"Bhutan Trip" Bhutan by Raingirl_0675
Bhutan Travel Guide: 215 reviews and 802 photos
Bhutan lies at the North East of India, a little Buddhist kingdom tucked safely away from the hazards of civilization. Via roads, one has to travel to Joygaon, from Siliguri *takes about 4 hrs* and then cross over the border to Phuentsoling, which is the twin city of Joygaon.Only, one is in India, the other in Bhutan. By Air, one has to travel to Paro, and then travel to Thimpu in a car.
We travelled straight from Calcutta in a Bhutan Tourism Bus, which left the city at 7 pm.Reached Phuentsoling at 4 in the evening next day, and the Indian Embassy there was closed. Luckily, my friend who was a very pursuasive guy got the office people there to give us a permit. Else, we'd have had to wait till the next day.
Spent overnight at Phuentsoling, took the early morning bus to Thimpu.Was an 8 hr journey, with stopovers at 4 places...3 for checking permits, and one for food - top class momos, with a ubiquitous taste that only the hill people can impart to it! Reached Thimpu at 3pm, looked into the Rabdel Guest House..pretty nice.
The view was amazing..hills on 3 sides, nice clean town, up and down roads..and a trifle chilly!
A stroll in the streets of Thimpu was refreshing, after being cooped up in a bus for hours and hours. Little shops fringe the high-paved, wide roads of Thimpu, with an assortment of merchandise. Tucked away in nooks and corners, small patches of gardens show off their autumnal bloom in the backdrop of misty mountains and pearly clouds. Lots of houses have shops in the ground floor, a pub with live music on the first floor, and living quarters above that. Wandering up and down the meandering streets, we found wonderful bakeries - superb confectionary, excellent breads and cakes, fresh creams and jellies! Try the Swiss Bakery, and some local shops along the main street. Also, the pubs offer excellent local food; with draft beer/local brews of whisky/rum and local alcoholic drinks Chhang and Temka. One can go and sing there, and I had a wonderful time, singing hindi tunes to the strumming of a guitar, amid an applauding audience, who are thorough fans of Hindi Music and Amitabh Bachhan
The bazaars of Thimpu are a beehive of activity - exotic, colourful and fascinatingly oriental.
Tibetan handicraft crafts, thankas, statues of the Buddha, masks, traditional jewellery in silver, gold and semi precious stones glitter in a stray ray of light.
Ethnic Bhutanese dresses - Kira for women, Gho for men, displayed in various weaves and design, adds splashes of colour to the streetscape of Thimpu! It is a law that ALL Bhutanese people have to be garbed in their national dress, till 6 pm in the evening, after which time, the capris and tees and khakis are seen in abundance! The Bhutanese, like most northeastern hill people, are suave, stylish and extremely well dressed!
Another awesome sight in the markets is BIG wicker baskets spilling forth with bright red and green chili peppers! They are a staple vegetable for most Bhutanese cooking, so beware! Local cuisine would consist of momo, sticky red rice/noodles, ema datsi (a soup of vegetables/pork in a cheese sauce) and pakshee pa (sliced pork and chillies) and buttered tea, (admittedly, one has to acquire a taste for it!)
For the budget traveller, the best way to reach Bhutan is by bus. Foreigners other than Indians will probably find it... more travel advice
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