Dangers & Annoyances

Thimphu is a very safe city and, though crime rates are rising, they are still at very low levels.

  • Barking dogs are an annoyance at night and you should bring earplugs if you want to get an uninterrupted night's sleep.

Emergency & Important Numbers

LGBT Travellers

There is no obvious gay or lesbian scene or venues in Thimphu. All of Bhutan, including the capital, is conservative in its view of sexuality. Gay sex is technically illegal in Bhutan, though no-one has ever been prosecuted for this.

Internet Access

There are a dozen or so internet cafes spread around town, all charging around Nu 60 per hour. Most hotels and cafes offer free wi-fi.

Money

Most hotels can change money at government rates, although they usually have a limited supply of cash. Bank of Bhutan (BOB) and Druk PNB ATMs accept Visa and MasterCard.

Bank of Bhutan Main branch (with ATM); tends to be busy. There's a smaller branch with an ATM on nearby Wogzin Lam, and two Bank of Bhutan ATMs outside Hotel Tandin on Norzin Lam.

Bhutan National Bank In the same building as the post office, this bank changes cash and Amex travellers cheques.

Druk PNB Bank Has an ATM that accepts MasterCard, Visa, Maestro and Cirrus cards, and changes cash (no travellers cheques).

TBank Opposite the Taj Tashi hotel; changes cash.

Opening Hours

We provide business hours only if different from these standards.

Government offices 9am–1pm and 2pm–5pm in summer, until 4pm in winter, Monday to Friday

Banks 9am–1pm Monday to Friday, 9am–11am Saturday

Shops 8am–8pm or 9pm

Clubs Generally close at midnight on weekdays and at 2am Friday and Saturday

Bars Close at 11pm on weekdays and midnight on Friday and Saturday. Closed Tuesday – the national 'dry' day.'

Post

Many hotels and shops sell stamps; it is safe to simply drop cards and letters into post boxes here.

DHL

Post Office Well-organised, with a postcard and philatelic shop as well as a small museum. Closes one hour earlier November to February.

Travel With Children

Sights in Thimphu that might appeal to children include the Motithang Takin Preserve and the hands-on exhibits of Simply Bhutan. Kids will love the burgers and shakes at Cloud 9.

Accessible Travel

Thimphu was not built with wheelchairs in mind. There are few ramps, limited numbers of elevators and lots of curbs; even a flat section of pavement is a relative rarity. On the plus side, your guide is there to help you navigate the streets and you can expect everyone to be more helpful than you could imagine. Most of the tourist hotels, and certainly those four stars and above, have elevators, though few if any have wheelchair-accessible bathrooms or showers.

Maps

Survey of Bhutan Sells usable tourist maps of Paro, Bumthang and Thimphu.