Blogs from Bhutan, Asia - page 13

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Asia » Bhutan June 3rd 2009

I entered Bhutan by land from the Indian border. I was a bit nervous going in as to whether it would work because everyone in India, from the tour agency employees to government immigration folks, insisted that I needed to meet either a travel agent or my host at the border, who would bring a copy of the visa. This sounded bogus to me, but it did make me wary. To cross between the countries, you walk through an archway - Indians and Bhutanese just get to go through, Indians can visit for a day without a visa as long as they don't spend the night. (As the guidebook predicted, there really is a noticeable difference between the sides of the archway - in Bhutan, the streets are more organized, there are fewer people and vehicles, ... read more

Asia » Bhutan May 27th 2009

Our last installment comes after our return to the States, but it is of a land well worth sharing about. Many people don’t even know where Bhutan is, or that it even exists. It is a small country, about the size of Switzerland, surrounded by eastern India on three sides and China on the northern border. It is a newly democratic society, who, given the opportunity to elect anybody to govern the country, elected their already ruling king because they love and respect him so much. Bhutan’s government does not measure Gross Domestic Product like so many other countries; rather they measure Gross National Happiness. Clearly, they have different priorities in this peaceful, verdant country. And the people there reflect it; they are kind, generous, and peaceful. Bhutan is the only country we traveled to where ... read more
Tango Monastery
Guru Rinpoche
Toksang Monastery

Asia » Bhutan » Paro May 24th 2009

Now, finally, the last (?) instalment of my travel accounts “One Year Off“. Of course, it’s not the end of the year yet - I have just a little more than two months before I need to go back to work - and I’ll be going on another short trip at the end of this week - but that’s only within Europe, the Pyrenees to be exact, and that doesn’t really seem to count. Why did it take me so long to write this blog entry? I haven’t really got a clue (and I have already been back here in Germany six whole weeks) but one aspect of it is that I am not sure what to write. An incredible number of diverse experiences seem to have overwhelmed my brain so that everything is a big ... read more
Finally! A Mountain!
Landscape in Nepal
National Dress as School Uniform in Bhutan

Asia » Bhutan » Thimphu May 24th 2009

Quickie: I was cool, now I am hot Next I figure to give Mumbai a shot Had a great time in the Thunder Dragon As I am now surrounded by many a rickshaw wagon Longer version As I write today, I am in the city of Jaipur, India, which, with Delhi and Agra, composes the popular Golden Triangle tourist route. Set on the edge of India's desert state, Rajastan, Jaipur in May feels a bit like standing next to a grill during a cookout, in a down jacket, after running sprints, on a highway, at high noon. In other words, I'm a bit warm. Despite my location for the past few days, today's entry will focus, instead, on Bhutan, where we spent the last week plus prior to our arrival here in the Pink City. And ... read more
Tiger's Nest
Entouage
Room with a view

Asia » Bhutan March 16th 2009

...just a few more that I couldn't resist uploading too...... read more
improbable steps
tidy-minded people
archery contest

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Asia » Bhutan March 15th 2009

The second night of the trek we camped on a school playground. This was the school in the village of Adha, the first sign of human habitation we’d seen in twenty-four hours, six hours’ walk away from the nearest doctor, and where electricity is, at best, generator-driven - that’s if someone has managed to get enough fuel for the generator here by mule. The school’s catchment area extends to settlements three days’ walk away, so many of the children board, girls in one dormitory, boys in the other. Lights out is at dusk, though the some of the children do have torches. There are five staff, including the headmaster, Yeshey. As with all teachers in Bhutan, they are centrally-appointed. Yeshey comes from the far southeast of the country where his first language is Sharchop, a language ... read more
Adha village
Adha school
Punakha Tsechu

Asia » Bhutan March 14th 2009

Imagine a Switzerland cut off from the rest of the world until very recently, where internet and television have been permitted only in the last ten years, where 19 languages are spoken by a population smaller than that of Glasgow, where more than 600 species of orchid and more than 50 species of rhododendron grow, where the monarch’s crown features a bird not jewels, and where Buddhism suffuses each facet of everyday life. A country so mountainous that the only way to get from east to west was, until recently, to cross the border into the neighbouring country. Where one of its nature reserves was created to protect the habitat of the yeti. A country that stands precariously between two of the world’s emerging superpowers, having watched one or other of them absorb many of its ... read more
improbable steps in the hillsides
Paro Dzong
the Royal Courts, Bhutanese style

Asia » Bhutan » Punakha January 31st 2009

it was my way back from Bhumtang to Punakha after spending a chilled night in a warm guest house. I met 64 year old Dendrup who requested a drop from Lawal turn upto about 3 km to see her elder sister with 20 kgs on her back. This is a story of my 30 min travel with this lady who was amazing. ... read more
Dendrup story
Dendrup story
Deddrup Story

Asia » Bhutan » Phobjika Valley December 13th 2008

that was the most wonderful expereince in South Asia so far..so much to enjoy from nature..one of the most memorable journey... read more
Phobjika valley
child in Bhutan

Asia » Bhutan » Thimphu November 21st 2008

We have just one week left of "work" before traveling east a little into Bhutan for about a week. The quotation marks are necessary for several reasons. Similar to previous locations, "work days" are typically from 9 to 3. This is not unexpected and, now, not a novelty. I'm at the point where, if we finish at 3:15, I feel entitled to reward myself for all my hard work. I'm sure this newly embraced work ethic will translate well to my fellowship next year. Secondly, unlike previous locations, I have not touched a patient operatively. The design in Bhutan is for the volunteers to purely observe and make suggestions when appropriate. It has been fine, but it would get pretty old if this were longer than a month. Lastly, and most significantly, we have come at ... read more
ta daaaa!
top of the hill
thimphu's massive dzong




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