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TASHI CHHO DZONG

OPENING HOURS:- Mon-Fri: 5.30 a.m.-6.30 p.m.,Sat & Sun: 8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m., Winter: Till 5.30 p.m.

LOCATION:- Chhagchhen Lam, Thimphu

A must-see on every visitor’s list, this impressive structure with large golden Bhutanese-style spires is the seat of the national government, and also houses the national library, throne room of His Majesty the King of Bhutan and the nation’s largest monastery. It is also the venue of the famous Buddhist religious celebration, Thimphu Tshechu. A look at its whitewashed exterior with the red roof, set by the river with Thimphu hills in the backdrop, is a splendid sight.

Tashi Chho Dzong

SIMTOKHA DZONG

LOCATION:- Semtokha, Bhutan

About 5 km from Thimphu, Simtokha Dzong is known as the first Dzong built in Bhutan. Stroll through the oldest dzong in Thimphu, also known as the gateway to Thimphu Valley. Marvel at the beautiful frescos and over 300 finely worked slate carvings. This one of a kind structure is a religious and historical monument and also houses one of the premier learning institutes of Bhutan— the Institute for Language and Culture Studies. 

 

Simtokha Dzong

NATIONAL MEMORIAL CHORTEN

OPENING HOURS:- 07:00 a.m. - 09:00 a.m.

LOCATION:- Chhoten Lam, Thimphu

Marvel at the exquisite paintings and sculptures at the National Memorial Chorten, an impressive monument dedicated to Tantric Buddhism. Gain insights into Buddhist philosophy here, reflecting on the peaceful and wrathful aspects of Buddhist deities. One of the most visible religious structures in Thimphu, it is a place of daily worship. Mornings are especially serene here with elderly people praying at the shrine and walking around spinning the prayer wheels.

 

National Memorial Chorten

BUDDHA DORDENMA

OPENING HOURS:- Open 24 hours

LOCATION:- Kuenselphodrang, Thimphu

To enjoy a lovely view of the Thimphu Valley, take a trip to Buddha Dordenma, located on top of a hill in Kuenselphodrang Nature Park. As you reach here, you will be greeted by a magnificent bronze statue of a 51-foot-high seated Buddha Dordenma. The majestic three storey base houses a large chapel, while the body is filled with 125,000 smaller statues of Buddha. Pay your respects and marvel at the largest statue in the country as you walk around the place. The best time to visit is early morning as the morning light makes the Buddha glow, or at night when the statue is illuminated. The paved road to the site is also known as 'Buddha Point' and is a popular biking route. So if you are a biking enthusiast, this site will be exciting for you for more reasons than one.

Buddha Dordenma

MOTITHANG TAKIN PRESERVE

ENTRY FEE:- Nu 10/30/50

OPENING HOURS:- Tue-Sun: 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m

LOCATION:- Motithang district of Thimphu

This is a wildlife reserve area for Takin, the national animal of Bhutan that looks incidentally like a cross between a cow and a goat. Legend has it that the animal was created by the great Buddhist yogi, Drupa Kunley, and it can be found only in Bhutan and nearby areas. Visit the Takin Preserve in the morning, when these unique animals are grouped near the fence to be fed, as that makes for a good view of them.

Motithang Takin Preserve

CHANGANGKHA LHAKHANG

OPENING HOURS:- 07:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.

LOCATION:- Deki Lam, Changangkha, Bhutan

This fortress-like temple is the oldest in the Thimphu Valley and is situated atop a small ridge overlooking Thimphu. It is considered to be the spiritual home of children born in the Chang valley as parents bring their new-borns here to get auspicious names for them and to get them blessed by the protector deity Tamdrin. From here, you can enjoy stunning views of the city. This site also serves as an ideal place for great photo opportunities. Give the resident astrologer your date of birth and after consulting the divination charts, he will provide you with protective prayer flags most suited for you too!

Changangkha Lhakhang

ZILUKHA NUNNERY

LOCATION:- Gaden Lam, Thimphu

Zilukha Nunnery in Drubthob Goemba is the biggest nunnery in Bhutan. The nunnery overlooks the Tashi Chho Dzong or Thimphu Dzong where one can witness nuns chanting prayers and turning prayer wheels. It also offers amazing views of the golf ground and the other side of the Thimphu valley. While you can walk around the nunnery and interact with the nuns, be careful to not disturb the residents during their prayer time.
 

Zilukha Nunnery

CHERI GOEMBA

LOCATION:- Near Cheri Mountain, outside Thimphu

Visit Cheri Goemba, one of the most important landmarks of Thimphu and also Bhutan’s first monastery, dating back to 1620. There are around 30 or so monks staying here at any time for the standard three years, three months and three days. The Cheri Goemba holds great historical and religious significance and the beauty and tranquillity here is boundless. It is also a key meditation retreat. However, you will need to undertake an uphill hike of 45 minutes to reach here.

Cheri Goemba

TANGO GOEMBA

OPENING HOURS:- 07:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

LOCATION:- 14km North of Thimphu, Bhutan

Located at the northern end of Thimphu Valley, the Tango Goemba has held religious significance since the 12th century. Tango, which means ‘horse head’, gets its name from the natural shape of this rock outcrop. Today, the monastery is the highest centre of Buddhist learning in the country. A half-hour climb up the hill if you take the steep shortcut, the place is worth a visit and boasts of exquisite Bhutanese architecture.

Tango Goemba

ZANGTO PELRI LHAKHANG

OPENING HOURS:- Mon - Sun: 08:00 a.m. - 06:00 p.m.

LOCATION:- Near the Weekend Market, Phuntsholing

This private chapel dates back to the 1990s and was built by Dasho Aku Tongmi, a musician who composed Bhutan’s national anthem. It is a replica of Guru Rinpoche’s celestial abode and has an array of large 4 metre-high statues inside, including several Guru Rinpoches. Keep a look out for the elephant skull in a box, which is said to have been unearthed while digging the foundation.
 

Zangto Pelri Lhakhang

NATIONAL LIBRARY

OPENING HOURS:- Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.

LOCATION:- PO Box 185, Pedzoe Lam,

Established in 1967 to preserve ancient Dzongkha and Tibetan texts, the National Library stands as a fine example of traditional Bhutanese architecture. It hosts great historic photos, traditional books and ancient manuscripts. Housing a collection of rare editions that date back to a hundred years, these literary treasures are part of Bhutan’s cultural heritage. Experience reading a page from one of the largest books in the world here. You may also enjoy looking at the carved wooden blocks used for printing the books, on display here.

National Library

DECHEN PHODRANG

LOCATION:- Gaden Lam, Thimphu

Literally meaning ‘Palace of Great Bliss’, Dechen Phodrang is the site of Thimphu’s original 12th century dzong. The monastery, located in the north of the city, has about 450 student monks enrolled in an eight-year course. It is monitored by UNESCO and houses a number of historical Bhutanese artefacts including 12th century paintings, duly restored.

Dechen Phodrang

NATIONAL TEXTILE MUSEUM

ENTRY FEE:- Nu 50/250

OPENING HOURS:- Monday-Saturday 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

Visit Bhutan’s best museum to learn about the national art of weaving. A part of the Royal Textile Academy, exhibitions here introduce the visitors to the major weaving techniques, styles of local dresses, and different kinds of textiles made by women and men. There are usually a small group of weavers working their looms inside the shop, which features work from the renowned weaving centres in Lhuentse Dzongkhag—the ancestral home of the royal family in north-eastern Bhutan. The museum shop offers some fine textile and books for people looking to shop. There is no photography allowed.

National Textile Museum

DECHENCHOLING PALACE

Located just a short distance away from Thimphu, Dechencholing houses the Royal Palace where members of the Royal family, except for the king, reside. It was built in 1953 after the coronation of the third King of Bhutan—Druk Gyalpo Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, after the death of his father—Druk Gyalpo Jigme Wangchuck, in 1952. The three-storied palace is built in traditional Bhutanese style and is set amidst sprawling lawns, pretty ponds and lush green trees. It is frequently used for international delegations, and for hosting head of the states and other important guests of Bhutan.

Dechencholing Palace

ROYAL BOTANICAL GARDEN

OPENING HOURS:- 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

LOCATION:- Serbithang, Babesa- Expressway, Bhutan

Located about 15 kilometres from Thimphu and inaugurated in 1999, this is fast becoming a popular weekend spot for people looking for a brief jaunt out of the confines of the city. With a collection of 500 species of plants, the botanical garden is ideal for relaxation and unwinding. Enjoy a family outing or simply stroll around.

Royal Botanical Garden

SANGAYGANG HILL

OPENING HOURS:- Open 24 hours

LOCATION:- Outskirts of Thimphu

A short drive from the town, Sangaygang Hill is a delight for visitors who are looking to get away from the hustle bustle of city life. Capture panoramic views of the valley on your camera and enjoy nature at its best. You can also plan a little picnic under the open skies here.

 

Sangaygang Hill

DOCHU LA PASS

OPENING HOURS:- Open 24 hours

LOCATION:- East-West Road from Thimphu to Punakha

A 40-minute uphill drive from Thimphu, Dochu La Pass is hard to miss with its series of prayer flags and a concentration of 108 chortens , built in the memory of Bhutanese soldiers killed in the 2003 war against insurgents from India. Enjoy breath-taking views of the Himalayan ranges from this high point; the pass is also a popular picnic spot among locals.

Cordinates: 27°29'24"N 89°45'1"E

Dochu La Pass

FOLK HERITAGE MUSEUM

ENTRY FEE:- Nu 30/150

PHONE NUMBER:- 02-327133

OPENING HOURS:- Mon-Fri, 10:00 a.m.- 1:00 p.m., Saturday & Sunday: 9:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m.

LOCATION:- Pedzoe Lam, Thimphu

To give the viewer a closer look at traditional Bhutanese living, the Folk Heritage Museum has been made as a replica of a traditional farmhouse. The complex is a three-story structure made with rammed earth and timber like the buildings made a century ago. Some of the things to look out for are the antique noodle press, yak hair hats and leopard skin bags.

Folk Heritage Museum

SIMPLY BHUTAN MUSEUM

ENTRY FEE:- Nu 150/200

PHONE NUMBER:- 02-337961

OPENING HOURS:- Monday-Saturday: 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. & 2:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.

LOCATION:- www.simplybhutan.bt

Simply Bhutan is an interactive living museum which aims to educate visitors about traditional Bhutanese living. A great place to visit with family, here you can learn to dress up in the traditional Bhutanese garb, get a lowdown on distilling arak (a kind of alcohol) and even hear Bhutanese songs by native women, as they go about their chores. If you are looking to buy souvenirs, visit the shop within the complex, which also has a snack bar.

Simply Bhutan Museum

BHUTAN POSTAL OFFICE & MUSEUM

ENTRY FEE:- Nu 200/300

OPENING HOURS:- Mon to Fri: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Sat 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

LOCATION:- GPO Building | Chang Lam, Thimphu

Bhutan is a philatelist’s dream. For the uninitiated, a philatelist is one who collects or studies stamps. Discover round, rectangular, square and even 3D stamps at the Bhutan Post Office. The souvenir shop at the post office even lets you print international stamps with personalised images that can be sent with postcards. If you are a hard-core philatelist, also visit the Postal Museum attached to the Post Office. Five galleries portray the evolution of the Bhutan postal system from time immemorial, all the way to the highly collectable modern stamps.

Bhutan Postal Office & Museum

TREKKING IN JIGME DORJI NATIONAL PARK

OPENING HOURS:- Open 24 hours

LOCATION:- Gasa, Bhutan

The Jigme Dorji National Park is the largest protected area in Bhutan, sprawling over a massive 4,349 sq. km in the Eastern Himalayan region. The second largest national park of Bhutan, it covers warm broad-leaved forests to permanent ice fields and glaciers. The great trekking trails here take you through dense cypress forests along the mountainside. You also have a chance to sight Bhutan’s strange national animal, the Takin, and the rare Blue Poppy— Bhutan’s national flower, among many other flowers such as edelweiss, orchids and rhododendrons. The sign at the entrance which says ‘leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but memories’ encapsulates Bhutan’s belief in an idealistic state of ‘happiness’.

 

Trekking in Jigme Dorji National Park

CONNECTING WITH THE ARTISTS AT THE VOLUNTARY ARTISTS STUDIO

PHONE NUMBER:- 02-327248

OPENING HOURS:- 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

LOCATION:- Tarayana Centre, Chang Lam, Chubachu, Thimphu

This studio and art gallery acts as the hub of the local artists of Thimphu. The studio aims to promote contemporary and traditional Bhutanese art, as well as provide support and training to budding artists. The studio also acts as a meeting place for local artists, where they can share and learn from each other. If you are looking to experience the art scene of Thimphu and have a chat with the local artists, this is a place to be. The studio also sets up a small exhibition in the public park outside the studio to display some of the art pieces.

Connecting with the Artists at the Voluntary Artists Studio

BIKING

ENTRY FEE:- Cost of hiring a mountain bike: Nu 1,600- Nu 2,700 per day, Cost of Mountain Biking Packages: 165,000 Nu- 200,000 Nu per person/ 8-9 days

A fun way of exploring Thimphu town and the many secrets of the ‘hidden kingdom’ is to explore it on a bike. You can do so independently by hiring a bike or choose to enrol yourself in the tour organised by the Bhutan Bicycle Club. You can hire a bike for approximately Nu 1,500 per day to enjoy this unique outdoor experience.


Providers:

  • Bhutan Bike

Location: Linka Building, near flyover bridge, Changzamtog, Thimphu
Phone: +975 77105773
Website: http://www.bhutanbike.com/

  • Mountain Bike Bhutan

Location: Hongkong Market,
Phone: +975 17560228
Website: http://www.mtbbhutan.com/

 

Biking

JUMOLHARI TREK

ENTRY FEE:- 150,000 Nu to 226,660 Nu per person

OPENING HOURS:- 9-day trek: April-June and September-November, 8-day trek: April-June and September-November

The Jumolhari Trek starts at the ruins of the fortress Drukgyel in Paro and ends in Thimphu. Undoubtedly one of the most beautiful un-spoilt treks in the Himalayas, this one will have you pass through diverse Bhutanese landscapes, rhododendron forests, farmlands and villages en route. Don’t miss out on your chance to view Mount Everest as you climb to an altitude of 4,820 metres.

Providers:

 

  • Lhomen Tours & Treks

Location: P.O. Box # 341, Thimphu, Bhutan
Phone: 975-2-324148
Website: http://www.lhomen.com.bt/

  • Trekking in Bhutan

Location: Changlam, Near Changlimethang Stadium, , Bhutan
Phone: + 975 1748 1855
Website: http://www.trekking-in-bhutan.com/contact-us

  • Access Bhutan Tours & Travels

Location: Building 10, Changlam, Thimphu
Phone: +975-17110720
Website: http://www.bhutantouroperators.net/

  • Bhutan Adventures

Location: Building No. 11, Chubachhu, Thimphu
Phone: +975-2-323459
Website: www.travelbhutantour.com

 

Jumolhari Trek