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Bhutan: Tranquility on floating clouds

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Bhutan: Tranquility on floating clouds

Inspire is delighted to have teamed up with Expat Life magazine to bring you more great content to do with Thailand

We start off on a good note – abundant joy. A rhythmic beat to our step and a song in the heart; we are en route to the airport to catch a Druk Air flight to Paro, in the land of mystical mountains, Bhutan. Splendour awaited us, we were told.

Our excitement is palpable and quickly transfers to each member. We are airborne.

As usual, I have done no homework and left it all to destiny. I so firmly subscribe to travelling to a place fresh, unstudied, and ready for the newness of it all. It works sometimes, and occasionally it doesn’t. Drukpa Kagyu (Mahayana) Buddhism is the state religion, I have known. As an ism, it has always drawn me, and my philosophies have meandered around karma, Sutras propagated by Lord Buddha, and the allure of timelessness has fascinated me. My noble thoughts are rudely broken as a child prods me hard. I turn and view the snow capped ranges. I stare at Divinity, my heart pounding. I automatically fish out my mobile. And yes, I manage a few blurred shots which are good enough to put a spring to my already overworked heart. They pass by all too soon, and I resettle I am a huge sharer – I like sharing it all. Bhutan beckoned.

We land. We emerge from the airport – fresh enough to trek. At the airport we are greeted by Tashi Delek everywhere, hands folded, meaning – may your coming be auspicious to our country – welcome. Quaint! Thereafter greeting us is a burly Bhutanese driver come guide, even as he stands, hands folded, beside a plush car. He is Campchu, attired in his country’s costume to boot, it is the Gho, a knee-length robe some sort of a kimono that is tied at the waist by a traditional belt known as Kera. The pouch in front was used to carrying a dagger, and food bowls. Campchu is carrying his wallet and mobile in it now, and some betel nut, Doma, he enjoys chewing it he informs us. We don’t conceal our delight, and set off to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. His smiling mien, and an impressive array of Hindi words, the songs he plays on his car stereo – all wrap us up in a genteel manner. Within minutes of our drive, we are gasping at the clouds that chase. The air is fresh and unsullied. We hold our breath at every turn of a hill, witnessing the magical wispiness. There is absolute quiet within the interiors of our vehicle, a rare occurrence during a car ride en famille.

Once in Thimphu, we are ushered into a simple hotel. The gateway is embellished, like most gates seem to be, we later observe. The ladies at the reception, yet again, are in traditional attire – the Kira, a long, ankle-length dress accompanied by a light outer jacket known as a Tego with an inner layer known as a Wonju. This elegance we witness, we wish to own.

Inside the hotel, we are made to walk up three flights of stairs, and they are steep. The frivolous play of clouds continues outside the glass windows. Far away an imposing Statue of Buddha, beckons. By dinnertime, we are impatient to sample Bhutanese fare. However the Indian food served in our hotel buffet is severely disappointing.

By the end of our trip though, we are addicted to Bhutanese food – Ema Datshi (chillies and cheese) and many different varieties of the same, momos (very different from those sampled in India) and red rice, often buttered, with a pleasant nutty taste, unlike brown rice. Cheese is made from cow’s milk called datshi and is never eaten raw, and infuses the sauces with strong flavours. Zow shungo is a rice dish mixed with leftover vegetables, and a lot of stews are at our disposal. Chicken and pork are favourite meats. Shabalay juma (Bhutanese sausages marinated in spices), and noodles are some favoured snacks. The buttered tea is a great way to wash it all down. We savour their food, again and again, as our taste buds are tickled, teased and taken.

Read more at https://expatlifeinthailand.com/travel-and-leisure/bhutan-tranquility-on-floating-clouds/

Source: https://expatlifeinthailand.com/

Inspire is delighted to have teamed up with Expat Life magazine to bring you more great content to do with Thailand

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