Day 03: Memories of Bhutan (Punakha) with Druk Asia (Jan 2020)

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January 14th 2020
Published: August 15th 2020
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Tuesday, 14th January 2020

Food did not leave a deep impression for me at the Zhingkham Resort. After a rather uninspiring buffet dinner the night before, I woke up to another mediocre breakfast experience in the morning. The saving grace was the amazing view of the Punakha Valley from my breakfast table as the sun slowly made its way up from the surrounding hills.

My guide, Ugyen and the driver came by after 9am this morning. The itinerary for today was rather relaxed as our sightseeing plans would be confined within the Punakha Region. First up this morning was a visit to the Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Choten, reachable after a 30-minute stroll across the rice fields of Yepaisa Village. This Choten is a relatively new addition to the Punakha scene having completed in 2004 by the Queen Mother as a magical tool to ward off negative forces as well as embracing peace and harmony.

We had a unique lunch experience by the river together with another tourist from Canada - also travelling solo in this part of the world. During the meal, I was amazed by the quantity of rice consumed by my guide and the driver. It was a song and dance affair shortly after our meals before we headed separate ways to conquer the 160m Pho Chhu Suspension Bridge, also known as the longest suspension bridge in Bhutan.

Our final itinerary for the day was a visit to the impressive Punakha Dzong strategically located at the junction of the Pho Chhu and Mo Chu Rivers. First built in 1637 by the Great Unifier of Bhutan, it was damaged by earthquakes and fires over the course of its existence before fully-restored to its former glory by the 4th King Jigme Singye Wangchuck.

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