Day 2 : thimphu
Thimphu Breakfast at the hotel.
Kuensel Phodrang /– The statue was cast in bronze in China and transported by sea and road to this site once occupied by the palace of Druk Desi, a secular ruler of Bhutan in the eighteenth-century. At its completion, the statue will contain 125,000 gilded Buddha statues and a wealth of other statuary.
Takin Reserve & Mini Zoo - Add to Wish List Hidden in a fold of the forest-draped hills high above Thimphu, a herd of takin make their home in the Mothithang Takin Preserve. Formerly a small zoo, the king decreed that the animals should be freed rather than kept in captivity. However, instead of wandering deeper into the hills, the tame takin took to the streets of Thimphu, where they became a traffic hazard as they foraged for food.
Anim Dratshang (Nunnery) - On a hillside above Thimphu’s Tashichho Dzong, just off Gaden Lam, stands Thangtong Dewachen Dupthop Nunnery. Home to around 60 nuns, the modest structure was built in 1976 by the 16th incarnation of Thangtong Gyelpo, the famed fifteenth-century Iron Bridge Monk who forged chain-link bridges that still span several of Bhutan’s fast-flowing rivers. The road to the nunnery offers magnificent views of Tashichho Dzong, while the small complex houses a covered chorten and an unusual pillar topped with two carved deer (symbolic of the Deer Park at Sarnath, where Buddha first taught after his enlightenment) and a wheel of law.
Folk Heritage Museum - The Folk Heritage Museum, located on the outskirts of Thimphu, recreates a traditional Bhutanese family home inside a beautiful 19th century rammed earth and timber building. Here, the family’s prized possessions are on display: shiny wooden bowls line the kitchen shelves, richly patterned fabrics hang alongside aged leopard fur bags in the room next door, and gold glints from thangkas hung in the family’s altar room.
Royal Textile Academy & Museum - Intricately patterned wild silk kiras from Lhuentse hang alongside rough nettle fiber cloth from Zhemgang in Bhutan’s excellent Royal Textile Academy. The museum, housed in an impressive modern building, celebrates the country’s vibrant and varied tradition of hand weaving. From the towering applique thangka that overlooks the entrance hall and the sumptuous garments on display in the Royal Gallery to mannequins dressed in simple herders’clothingfrom Laya,the museum offers an unparalleled chance to learn about and appreciate this unique aspect of Bhutanese culture.
Handicrafts Market /– An interesting market with local items and bargain price handicraft goods.
Tashichho Dzong - Standing proudly on the western bank of the Wang Chhu a few kilometers north of central Thimphu, Tashichho Dzong looks every inch the seat of government. While the National Assembly no longer convenes inside the fortress’s whitewashed walls, today the dzong still houses the throne room and the king’s offices as well as the ministries of home affairs and finance.
Overnight stay in Thimphu.