Thimphu is the almost mythical capital of Bhutan, a city that sees an ancient way of life persevering in tandem with modern influences. Anyone lucky enough to travel to Thimpu will find they encounter a pleasant culture-shock on arrival, with the city’s relaxed atmosphere seemingly at odds with its position as a bustling capital.
Visitors to the city can marvel at exquisite buddhist temples, enjoy unique and delicious cuisine or head out into the vast and stunning countryside. Thimphu is also the centre of the country’s government and a place that is receiving an ever increasing amount of investment. Combined with an abundant work force and low-overheads, it is looking to compete with the likes of India and the Philipines as an ideal place for western company’s to outsource operations.
Whether you are visiting Thimphu for tourism or commercial reasons, you are sure to find this enigmatic city offers an unforgettable experience.
Whilst it is tempting to find traditional accommodation to get an authentic experience, most visitors to Thimphu will more than likely find they yearn for at least a few western comforts. Accommodation in the city can vary hugely on quality, so it is important to book through a trusted advisor.
Serviced accommodation in Thimphu constitute some of the best and most comfortable places to stay in the city. The Squa.re can source properties that offer luxurious furnishing and essential home comforts, including full kitchen facilities for added peace of mind. Our team can also advise on the best place to stay and ensure wherever you choose to book is equipped with everything you require for a pleasant and comfortable stay.
There is much to experience in Thimphu, from ancient sights to markets and education centres. Memorial Chorten is a stunning monument to Bhutan's third King, and features paintings offering an insight into the buddhist philosophy in ancient times. Alternatively, Simtokha Dzong contains the Institute for Language and Cultural Studies as well as a series of carvings and sculptures in the Bhutan style. The Folk Heritage Museum offers an insight into local life throughout the centuries, whilst the Textile museum houses stunning examples of unique craftsmanship. Another must for first time visitors is the towering Buddha statue amidst the ruins of Kuensel Phodrang, overlooking the valley & perched above a temple filled with art & exhibits.
Those looking to indulge in retail therapy in Thimphu will not find the same high street they might expect to find in Europe—whilst the city does have the Zangdopelri Shopping Complex, it doesn’t feature a great selection global brands. What Thimphu does have, is an abundance of handcraft, local produce and unique shops and markets.
Options are limited for travel in Thimphu—and the rest of Bhutan for that matter. The country has no railroads whatsoever, so there is no option to take any trains. There are bus services operating in the city, but these are not especially comfortable and reliability can vary somewhat. Those seeking to explore the area around the city are best off finding a reputable private hire/taxi firm. These are usually low cost and the price can often be negotiated for longer journeys, such as those between cities.
The other option for travel between Thimphu and more remote areas, or Bhutan’s other main cities is to use the domestic air carrier—often a safer option than journeying too far on the unpredictable mountain roads.
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