Visit Trashichhoe Dzong, Institute for Zorig Chusum, the Textile Museum, Folk Heritage Museum, Takin Preserve and Simply Bhutan, which is an eye-opening living museum that showcases traditional life in Bhutan. In the evening, you will drive to Buddha Point, the largest statue of Buddha in the country. Overnight in Thimphu.
Overnight in Hotel Thimphu Tower, Thimphu
Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch & dinner
Trashichhoe Dzong ('Fortress of the Glorious Religion') is the centre of government and religion, the site of the monarch’s throne room and the seat of Je Khenpo or Chief Abbot. Built in 1641 by the political and religious unifier of Bhutan, Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal was reconstructed in 1960's in a traditional Bhutanese manner, without nails or architectural plans.
The Institute for Zorig Chusum, commonly known as the Painting School, offers 4- and 6- year courses where students can learn the 13 traditional Bhutanese arts and crafts. Students start with woodwork, stonework and carving, then progress onto painting, sculpting, casting, wood-turning, blacksmith-y, ornament-making, bamboo work, paper-making, tailoring and weaving. Depending on the time you visit, you may even see some of the students selling their work outside and be astounded by their skills.
The Takin Preserve is home to the Takin, Bhutan's national animal, which looks like a cross between a cow and a goat. It is only found in and around Bhutan. According to legend, the animal was created by the great Buddhist yogi, Drupa Kunley. Also known as the gnu goat, taxidermists place the Takin in a category of its own, as it is not similar enough to animals in the already established categories.
The Buddha Point (Kuensel Phodrang) is located on a hill in Kuenselphodrang Nature Park, overlooking the southern entrance to Thimphu Valley. Sitting atop the hill is one of the largest Buddha statues in the world, standing at a height of 51.5 metres and made of bronze, gilded in gold and studded with semi-precious stones. 100,000 smaller Buddha statues are hidden within the body, while 25,000 sit along the walls of the meditation halls inside the statue's throne. The creation of the statue symbolises the fulfillment of the Buddhist prophecy to bestow blessings and emanate universal peace and happiness to the world.