100-year-old hot stone bath, alcohol brewer, rice pounder, etc. giving you a glimpse on the way of life that is escaping from us.

Location:
Pedzoe Lam, Thimphu

Timings:
Monday- Friday: 10:00 am- 4:30 pm, Saturday: 10:30 am- 1:00 pm, Sunday: 11:30 am- 3:30 pm

Prices:
BTN 150, INR 150

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Other Things to do in Thimphu

15

Trek to Jomolhari Mountain

If you are having a tough time figuring out what to do in Thimphu that can be adventurous and fun, try trekking to Jomolhari Mountain. Jomolhari happens to be the most famous trek in the country. Almost the entire trek passes via a tiny portion of Jigme Singye National Park and Lingshi. 

In the course of trekking, you can take a glimpse of a broad spectrum of flora and fauna in the landscape. The main attraction of this activity is the magnificent sight of the Jomolhari Mountain from Jangothang, the base camp of Jolmolhari

Location:
Trek starts from Paro and ends at Thimphu

Timing:
April to June & September to November

Price:
Nu 150,000 to Nu 226,500 per head

16

Dagala Thousand Lakes Trek

The Dagala Thousand Lakes Trek is a six-day trek that lets you spend time in the beautiful wilderness of the regions of Gur, Labathama, and Talakha. You will get a chance to see some of the most amazing lakes here.

This is a slightly difficult trek, which will let you pass through high mountain passes like Pagalabtsa (13,000 ft.) and Labajong (14,400 ft.).You will walk through remote Bhutanese village and closely see the lifestyle of the villagers away from the civilisation.

Location:
The trek starts from Genekha, between Paro and Thimphu highway

Timing:
April- June, and September- October

Prices:
BTN 17, 350, INR 17, 35

17

Bumdra Trek

Bumdra is not just a trek. It is a religious pilgrimage as well. Bumdra means ‘Rock of One Hundred Thousand Footprints’. People taking this trek are said to be following in the footsteps of 100,000 Dakinis (angles) who traversed these paths thousands of years ago.

This three-day long trek takes you through lush rhododendron and pine forests to the most iconic landmark of Bhutan- The Tiger’s Nest. You will also see the Sang Choekar Monastery.

Location:
The trek starts from Sang Choekar Buddhist College, Thimphu.

Timings:
March-May, and September- November

Prices:
BTN 3,500, INR 3,500
18

Soi Yaksa Trek

The Soi Yaksa trek is one of the most popular trek activities in Thimphu with climbs up to 15,000 ft. known for its breathtaking views of snow-capped mountains of the Eastern Himalayan mountain ranges of Mt. Jomolhari and Mt. Jichu Drake. The six-day trek follows mostly off-road and uninhabited routes.

Since not many people live on these trek routes, you will find them to be extremely peaceful and closest to the wilderness. During the trek you will pass many nomadic people’s camps and herds. There are chances of spotting the elusive blue sheep also on the way.

Location:
The trek starts from Sharna Zampa, Thimphu

Timings:
March- June, and September- November

Prices:
BTN 1,56,000, INR 1,56,000

19

Take a Visit to the Goldsmiths Workshop

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If you ask what to do in Thimphu, one of the obvious suggestions you will receive is to visit the Goldsmiths Workshop.  

Run by the government, Goldsmith's Workshop is perhaps Thimphu’s richest building. Each day hundreds of silver and copper items are manufactured in this place. From melting metals to hardening – visitors can witness the whole jewelry making process here. In addition to jewelry, the workshop also specializes in producing other metal products, including monasteries’ toranas. Visitors to the Goldsmiths Workshop can also purchase small jewelry items directly from the craftsmen. 

Location:
Gold Smith Workshop, Thimphu, Bhutan

Timing:
9 AM to 1 PM and 2 PM to 5 PM (Monday to Friday)

Price:
No Fee

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20

Take Blessings at Dechen Phodrang Monastery

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Literally meaning ‘Palace of the Bliss’, this 12th-century monastery transports you into realms of serenity and calmness that is characteristic of the Buddhist culture. Inside the complex, around 500 monk students reside and study. A site protected by UNESCO, the upper floors hold a huge statue of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and other protective deities. This floor only allows men to enter.

Location:
Gaden Lam, Thimphu

Timings:
8:00 am- 7:00 pm, all days of the week

Prices:
There is no entry fee

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21

Textile Museum Tour

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Most of the local Bhutanese people still subsist on weaving. The Textile Museum is an ode to this traditional art. The museum houses royal weaves known as Ghos and Kira. This place is a must-see for people interested in the heritage of the arts & crafts of the country.

It houses traditional looms and clothes including clothes and raw materials. The museum shop sells souvenirs and books for you to pick to get to know more about this dying art.

Location:
Near the National Library of Bhutan, Thimphu

Timings:
Monday- Saturday: 9:00 am- 5:00 pm

Prices:
BTN 250, INR 250


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22

Stroll at Centenary Farmers Market

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This market is a wonderful assortment of the sights, sounds, and flavours of the rustic and rural Bhutan. This is a huge farmers market with around 400 shops that sell everything organic and natural. You can pick up fish, fruits, spices, cheeses, local wines, honey, cherry-peppers, local handicrafts, jewellery, prayer wheels etc.

Here, you also buy traditional Bhutanese fragrances and incense sticks to take back home. You can interact with the farmers who are always more than happy to share their stories.

Location:
North of Changlimithang Stadium, Thimphu

Timings:
Tuesday- Sunday: 7:00 am- 7:00 pm

Prices:
There is no entry fee


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23

Pay a Visit to Zangto Pelri Lhakhang

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Zangto Pelri Lhakhang is considered to be the replica of the heavenly abode of Guru Rinpoche. Interestingly, Dasho Aku Tongmi, the author of the national anthem of Bhutan, built this in the 1990s. Nestled amongst lush green expanses, this private chapel is a beautiful sight in itself.

It houses statues as high as 4 metres. The chapel also showcases the skull of an elephant that was found while digging its foundations during the construction process. The chapel is illuminated beautifully during the night-time.

Location:
Near the weekend market, Phuentsholing, Thimphu

Timings:
Monday- Sunday: 8:00 am- 6:00 pm

Prices:
There is no entry fee

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24

Eat at Cloud 9 Restaurant

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Image Credit : cloud 9 cafe

If you’re a foodie, one of the best activities to do in Thimphu is to relish on some yummy dishes at Cloud9 Restaurant.

Cloud9 is a modern and up-market restaurant located in the center of Thimphu. The place serves appetizers, international cuisine, and wine. It is famous among the foodies for its handcrafted burgers, local beer, and wood oven pizza. Visitors usually flock to the place for breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner. 

Some of the major attractions of Cloud9 Restaurant are its nice and cozy interior, polite staff, delicious food, and extensive food menu.  

Location:
Ghaden Khanzang Bldg 42, Phendey Lam Thimphu, Bhutan

Timing:
9 AM to 10 PM on weekdays and 7.30 AM to 10 PM on weekends

Price:
Nu 240 to 790

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25

Visit Tango Goemba

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Visiting Tango Goemba is one among the most recommended things to do in Thimphu. Situated to the North of the Thimphu Valley, Tango Goemba holds a religious significance and has been a place of worship since the twelfth century. That being said, however, this monastery is now promoted as a hub for Buddhist learning. In the name ‘Tango Goemba’, the term ‘Tango’ implies ‘horse head’. The name is inspired by the original shape of the rock outcrop, which apparently looks like the head of a horse. 

Tango Goemba boasts unique and elegant Bhutanese architecture and is totally worth visiting.     

Location:
Thimphu, Bhutan

Timing:
7 AM to 11 AM (All days)

Price:
No Fee

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People Also Ask About Thimphu City

  1. What are the romantic things to do in Thimphu?

    1. Trek Together to DochuLa: Trekking together to DochuLa is one of the most sought-after romantic things to do in Thimphu as you will be reaching a location that offers more than 200 miles of stunning views of the Himalayan Mountain Range. The snow-covered peaks and the carpet of beautiful clouds will surely offer you a romantic setting to marvel with your beloved partner.  

    2. Soak in the Spiritual Vibe of Monasteries: Nestling in the midst of alluring scenic beauty, the monasteries of Bhutan are widely famous for their soothing and calming experience. You can come over to these places with your partner to offer prayers and sight beautiful sunsets. 

    3. Prance Amidst Colourful Rhododendrons and Poppy: 
    Bhutan is home to some of the beautiful valleys and is laden with some rare flora and fauna like clematis, lily, and primroses. When you are with your beloved partner and wandering about what to do in Bhutan, then spending time hand in hand next to such beautiful scenery is something worth it. Places like Dochu La and Chele La can be considered as a treat to unparalleled natural beauty. 
  2. What are the best things to do in Thimphu at night?

    1. Enjoy live shows performed by local bands at  Mojo Park: Mozo park is very much famous for its laid-back vibe and a great variety of drinks starting from beers to local drinks and cocktails. You will surely fall in love with the vibe and ambiance of this place as it is free from long lines and irritating neon lights. 

    2. Dance to the heart-thumping music at Space34: 
    Space 34 is one of the most sought-after nightclubs in Thimphu which has got dance floors, bars, smoking rooms and lounges, and karaoke rooms with personal bars. You will get a chance to enjoy every kind of music at this place starting from American to Korean Pop. 

    3. Enjoy the casual vibe of Om Bar: 
    Om Bar is widely famous for its casual vibe which lets you spend time in relaxation having a sweet time with your loved ones. You can not only enjoy drinking and eating here but you will also be able to indulge in a great karaoke session with your friends. 
  3. What are the best things to buy in Thimphu?

    Bhutanese Handicrafts
    Hand-woven Textiles
    Gold & Silver Jewellery
    Himalayan Beads (Dzi Beads)
    Handmade Wooden Bowls (Dappa)
    Cane & Bamboo Items
    Woven Bags
    Stoles
    Handmade Kira & Gho
    Yak-Bone Jewellery
    Carpets
    Handmade Paper
    - Finely Crafted Metal products
  4. What is the best time to visit Thimphu?

    September to November is usually considered the best time to visit Thimphu. You can also plan your trip to this destination during the early summer months of March and April. It is suggested to avoid the winter period, from December to February due to excessive cold in the region.
  5. What is Thimphu famous for?

    Thimphu is famous for its ancient monasteries and old museums. The place is also recognized for its rich cultural heritage and festivals.
  6. How do I get to Thimphu?

    By Air: Bhutan has only one international airport, which is located in Paro. You can take a flight from Mumbai or New Delhi and reach Paro. From there, you can take a taxi to Thimphu.

    By Rail
    : Catch a train and reach at Hasimara railway station. From here you can take a taxi to Phuentsholing. Once you reach at Phuentsholing, you can take a bus to Thimphu.
  7. How far is Paro from Thimphu?

    Paro is located at a distance of around 50.7 kilometers from Thimphu. It will take you near about two hours to reach Thimphu from Paro by bus or taxi.
  8. Is Thimphu safe to visit?

    Thimphu is one of the safest places to visit in Bhutan. The locals are friendly and the shopkeepers do not try to manipulate the costs and extract money from you. The residents of Thimphu are extremely humble and soft-spoken.

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