Last year you might have read articles online or seen the news on Bhutan's new queen....because she is just drop dead gorgeous. Some claim that she is even the "world's most beautiful", I surely wouldn't argue that.
For those of you unaware of this beautiful south Asia, it is a state that is surrounded by China and the Republic of India (to the east and west). The capital of Bhutan is Thimphu. The country is run by a parliamentary system, therefore, ruled by kings and queens. The current king is Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck...the last name cracks me up (I am mature, I swear) and his beautiful queen is Jetsun Pema.
In Bhutan, the people speak a language called Dzongkha and there are about 740,000 people living in this beautiful country.
If you are visiting the capital of Bhutan, there are several popular tourist sights:
1. Paro Taktsang
2. Tashichho Dzong
3. Rinpung Dzong
4. Drukgyal Dzong
5. Mongar Gewog
6. Dechen Phodrang Monastery
7. Discover textiles at the Textile Museum
8. Head to Memorial Chorten- built in 1974 in memory of Jigme Dorji Wangchuck (the third king).
9. Go see the national animal, Takin.
10. Make your way up Kuensel Phodrang to see the massive bronze Buddha (called the Dordenma)
11. Get stoned with a hot stone bath at the Jiva Spa.
12. Spend some ngultrums (the local currency) at Norzin Lam, also known as the main shopping district.
13. Attempt to find a cupid at an archery tournament (each weekend) at the Changlimithang Archery Ground.
14. Take a day at the Folk Heritage Museum.
15. Send some love via a letter with an awesome postcard...you can even have one with your face on it!
16. Fill your suitcases with one of a kind souvenirs: scroll paintings called Thangkas, masks, prayer wheels, Buddha figures, Mandala paintings, yak hair bags and kiras of various colors.
17. Drink a glass of ara (the local beer), salty Suja and butter tea...not sure about the butter tea...
If you are traveling to the more central area of Bhutan, to Jakar-where the Buddha entered Bhutan-, be sure to check out:
1. Visit the Wangdichholing Palace.
2. Swig on some Red Panda beer at the Swiss Farm.
3. Grab a slice of Asian pizza at Himalayan Pizza.
4. Take a gander around the Jakar Dzong.
5. Take a stroll or hike, if you like, in the Bumthang Valley...go do it, you bum thang.
6. Check out the Lamey Goemba or Namkhe Nyingpo Goemba monasteries.
7. Pick up a few souvenirs at the Handicraft Emporium, Bumthang Handicraft Shop and the Yoser Lam Shop.
8. Grab lunch or dinner at a Sunny Restaurant...or the 7-Eleven...
For you international flights in Bhutan, you will land in Paro, which is to the west of Thimphu. If you are staying in Paro, which is another major city/town of Bhutan, be sure to:
1. Stay until Sunday for the famous Paro Sunday Market.
2. Attend the Land of Thunder Dragon- Jambay Lakhang Festival.
3. Spend a day at the National Museum or the Vajrayana Art Gallery.
4. Party with fellow Bhutanese peoples in Club K or Millenium Club...this could be interesting.
5. Grab a bite and bond with fellow travellers at the Travellers Restaurant or the Chharo Restaurant.
6. Rent a bike and explore Paro, Bhutan.
7. Explore the various temples: Druk Choeding or Dumtse Lhakhang.
8. Indulge in goodies at Jachung Milk Bakery.
9. Visit yet another Dzong; the Paro Dzong.
10. Be a king or queen in the Ugyen Pelri Thang palace.
11. Free porn on the building...there are actually male parts painted on a building there, pretty graphic too. It must be interesting to randomly come across that if you were not previously aware of it before.
For people traveling to Bhutan, keep in mind that this is a very rural country so you won't get the whole sky-high buildings, fast cars, crazy nightlife and a super jam schedule of museums/statues/etc. Again, it's a more rural country so there is a lot of history in the tourist spots here and very relaxed, easy-going place. If you are looking for a super busy, crazy vacation, Bhutan might not be the best choice for you.
After researching Bhutan, I would definitely want to visit. It may not be on the top of my list, but it is most definitely on the list. One day soon, I hope to say that I have visited Bhutan and experienced a day in the life of these peoples, have drank a Red Panda and seen many different 'Dzongs'.
The next post will be on Kazakhstan...there are so many Kazakhs at my university, looks and sounds like cool place!
I am so excited because when I come back from work tonight, my best friend/room-mate will finally be home so I won't be all alone and BORED anymore! Exciting stuff. I won't be posting until Wednesday afternoon because my next few days will be spent visiting my bubbi in Moravia...where there is no internet access (at her house). Look for coming post on Wednesday morning/afternoon.
Travel on wanderlusters!