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Bhutan

1987

Peter Wong, Co-Owner 

Cruise Holidays | Luxury Travel Boutique

 

Bhutan with Peter Wong, Cruise Holidays | Luxury Travel Boutique Cruise travel agency Mississauga, cruise travel agency Oakville, Cruise travel agency Brampton, Cruise travel agency Milton, Cruise holidays agency Kingsway Etobicoke, cruise travel agency Toronto, cruise travel agency Orangeville, cruise travel agency Guelph,

 

TAK SAN (TIGER'S NEST)

 

 

In 1987, I traveled to Bhutan several times on business.  Bhutan was closed to tourism and would not open for another two decades.  I was one of less than 100 westerners allowed into the country that year.  My position at the time was Finance Director for Boeing DeHavilland and my role was to assist in the sales campaign to sell Dash 8 aircraft to Druk Air, the national airline of Bhutan.  

 

Bhutan was very isolated.  There was only one road into the country from India and the drive through rugged mountain roads took 12 hours or more.  Druk Air had two nineteen seat aircraft that flew scheduled flights from Calcutta.  I was based in Toronto and the trip involved flights to London, connecting to a flight to the Middle East, with another connection to Delhi.  I would overnight in Delhi and catch a local flight to Calcutta.  I would then over night in Calcutta and try and catch the morning flight to Para Airport, Bhutan.  The problem was that the flight was contingent on clear weather.  If the weather was cloudy, the flight would be delayed until the weather cleared.  On one trip, I waited two days before we were able to fly.

 

The flight itself was through mountain passes and the cliffs looked like they were within reach of the airplane.  Flying time was about an hour and a half.  The airstrip was in a field where goats and other livestock would graze.  The airport terminal was a small building that was only occupied when a flight was arriving or departing. 

 

Bhutan was a pristine and pastoral country filled with peaceful, happy, friendly people.  The capital, Thimphu, is about 45 minutes from the airport and a the time consisted on one main street of buildings and a few side streets.  The main structure in Thimphu is the Royal Palace where the royal family lived.  The current prince and princess were in their 30's and were very devoted to their people.  It was the royal family that decided to keep the country closed to tourists.  

 

The people all wore the traditional outfit called a "Go" which is a heavy woolen robe and leggings.  The other style of clothing was the robe of Buddhist monks or students.  The people were most hospitable and were curious to see foreigners in town.  The children would gather around and follow me everywhere I went.

 

The highlight of my travels to Bhutan was my hike to Tak San, the Tiger's Nest, which is one of the holiest places in the country.  Tak San is a temple that was built high on a mountain about 1200 feet above the valley floor which itself is about 10,000 ft above sea level.  The more difficult the temple is to build and to reach, the holier it is considered to be.  

 

I joined up with a colleague and the only other two foreigners in town: two young men who worked of the United Nations Development Program.  We drove the the base of the mountain and began our climb to Tak San.  The weather was quite nice and warm and the hike started out easily.  The path was well worn and easy to follow.  The path got steeper about an hour into the hike.  As we climbed the thin air was quite noticeable.  We were all starting to fatigue by the second hour and the last hour of the hike was extremely exhausting.  

 

About half an hour from the top, we heard steps behind us.  We turned around an saw a man carrying a load of firewood behind us.  He motioned that he wanted to pass and he marched past us with his load which must have been 50 lbs without wasting a breath.  Meanwhile, the four of us were gasping for air with every step.

 

The hike was worth it.  The views were spectacular and the sight of the monastery was very welcome.  We were told that we might not be allowed to enter the monastery, but luckily we were allowed to tour the inside of the monastery.  Inside we were told that the woodcutter that passed us on our hike makes the trip every single day of the year.  It is his was to show respect for the monks.  

 

Inside Tak San live a number of monks, as many as 100 at any given time.  Young boys are sent to the monastery to apprentice as monks and go to school.  The relics and the artwork were ancient and amazing.  

 

The trip down the mountain was much faster and easier.  As we descended the fatigue lifted and we regained our energy noticeably.  Near the bottom, we turn a corner in the path and were presented with a most unusual sight.  Off to the side of the path, next to a stream was a man sitting in a bath pit.  Water was channeled into a rectangular box in the ground that was lined with wood and stones.  A fire nearby warmed stones that heated the water.  The man looked quite relaxed lying in his bath.  (See photo below)

 

The lasting impression of Bhutan was that of stunning scenery and natural beauty.  The pace of life was so very peaceful, especially compared to the madhouse of India.  It has often been referred to as the original Shangri-la and I can understand why that is.  My hope was that it would remain untouched, but I know that this secret would eventually get out.  If you get a chance, you must go there.

 

 

Bhutan with Cruise Holidays | Luxury Travel Boutique Mississauga, Kingsway, Etobicoke, Milton, Toronto, Brampton, Guelph, Oakville, Orangeville, Barrie, Ontario cruise travel agency

 

 

Bhutan with Cruise Holidays | Luxury Travel Boutique Mississauga, Kingsway, Etobicoke, Milton, Toronto, Brampton, Guelph, Oakville, Orangeville, Barrie, Ontario cruise travel agency

 

 

Bhutan with Cruise Holidays | Luxury Travel Boutique Mississauga, Kingsway, Etobicoke, Milton, Toronto, Brampton, Guelph, Oakville, Orangeville, Barrie, Ontario cruise travel agency

 

MAIN STREET THIMPHU

 

 

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ARCHERY IS THE NATIONAL SPORT

 

 

 

 

Bhutan with Cruise Holidays | Luxury Travel Boutique Mississauga, Kingsway, Etobicoke, Milton, Toronto, Brampton, Guelph, Oakville, Orangeville, Barrie, Ontario cruise travel agency

 

 

ROYAL PALACE CULTURAL PRESENTATION

 

Bhutan with Cruise Holidays | Luxury Travel Boutique Mississauga, Kingsway, Etobicoke, Milton, Toronto, Brampton, Guelph, Oakville, Orangeville, Barrie, Ontario cruise travel agency

 

 

 

Bhutan with Cruise Holidays | Luxury Travel Boutique Mississauga, Kingsway, Etobicoke, Milton, Toronto, Brampton, Guelph, Oakville, Orangeville, Barrie, Ontario cruise travel agency

 

 

Bhutan with Cruise Holidays | Luxury Travel Boutique Mississauga, Kingsway, Etobicoke, Milton, Toronto, Brampton, Guelph, Oakville, Orangeville, Barrie, Ontario cruise travel agency

 

 

Bhutan with Cruise Holidays | Luxury Travel Boutique Mississauga, Kingsway, Etobicoke, Milton, Toronto, Brampton, Guelph, Oakville, Orangeville, Barrie, Ontario cruise travel agency

 

 

HRH CROWN PRINCESS

 

Bhutan with Cruise Holidays | Luxury Travel Boutique Mississauga, Kingsway, Etobicoke, Milton, Toronto, Brampton, Guelph, Oakville, Orangeville, Barrie, Ontario cruise travel agency

 

 

Bhutan with Cruise Holidays | Luxury Travel Boutique Mississauga, Kingsway, Etobicoke, Milton, Toronto, Brampton, Guelph, Oakville, Orangeville, Barrie, Ontario cruise travel agency

 

 

 

Bhutan with Cruise Holidays | Luxury Travel Boutique Mississauga, Kingsway, Etobicoke, Milton, Toronto, Brampton, Guelph, Oakville, Orangeville, Barrie, Ontario cruise travel agency

 

 

 

 

Bhutan with Cruise Holidays | Luxury Travel Boutique Mississauga, Kingsway, Etobicoke, Milton, Toronto, Brampton, Guelph, Oakville, Orangeville, Barrie, Ontario cruise travel agency

 

 

Bhutan with Cruise Holidays | Luxury Travel Boutique Mississauga, Kingsway, Etobicoke, Milton, Toronto, Brampton, Guelph, Oakville, Orangeville, Barrie, Ontario cruise travel agency

 

 

 

Bhutan with Cruise Holidays | Luxury Travel Boutique Mississauga, Kingsway, Etobicoke, Milton, Toronto, Brampton, Guelph, Oakville, Orangeville, Barrie, Ontario cruise travel agency

 

 

Bhutan with Cruise Holidays | Luxury Travel Boutique Mississauga, Kingsway, Etobicoke, Milton, Toronto, Brampton, Guelph, Oakville, Orangeville, Barrie, Ontario cruise travel agency

 

 

 

Bhutan with Cruise Holidays | Luxury Travel Boutique Mississauga, Kingsway, Etobicoke, Milton, Toronto, Brampton, Guelph, Oakville, Orangeville, Barrie, Ontario cruise travel agency

 

EXPORT DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION OF BHUTAN

 

 

Bhutan with Cruise Holidays | Luxury Travel Boutique Mississauga, Kingsway, Etobicoke, Milton, Toronto, Brampton, Guelph, Oakville, Orangeville, Barrie, Ontario cruise travel agency

 

 

Bhutan with Cruise Holidays | Luxury Travel Boutique Mississauga, Kingsway, Etobicoke, Milton, Toronto, Brampton, Guelph, Oakville, Orangeville, Barrie, Ontario cruise travel agency

 

 

Bhutan with Cruise Holidays | Luxury Travel Boutique Mississauga, Kingsway, Etobicoke, Milton, Toronto, Brampton, Guelph, Oakville, Orangeville, Barrie, Ontario cruise travel agency

 

 

Bhutan with Cruise Holidays | Luxury Travel Boutique Mississauga, Kingsway, Etobicoke, Milton, Toronto, Brampton, Guelph, Oakville, Orangeville, Barrie, Ontario cruise travel agency

 

 

Bhutan with Cruise Holidays | Luxury Travel Boutique Mississauga, Kingsway, Etobicoke, Milton, Toronto, Brampton, Guelph, Oakville, Orangeville, Barrie, Ontario cruise travel agency

 

 

Bhutan with Cruise Holidays | Luxury Travel Boutique Mississauga, Kingsway, Etobicoke, Milton, Toronto, Brampton, Guelph, Oakville, Orangeville, Barrie, Ontario cruise travel agency

 

TAK SAN FROM THE VALLEY

(Barely visible)

 

Bhutan with Cruise Holidays | Luxury Travel Boutique Mississauga, Kingsway, Etobicoke, Milton, Toronto, Brampton, Guelph, Oakville, Orangeville, Barrie, Ontario cruise travel agency

 

 

Bhutan with Cruise Holidays | Luxury Travel Boutique Mississauga, Kingsway, Etobicoke, Milton, Toronto, Brampton, Guelph, Oakville, Orangeville, Barrie, Ontario cruise travel agency

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bhutan with Cruise Holidays | Luxury Travel Boutique Mississauga, Kingsway, Etobicoke, Milton, Toronto, Brampton, Guelph, Oakville, Orangeville, Barrie, Ontario cruise travel agency

 

 

Bhutan with Cruise Holidays | Luxury Travel Boutique Mississauga, Kingsway, Etobicoke, Milton, Toronto, Brampton, Guelph, Oakville, Orangeville, Barrie, Ontario cruise travel agency

 

 

REST BREAK

(Tomas Peetersson, UNDP, Derek Nice, DHC, Alan Russel, UNDP)

 

 

Bhutan with Cruise Holidays | Luxury Travel Boutique Mississauga, Kingsway, Etobicoke, Milton, Toronto, Brampton, Guelph, Oakville, Orangeville, Barrie, Ontario cruise travel agency

 

(Tomas Petersson, Peter Wong, DHC, Alan Russel)

 

 

Bhutan with Cruise Holidays | Luxury Travel Boutique Mississauga, Kingsway, Etobicoke, Milton, Toronto, Brampton, Guelph, Oakville, Orangeville, Barrie, Ontario cruise travel agency

 

 

 

 

Bhutan with Cruise Holidays | Luxury Travel Boutique Mississauga, Kingsway, Etobicoke, Milton, Toronto, Brampton, Guelph, Oakville, Orangeville, Barrie, Ontario cruise travel agency

 

 

 

Bhutan with Cruise Holidays | Luxury Travel Boutique Mississauga, Kingsway, Etobicoke, Milton, Toronto, Brampton, Guelph, Oakville, Orangeville, Barrie, Ontario cruise travel agency

 

 

Bhutan with Cruise Holidays | Luxury Travel Boutique Mississauga, Kingsway, Etobicoke, Milton, Toronto, Brampton, Guelph, Oakville, Orangeville, Barrie, Ontario cruise travel agency

 

 

WOOD CUTTER

 

 

 

Bhutan with Cruise Holidays | Luxury Travel Boutique Mississauga, Kingsway, Etobicoke, Milton, Toronto, Brampton, Guelph, Oakville, Orangeville, Barrie, Ontario cruise travel agency

 

INSIDE TAK SAN

 

Bhutan with Cruise Holidays | Luxury Travel Boutique Mississauga, Kingsway, Etobicoke, Milton, Toronto, Brampton, Guelph, Oakville, Orangeville, Barrie, Ontario cruise travel agency

 

 

Bhutan with Cruise Holidays | Luxury Travel Boutique Mississauga, Kingsway, Etobicoke, Milton, Toronto, Brampton, Guelph, Oakville, Orangeville, Barrie, Ontario cruise travel agency

 

 

Bhutan with Cruise Holidays | Luxury Travel Boutique Mississauga, Kingsway, Etobicoke, Milton, Toronto, Brampton, Guelph, Oakville, Orangeville, Barrie, Ontario cruise travel agency

 

 

Bhutan with Cruise Holidays | Luxury Travel Boutique Mississauga, Kingsway, Etobicoke, Milton, Toronto, Brampton, Guelph, Oakville, Orangeville, Barrie, Ontario cruise travel agency

 

 

 

Bhutan with Cruise Holidays | Luxury Travel Boutique Mississauga, Kingsway, Etobicoke, Milton, Toronto, Brampton, Guelph, Oakville, Orangeville, Barrie, Ontario cruise travel agency

 

 

VIEWS FROM TAK SAN

 

Bhutan with Cruise Holidays | Luxury Travel Boutique Mississauga, Kingsway, Etobicoke, Milton, Toronto, Brampton, Guelph, Oakville, Orangeville, Barrie, Ontario cruise travel agency

 

 

 

Bhutan with Cruise Holidays | Luxury Travel Boutique Mississauga, Kingsway, Etobicoke, Milton, Toronto, Brampton, Guelph, Oakville, Orangeville, Barrie, Ontario cruise travel agency

 

 

 

Bhutan with Cruise Holidays | Luxury Travel Boutique Mississauga, Kingsway, Etobicoke, Milton, Toronto, Brampton, Guelph, Oakville, Orangeville, Barrie, Ontario cruise travel agency

 

 

PRAYER HUT

 

Bhutan with Cruise Holidays | Luxury Travel Boutique Mississauga, Kingsway, Etobicoke, Milton, Toronto, Brampton, Guelph, Oakville, Orangeville, Barrie, Ontario cruise travel agency

 

 

 

 

Bhutan with Cruise Holidays | Luxury Travel Boutique Mississauga, Kingsway, Etobicoke, Milton, Toronto, Brampton, Guelph, Oakville, Orangeville, Barrie, Ontario cruise travel agency

 

 

Bhutan with Cruise Holidays | Luxury Travel Boutique Mississauga, Kingsway, Etobicoke, Milton, Toronto, Brampton, Guelph, Oakville, Orangeville, Barrie, Ontario cruise travel agency

 

 

BHUTAN BATH

 

 

Bhutan with Cruise Holidays | Luxury Travel Boutique Mississauga, Kingsway, Etobicoke, Milton, Toronto, Brampton, Guelph, Oakville, Orangeville, Barrie, Ontario cruise travel agency

 

 

END OF THE HIKE