Thimphu, Bhutan’s capital, occupies a valley in the country’s western interior. In addition to being the government seat, the city is known for its Buddhist sites. The massive Tashichho Dzong is a fortified monastery and government palace with gold-leaf roofs. The Memorial Chorten, a whitewashed structure with a gold spire, is a revered Buddhist shrine dedicated to Bhutan’s third king, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck.

Unlike many Asian modern cities, Thimphu has kept a strong national character in its architecture. Street names are a recent innovation, so it might be more worthwhile telling a passerby the place you are looking for rather than the name of the street. It is wise to buy a street map of Thimphu. However, the center is compact and its is very difficult to get lost, but government offices are sometimes not easy to find.

Places to visit in Thimphu

  • Buddha Point
  • National Memorial Chorten
  • Changangkha Lhakhang
  • Takin Zoo
  • BBS Tower
  • Simply Bhutan
  • Zilukha Nunnery Monastery
  • Bhutan Textile Museum
  • Bhutan Postal Museum
  • School of Traditional Arts and Crafts
  • Handmade Bhutanese Paper Factory
  • Centenary Farmers Market
  • Handicraft Emporium
  • Tashichoe Dzong
  • Simtokha Dzong

The Paro – Thimphu Road

The road to Thimphu follows the valley of the Thimphu River through an arid landscape. A few houses here and there cling to the slopes. The valley widens somewhat near the village of Khasadrupchu where the side valley of Gidakom opens into it.

After Khasadrupchu, the valley turns again into a gorge before it widens out for a second time at Namseling, about 12 kilometers from Thimphu. Namseling is a very lovely spot with forest of conifers covering a gentle slope and a large village surrounded by rice fields below the road.

After Namseling, villages close to Thimphu begin to appear. The city  of Thimphu now comes into view in a cross-valley that runs north-south.

The distance from Paro Airport to Thimphu is 50 Kilometers. The altitude is 2,350 meters.