Monday, March 31, 2014

Day 61 - Bhutan: Final Day 8 hike - floating statues & guaranteed fulfilled wishes


There were quite a few unique, interesting and quirky things about Bhutan. I shared a few within themes like food, architecture, phallus fascination, astrology, and government regulations. Here's a collection of final Bhutan random facts:

- Bhutan only got street numbers when Google maps came through to put them on the map. Before, directions were probably something like, she livres near Dorji with the 5 kids on the corner next to the store.

- Supposedly no recreational drugs in Bhutan, although they feed the pigs marijuana. Those are some happy & hungry pigs!

- Both men and women can have multiple spouses! Equality around. (But I'm not sure how often it happens for women.)

- 1% of hydro power is used by the 20 Bhutanese provinces. The remaining 99% is exported to India.

- Bhutanese love their holidays - more than Brits. They have 197 Public holidays (includes Sat and Sun).

DAY 8 Activity: High altitude hike with no tourists

After saying goodbye to Katie and Jill, Dorji and i set off for a hike outside of Paro valley to Chumphu Nye.

It's actually considered a pilgrimage for Bhutanese with holy sites along the flat, mossy tree-lined trail,
leading to a steep uphill to a temple at over 3600 meters.

The ancient 17th century temple has so many valuables inside and is so remote, they have a guard with a gun to protect against thievery. (I guess robbery still happens at the happiest place on earth.)

Inside the temple, where you cannot take pictures, there's a life size statue, which is said to be floating. (I was unable to prove this because it's in a glass case and draped with cloth.)

In addition, any wish you make here, is said to come true. (So yes, I made one.)

There was also a monastery up there, and the boys in the picture below were the youngest monks I saw in Bhutan (remember once a monk always a monk).

The view of the Bhutanese Himalayas gave me a great preview of the views on my upcoming hike in the Nepalese Himalayas and prepped me for acclimatization.

We also did not see 1 tourist along the way!! It was an overall perfect way to say goodbye to the serene and beautiful landscape of Bhutan.

NEXT STOP: Fly to Kathmandu, Nepal before I take off for an 18 day hike

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