perhaps the most unnsual capital city in the world, is a bustling town on the
banks of its own river and set gloriously in the hills of its own valley. A
regal town, Thimphu is home to the revered Bhutanese Royal family and to several
foreign missions and development projects.
On the blank of the river lies Tashichho Dzong, the main secretariat building
which houses the throne room of His Majesty the king of Bhutan. The National
Assembly King of Bhutan. The National Assembly Hall is housed in a modern building
on the other side of the river from the Dzong. Visitors are strictly prohibited
from entering the government building at all during an active session.
Next to the Dzong is Bhutans only golf course. A nine-hole circuit that
is far more picturesque than it is testing.
The thangka painting school in the heart of Thimphu is well worth visiting.
With sun streaming through the window panes casting long shadows across the
wooden slats, student monks in burgundy robes sit in the classroom for hours
at a time learning from a saffron-robed elder.
Bhutans National Library is located close to the painting school and is
also worth a look in. Housed in the library are some of the oldest records of
Bhutanese history and religion.
A wonderful days outing from Timphu os a visit to Cheri and Tango Monasteries
to the north of the town. They can be reached by road but many Thimphu residents
go up to the monasteries for a daytrip by foot.
Thimphus charm is not embedded in its wealth of galleries, museums or
places of historic interest. Visitors must wander along the main street and
into shops, all of which are decorated in traditional style. Thimphus
shopkeepers are delightfully helpful and will do their best to oblige even the
smallest request. Bhutans famous stamp collections can be viewed and purchased
in the request. Bhutans famous stamp collections can be viewed and purchased
in the capitals main post office.
Every Saturday and Sunday most of Thimphus scant population and many valley
dwellers congregate on the banks of the river where the weekend market is held.
The field adjacent to the market are reserved on weekends for basketball and
archery players. The latter, if dressed in full costume are a lovely sight.
Five miles from Thimphu stands the 17th Century Simtokha Dzong in the land houses
the school for Buddhist studies. The road to Dorchula pass and on to eastern
Bhutan winds its way upwards form Simtokha Dzong.
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