Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest)

Taktsang Goemba - "Tiger's Nest"

On our last full day in Bhutan we visited the country’s most-touristed location, the one that the few guidebooks actually published about Bhutan agree is a “must see”: Taktsang Goemba. It’s a monastery perched dramatically on a cliff in the Himalayas, on the site of where Guru Rinpoche (the guy who brought Buddhism to the Himalayas), meditated for 3 years, 3 months, 3 […]

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The Himalayas

Okay, so the title of this post may be a bit misleading. The Himalaya range is 1500 miles long and spans 5 countries; I’ve only visited a small part of it in Western and Central Bhutan. Even then the high, snow-capped peaks were usually obscured by clouds… from the ground, at least. But my trip also included a short but […]

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Bumthang

After a few days of driving through Bhutan, we settled for a while in the Bumthang district (usually called Bumthang Valley) and it’s main town, Jakar. The town itself is small and dusty with a bit of a Wild West feel, except with Buddhist monks instead of cowboys. It’s not uncivilized, but it’s rustic. From what we could tell, there […]

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Punakha & Trongsa

After great experiences in Thimphu and hiking to Tango Goemba, it was time to leave Bhutan’s capital region behind and head cross-country. The majority of Bhutan’s population is spread throughout the mountains in small towns and villages. As interesting and worthwhile as Thimphu is, a more representative view of Bhutan requires going elsewhere. Doing so isn’t as simple as it […]

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Tango Goemba

Although the details are still a bit murky to me, holy people (monks, nuns) in Bhutanese Buddhism are organized into a hierarchy – just like in a lot of other religions. The highest ranking monk holds the title of Je Khenpo, which is the spiritual leader of Bhutan and the second most influential person in the country (after the King). […]

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Thimphu

Thimphu is the capital city of the Kingdom of Bhutan, a small, isolated country in the Himalayas, sandwiched between India and China. My friends Matt & Emily are living & working in Thimphu for a year as part of Matt’s PhD research. The idea of visiting friends in an obscure, out-of-the-way place was way too tempting to pass up, so […]

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