Wednesday, May 08, 2019

I miss Bhutan for

The last time I visited Bhutan was two years ago (April 2017). And since my very first visit in 2012, it was kind of a trend that after the year 2013, every 2 years I would make another visit to Bhutan. However, up until now, there is no such plan to visit Bhutan yet.

Many people have never visited Bhutan in their life. Some are on the way planning to visit for the very first time. Some have been there for many times. Some have been staying there for few years due to the nature of their occupation (be it full time worker, contract worker, volunteer job, and so on). Many have been married to Bhutanese and stay there permanently. Here, I am referring to foreigners (non-Bhutanese) by nature. 

I feel very grateful for being able to visit Bhutan for 4 times already. Earlier, I thought, it was enough to be there for so many times. Four times. And in those occasions, I was very grateful for being able to visit great number of places around Bhutan, even more than what the average Bhutanese had ever visited in their lifetime.

But, as I browsed the photos stored inside my desktop from my previous visit, it inspired me to write this post. Because after clicking through those images, I realized that I still love and miss Bhutan, very very much. And there were so many reasons for me to miss Bhutan, to visit the country again and again, in the near future. 

Among those reasons are:

Bhutanese bloggers meeting in Thimphu, Bhutan

1. Meeting my fellow Bhutanese bloggers cum friends (including those who were present but not shown inside this picture).

I know, this was a matter of year 2015. Since that period, everyone had pursued different matters in life. Many had flown overseas for further studies, work, earn extra money, etc. Those who stayed put in Bhutan were occupied by their work and/ or family matters. Those singles had got married and some had children. Many had realized their dreams, achieving what they wanted to achieve in life.

However, as I entered their blogs, many had stopped updating it. It just stopped, or with much lesser posts along the year. Very few tried their best in maintaining it alive. Writing needed time, effort, passion, patience, and hard work.

Well, no matter where they are now or what they are doing, I miss all of them terribly and so much!!! I wished we all could turn back time to who we were, who used to share the same passion in life, which was writing. And I knew many of them through blogging first before meeting them in person.It just felt so amazing and unbelievable!

We still keep in touch through Facebook, We Chat, Instagram, email, etc. but I really wish that one day when I visit Bhutan again, all of us will have such a reunion again, as friend,as a long lost friend.

2. I miss the rainbow - not just a rainbow, but double rainbow!!!

I miss double rainbow!!!

Yes, I miss the double rainbow, not just a rainbow. Sometimes I wonder if rainbow was only created in Bhutan. I had seen it many times there, and double rainbow made my happiness times two. Hahaha.... :D

3. I miss their beautiful nature 

River and mountain of pine trees

As I rode their public bus through the mountainous road, I loved sitting next to the window overlooking beautiful nature and view along the way, such as: river, pine trees, horses, cows, prayer flags, stupa or chorten, Bhutanese wearing Gho and Kira, and so on. It soothed my mind and chased away all my troubles in life :)

Beautiful paddy terrace and Punatshangchhu from Uma Village, Bhutan

Love the greenery and mountainous view very much!!!

4. I miss attending Tshechu (religious festival)

Nimalung Tshechu, Bhutan - Jun 2015

Masked dance and procession, Atsara (red faced clown with phallus - wooden penis on his head), colorful Gho and Kira, crowd pushing upon receiving 'wang' or blessing, kids with gun toys, nearby stalls selling stuffs, tea, lucky-dip, tent for VIP guests were among the things I loved and missed, and of course, amazing friends who accompanied me there and completed with picnic packed lunch sitting on the grass nearby the area :)

5. I missed village life with common room as sleeping place, traditional kitchen, the open-air bath and out of the house toilet

Village home in Kanglung, Bhutan

Hahaha... call me crazy, whatever you want, and yes, I miss this!!! Traveling life means living a life out of the boundary, out of mundane ordinary life. But this reminds me to always be grateful with what I have in life.

6. I miss shopping in markets

Shops in Bhutan

Hanging pork belly, frozen meats and fishes, displaying fresh local or Indian produced fruits and vegetables were among the scenes you would find in their markets. Simple part of daily lives that I enjoyed living with.

7. I miss plucking fresh organic vegetables

Plucking organic vegetables grown by Devi - Bumthang, Bhutan

I was very fortunate to meet Devi. With her, I experienced many things that Bhutanese lived with in their everyday's lives. This included plucking potatoes and carrots from her garden. Living in metropolitan city since I was born, I had little chance to have this kind of life.

8. I miss the variety of local Bhutanese food and drinks

Bumthaps Khuley, Nepali Sel Roti, Bhutan Kewa Datshi, Southern part Dorley chili

Not only that, she also let me exposed extensively to local food and drinks. She was afraid I did not have enough things to eat and many times she cooked and made few different dishes at the same time. She never failed to show me her capabilities in making Sel Roti, Juma, Khabsey, and so on. Thank you Devi!!! I miss you very much!!!  

Process of making Bumthap Puta - Buckwheat Noodle from Bumthang

The above was one of the day when she asked her tenant to help making the Puta noodle made of buckwheat flour, a traditional food from Bumthang.

Local liquor and beer from Bumthang

9. I miss the Bhutan tea time :)

Tea time in Bumthang, Bhutan

You should know, it wasn't just the tea, but the things accompanied with tea - zaw (beaten rice), khabsey (Tibetan fried sweet dough), thengma (beaten maize), variety of biscuits, and so on, plus the great accompany to chit chat and just relax enjoying the evening breeze.

10. I miss the private mask dance hahaha.... :P

Private mask dance at Samcholing Palace, Bhutan

My dear friend Rupa and I were very fortunate being invited by Khenpo who took care of the Lhakhang at Samcholing Palace to sit and watch the Buddhist ritual prayer musical instruments and mask dance performed by the monks who stayed and studied there. Only two of us were the guests for that night's performance and the feeling was indescribable, felt like going back to hundred years ago, perhaps I was there in my previous life to witness the same thing before.

11. I miss the Bhutanese homestay and hospitality

Bhutanese homestay in Tangmachu Village, Bhutan


Once in a while I had the opportunity to stay at Bhutanese homestay. Apart from dinner, they usually served ara (Bhutan local spirit) as part of their hospitality service. Felt the warmth and got closed with their culture and tradition were other things I treasured the most.

12. I miss the lunch break-stop on the road

Stopped for lunch break - Bhutan

There was no restriction where you could stop. Road would be where you sat and had your lunch. Food was prepared in advance before leaving the place. It was simple but very nice. I miss it so much!!!

13. I miss the local snack sold on roadside

Roadside seller selling local produced - Mongar,Bhutan

I remembered my dear friend, Luzee, who bought lots of things from roadside seller on the way back to Thimphu. She said, better to support them as many were depending their living cost from it. Apart from that, you got fresh local produced and specialty food from the area as well!!!

14. I miss the hiking

Hiking to Tiger Nest with Rekha - Paro, Bhutan

For Bhutanese, hiking has been part of their daily lives. For them, it was a piece of cake. But it had never been easy for me. Hahaha.... It was not part of my daily activities here in Singapore. Nevertheless, I was enjoying it so much over there. And Tiger Nest was only one basic hiking destination that every tourist must go. There were many other more!!!

15. I miss walking alone with nature

View from Sangaygang - Thimphu, Bhutan

And Sangaygang was always one of my favorite places to walk alone with nature. Went up using short-cut and walked down using a long way. Never felt bored as the beautiful view had always mesmerized me.

16. I miss the temples and many religious and sacred sites

Takila - the biggest Guru Rinpoche statue in Eastern Bhutan

I was very lucky for being able to visit many Buddhist temples and many sacred and religious sites in Bhutan. I never dreamt of visiting them before but fate and good karma simply brought me there. Thank you SB!!!

Our visit to Chorten Kora in Trashiyangtse, Bhutan 

Well, there are many more things I miss about Bhutan. It was not shown there, but I definitely miss all my Bhutanese friends wherever they are living now. I feel very grateful for all their friendships, kindness, and love that they have rendered for me.

For now, that was all I could share here in my blog post. Let's see how long more until I can visit the country again. The next time I go there, there must be a specific purpose of visiting, new places to reach and lots of beautiful memories to create with wonderful people there!!! 

4 comments:

Tashi Chenzom said...

Ohh... You got a long train of memories here. I know and I understand how badly you are missing all these. Hoping to seeing you here again!!
Lovely post la

Overcome Life said...

Thank you Tashi. As you know very well, there is no plan to visit Bhutan yet this year. And you know very well too my wishes if I visit the country again ;)

TSHEWANG DORJI said...

You can always visit another time if you miss...:)

Overcome Life said...

Yeah, but for now, I can only miss it :)

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