Bhutan's centre of government, religion and commerce, the capital city of Thimphu sprawls up the wooded western hillside of the Wang Chhu River. Thimphu became the capital of Bhutan in 1955 and is now a bustling town where ancient traditions mingle with modern institutions. By western standards, and compared to other Bhutanese areas, Thimphu is the only place in the country that could be considered a city.
A stay here makes a nice change of scene in an otherwise very rural itinerary and offers visitors the opportunity to get a feel for contemporary Bhutanese culture at some of the restaurants, bars and shops. That said, traditional beliefs remain strong and amid the more modern additions expect to see monks wandering the streets in their crimson robes and several cottage industry shops selling handmade paper or incense.

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