So far we know how to get inner permits for travel in the interior parts of Bhutan and also how to prepare yummy Bhutanese Spicy Chicken Recipe.
The following facts are essential,so I keep it on my Thimphu Headline:
1)Clock Tower is located at the center of the city.
2)Taxi stand is a 5 minutes walk from the Clock Tower.
3)Stay in Hotel, but take food outside to save some money.
Best place for stay is Hotel Tandin on Norzin Lam, best place for Indian vegetarian food is Hotel Ghasel which is near to Tandin
4)Bhutan TV Tower is also known as BBS Tower(Bhutan Broadcasting Service)
5)Mid Range hotels are in the category Rs 800 -Rs 1200
6)Petrol and diesel prices are cheaper in Bhutan than India
7)The only cinema hall in Thimphu "Lugar Theatre" projects Bhutanese Movies
8)Archery is the national sport of Bhutan,and Takin the national animal
9)Maruti Wagon R taxi for the day trip to Punakha from Thimpu would cost you anywhere between Rs 2000-2500/-
10)Hotel tandin has a bar which serves local liquors and Fosters beer
11)Bhutan is the first country in the world to have banned the sale of tobacco
12) As per Bhutan rules one can take 200 sticks of cigarettes for personal consumption. Selling, buying and public smoking of cigarette will amount to a minimum prison term of 3 years.
13)Most of the time ladies manage the shops and other establishments in Bhutan.
14)Most of the Building, Shops, Hotels (including Indian Consulate) adorn pictures of young King & Queen.
A point to note for the Thimphu Inner Permit
All the travellers should keep in mind that the government office in Bhutan including immigration office remained closed on Sat-Sun and working hours on all other days is 9am-4pm,this is applicable only when travelling inner parts of Bhutan to obtain the 2nd permit.At the end of the Norzin Lam is the handicraft bazaar.These are temporary bamboo huts opposite the immigration office which displays a lot of traditional Bhutanese handicrafts.They are very very expensive and a simple kira would cost you Rs 4000-5000.And the ones you will really really like for the prints would cost you Rs 10k+.Of course,not something you'd like to invest in a journey costing way less.
Then what do we do?
For souvenirs,its best to explore the streets of town starting from opposite of clock tower till the shops are visible.There are quite a few shops where a kira would cost you anywhere from Rs 600-Rs1500,still affordable.There are shops where we get imports from other countries,costing as little as Rs 150 for a jacket.And if you are a lady,a kira and taego is must take back home item,it adds to dimension,character and glamour to your frame.In fact all the ladies in Bhutan looked very smart.There is also a national textile museum just next to Handicraft bazaar which is dedicated to living national art of weaving.
The places you should visit
National Memorial Chorten,Bhutan: This large Tibetan style chorten was built in honour of the third king.The whitewashed chorten with glimpses of gold is a must visit place,similar to the monasteries we have in Leh,but the designs here are more intricate.
Buddha Point,Bhutan:This is a point on a hilltop,where the giant Gautam Buddha is erected but the site is still not complete and the construction work is going on.Since this place is at a height,you get to see awesome views from the top.
While returning back from Buddha Point,we stopped at arts and crafts shops and the library that comes in the way to the main city.We got our self Bhutan printed tees for Rs 250 from the arts crafts shop.
Takin Preservation Center,Bhutan:Takin is the national animal of Bhutan and is said to be cross breed of goat and antelope.A ten minutes hike takes you to a park circled with mesh.We got a close view of 2-3 takins as they were right there in front of us.
Changankha Dzong,Bhutan:This is one of the oldest dzong in the thimphu valley.Locals believe that the temple is auspicious for babies,hence its a ritual to bring babies just after their birth to Changankha.This place is considered blessing for the kids in Bhutan.
Trashi Chhoe Dzong,Bhutan:The present dzong was built to house government officials.We went there and we were told not to take photographs until the session gets over,in fact we were not allowed inside before 5:30pm.Later we were told that the session is over and the king is leaving the dzong.We thought we'll get a glimpse,but we couldn't.The dzong is very very huge and beautiful too.