28 March 2015

Visiting Museums in Bhutan

I have seen too little of the world outside Bhutan but that little experience away from home awakened my appreciation for the depth of our own country. Now I desire to travel deeper in our own country and its history than anywhere away.
Isn’t it sad that we have nothing much written down as history. We say we are rich in oral literature and history but if you realize, much is lost in transmission from one mouth to another and one generation to another. More than losing is the threat of manipulation as stories travel through time.
What hasn’t been changed, what hasn’t been altered are the stories stored in objects from the past. But sadly those stories are collecting dust in museums, and much of what people had in their homes have flown to Nepal through black market routes and rest are waiting in the handicraft shop to be sold out to western tourists.
So considering that our villages are transformed, though even if they were intact not many of us spend time there, museums are our only hope of finding original stories that are rarely heard, or never heard in its truest form.
Sometimes the mystery of our unclear history is frustrating but other times it turns out that the same mystery defines what Bhutan is. It is that desire to explore the unknown, which makes life all so meaningful for some of us. It’s the urge to travel in back in time and not just live life forward but also add a backward dimension to life. Life becomes so much bigger.
While time machine called museum is as cheap as Nu.20 per adults and Nu.5 for students; a pizza can fund a class of 40 students to any museum in Bhutan but in my 7 years on Facebook I have seen thousands of pictures of children posing with pizzas but not a single picture of child posing outside a museum.
Paro Penlop Dawa Penjor Heritage Farmhouse, one of the private museums I visited was confused when my group asked for visiting fee. They have never received any Bhutanese visitors and therefore haven’t thought of an entry fee for Bhutanese. The lady was so happy to receive the first group of Bhutanese visitors that she offered us ara and suja like she did for fee paying tourists, all for free. We were so touched the we offered no less than any tourists.
Dear parents take your children for swimming to given them the best physical exercise, take your children to a library for the best mental exercise, and take your children to a museum to exercise their imagination. Take them back in time because so many answers they may seek in the future are buried in the past.
Following is a list of Museums I have visited. It’s just a list for now, specifics of each will be written in the following blogs.
  • National Museum of Bhutan, Paro
  • The Tower of Trongsa, Trongsa
  • Paro Penlop Dawa Penjor Heritage Farmhouse, Paro
  • Folk Heritage Museum, Thimphu
  • Simply Bhutan, a Living Museum, Thimphu
  • Druk Home Museum, Paro
*BookMyTour has a museum specialised travel guide to help you in case you are planning a museum tour in Bhutan
National Museum of Bhutan
The Tower of Thongs
Druk Home Museum

Paro Penlop Dawa Penjor Heritage Farmhouse
Simply Bhutan, A Living Museum
Folk Heritage Museum


  1. Hi, how about Ogyen Choling Museum in Bumthang?

  2. Your King is now in Singapore. He just paid his respect to our late founding father Lee Kuan Yew. Thank you His Majesty.

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  5. I am into tears somehow as I go through this post. I am glad to know that there is someone who feels so strong about Museum :D

    I was thinking of the time when people thought of me as weird when I told someone that I love visiting museums and immediately, I was a boring person to that another person.

    I am feeling better now :D

    I agree that museum holds the truth and it is there for all the people to seek the truth through past events and understand the present life that we live in. I hope, everyone go to museum to know the truth for yourself although I have visited only one museum in Bhutan in Paro.

    I would love to visit the mentioned museums when I reach Bhutan as I really have no knowledge of Bhutan history other than bit of what I studied in my high school history class :D

    Thank you for sharing a wonderful post Passu Sir :D

    Kind regards
    Yeshi :)

  6. Yeesi, I am so happy that there is one Bhutanese out there who thought the same, for this reason I am willing to be your personal Guide to all the museums in Paro when you visit them. Please come.

  7. People's response to us will be like 'awoo boring boring bae ya' when we say we visited a museum which are in our country but ...it's story is different for museums around the world...People will be saying wow, so lucky of u that u got to visit such museums...its sad that no one appreciates which we have in our own country... but I hope after going through your blog our folks gets interest and appreciation in our own culture and tradition...


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