Bhutan
Bhutan

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26 travelers at this place:

  • Day3

    Highlight

    April 29 in Bhutan ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

    Today was splendid. I slept for 10h, woke up fresh and happy. How could you differently! After breakfast we went to the National Museum. They had to renovate the old building and they moved the objects to the new one. Now the renovation is almost finished but not open for visitors. But the interesting stuff is already back there. Not very logic so instead of craft and other treasures we were looking at pictures where officials from India were visiting the King. Tnezin just said we should imagine the nice stuff, that would be a reason for us to come back. Actually the room with the information about flora and fauna was interesting. Maybe if we are reallly lucky we gonna see one of the snow leopard like they did last year. Who knows!
    After the mueseum we went to the Dzong. Dzongs were fortresses against enemies, often Tibetan. Nowadays it is one side a monastery and on the other here in Paro is the court and the official stuff. Going into a Dzhong you have to wear long sleeve, the Bhutanese have to wear a scarf over their traditional dress. The king has a yellow one, the prime minister an orange one, the memebers of parliament have a blue and the head of the district a red one. There are twenty Dzongkhags, districts in Bhutan, the country being a similar size to Switzerland (roughly 39’000qm). It counts 800’000 people. They are a parlamentary constitutional monarchy. About democracy our guide Tenzin said that he doesn’t like the promises given before the election and not kept after. He kind of doesn’t mind just having the Monarchy. He told us that in the last election the prime minister promised free WIFI throughout the country. In the eastern dialect Wi means cow and Fi means house. I can imagine the disappointment.
    After visiting those two sites in Paro Tenzin decided to bring us up to Drakarpo, a temple that the guru rinpoche flew to, like to the one of Tigernest and the one we gonna visit tomorrow. I will ask Tenzin again about the story to get it right. what i remember is that he flew from the temple from tomorrow (Kila) to Drakarpo, where he either split a rock (Kar means rock) or he landed here because he saw a white stone (Kar means white). As Tenzin says, there are always to ways to tell a story. We went up there by foot, a very nice journey and from up there a wow-ish view. Believers are circling the temple clockwise to get merit. We were told that if for exampme you kill your parents, you should walk 108 times around a temple and then you are forgiven - and, Tenzin added, you have go to jail.
    We are very lucky having him as a guide. We were dropped off at the town and we went for another coffee, went shopping and then back to the palace for a royal diner. I am fully on holiday mood.
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  • Day4

    excited

    April 30 in Bhutan ⋅ 🌧 17 °C

    We were picked up at 8. We were supposed to take our camping chairs with us. Lilian and me thought it would be for the trek tomorrow and so I also brought that heavy first aid kit with me. We realized at lunch that it was just for today. Now we understood why they were a bit puzzled me taking that big emergency bag with me. I really looked like the worried, spoiled tourist going up to 4000m and not wanting to take any risk. Very funny.
    We drove up a curvy road. And when they say curvy, it is curvy. Holymoly. In Bhutan there are 12 curves per kilometer in avarage. I think the road we took to go up to the highest asphalted street in Bhutan had at least one every 25m. And not just smooth ones. There was one u-turn after another. And how scenic! Well. Looking out was also the only option to not get sick. We arrived up there at 9:30 and it was cloudy and windy and very very nice. All those flags in the wind, it was a mystical. We went first up to the top, not to the top of the top, because there are sky burial. I’ll explain sky burial in the end, or at least how I think I understood Tenzin’s explanation in case you wann know.
    We walked down a forest to the Kila temple, where from Guru Rinpoche flew away to the one of yesterday. Amazing how those temples are biult in the rocks. There was also a nunnery. Every nunnery is run by a man. We visited the temple in the numnery. They all look similar with a lot of colors and a shrine in the middle. Tenzing praid for good weather on the trek as he did in all the temples. Let’s hope for the best.
    We were then picked up by our driver Jimmy and brought to a little green place where we had diner under some drizzle. I wanted to write that the food was delicious, but you know that already. Funny fact, the aspargus here don’t make your pee smell bad, my scientific curiosity wants to know why. Any idea?
    We continued our day with a visit to another temple and a walk down to the valley. Not wanting to change our habits, Lilian and me went for a coffee.
    Now we packed again our bags, I put everything into plastic bags (me that tries so hard in Switzerland to not use them...they are trashbags so I probably will be able to use them back home again) Anyway, my biggest ‘fear’ is to get wet. Next to freezing. Honestly, Lilian and me are bit scared of the cold. It is supposed to be -12degree in the night and we are just in tents. Let’s see how this goes and you’ll hear from me in a bit more the 10days. Woopwoop!

    Sky burial:
    For example children under 8 that died are not burnt like older people but put on a smooth stone and the vultures would eat them. It is considered that within 8years the child cannot get enough merit so it will get more through the bird. Nowadays there are not many birds around and they get eaten by dogs and other animals.
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  • Day5

    tigresse's nest

    May 1 in Bhutan ⋅ 🌬 18 °C

    So. Les jeux sont fait. It seems a bit like that because I have now all the stuff for the next 10 days and what will be missing, is missing. Until now, I am very fine. I am in my tent, my 3l-Platypus-Drinking bottle is keeping my feet warm for my first night in the tent for that trek. We will be woken up at 6:30 for a wake up tea and then some hot water for cleaning, breakfast at 7 and up we go at 8. We have approximately 21km to go tomorrow upt to 3600m. But first about today. It was again a marvelous day. We left Paro in direction to the tigers nest, the most known building from this country. And the most touristy. Still, there are not that many people but it seems almost crowded. There is a part first to go up to a cafeteria and then further to the Monastery. Tourist can take a horse for the first part. Amd they do. Mostly Asian coming from Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam. Some are dressed for photo shooting with Gucci-Shoes. No kidding. Even though they do one half on the horse back, the other is on foot for them, too. And it is steep, actually very steep and hot. I was impressed how they managed. Not fast but they managed. Lilian and me were quite fast so we arrived before the tourist ‘mass’ up there, visited the Monastery. It is a beautiful one. Rebuilt after a devastating fire in 1998 it thrones abov the cliffs. Impressive. We went to heave, luckily not literally, climbing up to another temple with a gorgeous view on the nest. And being up there for ourselves was just adding up. After lunch in the middle station we walked down all the way with still some going up. Tenzing told us that sometimes he has to carry down women because it is too steep. Lately he had guests from Singapore that weren’t used to this kind of thing, they started at 8:30 and were back only at 17:30. We were a bit quicker and soon on the way to here (I have to look up the name) were we had four hours of blissfully nothing to do. We spent first some time outside in front of our already put up tents, drank some tea enjoying some speks of sun, mixed with some shy rain drops. As they got more insistent, we went into the tent. I again played Solitaire and listened to Podcast, being warm and confy and dry. What do I want more. Around 7 was diner and now it is 21:25 and i am looking forward for tomorrow! What a lucky girl I am!
    Oh btw, the tiger from the tiger’s nest is a female. but tigresse’s nest was too complicated for name.
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  • Day7

    i miss the rains down in africa (odr so)

    May 3 in Bhutan ⋅ 🌧 9 °C

    So, it rains, I am again in the tent, it’s 2:30pm and we are already 1:30h in our camp. It is raining and we are supposed to see three big big mountains but maybe tomorrow. We’ll see. Since we gonna sleep for two nights here for some acclimatization reasons (we are at 4100m) we took a long time to make ourselves comfortable. We even did blow up our own mattesses, since until today, we slept o the ones privided by the trekking company (which we didn’t know were provided). So tonight I gonna sleep like the princess on the erbs. We will have coffee time at four and diner at seven, those two things will be the most exciting thing happening for the rest of the day. Oh stop, this is not true: As some of you know, we don’t plan to take the ordinary Trekking route but another one over two more passes. The last one of them is, since in between mountains still quite covered with snow. It snowed unusually heavy and often this winter. Seven times in Paro and also Thimphu when in ordinary winters it does once. Due to climate change selon Tenzing. Bhutan is the only country being not just CO2 neutral, but they have even a negative consumption. Due to water energy and a lot of trees. On our trek there are electricity poles everywhere. They built them two years ago, so the trek didn’t look pretty and tourists complained. Incredible, it is such life- quality that electricity brings. That arrogance of some to have all the luxury of what the western world can offer you but please not in those countries I as a rich tourist go to because it looks ugly. So, where was I? Oh yeah, our trek is not likely to happen how it is planned because the horses won’t be able to pass through the snow. And without the horses, we are lost. So Tenzing will have three propositions on how to continue the trek.
    Today we started a bit later, after another warm night in the tent. The weather was gray but dry. There is another group of two doing the Jomolhari and they add another on, the Laya-trek (oder so). They are from Austria. We probably gonna meet them more often. Otherwise it is quite a lonely trek. After a couple of times we reached a settlement of Nomads who were playing arrow. I just forget the right word for that sports. Anyway, it is their national sport but at the Olympic they get beaten by the Corean because Bhutanese are very laid back and therefore not so successful (Tenzings words). Aah doctors make around 25’000 Ngultrum, which is noteven 500$ a month. Highly underpaid but still happy. Good money according to Tenzing you make in the army. Bhutanese army is connected to the Indian ones (as is their currency, it is 1:1 to the Indian Rubies). So if you do career in the army to get a higher rank you go to India. And when back here you are well paid. Economically they rely a lot of tourism nowadays. There is joke in Bhutan that you are either a guide or working in a travel agency. There are 4000 guides in this country. I was wrong about the control of the tourism. They don’t, it is limited by the amount of hotel rooms and flights toand out of Bhutan. I already mentioned the Visa. You haveto pay 250$ a day to go to Bhutan. Around 200$ are left after hotel and eating, so this goes to the state for cultur, edication, infrastructure. Interesting way to do. According to our book US people stay 6.4 days, German 7 days and Swiss the longest with 10 and a bit days in avarage.
    So, we were observing the arrow thing and were having lunch at the same time. There were some kids around so I could give away the stuffed animals I got from my cousine Christa back home. A bit earlier there were men constructing a bridge to keep the river from the way. I asked Tenzing if I could give them some Swiss chocolate, he said I could. He made an offering of money so since they were cleaning and taking care of our way, they would pray for us to get all the obstacles out of the way in our lifes. They have a lot of things like that in their culture. A lot of stories on how things happend and why they happened like that. I am very impressed by this country. Tenzing also said, that five days in the country you stop being a tourist and become a guest. After more then 5 days of trekking you start to be family.
    So after diner the three options went down to one since there is a zyklone hitting India sometime and bringing unusual heavy amount of rain. Tenzing said we could go over the pass the day after tomorrow to Lingshi, then doing the second one, heading up to the third, coming the same way down and somehow getting to Thimphu. It would be raining all the time. So. Lilian and me discussed a lot about if it was clever to go higher in the mountains when the weather gets worse. It isn’t just about us being comfy and warm but where is the sense going up three times to 5000m when we would just get grey and rain and fog? We were also a bit scared of being wet, also the tents. We asked if there was also the possibility of turning around. There was of course. We could go back, not exactly the same way, spend a night in Paro and two additional ones in Thimphu. It is quite clear that they don’t want to do that. Tenzing said he had once someone come with a lawsuit since it didn’t went according to plan. We assured him that we were happy with whatever we can take, and tes we used the lame phrase of rather be safe then sorry. Or rather be dry then sorry? Anyway, tomorrow lazy day ahead with a walk to a lake. Let’s see how this goes, it looks like I’ll be back in civilization earlier then wanted.
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  • Day8

    rain keeps falling down - or not?

    May 4 in Bhutan ⋅ 🌧 3 °C

    Hach, what a wonderful time we re having. It rained all night heavily, also through the morning so we postboned our trip to the lake to the afternoon. We spent the morning in the eating tent, reading, talking and just enjoying to be able to just let the hours go by. After lunch the rain stopped for good and we started to climb up the path to the lake that goes to two other passes, one to Linghsi and another somewhere else. The snow came down to probably 4600m, it was beautiful. The mountains were still shy, but the view still wow. We saw a lot of marmots and yaks and heaps of baby yaks, they are incredibly cute. So fluffy! We took a break and a kitkat (yes indeed) and enjoyed the quiet up there. Back in the camp we did some washing and then it was time again for tea and diner. Again delicious. With the tea we got popcorn. Yummy. Uptdate concerning our trek, probably we gonna do the long way up to the pass tomorrow, as proposed by Tenzing. I am all in, Lilian is a bit more hesitant because of the rain. We will see, i’ll take it as it comesRead more

  • Day10

    i'm on top of the world

    May 6 in Bhutan ⋅ ☀️ 6 °C

    Apparently there was heavy rain and wind in the night, I slept through. In the morning the sky was clear and the sun not yet over the ridge but made his way slowly so we started around 8o’clock in direction of the next pass. The first 1.5h was walking slowly up the stream, again followed by the two dogs (I named them Chuck and Norris) and our path was commented by the whistles of marmots. There was also a griffon watching something/us? from a stone nearby. You realize their grandeur only when next to them. Impressive. Like the male yaks on the other side of the pass. Huge things with long horn. One made a appearance to come towards you, nothing you want him really to do! Anyway, we ascended first what Tenzing called the little pass, very steep but I felt I had good legs. Up there we crossed a field, had a juice break (we get some Tetrapak- juices and chocolate in the mornings) and saw our path and the pass 300m higher. It looked like a heck of a ascent! Tenzing told me that this pass was his Kryptonit, he doesn’t really know why. So we started, each of us in our own speed, since you can just go one speed at this altitude and this steepness. It was beautiful, challenging, in the end just going up through snow ad then, finally, the top. And again, what a marvelous view. Breathtaking. We are so little. Since wew were up there before noon it was quite warm and without a chilling wind. We watched five yaks and the horses making their way up to the pass, impressive sight. The way down was very smooth, we had a lunch break and then another 1.5-2h descent to our camp, a bit further down so the horses have more food. After diner Tenzing told us that the last pass wasn’t to be crossed. So tomorrow we will climb up the next pass as planned, come down the same way, sleep at around 4300m and then reach the traditional Jomolhari Trek for the last day. Very cool! Lilian and me will not miss the night at 4600m. we are both a bit tired today, feeling colder then usual. Now I am in my sleeping bag, it is 21:15 and I am looking forward to sleeping and then another long day of walking ahead! Yippie!Read more

  • Day12

    maybe the last tenty-night, maybe not

    May 8 in Bhutan ⋅ 🌧 13 °C

    We were both awake at 5o’clock because the yaks were thinking that the grass around our tents looked yummie. In a tent it sounds like the yak is in your tent. Lilian thought about getting her stifks, i was more fatalistic, in cause the yak decides to walk through my tent, there is not much to do anyway. Well, nothing happened at all so we had our normal morning routine, just with the change that we would leave at nine since the day walk was not that far. Again under the morning sun we strolled out of the valley, passed a nomads house where there was supposed to be a dog that likes to bite. We didn’t see him, luckily. Coincidentally I had dreamed last night that a cat had bitten me in the finger. But nothing happend and the path was an up and down sgain in the forest, with rhododendrons blooming and the river once left hand sided, once on the other side. Now the Adele song Hello pops in my head, I had songs in my head the whole trip while walking trough that wonderf scenery. We were again very alone. At the campsite everything was ready including our toilet-tent. It is the small blue one, with a zipper to get in and then it is a whole in the soil and voila. In case you wondered. It was very moist in the tents most of the time and with the cold you had no idea if the things are wet or just cold. Now at 3500m the things start to smell with more intensity, Lilian and me are often discussing if it is worth to put on clean stuff since, well, we are not that clean. It is actually a very good sign that this is all we have to worry about. Diner was again a feast with chocolate cake in the end and even some peachwine. I got almost drunk, well, not drunk but a bit tipsy. We had a lot to laugh about. Tenzing came to tell us what the plan was fo tomorrow and it turns out that we would walk all the way to the street, having a car picking us up and the back to civilization aka SHOWER! No, actually there is no problem with not showering for 9 days. That probably counts just when you are with people who also do not shower for 9 days 😊Read more

  • Day14

    Thimphu I

    May 10 in Bhutan ⋅ 🌬 25 °C

    Thimphu I
    After a good night’s sleep after no waking up tea we had breakfast at the hotel. We already miss the food of Nima, our cook on the trek. We are still amazed what delicious meals we got served during those 9 days. We were picked up by Tenzin to visit different museums. The first one was called ‘simply Bhutan’, it was a some houses where the bhutanese culture were explained. For example, house building is with mud, so they stamp the mud. Since they will inevitably kill insects by doing it they sing a song of forgiveness. We could taste Ara, the local wine made of rice and also butter tea. During the tea session they danced and sang for us. We were the only tourists in this big room and we felt akward. Tenzin said later he had fun watching us because we looked a bit lost. I guess we were. The dancing was lovely. We then could perform some archery, I failed particularly, Lilian was a natural. I like this kind of museums. Next was the handcrafts museum, or more showroom since there are young people learning one of the 13crafts that are existing in the buthanese culture. Quite impressive. The funniest moment was when a Indian lady stopped Lilian and me. First we thought she wanted to take us a picture of her, but no, she wanted a picture with us. That was a comical situation.
    The afternoon was lazy and full of time to spend and just wonderful.
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  • Day15

    Thimphu II

    May 11 in Bhutan ⋅ 🌬 25 °C

    Today we first visited the memorial stupa that was a dream of the third king, but he passed away before fulfilling that. So his wife did it two years after his death in 1974. A wonderful stupa, we could even go inside and see the figures. As in all holy sites you are not allowed to take pictures and you have to take off your shoes. After that we went up to see the big buddha overseeing the town. It was built and sponsored by the Chinese and honestly, it didn’t feel like being in Bhutan visiting that place. Nevertheless impressing sight. Then Tenzin made us see the oldest Dzong constructed in 1626 a bit further out of the city. Beautiful building with so much detailed paintings and woodcraft. The highlight of the day for me were the Tarkins. We went up to the reserve that was a zoo before. They didn’t like the idea of having animals in captivity so they closed to zoo. Since the Tarkin stayed around they decided to do a reserve. There are also other animals in the park but just few of them. The Tarkin is a very unique animal. In their belief one of the guru (I’ll tell more about that particular guru later on) after a meal took the head of a goat and the body of a pig and made the Tarkin. It is the national animal and it really looks funny. We went then for lunch, had a chat with another Swiss couple on tour with the same treking company as we were and visited the weekend market. That one was in the old days only open on weekends, since the demands grew higher it is closed now only on monday and tuesday. Bhutan banned plastic bags so you get everything in a stoff-bag. We could do that in Switzerland, too. After the market we were again free. We went for a last shopping trip, a coffee and a little walk. It is the last evening of Lilian since she is flying back tomorrow. I have another five days in that amazing country. I will have to take my own picture now since Lilian did the job for me. I am a very lazy photographer as Tenzin pointing it out very accurately. After diner we had a cocktail at our favorite spot in Thimphu.Read more

  • Day17

    where my red rice comes from

    May 13 in Bhutan ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

    l was picked up by 8:30 from Tenzin and our driver, then we went up to a temple. It was magnificent weather, sunny and very hot. The colors are incredibly and the sights just wonderful. We spent a bit time on the top of the temple with a grandiose view on the valley. Later on we drive to a village, where Tenzin’s dad comes from and we would stay in a farmhouse for diner. The way up there was over bumpy streets, winding up the hill, beautiful. That it is the village of Tenzin’s Dad is a coincidence. Tenzin was so kind to get us some red rice and this red rice is harvested by a family on Tenzin’s land where i was heading to. Very cool. I was greeted very friendly and i sat down on the floor in the traditional way and had milk tea and roasted rice with sugar and butter - from the cow next to the house. Delicious. So was diner, eaten by the right hand. What a nice experience. We said our goodbyes, walked a bit in the fields and headed down to the Punakha Dzong. What a beautiful building from the outside, inside was just more fabulous. We were too early so we went over the longest suspension bridge of Bhutan. Tenzin was so kind to buy icecream and then we were finally in the Dzhong. Wow, as a said before. We stayed for an hour since we had to wait to enter the temple. They had a ceremony going on. Tenzin and I went up a staircase and then had a good view on the groups waiting to go in. Incredible how they just took pictures of some monks right in the face. I always ask myself why would you do that. Anyway, we could then enter the temple and i got the story of the Buddha in 8 pictures. Then i got already back at the hotel, had electricity and then not and again enjoying the time I had.Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Kingdom of Bhutan, Bhutan, Bhoetan, Butan, ቡህታን, Bután, بوتان, ভূটান, Bhután, Бутан, भूटान, Butaŋ, ভুটান, འབྲུག་ཡུལ།, Bhoutan, بووتان, Bhútán, ބޫޓާން, འབྲུག་ཡུལ་, Bhutan nutome, Μπουτάν, Butano, Bh2utan, باتان, Butaan, Botan, Bûtan, An Bhútáin, Butàn, ભૂટાન, Butana, בהוטאן, Boutan, Բուտան, Bútan, ブータン王国, ბუტანი, Butani, ប៊ូតាន, ಭುತಾನ, 부탄, Butania, Butaani, Bhoetaan, Butáni, ພູຖານ, Butanas, Butāna, Bhotana, ഭൂട്ടാന്‍, भूतान, ဘူတန်နိုင်ငံ, Bhutani, Bhutaan, भुटान, Iiʼniʼ Tłʼiishtsoh Bikéyah, ଭୁଟାନ୍, Buuten, بھوٹان, بوټان, Butão, Butäan, භූතානය, IBhuthani, பூட்டான், భూటాన్, Шоҳигарии Бутан, ภูฏาน, Pūtani, بۇتان, Bu-tan (Bhutan), Butän, 不丹, Бутанмудин Нутг, Orílẹ́ède Bútánì, i-Bhutan

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