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iamdat This journal is dedicated to the people and places whom I have had a chance to come across.

Lost in Bhutan - Day 3

BHUTAN | Sunday, 26 December 2010 | Views [877]

Day 3 – Dec 6 2010

In the morning I went across some early shops which sell various items. After walking around, we ended at the Clock Tower of Thimphu. It is noticeable that everywhere in Bhutan has a religious imprint. I spotted two rows of prayer wheels placed in the public. The public who walked by always came to roll these wheels. This shows how strong their belief in the religion is.

After packing up our luggage, we parted Thimphu and drove to Phobjikha valley. On the way, we stopped at the Do Chula pass (3150 m), where we could view the Himalayan range and Gangkar Puensum, the world’s highest un-climbed mountain. For the Bhutanese people, mountains are respected as deities, so no expedition to any mountain has ever been allowed in Bhutan. We tried to photograph its peak, but unluckily, a cloud covered it. Behind that Himalayan range is the border between Bhutan and China.

Just as Mr. Khashapa predicted, we spent more than 3 hours at the Do Chula Pass because there were so many things to photograph and document about. There were 108 Chortens built by the forth King for the well-being of the public. Nearby them was literally a forest of prayer flags. It took so long to photograph all because we were camping for the sun to come out of the cloud. When the sun shone onto the prayer flags, complex and colourful textures appeared beautifully. I had to climb onto one tree to catch a clearer view of the flags.

Due to much stopping, we were very much behind the schedule (and this occurred everyday throughout the trip). We had our lunch at around 4 pm and only reached the Phobjikha valley at 7.30 pm, pitch black. Therefore we missed the visit at the RSPN centre, which is a conservation centre for the Black Necked Cranes. What I found particular about this place was that there was no electricity and the sun disappeared behind the mountain as early as 6 pm. Since most of this valley is a conservation area, the area was not electrified. At night the temperature dropped to 00C or even lower. The only source of heat was from burning wood. However, it was great because everything went so quiet and so dark that you could easily take a good sleep.

Tags: bhutan, buddhism, dzong, fortress, landscape, monks, paro, prayer flags

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