The next morning, we visited the Archery Ground, where a competition was currently taking place. Archery is the national sport of Bhutan. It was interesting to watch the victory dance of the team members every time someone of the same team hit the target 🙂
On the way from Thimphu to Punakha, we stopped for a tea at the Dochula Pass. At 3,050 metre, this beautiful pass offers a 360 degree panoramic view of Himalayas mountain range on a clear day. The 108 chortens, known as Druk Wangyal Chortens, was built by Her Majesty The Queen Mother Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck, to commemorate victory over the Indian militants and to liberate the souls of the lives lost.
The 3hrs bumpy mountain ride to Punakha was nevertheless an enjoyable one, thanks to the beautiful sceneries along the way. We stopped occasionally to mingle with the cows.. and for some photo taking lol
Our lunch today is a bit different, cos’ we have butterfly pasta and grilled fish!
After a satisfied lunch, it was time for a hike, which was super nice in this super nice weather! Stray dogs can be seen almost everywhere in Bhutan, but these 2 dogs are just so beautiful 😀
In Bhutan, about 80% of the population is engaged in agriculture, of which the highest rice production is in Punakha.
On the way, we stopped to have a game of soccer with the villagers. We saw one local selling his artistic stones.
Chimi Lhakhang (i.e. temple) is dedicated to Drukpa Kunley, who was known as the “Divine Madman” for his unorthodox ways of teaching Buddhism by singing, humour and outrageous behaviour, which amounted to being bizarre, shocking and with sexual overtones. It is popular among childless Bhutanese couples as a temple to seek blessings for fertility.
Some curious and cute monks we met 🙂
Houses in the village have paintings of phalluses on their exterior walls as a protection symbol.
We moved on to visit the Punakha Dzong, located at the confluence of the Pho Chhu (father) and Mo Chhu (mother) rivers in the Punakha–Wangdue valley. There is a covered wooden cantilever bridge over the Mo Chhu river that leads us to the Punakha Dzong.
Punakha Dzong, the second oldest and second largest dzong in Bhutan, was the administrative centre and the seat of the Government of Bhutan until 1955, when the capital was moved to Thimphu. It is a six-storied structure with a central tower at an average elevation of 1,200 metres with a scenic, mountainous background.
Punakha Dzong, also known as the “Palace of Great Happiness”, has hosted every coronation as well as the royal wedding between the 5th King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Jetsun Pema.
After the Dzong tour, we took a short walk to the Pho Chhu Suspension Bridge.
The 160 metres Pho Chhu Suspension Bridge is known for the longest suspension bridge in Bhutan.. legs turned jelly lol
It was raining heavily by the time we reached Hotel Vara, our hotel in Punakha for 2 nights. Due to the off peak season, we were the only guests there!
Dinner is always too much to finish lol