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Old 11th May 2008, 01:36   #16
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Talking The Thimpu experience!!!

The Thimpu Experience!!!

Day 4;

The next day, 31st of December, we woke up late and had a heavy meal from a Chinese restaurant.

We decided to spend the rest of the day exploring Thimpu. We thought it was best to walk and explore the whole city. We saw lots of men on the streets in their traditional Gho, a knee-length robe tied around the waist by a cloth belt.

Dzangkha is the predominantly spoken language in Bhutan. Thimpu city is very well planned, with very good roads. Thimpu is the only capital of a country without traffic lamps!!! Thimpu's first and the only traffic light was enshrined in a Chorten (a small Buddhist shrine). Later it was removed on king's orders to save Thimpu's natural essence and beauty.

Thimpu is a small city with just one petrol pump and our own Bharat Petroleum runs it. The daytime temperature in Thimpu is very low. Heavy woolens are required in winter. The night temperature falls below zero.

All types of cuisines are available in Thimpu and most of the restaurants are family businesses. The mother cooks and the sons and daughters serve, while the father handles cash. Very interesting!

Indian Rupees are used freely and exchanged for the same value, as their local currency Ngultrum. We paid in INR and got the balance paid in the local currency! But we found out that denominations of Rs 500 or Rs 1000 are accepted rarely and that too only in the BP pump in Thimpu.

We visited some Buddhist temples in Thimpu and also the Tashichho Dzong. This gigantic building houses part of the Ministries, the offices of the King and the Throne Room. It also houses the State Monastic Body.

Dzongs serve as the religious, military, administrative, and social centers of their district. They are often the site of an annual Tsechu or religious festival. Entry to Dzongs is restricted and a special permit is required. We could not get a permit to enter the Dzong, as that day was a holiday.
Attached Thumbnails
An incredible journey of a lifetime to Bhutan, Kalimpong, Darjeeling and Gangtok!-thimpu-street.jpg  

An incredible journey of a lifetime to Bhutan, Kalimpong, Darjeeling and Gangtok!-b-buildings-thimpu.jpg  

An incredible journey of a lifetime to Bhutan, Kalimpong, Darjeeling and Gangtok!-c-thimpu-building.jpg  

An incredible journey of a lifetime to Bhutan, Kalimpong, Darjeeling and Gangtok!-d-clock-city-centre.jpg  

An incredible journey of a lifetime to Bhutan, Kalimpong, Darjeeling and Gangtok!-e-bhutanese-man-his-kids.jpg  

An incredible journey of a lifetime to Bhutan, Kalimpong, Darjeeling and Gangtok!-f-typical-bhutanese-provision-store.jpg  

An incredible journey of a lifetime to Bhutan, Kalimpong, Darjeeling and Gangtok!-g-most-common-mode-transport-children.jpg  

An incredible journey of a lifetime to Bhutan, Kalimpong, Darjeeling and Gangtok!-h-our-hotel.jpg  

An incredible journey of a lifetime to Bhutan, Kalimpong, Darjeeling and Gangtok!-i-city-centre.jpg  

An incredible journey of a lifetime to Bhutan, Kalimpong, Darjeeling and Gangtok!-j-men-wearing-gho.jpg  


Last edited by aah78 : 16th December 2012 at 20:17. Reason: Removed reference to alcohol.
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Old 11th May 2008, 01:55   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captdey View Post
Nice Travelogue,
Can you tell me the name of the Hotel and
contact details in Thimpu ?

Cheers
Hi Captain Dey, Bhutanese names are amazing tounge twisters. I do remember only the first part of the name. It is "Hotel ............."!!!

Jokes apart, the hotel name is Hotel Singye. Sorry, I do not have the contact details now.
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Old 11th May 2008, 02:09   #18
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Originally Posted by hondadude View Post
This is a not only a very interesting travelogue but is also packed with tons of useful information. Keep going mate. Looking forward to the rest of it.
@ Hondadude, Normally_crazy, Zaks, Kaushik, thanks for the comments. I will be posting the remaining parts with lots of photos.

Comments will be highly appreciated!cheers:

Thanks,
Chevy_Lover
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Old 11th May 2008, 02:35   #19
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Thumbs up Thimpu Experience!!! Continued......

We spent a lot of time exploring the streets of Thimpu. We were surprised to see that almost all the buildings in Bhutan are made with wooden traditional carpentry. It is also painted beautifully. The buildings convey the Bhutanese culture to the beholder!

Bhutan is a duty free country. We could see that all shops sold goods imported from Thailand, China, Hong Kong and Malaysia. We bought some foreign articles after some bargaining.

There is no tax for imported vehicles. We could see hundreds of Land cruisers, Pajeros, Tucsons, Range Rovers and Prados in Thimpu. I chatted up with a shopkeeper and found out that an imported Prado costs just 17 Lakhs Ngultrums there. We could see lots of Kia cars and SUVs also. We really felt that we were in a European country!!!

We saw a Maruti Suzuki showroom in Thimpu. As I mentioned earlier, 99% of the taxis in Bhutan are Maruti Omnis. The taxi drivers are experts and they wear their traditional costumes when working.

By evening, we got ready to welcome the New Year! There was no Church in Bhutan, so we prayed in our room and headed out to the most happening Disco, Space 34, in Thimpu. The disc was quite big and the couple entry fee was Rs. 500.

We were very happy to see hundreds of trendily dressed Bhutanese youth dancing to the latest English songs. We brought in the New Year with the theme song of the movie, ‘The Specialist’. It was an amazing moment and we enjoyed it to the maximum. The youngsters were so lively and spoke fluent English! We loved seeing their cheerfulness and passion for music!cheers:

We danced and made merry till early morning. We returned back to our hotel by 4 am. The hotel owner’s daughter had also come to Space 34 and she was waiting for us at the hotel! It was so very sweet of her!

Some more photos of the amazing city of Thimpu...
Attached Thumbnails
An incredible journey of a lifetime to Bhutan, Kalimpong, Darjeeling and Gangtok!-k-maruti-showroom.jpg  

An incredible journey of a lifetime to Bhutan, Kalimpong, Darjeeling and Gangtok!-l-tucsons-swiss-bakery.jpg  

An incredible journey of a lifetime to Bhutan, Kalimpong, Darjeeling and Gangtok!-m-tuscons-swiss-bakery.jpg  

An incredible journey of a lifetime to Bhutan, Kalimpong, Darjeeling and Gangtok!-n-swiss-bakery.jpg  

An incredible journey of a lifetime to Bhutan, Kalimpong, Darjeeling and Gangtok!-o-pajero-shopping-mall.jpg  

An incredible journey of a lifetime to Bhutan, Kalimpong, Darjeeling and Gangtok!-p-policemen-thimpu.jpg  

An incredible journey of a lifetime to Bhutan, Kalimpong, Darjeeling and Gangtok!-q-bhutanese-architecture.jpg  

An incredible journey of a lifetime to Bhutan, Kalimpong, Darjeeling and Gangtok!-r-govt-building.jpg  

An incredible journey of a lifetime to Bhutan, Kalimpong, Darjeeling and Gangtok!-s-shops-along-thimpu-street.jpg  

An incredible journey of a lifetime to Bhutan, Kalimpong, Darjeeling and Gangtok!-t-buddhist-idol-handicraft-emporium.jpg  

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Old 11th May 2008, 03:08   #20
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I see a Hyundai Tuscon there! I guess it was exported from here. Nice trip buddy!
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Old 11th May 2008, 13:28   #21
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Great pics and travelogue, ChevyLover! I regret not being able to go to Bhutan way back in 1994, as I had to divert to Gangtok owing to train delays.

BTW, is the Indian side of Phuentsholing called Jaigaon or Jai Nagar?
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Old 11th May 2008, 16:22   #22
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very good pics, but I just see buildings and more buildings and not very scenic. Or is it yet to come.
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Old 11th May 2008, 18:09   #23
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Very very nicely written. Good to see you taking out time and posting a 2 year old travelogue of yours. Most of us would have been too lazy to post it.

A very different vacation I would say. Nice photos.
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Old 11th May 2008, 20:23   #24
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That's a great travelogue and very nice photos! Thanks for posting.

If you have some photos of the vistas and the breathtaking scenery around Bhutan, please do post them.
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Old 11th May 2008, 21:53   #25
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Wow, Chevy_lover, this is a great travelogue. Very informative. i didnt know any of this about Bhutan. It sounds like a lovely place to visit.
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Old 11th May 2008, 23:47   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vnabhi View Post
Great pics and travelogue, ChevyLover! I regret not being able to go to Bhutan way back in 1994, as I had to divert to Gangtok owing to train delays.

BTW, is the Indian side of Phuentsholing called Jaigaon or Jai Nagar?
Thanks vnabhi, lots more amazing pics coming up! Now you have put me in doubt! I think it is Jaigaon! But not sure. The first part of the name was definitely "JAI"!!!
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Old 12th May 2008, 00:13   #27
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Default More pics of Thimpu!

Team, Thimpu is a small, beautiful city! I have posted these pics to make you all understand how different the city and the people are! There are lots of photos coming up. The natural beauty of Thimpu and Paro has also been captured. They will be posted as and when my story progresses!

Thanks to all the readers for having patience and for showing appreciation!
Attached Thumbnails
An incredible journey of a lifetime to Bhutan, Kalimpong, Darjeeling and Gangtok!-u-chetak-scooter-thimpu.jpg  

An incredible journey of a lifetime to Bhutan, Kalimpong, Darjeeling and Gangtok!-v-thimpu-street.jpg  

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Old 12th May 2008, 00:21   #28
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I love your observations about people, food and culture. Keep going.
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Old 12th May 2008, 00:26   #29
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Originally Posted by vnabhi View Post
BTW, is the Indian side of Phuentsholing called Jaigaon or Jai Nagar?
Jaigaon, 150 kms from Siliguri
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Old 12th May 2008, 01:31   #30
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Talking Thimpu - City sights....

Day 5;

The next day, January 1st, was put aside for exploring Thimpu and nearby places. We hired a local taxi for sight seeing. The charges were very reasonable. We paid Rs. 750 for a whole day trip.

We first visited the Gongphel temple. This is one of the most famous temples in Thimpu. We went around the prayer wheels and prayed, the traditional Bhutanese way. We met some Bhutanese student monks. They were very sweet and wanted to be photographed with us. They were so happy when I gave them some money for sweets!!
Attached Thumbnails
An incredible journey of a lifetime to Bhutan, Kalimpong, Darjeeling and Gangtok!-buddhist-monks.jpg  

An incredible journey of a lifetime to Bhutan, Kalimpong, Darjeeling and Gangtok!-b-buddhist-student-monks.jpg  

An incredible journey of a lifetime to Bhutan, Kalimpong, Darjeeling and Gangtok!-d-buddhist-temple.jpg  

An incredible journey of a lifetime to Bhutan, Kalimpong, Darjeeling and Gangtok!-g-prayer-wheels.jpg  

An incredible journey of a lifetime to Bhutan, Kalimpong, Darjeeling and Gangtok!-h-buddhist-temple.jpg  

An incredible journey of a lifetime to Bhutan, Kalimpong, Darjeeling and Gangtok!-l-prayer-wheels.jpg  

An incredible journey of a lifetime to Bhutan, Kalimpong, Darjeeling and Gangtok!-m-temple.jpg  

An incredible journey of a lifetime to Bhutan, Kalimpong, Darjeeling and Gangtok!-i-buddha-statue.jpg  

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