Thimphu is the most modern city in Bhutan with an abundance of restaurants, internet cafes, nightclubs and shopping centers, however it still retains its’ cultural identity and values amidst the signs of modernization.Thimphu is one of the few towns in Bhutan that have been equipped with ATM banking facilities and is a good place to stock up on some currency.
One of the most curious features of Thimphu is that it is the only capital city in the world that does not use traffic lights. Instead a few major intersections have policemen standing in elaborately decorated booths (small pavilions), directing traffic with exaggerated hand motions. The juxtaposition of ancient tradition and modernity make Thimphu the ideal location for visitors to break away from their tour itinerary and just immerse themselves in the lifestyle of contemporary Bhutanese.
This stupa was built in 1974 in the memory of Bhutan's third King, His
Late Majesty, King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk, who is popularly regarded as
Father of modern Bhutan. The
paintings and statues inside the monument provide a deep insight into
This dzong, built in 1627 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, stands on a low
ridge 8 km down the valley from Thimphu. The Institute for Language and
Cultural Studies is located here. The most noteworthy artistic feature
of this dzong is the series of over 300 finely worked slate carvings
behind the prayer wheels in the courtyard.
The history of Bhutan lies imprinted in archaic texts, which are
preserved at the National Library. Besides thousands of manuscripts and
ancient texts, the library also has modern academic books and printing
blocks for prayer flags.