Thimphu is the capital and largest city of Bhutan. Thimphu became a town in 1961 and grew as the capital of Bhutan. Before 1960, Thimphu was a small settlement but was developed by the King Jigme Dorje Wangchuk to replace the ancient capital of Punakha. Rapid expansion following the pattern of rural exodus has resulted in considerable rebuilding in the city centre and mushrooming suburban development elsewhere. Bhutan is in Southern Asia, between China and India. The climate varies from tropical in the southern plains, to cool winters and hot summers in central valleys and severe winters and cool summers in the Himalayas. The official language is Dzongkha. It is related to Sikkimese and more distantly to Tibetan. English is taught in schools and is widely spoken. The main religions are Buddhism (official) and Hinduism. The economy of Bhutan is based on agriculture, forestry, tourism and the sale of hydroelectric power to India. Agriculture provides the main livelihood for more than 80 percent of the population. Agrarian practices consist largely of subsistence farming and animal husbandry. Bhutanese society is primarily influenced by Buddhism. Business clothing is typically a lightweight suit in the south, however, Thimphu is more formal. It is advisable to dress modestly and to observe and respect local clothing customs. The security risk for expatriates in Bhutan is low. Risks are mainly those of petty crime, particularly in the border towns. Other risks include those related to the poor road safety and driving conditions. The use of a local driver is recommended. The currency of Bhutan is the Bhutan Ngultrum (BTN). Banking is limited. Medical facilities are basic. Altitude sickness can be a challenge for expatriates and visitors. For serious medical treatment, emergency helicopter evacuation to India is usually required. The population of Thimphu is 104,000 (2017 est.), while the inflation rate is 5.18% (Sept 2017).
Cost Of Living
The cost of living for expatriates / professional migrants in In Thimphu, the cost of each basket, based on local prices, compared to the international average, is categorized follows (Exact cost of living percentages only available in personalised reports): Thimphu as at 1 January 2018 is very low in comparison to other places in the world. 1) Alcohol (where available) & Tobacco: High 2) Clothing: Very Low 3) Communication: Very Low 4) Education: Very Low 5) Furniture & Appliances: Average 6) Groceries: Very Low 7) Healthcare: Very Low 8) Household Accommodation: Very Low 9) Miscellaneous: Average 10) Personal Care: Low 11) Recreation & Culture: High 12) Restaurants Meals Out and Hotels: Low 13) Transport: Very Low Thimphu is for example -2% cheaper than Houston TX for groceries, -32.5% cheaper for household costs than Kuala Lumpur, and -17.6% cheaper for transport costs than Dubai. The hardship premium for Thimphu for an expat from Perth, is for example 20%, i.e. host location (Thimphu) premium of 30% minus home (Perth) location premium of 10%. Thimphu is ranked as a high degree of hardship location. Want to know more about cost of living, hardship (quality of living) or expat salary in Thimphu? Register subscribe to your home location and Thimphu and run your personalised reports.