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We’ve visited this place in Thimphu. Young students were learning their traditional arts here. There were many classes like painting, carving, sculpture, weaving… Students were wearing a dark blue traditional dress as a uniform. We had the chance to interact with some of them. It was a nice experience trying to tell them where we came from.
The school has own souvenir shop. You can find nice examples of Bhutanese art here, wooden dragons, hand-woven textile, small figurines…
Written Jun 12, 2009
Bhutan has its own strange animals, if you are interested. Takin is one of them and it is also the national animal of Bhutan. Takin are related to sheep but weigh up 650 kg. Takin also has a story with famous Drukpa Kunley. When he came to Bhutan, people wanted to see a miracle from him. He wanted a whole cow and a goat for lunch. He ate both and put the goat's head into the bones of the cow. Then with a snap of his fingers, Takin came out. I only saw a preserved (by taxidermy) example in National Museum, but I heard that there is a zoo in Thimphu to see rare animals living in Bhutan.
The blue sheep, or bharal is another rare specie of this small country.
Visiting the zoo was not in our itinerary, but I think it had to be.
Updated Jul 7, 2009
I am a huge fan of these kind of markets. I love to see and smell the fresh vegetables, people shopping... In Bhutan, there is an amazing variety of plants. This made the market more interesting for me. You can see usual chilies, tomatoes, onions (smaller ones), black eyed beans, huge okras… Also you can see strange stuff like tree leaves, some wild plants, colorful mushrooms, dried fishes, dried yak or cow skin, fresh meat, yak cheese and butter… I wanted to be a local and do some shopping for myself while we were there. Sometimes being a tourist is such a burden!
There were many opportunities of good shots in the market. We also bought some dry hot chilies and since they have seeds in it, I have some Bhutanese pepper plants in my balcony now. By the way, if you buy chilies, don’t put them into your cabin bag. If you forget, officers take them and they give you a receipt. You and your chilies travel separately.
Updated Jun 10, 2009
The only pointsman of Bhutan is working in Thimphu. There isn’t much traffic to control but he is there and doing his job. I’ve read that there was a traffic light here once, but then the King decided that it was unnecessary and it removed. This traffic policeman conducts traffic with dance-like movements. Take your time and watch him for a while.
Written Jun 19, 2009
This Dzong is by the Wang Chu river and just across the palace. We've been warned about not to look towards the palace, because The King was in the garden!
The Dzong is the seat of the government. We saw ministers and officers while we were walking to the Dzong. Because of being in the Capital city, this is the most important Dzong of whole country. Coronation of the last King was held here. There are two thrones in the most sacred prayer room for the King and the religious leader Je Khenpo. Both thrones are decorated. King's throne has a dragon carving, Je Khempo's has deer carvings. Deer is the symbol of the believers.
The first dzong had been built here in 1216. After several renovations because of some fires and earthquakes, the final structure was built in 1902. In 1952, Thimphu became the Capital and the government moved in here.
Updated Jul 13, 2009
The 'Tashi Choe Dzhong' or the Wonderful Religion Fortress is a spectacular fortress in Thimphu that was rebuilt in the 1770s following a fire.
What is remarkable about the building is that it is made without a single nail!!
It's a massive structure that can be only truly appreciated at some distance!
For more images of this Dzhong, see the travelogues.
Updated Jan 4, 2005
This dzong, called "fortress of the glorious religion", housed the original National Assembly and now houses the secretarat, the throne room and the offices of the king. The northern potion is the summer residence of the Central Monk Body.
During our visit, we were not allowed inside and it was said because the Central Monk Body just came.
The original dzong was burned in 1771.
Written Sep 3, 2004
This large Tibetan-style chorten was built in 1974 to honour the memory of the third king, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. It is one of the most visible religious structures in Thimphu and for many people it is the focus of their daily worship.
Written Sep 3, 2004
For a brief jaunt out of the confines of the city, a good place to visit are the Botanical Gardens at Serbithang. Located about 15 km south of the city, this garden was established in 1999 to protect endemic plants and provide a place for Bhutanese to see some of their own native flora. IT is increasingly popular with locals on weekend excursions from Thimphu.
The gardens, while not large, offer several areas of specialized interest, including medicinal plants and flowering plants. It has several open expanses on its 29-acre grounds, perfect for picnics and letting the kids stretch their legs (there is even a small playground there). And since it is up on the hillside, you have some nice views overlooking Thimphu and a minister's traditional house set in the hills. It is a nice day to relax outdoors, without going on an extended hike or trek, and learn a bit about the plants of Bhutan.
Updated Dec 1, 2010
In 2003, Bhutan was pushed towards war. Indian rebels were hiding in Bhutan, and the Indian government had given Butan an ultimatum of either driving the rebels out or the Indian Army would be forced to cross the border and do it themselves. Bhutan's traditions of pacifism and peace wanted to avoid a conflict, with an army of only 7,000 enlisted men, facing tens of thousands of rebels, and war was unpopular. So, the king made it voluntary for the soldiers, and personally led the campaign against the rebels. The mini-war was a success, and the rebels were routed with a minimal loss to the Bhutan army. Some wanted to erect a monument for the victory, but the King replied that war should never be glorified. So instead he commissioned this monument honoring the dead soldiers and the dead rebels from the conflict.
The 108 stupas sit along the main road leading from Thimphu to the east, at Dochula Pass (an altitude of about 3100 m). These solemn constructions are colorful and decorative, and the forest adjoining the monument is festooned with prayer flags, swaying in the breezes. It is impossible to miss if you're driving east from Thimphu, and marks a beautiful area with a serious and touching reminder of war.
Written Dec 1, 2010
1 Review and 153 Opinions I was there for a week last month. The hotel is 5* hotel in Thimpu. It is a joint venture project by...