/ bhutan

Bhutan Day 03

We are once again on the road, heading further East towards Gangtey.

wangdue

Stopped by Wangdue, a new city that is 5 to 6 years old that is once covered with rice fields.

market

umbrella

vegs

Bought some vegetables that will be cooked by our farm stay host for lunch.

roadworks

Road works are common along the journey and there are times you have to wait patiently for the trucks to be loaded with smashed rocks before continuing.

driver-vision

I must credit our driver for his excellent mountain driving skills. Not sure if I am confident to manoeuvre forward in a smokescreen.

mountain-edge

There are times that the vehicle get real close to the mountain edge so if you have some phobia with such risky journey, you might want to consider twice whether to travel to Bhutan.

bikers

There are also tourists who rent motorcycles to have a road trip along the mountainous road.

himalaya

On a good day, you will be able to see Himalaya and it's glacier cap. The Bhutanese King does not allow trekking up the Himalayas and the higher altitude regions are often contested.

I understand that C-i-e-e tourists are not allowed to participate in trekking activities in Bhutan as there's an increasing interest in taking over the mountains surrounding Bhutan due to its rich minerals. There have been attempts to uncover lots of information about the mountainous region and the treks around the borderline which explain the need for such restriction.

Cordyceps, famous for its medicinal benefits, grow naturally in higher altitudes of 4000m and above. Due to its rarity and difficulty in collecting, only Bhutanese people living in the higher altitude with their yarks are permitted to collect during harvesting season in May. It is a combination of good physique and luck to overcome high altitude sickness in order to have a fruitful harvest. There have been instances where people lost their lives during collection.

school-soccer

school

Upon arriving in Gangtey at noon, we headed for school visitation. It happened to be Teachers' Day as well as anniversary for the 4th King so its a holiday for everyone. They gathered for a picnic and soccer match as part of the celebration.

The school has a total of 172 students taught by 7 teachers. It used to be a community school built by the farmers in the area and privately funded.

stairs

library

computers

classroom

We had a quick tour of the school compound (basically a two level building) and handed over some donation items for the students. Education is taught in both English and རྫོང་ཁ་ (Dzongkha) and computer literacy is one of the subject.

I personally feel that learning English opens up a window of opportunities. Whether is it interacting with foreigners or learning new knowledge, being proficient in English makes a lot of differ. Definitely, some might beg to differ.

picnic

tea

We spent some time outside basking under the sun, sipping away milk tea made by the teachers! It's hard for me to describe to you the feeling, sitting down on a grass patch surrounding by nature and enjoying every moment of goodness.

lunch

food

Lunch was picnic style prepared by the owners of the farm stay that we will be having for the night. Fantastic experience. ヾ(-_- )ゞ

soccer

The post lunch activity was watching the soccer match before joining in their local traditional dance.

girl

colour-flag

Their entrance has a row of five colour flag that decorates the surrounding with its vibrancy.

monastery

We also dropped by the Gangtey monstery built in the 15th century.

hike

scenery

land

trail

The rest of the afternoon was spent taking a nature trail to enjoy the fresh air and wonders of nature.

door

room

fire

warming-up

We headed back to the farm house for dinner in a cosy room warmed using a firewood heater. Yes, you do need to warm your butt just like how the driver is doing it.

dishes

plate

We were treated to many dishes that night, from fried bitter gourd to chilli cheese, all organically farmed.

bed

The weather becomes extremely chilly as the night falls but luckily, the bed and quilt kept us warm throughout the night without a heater! However, the moment you step out, you start freezing.