Thimphu is a place like never before as it combines a small-town feel with its new commercial growth. The new and old charm makes the capital one of the world’s most intriguing destinations. You’ll monks alongside government ministers in traditional clothing while tourist share the street with them.
Paro Airport is the only international airport in the country and resides in the south of Paro town.
Airport to Thimphu
There are taxis outside Paro airport which can be booked at a fixed rate, usually Nu 1,000.
Majority of the taxi’s are small cars and minivans with meters that are barely used. A short ride around town can cost between Nu 60 to 70 but taxi drivers have a habit of charging visitors more.
You can also hire a taxi for the day, which can cost from Nu 1,000 to 1,500.
There are buses that connect the city and the downtown suburban areas. They’re efficient but infrequent. You can find the station for local buses on the east side of the stadium on Chang Lam.
Atmosphere and Culture
Bhutanese society is free of class and living in a society where that is relatively equal among genders. It’s an open and good-spirited society with warm people.
When to Go
Thimphu has highland climate with cold winters and pleasant summers. During the winter, temperatures reach on average of 40 degrees F with the nights dropping below zero. Snowfalls occurs but it doesn’t accumulate for long. The summer tends to be warm but rainy.
The best time to visit are from September to the end of October, though this is the peak season, and from March to May.
Bhutan might be a small nation but it’s extremely diverse especially linguistically. There are over 19 dialects spoken in the country which its geographical location plays a huge role in that. Due to the high mountains and deep valleys, people are forced to live sparse so languages become distinct. Though the national language is Dzongkha.
When greeting, it’s best to say kuzuzangpo amongst equals. For seniors and elders, it is common to bow your head a bit along with kuzuzangpo la, which is more respectful.
Bhutan guarantees freedom of religion so their citizens and visitors are free to practice any form of worship, as long as it doesn’t affect the right of others.
Buddhism is one of the main forms of religions that’s practice. Christianity, Hinduism, and Islam are also present.
Before eating Bhutanese cuisine, take note that spiciness plays a large roe in their dishes. Chilis are essential to almost every dish and it’s so important, some wouldn’t eat a dish without it being spicy. Aside from all the spice, rice is the main body in meals along with one or two side dishes (meat or vegetable).
What to Try:
It’s tradition to eat with your hands. You’ll find families waiting cross-legged on the floor with the head of the household being served first. Before eating, a short prayer is said and a small morsel is served as an offering to the local spirits and deities.
What To See
What to See and Do:
Trashi Chhoe Dzong