Postcards from:



Big Bear Lake California
Bangkok Thailand
Kathmandu Nepal
Lumbini Nepal
Bhutan

 Bhutan Photos

Xi'an China
Mt. Huashan China
Guoliang Tunnel China
Chengdu China
Leshan China
Emeishan China
Kangding China
Xining China
Shenzhen China
California Home


 
 

 


Bhutan: View from the air on the way to the airport in Pero Bhutan.


Bhutan: View from the air as we approach the airport in Pero Bhutan.


Bhutan: View from the plane window after we land at the airport in Pero Bhutan.


Bhutan: At the airport for the flight out to Bangkok.


Bhutan: View from the air after leaving the airport on the flight to Bangkok.


Bhutan: View from the air after leaving the airport on the flight to Bangkok.


Bhutan: At the airport for the flight out to Bangkok.


Bhutan: View from the air on the way to the airport in Pero Bhutan.

 

Hello again from the land of the Thunder Dragon,

 

This is the photo annex where all the rest of the enormous number of photographs I took reside. To read the postcard from Bhutan and view the smaller selection of photos, be sure to link back up to the main Bhutan page.

 

The Bhutan kingdom's mascot is the "Druk," an iconic fire breathing Thunder Dragon displayed as the central feature on the national flag and everywhere else as a symbol for the country's mythical heritage. The country is ruled by a very popular 28 year old king still known as the Dragon King. This became strikingly clear in conversations with many Bhutanese. A recent background article in the March 2008 issue of National Geographic provides entertaining details of His inspirational reign. Serving at the pleasure of the national parliament, he can be impeached by a simple vote of no confidence! Bhutan incorporates some of the best features of Plato's Republic...

 


Bhutan from the air 2008 July 4, 2008 - 28 photos
Photos taken from the air as the flight approached Pero Airport in the kingdom of Bhutan on 4 July 2008 and then during the flight to Bangkok on 7 July 2008.


 


Bhutan: View from the air as we approach the airport in Pero Bhutan.


Bhutan: View from the air as we approach the airport in Pero Bhutan.


Bhutan: View from the air as we approach the airport in Pero Bhutan.


Bhutan: View from the air after leaving the airport on the flight to Bangkok.


Bhutan: View from the air after leaving the airport on the flight to Bangkok with a brief stop in Dakah.


Bhutan: View from the air after leaving the airport on the flight to Bangkok with a brief stop in Dakah.

 

 

 


Bhutan: View from the air on the way to the airport in Pero Bhutan.


Bhutan: View from the air on the way to the airport in Pero Bhutan.


Bhutan: View from the air on the way to the airport in Pero Bhutan.


Bhutan: View from the air on the way to the airport in Pero Bhutan.


Bhutan: View from the air on the way to the airport in Pero Bhutan.


Bhutan: View from the air on the way to the airport in Pero Bhutan.


Bhutan: At the airport for the flight out to Bangkok.


Bhutan: At the airport for the flight out to Bangkok.


Bhutan: At the airport for the flight out to Bangkok.

 

Need to organize photos on this page.

 

 
 


Bhutan: Entrance to the temple on the grounds of the Choeten Monument in the outskirts of Thimphu city.


Bhutan: Entrance to the temple on the grounds of the Choeten Monument in the outskirts of Thimphu city.


Bhutan: Landscaping around the grounds of the Choeten Monument in the outskirts of Thimphu city.


Bhutan: View from my room at the $40 Riverview Hotel the first night in Bhutan.


Bhutan: Furniture on the balcony of my room at the $40 Riverview Hotel the first night in Bhutan.


Bhutan: Details of structures inside the Punakha Dzong, a fortress built in 1637.


Bhutan: Details of structures inside the Punakha Dzong, a fortress built in 1637.


Bhutan: Details of structures inside the Punakha Dzong, a fortress built in 1637.


Bhutan: Details of structures inside the Punakha Dzong, a fortress built in 1637.


Bhutan: Uncomfortable twin beds in my room at the $40 Riverview Hotel selected by Evergreen Travel for the first night in Bhutan.


Bhutan: Furnishings in my room at the $40 Riverview Hotel used for the first night in Bhutan.


Bhutan: This is said to be a Peepal tree planted from a cutting taken from the original Bodhi Tree under which the Buddha attained enlightenment. It forms a main feature of the courtyard inside the Punakha Dzong, a fortress built in 1637.


Bhutan: This is said to be a Peepal tree planted from a cutting taken from the original Bodhi Tree under which the Buddha attained enlightenment. It forms a main feature of the courtyard inside the Punakha Dzong, a fortress built in 1637.


Bhutan: Exterior of the massive walls of the Punakha Dzong facing the river. The fortress was built in 1637.


Bhutan: Exterior view of the Temple of Fertility. We entered the temple barefoot where a monk insisted on blessing me with two ancient phallic replicas at the urging of my guide, Sonan. I suppose I am now supposed to be more "fertile!" Wonder if that could apply to my writing?


Bhutan: Young monks at work on the grounds of the Temple of Fertility. It is Saturday.


Bhutan: View of the river below from the grounds of the Temple of Fertility.


Bhutan: Jack Fruit hanging in a tree in the small village near the Temple of Fertility on the way back from visiting the Punakha Dzong.


Bhutan: Symbol seen on a house in a small village near the Temple of Fertility. The inhabitants are said to be protected from "back biting" and all who enter are supposed to become more fertile. I saw three such displays during my four days in the kingdom.


Bhutan: Visitors snapping photos of the phallus painting on their house provides jolly good entertainment for this father and his brood from a balcony above and to the side of the painting. The phallic symbols are said to protect inhabitants from "back biting" and all who enter are supposed to become more fertile. Looks like it worked for the guy in the picture!


Bhutan: This winding mountain road on the way back from visiting the Punakha Dzong reminded me a lot of the Comino de la Muerte in Bolivia I traveled last year. Though surely a dangerous road no one mentioned any serious accidents. As the highway speed limit is 50 Km/hr everyone drives very carefully... after all, you can't do much damage at 35 mph!


Bhutan: There are so many monks in Bhutan the main city of Thimphu has a store that caters exclusively to their clothing requirements. I was temped to buy myself a robe.


Bhutan: One of the paintings on the hallway walls of the Pedling Hotel the Evergreen Tour Company booked me into for the second night of the tour.


Bhutan: One of the paintings on the hallway walls of the Pedling Hotel the Evergreen Tour Company booked me into for the second night of the tour.


Bhutan: One of the paintings on the hallway walls of the Pedling Hotel the Evergreen Tour Company booked me into for the second night of the tour.


Bhutan: A typical dwelling on a country road outside Thimphu.


Bhutan: A typical dwelling on a country road outside Thimphu.


Bhutan: A typical dwelling on a country road outside Thimphu.


Bhutan: View from my room in the Pedling Hotel in Thimphu the second night of the tour. The deluxe room in the $52 hotel deserved the rating, but breakfast was meager. Still, the Pedling is a major improvement over the Riverview the agency forced me to endure the first night.


Bhutan: We stopped at a farmers market on the way back from visiting the Punakha Dzong. These are Beetle nuts local people chew with white lime and the leaf of a specific tree.


Bhutan: We stopped at a farmers market on the way back from visiting the Punakha Dzong. These are brooms commonly used by people to clean up.


Bhutan: We stopped at a farmers market on the way back from visiting the Punakha Dzong.


Bhutan: We stopped at a farmers market on the way back from visiting the Punakha Dzong.


Bhutan: We stopped at a farmers market on the way back from visiting the Punakha Dzong.


Bhutan: The path up to the Temple of Fertility wound its way through bare land and rice fields.


Bhutan: The path up to the Temple of Fertility bordered a narrow tended grove as it wound its way through bare land and rice fields.


Bhutan: Prayer wheel structure on the grounds at the Temple of Fertility.


Bhutan: Painting on the wall of the courtyard at the Temple of Fertility. Actually, all views are exterior as photos inside any temple is prohibited by custom and law.


Bhutan: This is a gathering of city fathers in the square near a government building along the main street of Thimphu. As this is a Saturday evening I must wonder if they were here for some formal function.


Bhutan: This is a gathering of city fathers in the square near a government building along the main street of Thimphu. As this is a Saturday evening I must wonder if they were here for some formal function.

 

Bhutan Tour 4-5 July 2008 July 4, 2008
135 photos. Photos taken during the first two days of my short four day tour of the kingdom of Bhutan


 


Bhutan: Arrival at the Pero Airport; the only one in Bhutan. There is a lot of open space around the airport that sits in a shallow valley.


Bhutan: Arrival at the Pero Airport and everything is up to date, but decorated with the foreign tourist in mind.


Bhutan: This is half of the entire Royal Bhutan Airline fleet: two identical planes. Each makes two flights per day among five cities: Pero, Kathmandu, Dhaka, Calcutta and Bangkok.


Bhutan: Arrival at the Pero Airport, this is one of two flights connecting the kingdom to the outside world each day.


Bhutan: On the drive from the Pero Airport to Thimphu immediately after arrival.


Bhutan: On the drive from the Pero Airport to Thimphu immediately after arrival.


Bhutan: Landscaping around the grounds of the Choeten Monument in the outskirts of Thimphu city.


Bhutan: View from a hill outside Thimphu city at Sangay Gang.


Bhutan: View from a hill outside Thimphu city at Sangay Gang.


Bhutan: View from a hill outside Thimphu city at Sangay Gang.


Bhutan: View from my room at the $40 Riverview Hotel the first night in Bhutan: panorama 1.


Bhutan: View from my room at the $40 Riverview Hotel the first night in Bhutan: panorama 2.


Bhutan: View from my room at the $40 Riverview Hotel the first night in Bhutan: panorama 3.


Bhutan: View from my room at the $40 Riverview Hotel the first night in Bhutan: panorama 4.


Bhutan: View from my room at the $40 Riverview Hotel the first night in Bhutan: panorama 5.


Bhutan: View from my room at the $40 Riverview Hotel the first night in Bhutan: panorama 6.


Bhutan: View from my room at the $40 Riverview Hotel the first night in Bhutan: panorama 7.


Bhutan: View of the river running past the $40 Riverview Hotel the first night in Bhutan.


Bhutan: View of the river running past the $40 Riverview Hotel the first night in Bhutan.


Bhutan: View of the road running past the Riverview Hotel the first night in Bhutan.


Bhutan: View of the road running past the Riverview Hotel the first night in Bhutan.


Bhutan: Intercity bus station about 400m from the Riverview Hotel the first night in Bhutan.


Bhutan: City taxi station about 400m from the Riverview Hotel the first night in Bhutan.


Bhutan: Row of stupas built in the traditional Bhutanese style.


Bhutan: People in one of the small villages on the way to visit Punakha Dzong, a fortress built in 1637.


Bhutan: Water wheel recently manufactured in one of the small villages on the way to visit Punakha Dzong, a fortress built in 1637.


Bhutan: First view of Punakha Dzong, a fortress built in 1637.


Bhutan: Exterior of the massive walls of the Punakha Dzong facing the river. The fortress was built in 1637.


Bhutan: We stopped at a farmers market on the way back from visiting the Punakha Dzong. While walking the small market an elderly man dropped dead and his friends carry the body first to a car. Unable to load the body into the car a group of six men then carried the corpse several blocks toward some structures in a grove of trees. My guide, Sonan learned the fellow was the town drunk and probably drank himself to death.


Bhutan: The path up to the Temple of Fertility wound its way through these rice fields that should ripen in October.


Bhutan: The path up to the Temple of Fertility wound its way through these rice fields that should ripen in October.


Bhutan: Looking down the main street of Thimphu near my second hotel, the Pedling. At 2200 Rupies my deluxe room felt like a good value; that is about $50 and no doubt there would be an off season discount. Standard rooms were about $40.


Bhutan: This is a gathering of city fathers in the square near a government building along the main street of Thimphu. As this is a Saturday evening I must wonder if they were here for some formal function, being dressed in such formal national attire.

 

 


Bhutan: Stupa is the central feature at the Choeten Monument in the outskirts of Thimphu city.


Bhutan: Stupa is the central feature at the Choeten Monument in the outskirts of Thimphu city.


Bhutan: Stupa is the central feature at the Choeten Monument in the outskirts of Thimphu city.


Bhutan: Sculpture on the grounds of the Choeten Monument in the outskirts of Thimphu city.


Bhutan: Painting on the high wall of the entrance to the Punakha Dzong, a fortress built in 1637.


Bhutan: Painting on the high wall of the entrance to the Punakha Dzong, a fortress built in 1637.


Bhutan: Huge prayer wheel surrounded by painting on the high walls of the entrance to the Punakha Dzong, a fortress built in 1637.


Bhutan: Painting on the high wall of the entrance to the Punakha Dzong, a fortress built in 1637.


Bhutan: Details of structures inside the Punakha Dzong, a fortress built in 1637.


Bhutan: Details of structures inside the Punakha Dzong, a fortress built in 1637.


Bhutan: Details of structures inside the Punakha Dzong, a fortress built in 1637.


Bhutan: This is said to be a Peepal tree planted from a cutting taken from the original Bodhi Tree in Bodh Gaya India under which the Buddha attained enlightenment. It forms a main feature of the courtyard inside the Punakha Dzong, a fortress built in 1637.


Bhutan: Exterior view of the Temple of Fertility. Actually, all views are exterior as photos inside any temple is prohibited by custom and law.


Bhutan: Exterior view of the Temple of Fertility. Actually, all views are exterior as photos inside any temple is prohibited by custom and law.


Bhutan: A forest of prayer flags planted along the boundary of the grounds at the Temple of Fertility.


Bhutan: Another Peepal Tree planted on the grounds of the Temple of Fertility. All of these trees planted at temples are said to have been cloned from the original Bodhi Tree in Bodh Gaya India where the Buddha attained enlightenment.


Bhutan: Symbol seen on a house in a small village near the Temple of Fertility. The inhabitants are said to be protected from "back biting" and all who enter are supposed to become more fertile.


Bhutan: Clock tower in the main square near a government building along the main street of Thimphu.


Bhutan: Clock tower in the main square near a government building along the main street of Thimphu.


Bhutan: A huge bank of prayer wheels near the Clock Tower in the main square near a government building along the main street of Thimphu. This seems to be the focal point for teen gatherings... where you hang out, if you are an adolescent.


Bhutan: Row of prayer wheels near the Clock Tower in the main square near a government building along the main street of Thimphu.


Bhutan: I saw a majority of people dressed like these kids on the main street of Thimphu near my second hotel, the Hotel Pedling. Public smoking is prohibited by law, so this kid's behavior is particularly defiant, no doubt his intention. Sales of tobacco products are also prohibited; a traveler may bring up to two packages of cigarettes into the country for private consumption only!


Bhutan: Typical scenes along the main street of Thimphu. I made a point of photographing people in colorful "native" costumes, but most people were wearing western clothes.


Bhutan: Typical scenes along the main street of Thimphu. I tried to photograph only people in colorful costumes, but most were wearing western clothes.


Bhutan: Typical scenes along the main street of Thimphu. Except for the monks most people were wearing western clothes, not that different from other parts of the world.


Bhutan: Ornate flagpole base outside the entrance to the Punakha Dzong, a fortress built in 1637.


Bhutan: Details of structures inside the Punakha Dzong, a fortress built in 1637.


Bhutan: Details of structures inside the Punakha Dzong, a fortress built in 1637.


Bhutan: Entrance to the bridge across the river that runs along one side of Punakha Dzong, a fortress built in 1637.


Bhutan: Inside the covered bridge across the river that runs along one side of Punakha Dzong, a fortress built in 1637.


Bhutan: View as we exit the bridge across the river that runs along one side of Punakha Dzong, a fortress built in 1637.


Bhutan: Exterior of the massive walls of the Punakha Dzong facing the river. The fortress was built in 1637.

Bhutan: Exterior of the massive walls of the Punakha Dzong facing the river. The fortress was built in 1637.


Bhutan: We stopped at a farmers market on the way back from visiting the Punakha Dzong. Discarded peppers after one of the vendors left.


Bhutan: At a small village near the Temple of Fertility on the way back from visiting the Punakha Dzong.


Bhutan: Along the main street of Thimphu I made a point of photographing people in colorful costumes, but most people were wearing western clothes... except for the monks in their colorful robes.


Bhutan:  I made a point of photographing people in colorful costumes along the main street of Thimphu, but most people were wearing ordinary western clothes.


Bhutan: Looking down the main street of Thimphu near my second hotel, the Pedling.


Bhutan: My guide pointed out Thimphu has no stop lights. This traffic control kiosk is manned by a guy referred to locally as the "dancing Policeman." I watch for a while, but saw nothing unusual about his "dance," nor did I see enough traffic volume to warrant such a controller.


Bhutan: These concrete stairs form the seating for the only "stadium" the country has. It seems to be a popular place for young people to watch one another.

 

 


Bhutan: Structures near the trailhead for the five and a half hour hike up to Tiger Nest.


Bhutan: Trail head for the five and a half hour hike up to Tiger Nest, the iconic monastery built into the cliffs some three thousand feet above this point.


Bhutan: Sonan, my guide leads the way as we start our hike up to Tiger Nest.


Bhutan: Sonan, my guide leads the way as we start the five and a half hour hike up to Tiger Nest, the iconic monastery built into the cliffs some three thousand feet above the valley, though probably less than seven miles round trip. Trash cans like this one are stationed along the trail.


Bhutan: Sign praising the King along the trail near the start of the five and a half hour hike up to Tiger Nest, the ancient monastery built into the cliffs some three thousand feet above the valley.


Bhutan: This fellow from Bangladesh grilled me about my views on Buddhism as we hiked the steep trail. He is a Muslim, but displayed an exceptional interest in my iconoclastic views of the world's religions and my personal take on the meaning of life.


Bhutan: Early view of Tigers Nest Monastery hanging on the cliffs in the distance. More than two hours of hard climbing are ahead of us.


Bhutan: A couple of the Bhutanese pilgrims I met along the trail up to Tigers Nest. This little kid couldn't keep her eyes off me.


Bhutan: On the trail we came across several caves where revered monks are said to have spent long periods in meditation. These clay cones are miniature stupas and contain chants written on tiny scraps of paper stuffed into the hollow interior by devoted pilgrims seeking spiritual help.


Bhutan: My guide, Sonan retrieves one of the broken clay cones to show us the chants written on tiny scraps of paper stuffed into the hollow interior by devoted believers seeking spiritual help. We came across several caves like this one where revered monks are said to have spent long periods in meditation.


Bhutan: On the trail we came across several caves full of these prayer cones where revered monks are said to have spent long periods in meditation. These clay cones represent miniature stupas and contain chants written on tiny scraps of paper stuffed into the hollow interior by devoted believers seeking spiritual help.


Bhutan: Ahead of the gorge between us and the Monastery various structures appear along the trail.


Bhutan: Approaching the gorge between us and the Monastery various structures appear along the trail.


Bhutan: A view of the valley below before starting the 450 step decent to the base of the waterfall that marks the 330 step climb up to the gated monastery complex.


Bhutan: View of monastery at the last resting place before starting the 450 step decent to the base of the waterfall that marks the 330 step climb up to the gated monastery complex.


Bhutan: More tired pilgrims returning from their visit to Tigers Nest Monastery as we continue our decent to the waterfall base.


Bhutan: View of Tigers Nest along the trail up the 330 step climb to the gated monastery complex.


Bhutan: A section of the stairs along the 330 step climb to the gated monastery complex.


Bhutan: Looking back down the trail to a point near the base of the waterfall that marks the start of the 330 step climb up to the gated monastery complex. This 67 year old guy looked like he might not make the return trip alive.


Bhutan: Bridge across the stream created by the waterfall. This marks the start of the 330 step climb up to the gated monastery complex.


Bhutan: This is the base of the waterfall that marks the start of the 330 step climb up to the gated monastery complex.


Bhutan: This mother is helping her daughter assemble a native dress for entrance into the Monastery not far ahead. Bhutanese citizens are required to dress in the national garb around the monastery. This teenager obviously is unfamiliar with the garment, not very practical for mountain climbing.


Bhutan: The sturdy gate near the end of the 330 step climb to the monastery complex.


Bhutan: One of the many secluded retreat houses hidden in nooks and crannies of the cliffs around the gated monastery complex.


Bhutan: Looking back at the 450 step decent to the base of the waterfall that marks the beginning of the 330 step climb up to the gated monastery complex.


Bhutan: As we make our decent down the trail from the Monastery we ran into many monks and lay people hauling supplies up to the remote Buddhist outpost. Some carried large bags full of rice and other staples.


Bhutan: Exhausted from my epic hike up to the Tigers Nest Monastery I declined another monastery visit and had the boys drive me slowly around Paro town to snap a few more photos. A majority of the town folks wore Western attire.


Bhutan: Dead tired from my epic hike up to the Tigers Nest Monastery I declined another monastery visit and had the boys drive me slowly around Paro town to snap a few more photos.


Bhutan: Pooped from my epic hike up to the Tigers Nest Monastery I declined yet another monastery visit and had the boys drive me slowly around Paro town to snap a few more photos. A majority of the town folks wore Western attire.


Bhutan: Meager breakfast for three at the Hotel Rinchenling, the third and last night of my tour package. If I needed reminding how much I loath package tours, this provided an excellent example of the limitations of having others decide what I will want to do at any particular time or place. Bhutan offers no alternatives, so if you must visit Bhutan, you will do it their way.

 

Bhutan Tour 6-7 July 2008 - 90 photos
Photos taken during the second half of my packaged Bhutan tour in July 2008 featuring a visit to the famous Tiger's Nest Monastery.


 


Bhutan: Tigers Nest, Taktshang Monastery hangs from the side of a cliff in the mountains above Paro in the western part of the country. The monastery is located more than 3000 feet above the valley and presents a daunting challenge to those determined to visit on foot. My old bones took five and a half hours to make the round trip trek; younger hikers do it in four or less. A constant stream of Bhutanese pilgrims included many families with small children. Once inside the monastery the kids became so excited their noisy exuberance shattered the quiet revere of the mountain retreat.


Bhutan: Sonan, my guide leads the way as we start the five and a half hour hike.


Bhutan: Several structures contain water powered prayer wheels near the start of the hike up to Tiger Nest.


Bhutan: First view of Tigers Nest monastery hanging on the cliffs in the distance. More than two hours of hard climbing are ahead of us.


Bhutan: Some of the pilgrims I met along the trail up to Tigers Nest here resting in the shade of a prayer wheel shelter.


Bhutan: Early view of Tigers Nest Monastery hanging on the cliffs in the distance as seen from a prayer wheel resting place. More than two hours of hard climbing are ahead of us.


Bhutan: Pilgrims pause here for a shady rest. These are some of the fellow hikers I encountered along the trail up to Tigers Nest here resting in the shade of a pleasant grove of trees.


Bhutan: As we draw near the gorge blocking the easy access to Tigers Nest we come upon this structure of unknown purpose, but could be housing for government staff.


Bhutan: Sonan again waits for his slow-poke client to catch up at the main gate across the trail marking the start of the steep trail leading down 450 steps and then up another 330 steps to reach the monastery complex itself.


Bhutan: My guide, Sonan waits for me to catch up before continuing the 450 step decent to the base of the waterfall that marks the 330 step climb up to the gated monastery complex.


Bhutan: View of Tigers Nest at the last resting place before starting the 450 step decent to the base of the waterfall that marks the 330 step climb up to the gated monastery complex.


Bhutan: Looking down on the bridge across the stream created by the waterfall. This marks the start of the 330 step climb up to the gated monastery complex.


Bhutan: View of Tigers Nest along the trail up the 330 step climb to the gated monastery complex.


Bhutan: This is the cafeteria half way down the 450 step decent to the base of the waterfall that marks the 330 step climb up to the gated monastery complex.


Bhutan: Near the bridge across the stream created by the waterfall. This marks the start of the 330 step climb up to the gated monastery complex.


Bhutan: View of Tigers Nest along the trail up the 330 step climb to the gated monastery complex.


Bhutan: View of Tigers Nest along the trail up the 330 step climb to the gated monastery complex.


Bhutan: View of Tigers Nest along the trail up the 330 step climb to the gated monastery complex.


Bhutan: Looking up toward the monastery from the bridge across the stream created by the waterfall. This marks the start of the 330 step climb up to the gated monastery complex.


Bhutan: Bridge across the stream created by the waterfall. This marks the start of the 330 step climb up to the gated monastery complex.


Bhutan: As we draw near the gorge between us and the Monastery item number two of this sign alerts Bhutanese citizens to suit up in their native garb. While near the sign I watched as a mother dressed her teen age daughter who obviously had no idea how to wrap the skirt part around herself.


Bhutan: As we make our decent down the trail from the Monastery we ran into many monks and lay people hauling supplies up to the remote Buddhist outpost. Some carried large bags full of rice and other staples.


Bhutan: Toward the bottom of the trail we ran into a dozen vendors selling tourist trinkets. The lady on the ground in the bright orange sleeves mimicked my photo taking grimace. Since then I close my mouth when shooting pictures.


Bhutan: Congregation of monks on the main street of Paro, a common sight. Their colorful robes always added sparkle to any photos they happened to enter.


Bhutan: Dead tired from my epic hike up to the Tigers Nest Monastery I declined another monastery visit and had the boys drive me slowly around Paro town to snap a few more photos. As the car moved slowly through town the motion distorted some of the photos.


Bhutan: Dead tired from my epic hike up to the Tigers Nest Monastery I declined another monastery visit and had the boys drive me slowly around Paro town to snap a few more photos. Monks in their colorful robes seemed to be loitering in every block.


Bhutan: Young people congregate on the main streets of Paro. Most are dressed in Western attire despite the Royal Decree that everyone in contact with foreigners should wear traditional attire.


Bhutan: Really fatigued from my strenuous hike up to the Tigers Nest Monastery I declined another monastery visit and headed back to the hotel. Flags on the roofs of houses like these signal the family has completed an annual ritual performed by monks to protect the occupants from evil... for a donation that runs about $20.


Bhutan: The lobby and dining room are in this building at the rural Rinchen Ling Lodge we used for the third and last night of the tour. Far out in the country, it offered lots of quiet in modest luxury, but little else. Internet access charge totaled $5.50 per hour, so I passed.

 

 


Bhutan: Sonan, urges me on as we start the five and a half hour hike up to Tiger Nest, the iconic monastery built into the cliffs some Three thousand feet above the valley.


Bhutan: Trash pits like these can be seen at several places along the five and a half hour hike up to Tiger Nest, the iconic monastery built into the cliffs some three thousand feet above the valley.


Bhutan: Water powered prayer wheels erected at a rest stop along the trail.


Bhutan: Sculptor at work on a large stone by the prayer wheels near the start of the trail up to Tiger Nest.


Bhutan: Water powered prayer wheels are located in these building near the start of the five and a half hour hike up to Tiger Nest.


Bhutan: More fellow travelers I met along the trail up to Tigers Nest. Sensible people rest a lot and drink plenty of water!


Bhutan: Early view of Tigers Nest Taktshang Monastery in the distance as seen from a prayer wheel resting place. More than two hours of hard climbing are ahead of us.


Bhutan: Sensible people pay the $12 to ride horses like these up the steep trail to the Tigers Nest Taktshang Monastery. More than two hours of hard climbing are ahead for those of us who choose to walk. This horse heads up the trail without a rider.


Bhutan: More fellow travelers I met along the trail up to Tigers Nest. Seeing so many small kids and even babies surprised me. This is a very strenuous hike even without lugging a kid along.


Bhutan: Pure white flowers along the trail to Tigers Nest Monastery.


Bhutan: As we draw near the gorge blocking the easy access to Tigers Nest, the Taktshang Monastery structures loom at the top of a crest.


Bhutan: Sign marking the location of an important event that occurred near the monastery complex.


Bhutan: My guide, Sonan waits for me to catch up before continuing the 450 step decent to the base of the waterfall that marks the 330 step climb up to the gated monastery complex. He told me he makes this strenuous hike about twice a week with tour groups.


Bhutan: As we draw near the gorge between us and the Monastery this sign reminds visitors of the smoking prohibition throughout the kingdom.


Bhutan: View of of a section of the long stairway down to the base of the waterfall that marks the 330 step climb up to the gated monastery complex.


Bhutan: More fellow travelers returning from their visit to Tigers Nest Monastery as we continue our decent to the waterfall base.


Bhutan: View of Tigers Nest along the trail up the 330 step climb to the gated monastery complex.


Bhutan: Another fellow traveler returning from her visit to Tigers Nest Monastery as we continue our decent to the waterfall base.


Bhutan: This is the cafeteria half way down the 450 step decent to the base of the waterfall that marks the 330 step climb up to the gated monastery complex. Sonan cautioned the food here is not too good.


Bhutan: View of Tigers Nest at the last resting place before starting the 450 step decent to the base of the waterfall that marks the 330 step climb up to the gated monastery complex.


Bhutan: View of Tigers Nest near the bottom of the trail down the 450 step decent to the base of the waterfall that marks the 330 step climb up to the gated monastery complex.


Bhutan: Another view of the Tigers Nest complex near the bottom of the trail down the 450 step decent to the base of the waterfall that marks the 330 step climb up to the hilltop temple.


Bhutan: Looking up from the base of the waterfall that marks the start of the 330 step climb up to the gated monastery complex.


Bhutan: Looking up from the base of the waterfall that marks the start of the 330 step climb up to the gated monastery complex.


Bhutan: One of the monks hangs his washed robes to dry next to one of the many retreat houses along the 330 step climb up to the gated monastery complex.


Bhutan: More fellow travelers I met along the trail on the return trip back from Tigers Nest retreat.


Bhutan: Horses empty saddled being used to pack in supplies up to the monastery as seen along the trail on our departure from the Tigers Nest retreat. Smart people take one of the horses up the steep trail and walk back. The cost is only about $12 and from my personal experience certainly would be a good investment!


Bhutan: While we stopped to watch an archery contest in progress I noticed this healthy patch of what appeared to be Marijuana. It reminded me of a T-shirt I saw in town: "God made grass; man made booze. Who you gonna trust?"


Bhutan: Dead tired from my epic hike up to the Tigers Nest Monastery I declined Sonan's offer of another monastery visit and had the boys drive me slowly around Paro town to snap a few more photos on this my last evening in the kingdom of the Thunder Dragon. As we passed this couple of American guys talking to their Bhutanese guide I snapped their picture while giving them the A-O-K sign, not realizing my fingers had gotten in front of the lens.


Bhutan: Sign marking the location of the rural Rinchen Ling Lodge we used for the third and last night of the tour. Far out in the country, it offered lots of quiet in modest luxury, but little else. Internet access charge totaled $5.50 per hour, so I passed.

Bhutan: My room is in this building at the rural Rinchen Ling Lodge we used for the third and last night of the tour. Far out in the country, it offered lots of quiet in modest luxury, but little else. Internet access charge totaled $5.50 per hour, so I passed.

 

 

 

Dhaka Bangladesh - 34 air photos
Photos taken from the plane as it approached and departed from the Dhaka Airport during our very brief stopover on 7 July 2008 after my visit to Bhutan.


 

 


Dhaka Bangladesh: Approaching the Dhaka Airport on our flight from Paro to Bangkok on 7 July 2008. This is a very wet time of year so there is a lot of water standing in this part of the country.


Dhaka Bangladesh: After leaving the Dhaka Airport on our flight from Paro to Bangkok on 7 July 2008. Only a short distance outside the city proper overflowing rivers cover much of the land.


Dhaka Bangladesh: After leaving the Dhaka Airport on our flight from Paro to Bangkok on 7 July 2008. Only a short distance outside the city proper overflowing rivers cover much of the land.


Dhaka Bangladesh: Approaching the Dhaka Airport on our flight from Paro to Bangkok on 7 July 2008. This is a very wet time of year so there is a lot of water standing in this part of the country.


Dhaka Bangladesh: After leaving the Dhaka Airport on our flight from Paro to Bangkok on 7 July 2008. Only a short distance outside the city proper overflowing rivers cover much of the land.


Dhaka Bangladesh: After leaving the Dhaka Airport on our flight from Paro to Bangkok on 7 July 2008. Only a short distance outside the city proper overflowing rivers cover much of the land. Yes, I know I snapped a lot of pictures on our brief flyover of Bangladesh. Couldn't help myself!


Dhaka Bangladesh: After leaving the Dhaka Airport on our flight from Paro to Bangkok on 7 July 2008. Only a short distance outside the city proper overflowing rivers cover much of the land.


Dhaka Bangladesh: After leaving the Dhaka Airport on our flight from Paro to Bangkok on 7 July 2008. Only a short distance outside the city proper overflowing rivers cover much of the land.


Dhaka Bangladesh: After leaving the Dhaka Airport on our flight from Paro to Bangkok on 7 July 2008. Only a short distance outside the city proper overflowing rivers cover much of the land.


Dhaka Bangladesh: After leaving the Dhaka Airport on our flight from Paro to Bangkok on 7 July 2008. Only a short distance outside the city proper overflowing rivers cover much of the land. Yes, I know I snapped a lot of pictures on our brief flyover of Bangladesh. Couldn't help myself!


Dhaka Bangladesh: After leaving the Dhaka Airport on our flight from Paro to Bangkok on 7 July 2008. Only a short distance outside the city proper overflowing rivers cover much of the land.


Dhaka Bangladesh: After leaving the Dhaka Airport on our flight from Paro to Bangkok on 7 July 2008. Only a short distance outside the city proper overflowing rivers cover much of the land. Yes, I know I snapped a lot of pictures on our brief flyover of Bangladesh. Couldn't help myself!


Dhaka Bangladesh: After leaving the Dhaka Airport on our flight from Paro to Bangkok on 7 July 2008. Only a short distance outside the city proper overflowing rivers cover much of the land. Yes, I know I snapped a lot of pictures on our brief flyover of Bangladesh. Couldn't help myself!


Dhaka Bangladesh: After leaving the Dhaka Airport on our flight from Paro to Bangkok on 7 July 2008. Only a short distance outside the city proper overflowing rivers cover much of the land.


Dhaka Bangladesh: After leaving the Dhaka Airport on our flight from Paro to Bangkok on 7 July 2008. Only a short distance outside the city proper overflowing rivers cover much of the land.


Dhaka Bangladesh: After leaving the Dhaka Airport on our flight from Paro to Bangkok on 7 July 2008. Only a short distance outside the city proper overflowing rivers cover much of the land. Yes, I know I snapped a lot of pictures on our brief flyover of Bangladesh. Couldn't help myself!


Dhaka Bangladesh: After leaving the Dhaka Airport on our flight from Paro to Bangkok on 7 July 2008. Only a short distance outside the city proper overflowing rivers cover much of the land.

 

 


Dhaka Bangladesh: Approaching the Dhaka Airport on our flight from Paro to Bangkok on 7 July 2008. This is a very wet time of year so there is a lot of water standing in this part of the country.


Dhaka Bangladesh: After leaving the Dhaka Airport on our flight from Paro to Bangkok on 7 July 2008. Only a short distance outside the city proper overflowing rivers cover much of the land.


Dhaka Bangladesh: After leaving the Dhaka Airport on our flight from Paro to Bangkok on 7 July 2008. Only a short distance outside the city proper overflowing rivers cover much of the land.


Dhaka Bangladesh: Approaching the Dhaka Airport on our flight from Paro to Bangkok on 7 July 2008. This is a very wet time of year so there is a lot of water standing in this part of the country.


Dhaka Bangladesh: Approaching the Dhaka Airport on our flight from Paro to Bangkok on 7 July 2008. This is a very wet time of year so there is a lot of water standing in this part of the country.


Dhaka Bangladesh: Approaching the Dhaka Airport on our flight from Paro to Bangkok on 7 July 2008. This is a very wet time of year so there is a lot of water standing in this part of the country.


Dhaka Bangladesh: Approaching the Dhaka Airport on our flight from Paro to Bangkok on 7 July 2008.


Dhaka Bangladesh: Approaching the Dhaka Airport on our flight from Paro to Bangkok on 7 July 2008.


Dhaka Bangladesh: Approaching the Dhaka Airport on our flight from Paro to Bangkok on 7 July 2008.


Dhaka Bangladesh: Approaching the Dhaka Airport on our flight from Paro to Bangkok on 7 July 2008.


Dhaka Bangladesh: Approaching the Dhaka Airport on our flight from Paro to Bangkok on 7 July 2008.


Dhaka Bangladesh: Approaching the Dhaka Airport on our flight from Paro to Bangkok on 7 July 2008.


Dhaka Bangladesh: After leaving the Dhaka Airport on our flight from Paro to Bangkok on 7 July 2008. Only a short distance outside the city proper overflowing rivers cover much of the land.


Dhaka Bangladesh: After leaving the Dhaka Airport on our flight from Paro to Bangkok on 7 July 2008. Only a short distance outside the city proper overflowing rivers cover much of the land.


Dhaka Bangladesh: After leaving the Dhaka Airport on our flight from Paro to Bangkok on 7 July 2008. Only a short distance outside the city proper overflowing rivers cover much of the land.


Dhaka Bangladesh: After leaving the Dhaka Airport on our flight from Paro to Bangkok on 7 July 2008. Only a short distance outside the city proper overflowing rivers cover much of the land.


Dhaka Bangladesh: After leaving the Dhaka Airport on our flight from Paro to Bangkok on 7 July 2008. Only a short distance outside the city proper overflowing rivers cover much of the land.

 

   
Reference photo: author
 August 2002
 
 

Next Postcard