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Mekong Delta day tour – Cai Rang floating market

Mr. Ninh arranged a wonderful trip for us from Saigon to the Cai Rang floating market. I tried to arrange a day trip to Cai Rang with other more reviewed Mekong delta tour groups with no luck. They would only go to Cai Be in one day, which is not the same as Cai Rang.  All in all, a great tour and just what I wanted!

Mekong Delta day tour – Cai Rang floating market

June 5, 2016

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Thimphu travel guide Bhutan

Read our Thimphu travel guide Bhutan, travelers will get travel guide & information about Thimphu as well as Bhutan before travel to Bhutan.

Thimphu is the capital city of Bhutan. Located in an open valley, Thimphu is one of the attractive, clean and green town, drained by Thimphu Chhu. The city built up area extending for about 3km housing over 100,000 people. It is the most populous town in Bhutan

 The town houses the centre of government, religion and commerce. Thimphu is a unique city with unusual mixture of modern development alongside ancient traditions. Although not what one expects from a capital city, Thimphu is still a fitting and lively place. Home to civil servants, expatriates and monk body, Thimphu maintains a strong national character in its architectural style.

  • TashiChoedzong

Tashi Choedzong, “The fortress of glorious religion” houses the throne room of His Majesty the King of Bhutan. The dzong was initially built in 1641 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and later rebuilt in its present form by King JigmeDorjiWangchuk in 1965. During the warmer summer months, the monk body headed by His Holiness, the Je Khenpo, makes its home in the Dzong.

The National Assembly Hall is housed in a modern building on the other side of the river from the Dzong.

 

  • Memorial Chorten

Centrally located in the town, this stupa was built in 1974 in the memory of Bhutan’s third King, His Late Majesty, KingJigmeDorjiWangchuk, who is popularly regarded as Father of modern Bhutan. The paintings and statues inside the monument provide a deep insight into Buddhist philosophy.

  • Simtokha Dzong

This is the first fortress built by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1627. Standing on a lofty ridge, this important historical monument and former Buddhist monastery, once housed the premier Dzongkha language learning institutes, which is now relocated to Taktse, Trongsa. It is five miles away from Thimphu town.

  • National Library

The National Library was established in 1967 for the purpose of “preservation and promotion of the rich cultural and religious heritage” of Bhutan. It is located in the Kawajangtsa area of Thimphu, above the Royal Thimphu Golf Course, near the Bhutan Folk Heritage Museum and The National Institute for Zorig Chusum (Traditional Arts and Crafts).The history of Bhutan lies imprinted in archaic texts, which are preserved at the National Library. Besides thousands of manuscripts and ancient texts, the library also has modern academic books and printing blocks for prayer flags.

  • The Textile and Folk Heritage Museum

Established in 2001, the Textile and Fold Heritage Museum is now housed in a three storied traditional building. The earthen and timber building was renovated and restored few years ago to appear as it was century ago. These are fascinating testimony of the Bhutanese living traditions reflecting Kingdom’s rich cultural heritage. The artefacts which are kept inside the house remind the visitors about how the rural Bhutanese live today.

  • Handicrafts Emporiums

Thimphu has many traditional shops exhibiting and selling handicrafts. If you want to wear Bhutanese dress, there are many shops in Thimphu’s shopping complexes that have ready-made gho and kira in a variety of sizes, patterns and quality. Handicrafts Emporium is worth a try.

 

  • Centennial Farmers Market

Many organic vegetables come to Thimphu centennial market, which remains very busy during the Saturdays and Sundays. The Market remain open most of the time during the week though. Most of Thimphu’s scant population and many valley dwellers congregate on the banks of the river where weekend market is held. It is an interesting place to visit and provides opportunity to mingle with the local people.

  • Kuensel Phodrang

On the hill overlooking the Thimphu Valley is the tallest Buddha statue. This is an attraction exclusively designed to commemorate the centenary and the coronation of the fifth king, Druk Gyelpo Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck in 2008. The bronz Buddha statue is 169 feet tall.

 In addition to the attraction solely presented by the image, an additional 10 acres of land in the future will have public galleries, restaurants, large parking spaces, camping grounds, dharamsalas and lodgings for monks.

  • Botanical Garden in Serbithang

The foundation for this Botanical garden was laid by Her Majesty Ashi Sangay Choden Wangchuk on 26th may, 1999 and was inaugurated in 2005. The Botanical Garden managed byNational Biodiversity Centre with focus on growing plants from Bhutan. The aim is to showcase examples of the country’s beautiful flora and to encourage the conservation of biodiversity.

 The garden is still developing and many of the trees are still small. The rock garden is a unique blend of eastern and western horticultural styles. The medicinal plants area is also full of interest. The orchids in the orchidarium and tropical plants in the glass houses are interesting throughout the year. Some of the shrubs and flower beds have more seasonal interest.

 

Excursions around THIMPHU

  • Tango Monastery

Tango was founded by Lama GyalwaLhanangpa in the 12th century but the present structure is built in the 15th century by the ‘Divine Madman’, Lama Drukpa Kunley. In 1616 ZhabdrungNgawangNamgyal visited Tango and meditated in a cave near the monastery. His meditation helped ensure the defeat of an invading Tibetan army. The head Lama, a descendent of Lama Drukpa Kunley presented the goemba to Shabdrung, who carved a sandalwood statue of Chenrezig which he installed in the monastery.

The picturesque three-storey tower and several surrounding buildings were built in the 18th century by the eighth Desi, DrukRabgye and ShabdrungJigmeChhogyel added the golden roof in the 19th century.

 

  • Cheri Monastery

Situated about half an hour walk from Dodena is the Cheri Monastry, which was built by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1620. One of the main relic is the monastery is a silver chorten, which holds the ashes of Zhabdruns father, Tenpai Nima. The trail commences by crossing a lovely covered bridge that spans the Thimphu Chhu, then climbs steeply to the monastery.

 

  • Phajoding

Phajoding Monastery, which is a 3-hour hike from the nearest road, is located above Bhutan’s capital, Thimphu and it was built in the 15th century by Lam Shagcha Rinchen. It was once one of the richest and most decorated monasteries in the country however due to years of neglect and the encroachment of development, it was watch listed in 2010 by the World Monuments Fund as one of five endangered cultural monuments that need most help in the world. It is home to many very sacred Buddhist artefacts.

Surrounding the temple is many withdraw houses for the people who come here and spent about 3 years in withdraw. Phajoding takes its name from the saint Phajo Drugom Zhigpo, who meditated there in the 13th century and is considered to be one of the most sacred meditational sites in Bhutan. The hike is uphill north of Thimphu through mixed conifer forest with great views of Thimphu valley behind.

For tour and things to do, please visit our Bhutan tour

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