Saturday, September 10, 2011


Its a 2 hour bus ride from Thimphu to Paro. On the way the only airport in Bhutan can be seen in the valley. Its surrounded by hills on all sides. Makes me wonder how aircrafts land here! Scary! Paro is a nice small town. Probably less than a km end to end! I check in at Hotel Ugyen Pelri after heavy bargaining. Initially I planned to visit the museum and the dzong today and the Takshang Goempa the next day. The hotel owner informs me that the museum is closed on Tuesdays. Thats today! Now what? Head to Takshang Goempa? Its past noon and I haven't eaten since morning. I am  informed that the foothill is half an hour away and then its a 2 hour climb. Lets go I say!

Takshang Goempa (also called Tiger's Nest) is miraculously perched on the edge of a hill. Traditionally it is believed that the structure is anchored to the cliff by angel's hair. The monastery is a steep 900 metres above Paro.

The Goempa as seen from the foothill

The path is steep...

The views are fabulous...

But I was only halfway up!

I am the only tourist climbing at this hour! Everyone else is on their way back. I wonder if I can make it in time. To expedite things, I skip stopping at the cafeteria midway.

90 minutes of trekking and finally I am there. Click, click, click :)

The descent would have been relatively easy, had it not been for the dark clouds in the sky and the occasional downpour. At the foothill, there were no taxis. Paro is 11 km from here :O The amin road is 3 km away. Probably I can get a taxi there. I start walking. Try my luck at hitch hiking as I walk. 4 cars pass. All ignore me. Luckily just as I get to the main road, a wave down a bus to take me to Paro.

The view from my room

Next day I had a relaxed agenda. Only 2 places to visit, the Paro Dzong and the National Museum.

Chortens along the way

The Dzong, from below the entrance and then from the hill above

The National Museum is located at the top of the hill behind the Dzong. The building has unique architecture. The museum has interesting information about the history of Bhutan. Spent a good 2 hours here.

The valley views from the museum are nice

Back to town, I window shop around the market. Then back to the room for a nice afternoon nap :)
Tomorrow my short trip to Bhutan ends. I still have 3 days to spare before the rest of the gang meets me in Guwahati. Where should I go? Somewhere in Assam? Darjeeling? Some other place in North Bengal?

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