Bhutan
Paro

Here you’ll find travel reports about Paro. Discover travel destinations in Bhutan of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

14 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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  • 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

  • Day20

    National Museum

    May 20 in Bhutan ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    The National Museum of Bhutan is a cultural Museum that has on display antique items gathered from around the country, many masks used in their celebrations and information on their natural environment.

    We did not see the full museum as it is under renovation.

    No photo's inside again very annoying.Read more

  • Day21

    Janka Resort Paro

    May 21 in Bhutan ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

    This certainly is not a resort, actually it feels a bit like we are back in China with its horrible rooms. We have very creaky pine floors, every step makes a noise, nowhere to sit other than on the hard single beds. It is actually cold tonight so we have the heater on not that I think they are working as I have climbed into bed to keep warm. Very slow Wifi which is a pain as I cannot download any photo's or look at Tiny Beans photo's of Charlie.The bathroom is just adequate, we are not looking forward to dinner. We did read some reviews before we arrived so we knew what to expect but boy when as a tourist to Bhutan you have to pay $US250pp per day you expect much better than this.

    We are here for 2 nights only thank goodness.
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  • Day20

    Bumdra Trekking - Start

    April 17 in Bhutan ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    Was wird uns die nächsten zwei Tage wohl erwarten? Wir werden auf 3800 Meter wandern, dort übernachten und dann wieder zurück nach Paro am Tigernest vorbei gehen. Nur dafür gehen wir beide regelmässig joggen.
    Los geht es einfach, ein bisschen leicht ansteigend. Die Wolken verheissen nichts gutes und nach einigen Metern gibt es schon die ersten Tropfen. Diese bleiben aber zum Glück die einzigen Tropfen auf dem ganzen Weg.
    Die Landschaft ist am Anfang sehr deprimierend, ein Feuer hat letztes Jahr hier die kompletten Wälder auf einigen Berghängen zerstört. Obwohl am Boden schon viele neue grüne Pflanzen wachsen sieht es doch ein bisschen nach Endzeitstimmung aus.
    Irgendwann im Laufe des Anstiegs wird dies aber besser.

    Unterwegs holen wir andere Touristen ein oder werden von diesen überholt. Engländer, Schweden, Luxemburger etc. wollen den Berg erklimmen. Jeder hat seinen eigenen Stil, dies zu erreichen. Die einen (wir) eher gleichbleibend ausdauernd, andere rennen fast den Berg hoch, nur um alle paar Minuten wieder eine Pause zu brauchen, damit sie dann weiter rennen können.

    Wir merken die Höhe, aber alles ist gut.
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  • Day20

    Bumdra Trekking - Lunch

    April 17 in Bhutan ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

    Nach drei Stunden Aufstieg gibt es auf 3500 Meter Mittagessen. Selten hat ein Essen so gut geschmeckt.
    Tee und das Essen wir von drei Jungs jeden Tag für die Touristen vom Berg etwa zwei Stunden nach unten getragen und das leere Geschirr ebenso wieder den Berg hinaufgetragen.
    Die Ausblicke sind toll, wir erholen uns rasch und können gestärkt die letzten Höhenmeter angehen.Read more

  • Day20

    Bumdra Trekking - Zeltplatz

    April 17 in Bhutan ⋅ ⛅ 11 °C

    Auf den letzten Kilometern haben sie kleine Grüppchen gebildet, die sich gemeinsam für die restliche Strecke motivieren. Es sind. Ich ein paar knackige Anstiege dabei, dann sehen wir unser Bett für diese Nacht.
    Der Zeltplatz auf knapp 3900 wird es also sein. Glücklich und zufrieden, es doch ganz gut den Berg hoch geschafft zu haben lassen wir uns in die bereitstehenden Sessel fallen.
    Karma hat für uns extra noch ein Bier mit dabei gehabt, aber schon nach dem ersten Schluck merken wir, dass das Starkbier nach der Anstrengung sicher nicht das Richtige ist.
    Wir schauen uns in der Umgebung um, lehnen den Aufstieg auf den Berg (weitere 200 Höhenmeter) auch aufgrund der fehlenden Aussicht dankend ab und reichten uns im Zelt ein.
    Der Wind ist jetzt schon kalt und wir haben bald alle Schichten an. Wie wird dies in der Nacht werden, wenn wir zwar viele Decken haben, der Wind aber in das leichte Zelt zieht?
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  • Day20

    Bumdra Trekking - Bumdra abends

    April 17 in Bhutan ⋅ ⛅ 3 °C

    Es wird früh dunkel, um sechs Uhr ist es schon zu so finster, dass die Guides nicht mehr Khuru spielen können. Wir sitzen inzwischen leicht frierend in unserem Essenszelt und freuen uns, nach dem Essen ins hoffentlich warme Bett zu gehen.
    Das Essen ist - wie fast immer in Bhutan - sehr gut und für diese Umgebung (die Küche ist mehr oder weniger im Freien und gekocht wird von den drei Jungs) sogar sehr gut. Oder ist es einfach der Hunger nach der Anstrengung?
    Wir trinken jede Menge warmen Tee und dann geht es ab ins Bett (um 8 Uhr abends!).

    Dank dem Wind, der die ganze Nacht am der Zeltplane rüttelt, dauert es lange, bis wir einschlafen. Wie befürchtet ist es auch erst mal unter den Decken kalt, dies ändert sich aber im Laufe der Nacht. Trotzdem schlafen wir mit Mützen, da es ausserhalb unserer Decken im Zelt nicht warm wird.

    Links und rechts von uns wird in den Zelten laut und ausdauernd geschnarcht. Und die Hunde jagen immer mal wieder über den Zeltplatz auf der Suche nach anderen Tieren.

    Eine sehr kurze und sehr unruhige Nacht.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Paro Dzongkhag, Paro, སྤ་རོ་རྫོང་ཁག་, Distrito de Paro, पारो-भूटान, Паро

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