Monday, April 11, 2011

Bhutan

After years of living in Asia there are still places that can blow your mind...welcome to Bhutan!

The Kingdom of Bhutan, is a small landlocked country in South Asia, located at the eastern end of the Himalayas and bordered to the south, east and west by the Republic of India and to the north by the People's Republic of China.

From the airport in Paro we made our way to the capital Thimphu, Jakar in Bumthang, Mongaa and Lhuntse, before returning back to Paro and Taktshang Goemba (Tiger's Nest). Although not a large country, its a two day drive from East to West as the main highway is a single track road.

- cigarettes are banned in Bhutana and it is illegal to smoke in a public place

- marajuna is abundant and grows wild but few people smoke it

- the local beer "Druk 11000" is 8% and comes in 650ml bottles; you dont need many

- ara, the local moonshine made from rice or corn is served warm, mixed with a fried egg: it tastes a little like Aadvocat

- chillies are in almost every dish but the mian dish, Ema-datsi, is just chillies and cheese, it is addictively spicy!

- there is no slaughtering of animals in Bhutan, livestock are driven to the Indian border to meet the butcher

- the national animal is the Takin, it resembles a cow with a goats head

- painted on many houses the symbolic phallus is as a legacy of the popular Bhutanese saint Lama Drukpa Kunley, a crazy saint who extensively travelled in Bhutan, who was fond of women and wine, and adopted blasphemous and unorthodox ways of teaching Buddhism

- BST. The exact meaning of this phrase is 'Bhutan Standard Time', but as Bhutanese people are notorious for being late or just not turning up at all, it has taken on the meaning of 'Bhutan Stretchable Time'


Thimphu is the capital and largest city of Bhutan. It is situated in the western central part of Bhutan and the name of the surrounding valley is dzongkhag, the Thimphu District.





Jakar,the district capital of Bumthang District, is a small town in the central-eastern region of Bhutan.






Mongar is a town and seat of Mongar District in Bhutan, as of 2005 it has a population of 3502.








Lhuntse District, located in the northeast consists of 2506 households. It is one of the least developed dzhongkhags of Bhutan. There are few roads, the first gas station was opened as recently as September 2005, electricity is not well distributed and the difficult terrain makes distribution of social welfare difficult.


For the photographers:  shot at 6400 iso, f1.4, 1/60th (ie very dark).... Would love to try out the Nikon D3X but until they loan me a camera the Canon 5d mkII does a great job ;)