Thimphu Travel Guide
Thimphu Local History
Early history is shrouded in the mists of Buddhist traditions, but the first temple was built here in the 7th Century. Between the 9th and 17th Centuries, numerous clans and noble families of Tibet settled in different valleys of Bhutan and it was during this period that the Bhutanese version of Buddhism was established. Thimphu became the market centre for agricultural goods produced in the valley.
A Buddhist theocracy was established in the early 17th Century. In 1865, Britain signed a treaty with Bhutan, under which, Bhutan would receive an annual subsidy in exchange for ceding some border land. Under British influence, a monarchy was established in 1907, but Britain would direct its foreign affairs, a role which was assumed by India when it became independent in 1947. In 1949 a formal Indo-Bhutanese accord returned the annexed land to Bhutan, formalised the subsidy and defined India's responsibilties in terms of defence and foreign affairs.
Thimphu was made the capital of Bhutan in 1962.
Shop for colourful masks, hand-woven bamboo items, woodcarvings, stamps (coveted by collectors) silver, silk and bronze items. Buddhist paintings and religious " thangkas" are also popular.
The knee-length wrap-around "kho" for men and the ankle-length "kira" for women are also popular buys. Thinphu offers the best choice of shopping at the emporiums, which are open on weekdays, except Tuesdays. Antiques are not allowed out of the country.
Thimphu Restaurants and Bars
Swiss bakery - A frequent hangout for tourist and locals alike for all sorts of pastries and coffee.
Hotel Kelwang - A hotel, with its own dining room, it is reasonably priced and has international as well as some menu items with a Bhutanese flavour.
Yeedzin Guest House - Located in the centre of town, it has a very good restaurant providing menu items with Bhutanese flavour, as well as international cuisine.
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