Thursday, October 3, 2013

Touring through some of the 20 Dzongkhags- A photo essay

The travel opportunity of a lifetime

Early days in the capital Thimphu

covered bridge leading to the weekend market

Buddha Point

Morning sky from the main street - Norzin Lam

First stop on the wayside Trongsa

The spectacularly located and impressively designed Trongsa Dzong

lions' heads adorning the Dzong

View through a peephole

To bless our journey flying prayer flags at Yotong La - the only pass at which we managed to fly some on our way out of Bhutan in 2012.

never too windy for a flag to fly

In Chumey

fields of buckwheat

mysterious and magical painting on the walls of a monastery

farmhouse with picturesque garden

Back in fond and familiar territory in Trashigang

my favourite Dzong 

those eastern rivers, valleys and views 

prayer wheel and traffic circle in the small smoke

Home at last in Rangjung

Sunrise over the mountains

ST super cyclist riding home from school- a week earlier he even completed the Tour of the Dragon 268 gruelling kilometres but he wasn't wearing a gho for that!!

view of Mimilarang from Joyce's Chorten

Special memories and commemorations in Phongmey

The sacred Thongdrel hanging at the Phongmey Tschechu

prayer flags at the memorial to madam Martha

colourful new flags added to commemorate the one year anniversary

Yangtse, showcasing the wilderness and traditions of rural Bhutan

pristine mountain fed rivers

sculptures in class at the Zorig Chusom School for traditional arts 

the signature landmark Chorten Kora

Passing through Trashigang again

new cut and colour from the best barber in the country- he even provides his services to the royal family

When we left Bhutan in December last year, I really wanted to fly a string of prayer flags at each of the significant passes as we crossed the country from east to west, but the weather and time conspired against us, so this time we did just that.

1st pass-  Kori La

 the road in

the flags

the pass

2nd pass- the king of them all Thrumsing La

 the road in

the flags in hand and the stats

the pass

Bumthang (aka Jakar and Chamkar) the mid point of a long journey whichever direction you travel

walking along the river from Kurji Monastery

spinning prayer wheels

Kurji Monastery monk quarters

3rd pass- Yotong La revisited

the flags

the pass

4th pass- Pele La

 the road in

the flags

the pass

Lobesa -2 hours from Thimphu and almost there

over the valleys and across the mountains in Punakha district

the famous Chime Lhakhang 

Water Lilies

5th and final pass- Dochu La

the flags

the pass

Briefly back in Thimphu

Memorial Chorten in the capital

Norzin Lam in full swing

Western most Dzongkhag Haa

the snow capped mountains of Tibet beckon in the distance as one approaches Haa

Haa Tibetan rammed earth house

the hotel in Haa and the vehicle that covered the distance

the 6th unexpected pass- west of Paro- Chele La 

This really is the highest pass in Bhutan sorry for previous misinformation

the flags

the pass

the stats 

Paro point of entry and exit

Taksang or Tiger' Nest the number one tourist destination and an amazing hiking challenge

cairns dot the trail 

the beautiful Paro valley just before harvesting the rice

We are very grateful for the rare opportunity to have been able to travel at our own speed and in our own style. Having taken time to see the many things we were unable to while working here, we feel extremely connected to the people and the country. It is our fervent hope that we will be back in 2014 in a teaching capacity and with the enthusiasm to embrace the culture once more.  

For those without the experience of long hours of road travel to inform them of Bhutan’s geography and the specific location of these small towns, villages, communities and passes, this may help.


  1. aha Deepak saloon... I missed him also

  2. Such a beautiful collection that would inspire anyone to want to come to Bhutan! I love your idea of flying flags at all the passes, something I think we need to do as we travel at the end of the year to say goodbye to this special place.

  3. Beautiful photos Vicky - I love the spinning prayer wheel! I always try and capture them but never manage it so succinctly and elegantly!