Journey to the last Shangrila, Bhutan - Day 4 (Thimphu)

Thimphu city tour

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It was a relax day. We left hotel at 10am and took our day slowly to explore Bhutan capital, Thimphu.


National Memorial Chorten - Big Buddha - Textile factory - Paper factory - Post office - Thimphu town


National Memorial Chorten

National Memorial Chorten, also known as Thimphu Chorten, was built in 1974 in the honor of Bhutan 3rd King. Many local will circunambulate this chorten (chorten is a kind of shrine) to pray for assistance and guidance every morning before they go to work or to school.


We saw a lot of elderly people spend much of their day here. They swing the prayer beads and spin the prayer wheels in clockwise direction. It is a good place for them to meet their friends, like a dedicated senior citizen corner.


Bhutanese are one of the friendliest people I have met. They will always smile whenever I pointed my camera to them.







Buddha Dordenma Statue

I was told that this is the world largest Buddha at a height of 51.5 meters. It is sitting on a hill overlooking Thimphu valley. It is visible from Thimphu town. It's still under construction so you can't enter the temple. The project was financed by Korean, Singaporean and Buddhists from other countries.



Textile factory

Factory workers are making fabric used for their traditional gho and kira. It can take them more than a year to finish just one set if the design is complicated. A good ladies kira with complicated design can cost as much as few thousands dollars.




After visit to textile factory, we had lunch in town which somewhere near this traffic control station. Thimphu is the only capital in the world without traffic light. To be exact, there is no traffic light in Bhutan! Instead of using traffic light, there are traffic police standing at a few major junctions in a small pavilions directing traffic with hand motions, The traffic control station is only operating from morning until 6pm. I did see some traffic police patrol there at night but they didn't control the traffic.

The arm waving traffic police has became one of the most photographed attraction.



Post office

If you are a stamp lover, you should make a visit to Thimphu post office.


We made our own personalized stamp. Just Nu. 200 (USD3.20) per piece, each piece comes with 16 stamps. You can use them immediately on post card and send it back to your loved one. We didn't as we want to keep that as it is.

Our picture taken at Punakha Dzong appeared on Bhutan stamp!


Post office staff will snap a picture of yourself, upload to their computer and print the stamps out. You can bring a thumb drive with photos or photos in your iPhone but you have to bring your iPhone cable or email to them (if you have data plan or portable wifi), there is no wifi in the post office. Our kind tour guide shared us his hot spot.




Jungshi Paper factory


Jungshi is Bhutanese language means natural. It's a small factory and paper is made from mulberry bark without chemical. You can see how the paper is made from scratch. There is a shop just beside the factory selling paper craft like diary books.




Painting school



Thimphu town

Take a stroll in Thimphu down town. No shopping mall like what you will see in Singapore Orchard Road or Tokyo Ginza but there are some smaller scale shopping malls, and a lot of hand phone shops. Apple and Samsung smart phones are very popular in Bhutan. You should consider to sell your used smart phone here.

 

Bhutan also have stock market!




Hotel
Hotel Norbuling. Read the review here.


Interested to visit Bhutan? Read my post here - How to plan your Bhutan trip? Click here to read day 1day 2day 3day 4day 5day 6 report








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