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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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Trip Journal


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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