Trip to Bhutan – May 2009 – Punakha & Wangdi

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After all the shopping, sightseeing and wandering around the streets of Thimphu, we felt a bit sad that we had to leave, but little did we know how amazing the next set of places was! Friend was back to being sick (I don’t want to move, I can’t get out of the car, Go see everything without me, Sorry face etc) so when we reached Punakha, it was upto me again. its a small town, on the banks of a river. known chiefly for the Punakha Dzong, one of the oldest in Bhutan, built in the 17th century & without a doubt the prettiest one i saw. right from the approach bridge, to the giant white stupa and bodhi tree in the courtyard, to the beautiful jacaranda trees in full bloom by the river side, it was breathtaking. i could have sat there for a lot longer!

from here, we went onto Wangdi, or Wangdue Phodrang, an area in the mountains, though our resort (Kichu Wangdi Resort, sister of the one in Paro) was about 7 Kms away from the village and quite literally in the middle of nowhere. situated at the banks of a gushing river, too dangerous for white water rafting even, with densely forested mountains on both sides. felt the closest to nature here, the rooms overlook the river, and you hear it all night. quote unquote friend “it sounds like a noisy AC” – trust an urban dweller to say that!

this place is highly recommended, but be warned, it is not for those who want ‘action’, there is very little cell coverage, only in certain spots, no internet, no TV (and no meat, surprisingly the one all veg resort we found – cos there is a rinpoche in the family of owners). if you expect all that, this is not the place to be! but if you want to visit a memorable, beautiful, exotic place, put this in your itinerary. it also seems to be frequented by the glitterati of Bhutan. during our stay, a group of 10 americans, guests of the king, stopped for lunch, and the health minister stopped for tea.

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