20 Cultural Experiences To Add To Your Thimphu Sightseeing Itinerary

20 Cultural Experiences To Add To Your Thimphu Sightseeing Itinerary

Bhutan is considered to be one of the happiest places on earth and is popular among tourists for its authentic Himalayan charm and scenic beauty that no other country can offer.

Being placed between the two largest economies of the world, India and China, the country of Bhutan has numerous tourist attractions and amazing landscapes that allure people from all over the world. Among the many fascinating places one of the places that attracts tourists throughout the year is Thimphu. When it comes to tour packages, Thimphu Sightseeing is one of the most common parts of a tour itinerary in Bhutan.

Thimphu being the capital city is one of the most popular tourist spots that flaunts its beauty with rich culture and ancient art forms that make it stand out from the others. Whether it’s about authentic food cuisines or the vibrant festivals of the Bhutanese tradition, Thimphu has it all to make your vacation a memorable one that can be cherished over a lifetime.

Following are some of the top cultural experiences that you must add to your tour itinerary when visiting the land of Thimphu.

1.  Textile Museum
Bhutan being one of the most isolated countries in the world follows its old-age traditions and culture one of which is textile. Thimphu is home to the Textile Museum of Bhutan, the one of its kind and the must-visit place of the city. The museum exhibits hundreds of textiles and clothing that belong to the people of Bhutan of bygone era. The museum also showcases the ancient weaving techniques that are still used to produce textiles.

2.  Bhutan Postal Museum
Bhutan Postal Museum is one of the most favourite and unique attractions sites of Thimphu. The place houses some of the largest collections of postal stamps in Bhutan. This is one of the best places if you want to learn about the rich culture of Bhutan and understand the evolution of communication in the country over the years.

3.  Folk Heritage Museum
Out of various places for sightseeing in Thimphu, the folk heritage museum offers you to witness the rich folk culture and traditions of Bhutan. The place includes household items, artefacts and utensils that date back to more than 200 years. With rich culture and legendary tales, this place is a must-visit in Thimphu.

4.  National Library of Bhutan
Established in 1967, the National Library of Bhutan is the centre of Bhutanese culture that allows you to experience the rich heritage of Bhutan. The library houses some of the oldest relics and religious manuscripts that are sacred to the people of this country.

5.  Jungshi Handmade Paper Factory
Bhutan has minimal connection with modernization and Jungshi Handmade Paper Factory is one of the best examples of it. Built in the year 1990 by the Ministry of Trade and Industry of Bhutan, the factory uses the ancient way of paper making using the hand that has been passed on from generations and this factory is the best place to witness those ancient techniques.

6.  Choki Traditional Art School
Considered to be one of the most popular tourist attractions in Thimphu, the Choki Traditional Art School has been established to preserve the traditional art and paintings of Bhutan. Established in the year 1999, the art school is a heritage site of Bhutan that people visit throughout the year. You can also visit this place and learn the traditional art forms from some of the most reputed artists of Thimphu. 

7.  Thimphu Handicraft Market
The centre of authentic Bhutanese craft market, the Thimphu Handicraft Market is a must-visit place in Thimphu. With more than 80 small shops and stalls located all over the market, this is the best place to collect your souvenirs and range of unique handcrafted items made from wood, metal and other items. From textiles and foods to arts, you can find everything that will help you cherish your Bhutan trip forever. With the backdrop of religious flags, handcrafts, wood arts and a vibrant atmosphere this is one of the best places to visit in Thimphu.

8.  Clock Tower Square
The iconic landmark of Thimphu city, the Clock Tower is known for being the tourist hub. Located in the heart of the city, the place is known for housing the four-faced clock with beautiful artistic carvings on its walls that showcase the architectural marvel of Bhutan. Surrounded by numerous restaurants, food stalls, textile shops and other retail stores, this is one of the best places to experience the rich culture and vibrant lifestyle of Bhutan. The place is also popular for hosting some of the religious events and festivals that attract tourists all over the year. 

9.  Dochula Pass
Located on the Thimphu-Punakha highway, Dochula Pass is one of the most popular places to visit in Thimphu and has rich historical significance. Located at an altitude of 3,100 m above sea level, this place is counted as one of the highest motorable passes in the country. The pass is popular for housing 108 mini memorial stupas that have been built in the name of Bhutanese soldiers who lost their lives during the war with intruders of the Tibetan army.

10.  National Memorial Chorten
Placed in the centre of Thimphu city, the National Memorial Chorten is a religious site that welcomes Buddhist people and tourists from all over the world. The iconic landmark of Bhutan was built in 1974 to honour Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, king of Bhutan. Over the years the stupa has gone through various renovations but has still been able to preserve its rich culture and history behind the place. Tourists are mostly attracted to its peaceful ambience, scenic views and fascinating legends of this place.

11.  Foods and Cuisines
Food and cuisines are one of the most important parts of the Bhutanese culture that sets it apart from its neighbouring countries. Unlike other countries that depend on oily and fried foods, Bhutanese cuisine is mostly prepared using a combination of cheese and chilli that are incorporated in most of the dishes. Ema Datshi is the traditional dish of the country and is consumed all over the place. Apart from it, there are other varieties of food dishes, each of which comes with identical flavours and textures that need to be experienced during the visit.

12.  National Institute of Zorig Chusum
Popularly known as the Painting School of Bhutan, the institution is dedicated to preserving the national crafts and the rich culture of the country. The school includes some of the most renowned artisans in the country who teach a variety of arts and crafts to the younger generation so that the tradition is passed on to future generations. Some of the skills that are taught in this institute include Sculpturing, Papermaking, Embroidery, weaving, bamboo carvings, metal smithy and many more

13.  Visit Weekly market
Thimphu is home to several weekend markets and weekly markets that exhibit the items that represent the rich culture of the country. From organic spices to homegrown food ingredients, these markets are one of the best places to experience the rich culture of Bhutan.  You may also visit some of the local food shops and restaurants that serve the traditional food of Bhutanese cuisine that is sure to tantalize your taste buds.

14.  Take part in Archery
Archery is the national sport of Bhutan that is played in every corner of the country. There are various forms of bows and arrows that you can use to try the national sport of Bhutan. There are various clubs and institutions that offer archery lessons to the local people as well as the tourists of Bhutan. Changlimithang Stadium and Archery Ground located in the city of Thimphu are the two places where you can get the archery classes and practice archery. The stadiums also host various archery tournaments where participants take part from all over the world.

15.  Try traditional dress
Thimphu the capital city of Bhutan is home to rich traditions and culture that can be seen from the way they dress. Gho and Kira are the two traditional dresses of Bhutan. Gho is the traditional dress of men which includes knee-length cloth tied with a rope at the waist, while Kira is the ankle-length dress along with rectangular fabric. These are worms all over the country and a compulsory dress for the people working with the government officials.

16.  Meditate in monastery
Being a Buddhist dominant country, meditation is the major part of their lifestyle that helps them to remain calm and focused. There are numerous centres that offer free medication classes to tourists. You can visit some of the largest monasteries of Thimphu which offer a serene environment and blissful atmosphere ideal for practising meditation. These monasteries house monks with whom you can practice the meditation classes that will help to focus and stay calm offering a unique experience.

17.  Witness Thimphu Tsechu
Talking about taking cultural experiences, one thing that you cannot afford to miss in Thimphu is the vibrant and energetic festivals. Home to some of the largest monasteries in the country, Thimphu hosts some of the biggest festivals in the country, one of which is Thimphu Tsechu. Celebrated on the Tashichho Dzong, one of the oldest monasteries of the country, the Thimphu Tsechu is an annual festival that is celebrated every year in the month of September that include various forms of religious events, dance forms and musical events that attract people from all over the world.

18.  Witness masked dance
Cham Dance also known as the masked dance is the traditional dance form of Bhutan that is admired by people from all over the world. The masked dance is performed by the monks and laymen of the monastery and includes wearing wooden masks and vibrant clothes that represent the animals, and fearsome deities of the Buddhist culture. These dances are accompanied by local folksongs and musical events where all the people take part in creating an energetic atmosphere that is a must-visit. 

19.  Take a visit to Buddha Dordenma
Buddha Dordenma located on top of the Kuenselphodrang hill is a gold-plated statue standing tall with 51m in height. Built in the year 2015, the place is one of the most visited places in the city and is a popular choice among visitors to Bhutan. The statue is surrounded by one hundred smaller Buddha statues that are made from some bronze and offer a picturesque view of the site. With a backdrop of gigantic statues, green rolling hills and a peaceful environment, this is one of the best places to visit in Thimphu. Apart from its scenic beauty, the place also offers meditation classes that can be a good place for people seeking spirituality and searching for peace.

20.  Motithang Takin Preserve
Last but not least; Motithang Takin Preserve is another popular place which can be visited to explore the rich heritage and tradition of Bhutan. Placed at an altitude of 2,500 m above sea level, the preserve is the largest when it comes to inhabiting Takin, the national animal of Bhutan. Takin is a rare Himalayan animal that looks like a combination of a goat and a cow. Apart from this the animal is also one of the major parts of the Bhutanese religion and resembles the mythology character of Buddhism. Motithang Takin Preserve is the best place to observe the charm and beauty of this animal that needs to be visited during your trip to Thimphu.

Bhutan being isolated for centuries has been able to preserve its rich culture and tradition that sets it apart from other countries. While there are various places to explore in the country, Thimphu sightseeing is one of the best things that most tourists prefer during their trip to Bhutan. You can explore the richness and beauty of Thimphu by contacting a local tour operator who can help you travel in this fascinating city hassle-free while creating memories that can be cherished over a lifetime.

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