Bhutan

This is the beginning of a page that will have links to pages of words and photos from a 2014 trip to Bhutan. I hope you will check back and view new pages as they are added.  

You can click on any image or heading to get to the respective pages.

Stephen Plume and I spent 23 days visiting this fascinating country. Our trip was orchestrated by Dhamey Tenzing Norgay, who took exceptionally good care of us. If you plan to visit Bhutan, you should definitely check with him.

At the bottom of this page is a map that shows some of the areas we visited.  

     
     

Jomolhari Trek

In mid-November 2014, Stephen and I did a wonderful six-day trek in the Jigme Dorji National Park of northwest Bhutan. The trek featured
spectacular scenery, several very interesting and enjoyable visits with Nomads arranged by our extremely knowledgable, guide, Phub Tsering,
and delicious and varied meal.

   BHU-9546--Mountains-from-above-Jangothang---Pan-(5)

Thimphu

The capital city of Bhutan with lots to explore. We did that day and night and had two great meals with Dhamey.

 

Drukgyel Dzong with Dhamey

We toured the fascinating ruins of a dzong built in 1649 to celebrate victory over Tibetan invaders.

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Phobjikha Valley and the Black-necked Crane Festival

The Black-necked Crane Festival is held every November 11 at the Gangte Goemba to celebrate the arrival of the black-necked cranes to the Phobjikha Valley where they spend the winter before returning to their breeding grounds in Tibet.

 

 Nomads and Caterpillars

An unusual caterpillar is destroying, or at least drastically changing,
the way of life for the nomadic yak herders of the Himalayan
Mountains of Bhutan. Please click the image below to read why.

BHU-7609   BHU-9080---Nomad-in-her-House---Pan-(2)

Haa Valley

The beautiful Haa Valley initiated our tour of Bhutan. We stayed two nights in an old farmhouse lodge, took a strenuous uphill hike at 9000 ft our first full day in Bhutan, and were spectators of a spirited game of darts with a target 50 meters distant.

 

Hike to Kila Nunnery

Starting at Chele La at 8 AM we hiked to the beautiful Kila Nunnery.
This would provide some rapid acclimatization since we were hiking at
13,000 feet shortly after our arrival in Bhutan.

     
     
BHU-0587,8--Sunrise-at-Lechu--HDR2   BHU-1157

Bumthang and Jakar

We visited temples, a palace, and a dzong in Jakar, the main city in Bumthang and had two pleasant nights at the Swiss Guest House.

 

Ura Valley

One of the unforgettable experiences of our visit to Bhutan was a stay
at Dr. Karma’s Farmhouse in the charming village of Ura. From there
we did a 10-hour hike to the Tang Valley.

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Tang Valley

This page is an overview of the valley including our visits to the Burning Lake and the Kunzangdrak Geomba. Please also see pages on the Tang School and the Ogyen Choling Museum.

 

Tang School

We had an educational and very enjoyable visit to the Tang School.
Children sang for us in English, and we had many chances to
photograph them.

BHU-4296   BHU-4505,6--Group-of-Porch-crop

 Ogyen Choling Museum

In Tang, the wonderful, private Ogyen Choling Museum is a joy to visit and photograph. We spent a good part of an afternoon there and met the curator and writer, Kunzang Choden.

 

Jambay Lhakhang Festival

We spent almost 2 hours watching masked dancers and photographing
the brightly clothed people in the Jambay Lhakhang temple grounds
in Jakar.

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Trongsa

Trongsa featured a beautiful Dzong and the Royal Heritage Museum
filled with amazing art which unfortunately will not appear on this
page — no photos allowed.

 

 Punakha

Punakha is located in a mild, relatively low altitude valley east of
Thimpu. The beautiful Punakha Dzong sits at the confluence of
two rivers.

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Puja in Phomdrong

A puja is a religious ceremony celebrated by both Buddhists and Hindus.
I was very honored to be able to attend one that had both sacred and secular characteristics and meet very interesting people celebrating in a small central Bhutan village.

 

Phomdrong

Nobody visits Phomdrong. Yet it was one of the highlights of our trip.
It is a small village of about 20 families. We toured the village, and
spent time visiting the home of our driver, Kencho, enjoying ara with
his charming Mother.

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Ara

Ara is a traditional alcoholic beverage consumed in Bhutan. The best ara we tasted in Bhutan was made in central Bhutan from wheat. A bit of information is on this page.

 

Doma

Chewing doma is a deeply embedded tradition in Bhutanese society.
Doma is composed of the areca nut wrapped in betel leaves and
normally mixed with lime.

BHU-2615   BHU-1944

Bhutan-Map-NW-areas-we-visited