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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Punakha, Bhutan

Jun 4, 2014 - Punakha

Well last night was a bit of fun and too much beer. The company we are travelling with had a group of 12 stay in the same hotel, including the owners. Much food and drink was consumed and a late night to bed. I think we all made it up this morning. The other group is mostly motorcycling to Central Bhutan, so we won't see them again. This morning Buddha wanted to test me again with another uphill hike to a place called Khamsum Yulley Namgyel Chorten. My reward were fantastic views from the top. We walked through lovely rice fields (currently...

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Jun 3, 2014 - Bhutanese Bacon and long live Noel

Today started with me arising to Noel's alarm clock, having a shower getting dressed and returning to Noel's alarm clock still ringing and Noel having not moved an inch. I thought maybe I should yell his name, but no luck, put the alarm clock close to his ear, no luck, I then noticed the ear phones and gave him a little shake and he awoke. I will admit I was thinking "shit what do I do if Noel is dead". Luckily I have moved on and we went downstairs for breakfast. There appeared to be bacon. yet it didn't taste like bacon. It didn't taste...

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Nov 20, 2013 - Day 3 (The Divine Madman)

@@@@@@@ BACKGROUND Here’s some of what the Lonely Planet website has to say about the Chimmi Lhakhang: The Chimi Lhakang is a Buddhist monastery which stands on a small hill close to the village of Lobesa and was constructed in 1499. A small chorten marks the spot where the Lama subdued the demon of Dochu La. The Temple is very deeply connected to the legends of Lama Drukpa Kuenley. It has been said that the demon of Dochu-La, with a magic thunderbolt of wisdom, imprisoned him in a rock close to the temple. Drukpa Kuenley is called the...

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Nov 19, 2013 - Day 2 (Dochu La Pass)

@@@@@@@ BACKGROUND Here’s some of what the Lonely Planet website has to say about the Dochu La Pass: “From Thimphu, the route to the east leaves the road to Paro and Phuentsholing and loops back over itself to become the east–west National Hwy. The route climbs through apple orchards and forests of blue pine to the village of Hongtsho (2890m), where an immigration checkpoint controls all access to eastern Bhutan. Your guide will present your restricted-area travel permit, giving you the chance to haggle for walnuts, apples and dried cheese...

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Nov 19, 2013 - Day 2 (Punakha Dzong)

@@@@@@@ BACKGROUND Here’s some of what the Lonely Planet website has to say about the Punakha Dzong: The Punakha Dzong was the second dzong to be built in Bhutan and it served as the capital and seat of government until Thimphu was promoted to the top job in the mid-1950s. It's arguably the most beautiful dzong in the country, especially in spring when the lilac-coloured jacaranda trees bring a lush sensuality to the dzong's characteristically towering whitewashed walls. Elaborately painted gold, red and black carved woods add to the...

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Nov 9, 2012 - Bhutan Day 3 Dochula Pass, Pana Village - Punakha

Nov 9 (Fri.) Bhutan Day 3 Dochula Pass, Pana Village - Punakha After the workout of yesterday, we were told we would have it much easier at a lower altitude (3,000 feet) in a lush valley. We also started at 9AM so we had time to rest and build up the energy for the Tiger's Nest climb in a couple of days. As the van negotiated the switchbacks, we passed a roadside market where besides apples and oranges, we saw a large hanging bunch of strings of yak cheese which was described as chewy and not too appetizing. It was just over an hour to...

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Oct 7, 2009 - Drive to Punakha via Wangdi Phodrang

07-10-09 On the road to Punakha we climb up through oak, pine and rhododendron forest to reach Dorchu La Pass (3050m). If the weather permits, magnificent views pan out across the mountains towards Gangar Pensum. At 7541m, it is the tallest mountain in Bhutan. Dropping down into the valley, Punakha’s benign climate allows orange and banana groves to flourish within sight of the snow capped Himalayan Mountains. En route we make an excursion to the Wangdi Phodrang Dzong. Impressive in stature and reputation the silver shingled roof and long...

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May 26, 2009 - Flash Flood in Bhutan

We awoke this morning to yet another day of pouring rain outside. A cyclone in the Indian Ocean hit the Indian state of West Bengal and neighboring Bangladesh. Bhutan has been hit with heavy rainfall and flash floods throughout most of the country, although it is hundreds of kilometers inland. This morning we had planned to hike to the monastery of Chimi Lhakhang, which was built in 1499 in honor of Lama Drukpa Kunley, more commonly referred to in Bhutan as “the Devine Madman”, but the heavy rains prevented us from doing so. As we began...

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Trip Journal


Break From the Law

May 25, 2009 - Visit to Punakha, Bhutan’s Former Capital City

The sky was gray and it was drizzling as we left Thimpu en route to Punakha this morning. Punakha, Bhutan’s capital city until the mid-1950s, is home to the Punakha Dzong, one of Bhutan’s most architecturally significant buildings. Located in the very scenic Punakha Valley, a visit to Punakha is standard for most tourists who visit Bhutan. As fortune would have it, today Bhutan’s chief Buddhist monk, Je Khenpo, and the Dratshang, the high council of Bhutanese monks, were en route from their winter residence in Punakha to their summer...

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Break From the Law

Dec 29, 2008 - Druk - The Land of Thunder

HIGHLIGHTS • Drive to Punakha • Dochula Pass – 3,000 metres • Druk, i.e. The Land of Thunder and the Wangyal Khangzang Chortens • Visit Sangay’s parents • Punakha Dzong Monastery DETAIL The road from Paro to Punakha rises from 2,000 metre to 3,000 metres and then descends to Punakha at about 1,800 metres. The road is much better than yesterday but continues to wind back and forth and up and down. We come to the Dochula Pass, 3,000 metres and there are 108 Chortens, i.e. Stupa’s to guard the pass. Sangay and I walk around these Chortens and...

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Nov 17, 2008 - Yak attack (no blood or gore involved)

Nov. 16th – Bumthang to Punakha It’s a very chilly morning; even the resident dog has frost on its back! We’re all loaded on the bus and ready to go when we hear some yelling from above. All of our hotel rooms have locks on the outside of the doors, and poor Karla was in the bathroom and was accidently locked in. She’s lucky her room was at the front of the hotel so she can flag us down from her window. We start on the long, long drive back. There’s only one main road across the country, so the way there is the same as the way back. I...

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Apr 17, 2008 - My Nirvana

By Eric We have visited a huge number of temples, wats, shrines, stupas, or some other type of religious structure on our trip. I don’t know if it has hit 1000, but it’s probably close. Yesterday we went to one place where there were 108 stupas. Each shrine is beautiful, cherished, spiritual, and special. None have been mine. Today, I found my temple. We are in Bhutan. A beautiful country in the Himalaya mountains. There are majestic peaks shooting up out of the ground with beautiful valley after beautiful valley. The valleys are about 4000...

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