Friday, October 12, 2012

Road Trip to Remember

Spent 4 days last week on a long-anticipated trip to the beautiful eastern part of Bhutan. After nearly 2 years living and working here now, I've probably seen less of the countryside than the tourists who come for 7 days!

I travelled with a couple of new friends working in Thimphu (the capital) with me...Zoltan, a Hungarian living in Belgium, and Axel, a German. We hired a good car, and with our trusty local driver, LB, set off for Bumthang, with a halfway overnight break in the glorious valley of Phobjikha.

This valley is famous for the black-necked cranes that visit annually, 'though unfortunately not until the end of this month, so we missed seeing them. But we also missed the tourist rush, so not a bad result.

The next day we moved on to Bumthang, often referred to as the spiritual heart of this Buddhist kingdom. We stayed 2 days there before attacking the 250km, 10 hour return trip. That's a normal speed for travelling on the roads in this country. High altitude, poorly-surfaced, narrow and winding tracks with fatal drop-offs should an accident or landslide occur. But this is not a country where people are in a hurry. And neither were we.

So the following is basically a compilation of photos of what we saw on the trip. You'll see what we saw.  If you like beautiful scenery, rivers, waterfalls, temples, snow-capped mountains and happy Bhutanese faces, you should enjoy it.

If that's not to your taste, you can always turn on the TV...

This is the Wangdue Dzong, built in 1638 and tragically destroyed by fire in June 2012. But in the inimitable Buddhist way, already in the process of being rebuilt.

The lovely guesthouse we stayed in overnight at Phobjikha

Digging Bhutan's best potatoes, in Phobjikha.

 Our Bumthang accommodation...

In Bumthang, Bhutan's oldest temple and monastery, built around 650 AD

Junior monks having a music lesson

1 comment:

  1. hey! I have been to Bhutan in last December. I could visit only the western part so I definitely intend to go back to cover the central and eastern regions. Beautiful country! Good to know that there exist people like you who have shifted to this Himalayan kingdom leaving their homeland behind. :)