My fifth day in Bhutan continued with another outstanding afternoon and evening in the capital city, Thimphu. Come along with me as I enjoy a massive, mouthwatering Bhutanese food dinner of over 15 spicy dishes after I do some sightseeing around Thimphu, Bhutan!
My guide from MyBhutan, Tsheten, and I started at the National Memorial Chhorten, which was built in the memory of His Majesty the Third Druk Gyalpo Jigme Dorji Wangchuk. It was built by Her Majesty Gyalyum Ashi Phuntsho Choden Wangchuck in 1974. The third king wanted to build the mind, speech, and body of Buddha, but he was only able to finish the speech and body during his lifetime. In 1974, his mother built the mind of the Buddha in his memory.
The stupa is surrounded by green grounds and there are 10 prayer wheels to the left. Mostly elderly people come there to pray. You turn each wheel in a circle. There are also beautiful cherry blossom trees. The stupa is beautiful and has five golden spires on it, including four at the main cardinal directions. There’s an entrance at each cardinal direction. I could hear chanting inside as we walked in a circle around the stupa.
From there, we hopped back in the car and headed to a field where they practice archery. My family is from Gubbio, Italy, where archery is also popular. Here, they shoot at targets from 140 meters away using professional compound bows. Tsheten tried and got close, and I watched a few others try. There was a sharpshooter there who hit the target from that distance! I got closer to the target and crouched safely behind a wall to watch more of them hit the bullseye. It was amazing that they could hit it from that far away!
Then, we headed over to the post office, where you can customize your own stamp and buy postcards. The post office was a beautiful, colorful traditional building. There, you’ll also find the Bhutan Postal Museum and a bakery. It costs 500 Nu/$6.67 USD to make your own stamp from any photo on your phone. They’ll take your phone, connect it to their computers, and print your photo on a stamp, which you can then use on any postcard in the shop. The postcards cost 30 Nu/$0.40 USD each. For 40 Nu/$0.53, you can send the postcard anywhere in the world!
They have many postcards. I chose one of a red panda, a snow leopard, and the Tiger’s Nest monastery. Then, I got a sheet of 12 stamps with my daughters on it for me and another sheet for my wife for 1,000 Nu/$13.34 USD. I sent one postcard to my wife and one to each of my daughters. It takes about 2 weeks for them to arrive at their destination. It’s such an amazing souvenir to have!
Next, we headed to Centenary and Coronation Park, which is home to a gilded, standing Buddha. It looked at least 50 feet tall and was funded by the Thai people. It’s in the main park in Thimphu, right next to the Wangchu River, which is shallow and rocky in the winter. In the summer, the river is deeper and is a popular canoeing location.
The Buddha is made in the Thai style, so it looks a little different from the other Buddhas I’d seen in Bhutan. It stands on a golden lotus. Lotus flowers in Buddha statues are usually red in color and represent compassion and love. I learned that the park is a great place for kids and families.
There, I learned that there is a specific shape to Bhutanese windows and they always have flowers on them, which represent purity of mind and spirit. They’re one of the eight auspicious signs in Buddhism.
Then, we headed to the downtown area. The buildings were mostly shops on the bottom floor, with restaurants, bars, and other businesses on the second floors. The third floors are mostly residential. This is the shopping part of town and the prices are much more expensive. A standard 2-bedroom apartment costs $78,000 here and rents for $250 per month.
Next, it was time for dinner! We headed to the Folk Heritage Museum Restaurant to have some Bhutanese food including spicy ezay to end my day in Thimphu, Bhutan! I love that the ara in Bhutan isn’t mass-produced and is instead made in peoples’ houses, so each kind is different.
They have both indoor and outdoor dining. It’s a traditional folk Bhutanese food restaurant that serves super spicy dishes in the capital of Bhutan. They give you starters before the main meal, including suja (butter tea), ara, cucumber salad with cow cheese, veggie momos, pork feet, ezay, and puffed rice.
I started with the suja with puffed rice in it. I liked this butter tea because it wasn’t so buttery, and I really enjoyed the puffed rice in it. Then, I went with the veggie momos with ezay, which were phenomenal. The ezay was nice and spicy! Next, I had a sip of ara and then tried the cucumber salad with the ezay, followed by the pig feet with ezay. The alcohol helped temper the heat. The pig feet were gelatinous and had some small bones in it, while the cucumber salad and cow cheese reminded me of a Greek dish with feta.
I couldn’t get enough of the soft, tasty dumplings. They contained cabbage and were so amazing. I also loved the cucumber salad with cheese and spicy salsa! The ezay was very light and didn’t contain many onions, but was heavier on the chilies. Then, I enjoyed more pig feet and got more ezay. I loved the juicy fat in it. I love coming to exotic countries and tasting their food.
Next, we had some mushroom broth, which was light and healthy-tasting. Then, we got red rice, 9 grain salad, bitter buckwheat pancakes, mixed vegetables, ema dashti made with dried red chilies and cheese, dried pork, chicken, dried beef with radish, kewa dashti (potatoes with cheese), French beans, and chili salsa. I couldn’t wait to dive in!
Tsheten made my plate for me. I tried the buckwheat pancake with some ezay in it. It was like a Bhutanese taco and was so spicy it opened up my sinuses! It also wasn’t as bitter as other buckwheat pancakes I’d had. Then, I went for the radish, which was nice and spicy as well.
The cauliflower in the mixed vegetables was good, as were the long beans. The chili salsa was great, and the ema dashti was made from bird’s eye chilies from India. The cheese melted throughout was so amazing!
Then, I went for the kewa dashti, or potatoes with cheese. I tried it with the ezay on top. It was hot! Next was the chicken and buckwheat. The buckwheat was great! The dried beef was like a super-dense beef jerky. But the ema dashti was the best, along with the fatty pork. What an amazing Bhutanese food dinner of over 15 spicy dishes in Thimphu, Bhutan!
I hope you liked coming with me to have a massive Bhutanese food feast full of spicy dishes after going sightseeing in Thimphu, Bhutan! If you did, please give this video a thumbs up and leave a comment below. Also, please subscribe to my YouTube channel and click the notification bell so you don’t miss any of my travel/food adventures around the world!