Enjoy breakfast at the hotel.
Once known as the only capital city without traffic Thimphu remains to be one of the cultural capitals of the Himalayas. Thimphu’s charm comes not only from its wealth of museums or places of historic interest, but also from the strong national character of its architectural style.
Buddha Dordenma is a statue sitting on top of a hill overlooking Thimphu. The Statue of Sakyamuni Buddha is one of the tallest in Asia (51.5 m). The site offers unobstructed views over the capital town and the Thimphu valley below.
Gagyel Lhundrup Weaving Centre: Weaving is predominantly a woman’s domain but this private weaving center is different as it is owned and run by Mr. Kesang. He weaves, creates new and unique patterns, comes up with unusual colour combinations and is very involved. The center frequently produces ceremonial textiles for Bhutanese royals, including the traditional outfit for King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Queen Jetsun Pema’s highly publicized October 2011 marriage.
Lunch today will be at the Simply Bhutan Museum, a highly interactive “living Museum” that offers you an excellent guided introduction to different aspects of the traditional Bhutanese life. As a visitor, there is so much that you get to learn about when you visit this museum. You will get to understand how to dress up in Bhutanese traditional clothes, how to distil ara (rice wine), and you will even learn some of the classic songs that are sung by the Bhutanese young and old women as they construct their beautiful homes out of rammed earth. Included in this visit is a traditional Bhutanese lunch.
After lunch we will visit the following points of interest:
The National Library, which holds a vast collection of Buddhist texts and manuscripts, some dating back several hundred years, as well as modern academic books mainly on Himalayan culture and religion.
Traditional Handmade Paper Factory, witness the process of paper making from start to finish. The paper is made from the bark of the black Daphne tree. The traditional use of the paper for scriptures is still practiced, and the paper is now also used for modern purposes from gift wrapping, to lamp shades, cards, and so on.
Takin Zoo: A short distance up the road to the BBS tower viewpoint is a trail leading to a large fenced enclosure that was originally established as a zoo. Some years ago, the fourth king decided that a zoo was not in sync with Bhutan’s environmental and religious convictions, and so it was disbanded. The animals were released into the wild, but the Takins, Bhutan’s national animal, were so tame that they wandered around the streets of Thimphu looking for food, and the only solution was to put them back into captivity.
During dinner, engage in an informative private session on GNH (Gross National Happiness). An expert will give you more insight into Bhutan’s Development Philosophy. Three decades ago, the term Gross National Happiness (GNH) was coined by the fourth King His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck. The concept of GNH was articulated to indicate that development has many more dimensions than those associated with Gross National Product. The GNH philosophy places the individual at the centre of all development efforts and thus recognizes that people not only have material needs but also spiritual and emotional needs as well. It asserts that spiritual and emotional needs cannot and should not be defined exclusively in material terms. GNH is an economic and development philosophy that serves Bhutan’s unique culture based on Buddhist spiritual values.
Overnight at Hotel in Thimphu.