Just outside Thimphu city centre is Takin reserve forest, dedicated to the national animal of Bhutan, Takin, which looks like a cross between a goat and a cow. The legend is that the monk Drupa Kunley created this animal, and this rare species is just found in Bhutan. It is a well-preserved reserve area, and I loved witnessing the Takins in large groups.
Located about 10 km from the centre, the Royal Botanical Garden is a lovely place with a collection of a large number of plants and trees belonging to various species. It is one of the famous places in Thimpu to hang out for the locals.
Places to visit in Thimphu
If you are looking to do some shopping in Bhutan, Thimphu is the place to do. The main street Norzi Lam has many shops and the local market area as well. Here are the places where you can indulge in some shopping in Thimphu.
If you are traveling in Bhutan during the weekends, especially if you plan to be in Thimphu, then it’s a jackpot for shoppers! Every weekend, locals from Thimphu and the surrounding villages on the banks of the river Thimphu to sell their products including textiles. artworks, handicrafts and souvenirs. It is a great place to shop in Thimphu.
On the other end of Norzi Lam, you’ll find a great variety of Handicraft shops where you can shop for a big collection of colourful, hand-woven textiles and other craft products.
If you are traveling in Thimphu on Tuesday and Wednesday, you can visit the Craft Bazar in Centenary Farmer’s market, which offers Bhutanese arts & crafts manufactured by the local artists.
Junghi Handmade Paper Factory
If you are planning to buy some unique things made of handmade paper, head to Junghi Paper factory in Thimphu, where you can take a tour of this paper manufacturing unit as well. Made of natural plants, mainly ‘Daphne’ which is insect-resistant, they manufacture papers used in scripts, carry bags, lampshades and more.
The average temperature in Thimphu is around 25 degree to 32 degree Celsius, which varies according to the season. The best time to visit Thimphu is during the spring and fall. March to May and September to November are the best months, but Thimphu’s weather is pleasing throughout the year.
Recommended read: What is the best time to visit Bhutan?
Although the nightlife is low-key when compared to other countries in this region, Thimphu is the capital of nightlife as well. There are a few pubs serving beer and with dance floors, but the options are limited. Many Bhutan girls and guys can be seen partying at these clubs. The red light area in Bhutan is in Thimphu as well, close to these pubs, where escorts and beautiful Bhutanese girls have dance performances too. So make sure to check the right ones if you are traveling with families!
Some of the monasteries that are located away from Thimphu make for a good option for hiking and drives.
Places to visit in Thimphu
The monasteries worth checking out are Lungchuzekha Goemba, which takes around 3 to 4 hours to reach and is located close to Dochula Pass. The place is surrounded by dense lush valleys overlooking the rivers, making it a great day trip option from Thimphu. Another monastery that can be hiked to is Cheri Goemba, which takes about 2 hours to reach, and is located about 5km from the centre. If you are planning to drive around, you could do the Sangaygang – Wangditse loop, which begins outside the phone tower in Thimphu and goes through Sangaygang – Wangditse which might take about 3 to 3 hours.
Unlike the other parts of Bhutan, there are plenty of hotels in Thimphu in all budget ranges. Norzi Lam street is the centre and there are many on the same street. You can also find good accommodation options around the archery area and close to Thimphu bus stand.