Little over half a century old, Bhutan’s young capital was barely more than a small village before its meteoric rise to prominence in 1961. Chosen by the King to be the new face of a reformed Bhutan, and to replace the ancient capital of Punakha, Thimpu is still developing at a rapid pace.
Despite its relatively large size by Bhutanese standards, the city retains a friendly feel and relaxed small-town vibe. Little shops and colourful marketplaces fill the city, squeezed between growing signs of modernity and constant reminders of Bhutan’s steadfastly traditional way of life.
The weekend market attracts hundreds of people from the surrounding kingdom to sell their wares. These range from handicrafts to aromatic spices to bows and arrows. Archery is the country’s national sport and it is worth staying around to watch the national team training for the regular competitions that take place. It is impressive stuff.