1. The Institute of Traditional Medicine - This world-famous medical facility is said to collect thousands of medicinal herbs, roots and plants from the remotest parts of this Garden of Eden-like area. These botanical specimens are then used to manufacture ointments, pills, tablets and other medicines which are then distributed to healthcare facilities throughout the country.
Since the interest in holistic medicine has been growing in the West, this is a good place to visit in order to learn about how many diseases have been prevented or treated in this part of the world for hundreds of years by using only natural-ingredients medicine.
2. The Tashchichho Dzong - The Thimphu Dzong is a famous Buddhist fortress and monastery on the northern part of the city. This is the official office of the civil government's head or the Dharma Raja, who shares some powers with the kingship; it is also the country's official summer capital. As one would expect, this is a magnificent place to behold and visit. The building offers elaborate towers and roof architecture that makes this seem more like a theatre prop than a real place—but, alas, it is!
3. The Cheri Goemba - This is Bhutan's first monastery and it's not too far from Thimphu. In fact, it's the oldest monastery in Bhutan, as far as we know. It's possible to reach the base of this magnificent structure by using a local cab; thereafter, though, you have a bit of climb that isn't for anyone not physically fit or afraid of heights. The Bhutanese absolutely revere this place, with good reason.
4. The National Institute for Zurig Chusum - This institution, better known as the “school of painting,” runs several educational programs in the 13 traditional arts Bhutan is famous for. The well-motivated students that come here can delve into elaborate forms of painting, embroidery, woodcarving, and statue sculpting, usually with the use of clay. The pieces made here are impressive—even the ones created by mere students. You will be impressed with the quality of what is displayed and put up for sale here.
5. Buddha Dordenma - The Buddha Dordenman is a huge statue of Buddha high up in the mountains of Bhutan. Interestingly, the statue itself is the home for over 100,000 smaller statues of Buddha, made from bronze and gold. You will be in awe at the size of the statue, as well as the artistry that it took to create it.
6. The National Memorial Chorten - This Tibetan-motif religious structure is the focus of worship for many Bhutanese. Built in 1974, it is a memorial to the 3rd King of the country. People visit here either for religious reason or to pay tribute; it is also a great site to visit for tourists. This site features magnificent Asian architecture, elaborately painted annexes, marvelous mandalas, and a shrine to the King.
7. Changlimithang Stadium (and sports grounds) - Built on a famous battlefield, this is where many fine cricket, football, and archery competitions take place. Not surprisingly, the residents of Thimphu are very talented and athletically-oriented people; this is evident from the quality of athletic performances (especially in archery) seen here.
8. Changangkha Temple - This is one of the most ancient temples of Thimphu valley. This is the home of gigantic prayer wheels, super-sized sacred scriptures and, most importantly, a sculpted figure of Thousand-armed Avalokitesvara, a lord/master that looks over the troubles/sadness of life, according to the Buddhist faith.
9. Bhutan Textile Museum - This great edifice can be found near the National Library of Bhutan. Operated by the National Commission for Cultural Affairs since 2001, this museum has become world-famous by featuring a rich tapestry of a wide array of very exquisite works of art. You can spend a whole day here alone and quite possibly not see everything on display, especially if you want to look at things closely.
The main purpose of the museum was to promote Bhutan's well-established interest in hand-created textiles and to endorse the many weavers that have kept their art going strong for so many years. More importantly, the museum celebrates the rich traditions of Bhutan.
10. National Library of Bhutan - Established in 1967, the library seeks to promote the rich religious and cultural traditions of Bhutan by displaying artifacts, works of art and pieces of literature, some of which date back to early times in the country's history. This place is an ideal stop-over for anyone doing serious research on the country's heritage and history; it also houses many priceless and sacred religious manuscripts.