Read Road Trip from Sikkim to Bhutan – Part 1 HERE
Read Road Trip from Sikkim to Bhutan – Part 2 HERE
I can’t believe I didn’t finish the series !! I went to UK and in the excitement this story got side tracked completely. Well here I am to conclude the 3 part series 🙂 .
DAY 5 – THIMPU TO PARO – Day 5 saw a lazy start with a short one hour’s drive to the incredibly beautiful Paro. The Paro Chhu snaked alongside the road and the water was Oh So Cold !! We dipped our feet in the water and ran away screaming.
We stayed in an amazing guesthouse on top of a hill with view of the stunning airpstrip nestled amidst snow clad mountains and the river flowing. I spent hours sitting in a chair waiting for a plane to land and be amazed by the confluence of nature and man. I have never been more satisfied with doing nothing than on that particular day, just plucking apples from the trees in the garden, munching on them and waiting for planes to land and take off.
We spent the day visiting nearby monasteries and temples, taking long drives and shopping from the market. Yes, they have an amazing market where I bought tons of shampoos and cosmetics which I had never seen in any part of India ( remember this trip was more than a decade back and the explosion of online shopping and malls had yet not come to India ! )
The drives were serene with hardly any traffic, locals dressed in typical Bhutanese finery could be seen few and far between, it was a heaven away from the chaotic and noisy roads of my India.
If you have kids with you staring at the screen, now will be the time to send them scurrying away on some errand 😉 . We saw lots of ermm…..how do I put it correctly … male genitalia staring at us from the walls !! It should not be an embarrassment for someone like me coming from the land of Khajuraho but it did take me by surprise.
DAY 6 – PARO – Day 6 saw us doing something rigorous for a change, a trek to THE most iconic landmark in Bhutan, the Taktsang Palphug Monastery, popularly known as Tiger’s Nest. The advantage of being a young and fit 24 year old mom saw me easily make the climb with a toddler shared with my BIL. Staying in Gangtok had me anyways used to walk uphill quite a bit and we made the climb fairly comfortably. This was one of the cases of the trek being about the destination as well as the journey. Both were stunning and totally worth it.
The rest of the evening was about simply lying in our easy chairs and staring out at the valley from our guesthouse and mentally prepping ourselves to say goodbye to this divine place.
DAY 7 – PARO TO JAIGAON – After seeing the views and capturing them for posterity for one last time in our mental camera as I had managed to lose our actual camera, we bid goodbye to Bhutan and started on the long journey from Paro to Jaigaon.
DAY 8 – BACK TO GANGTOK – Usually the last day feels anti-climactic but fortunately it was not for us as we were going back to equally beautiful Gangtok with lots of stories and anecdotes to share with my husband who was waiting for us back home 🙂 .
GUIDE TO PLAN YOUR JOURNEY BY ROAD
- Bhutan is 30 minutes ahead of Indian standard time. After Phuentsholing all times are displayed in Bhutan timezone, so remember to set your watches.
- You need to hire taxis for local sightseeing in Paro if you do not have your own car. Taxis may have meters, but predictably rarely used. Fix the tariff before hiring them.
- If you have your own vehicle then please respect the local rules. Almost everyone drives below 50 Km/per hour and there is NO honking.
- You can easily get a local pre-paid sim. You just show your permit and get it activated immediately. Your hotel may provide wi-fi for data connectivity.
I have tried to give as many details as I could to help you plan your journey, if you need any more info feel free to drop a line or just drop in to say hi 🙂 .
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