Thimphu is the capital of Bhutan, with a population of around 100,000 it is also the largest city in Bhutan. With an elevation of 2320 m, it is the fifth highest capital city in the world. Paro international airport is an hour’s drive away from the capital. No where will you see a capital city that has managed to honour both its cultural roots and embrace modernization seamlessly, to create a uniquely Bhutanese identity.
Thimphu serves as the administrative seat of the Government with most of its offices located in the Valley. The Tashichhodzong houses the royal throne room and the office of his Majesty the King. It also serves as the summer residence of the monastic body. During the month of September, the Dzong is the location of the ever-popular Thimphu Tshechu Festival.
The city also boasts of having one of the largest statues of Buddha in the world. Gazing serenely at the valley, the Buddha Dordenma statue sits atop the mountainside measuring a height of 51 metres. Even the world’s largest published book is currently housed at the National Library in the city. Another place of interest would be the Mothithang Takin preserve, housing Bhutan’s national animal, the Takin. Its rather odd appearance attracts its share of visitors to the preserve.
Apart from the attractions in the city, there are numerous day hikes available for visitors as well. Hikes to Tango Monastery, Cheri Monastery and the Wangditse day hikes are some of the popular hikes that will take you across the mountains surrounding the valley.