Copper Mountain, ColoradoCopper Mountain, Colorado

Portraits in Bhutan

December 30, 2016

Woke up this morning to no power and a rainy day.  Our next destination for the night was the Ogyen Choling Palace and Museum in Tang Valley.  Our guides warned us that this was going to be a very rustic place.  No internet, possibly no hot water, maybe no power.  We decided to delay our departure until late morning.  Before getting on the road, we wandered around the local town and grabbed coffee at Cafe Perk.  Soaked up as much caffeine and WiFi that we could, as we would be without it for the next two days.  Out of all the places that we were going to stay, I was looking forward to this place the most after our guides told us about it.  Staying in a Bhutanese museum?  Definitely an experience I didn’t plan on getting when I went in blind on this trip.

Rain hampered us stopping along the road to grab shots.  We reached the valley and had a late lunch picnic near a small temple structure along the side of the road, trying to shield ourselves from the rain and stray dogs.  It was fun watching all the school children hike over the river bridge through the rain and up the hill back to their homes.

Upon arrival, we were immediately greeted by the museum curator who gave us a brief overview of the history of the place.  We were then introduced to the local weavers who had brought scarves, bags, and other hand knit goods to sell.  I ended up buying two scarves, figuring they’d make good gifts when I got back home.

Portraits in BhutanPortraits in BhutanPortrait sessions at Ogyen Choling Palace and Museum in Tang Valley, Bhutan

Children of BhutanChildren of BhutanPortrait sessions at Ogyen Choling Palace and Museum in Tang Valley, Bhutan

Portraits in BhutanPortraits in BhutanPortrait sessions at Ogyen Choling Palace and Museum in Tang Valley, Bhutan

Portraits in BhutanPortraits in BhutanPortrait sessions at Ogyen Choling Palace and Museum in Tang Valley, Bhutan

Portraits in BhutanPortraits in BhutanPortrait sessions at Ogyen Choling Palace and Museum in Tang Valley, Bhutan

To combat the rain hampering our landscape photography, our tour leaders set up a few portrait sessions with hired locals at the museum.  This was a really cool experience, but I was a little disappointed with the setup.  The subjects were set up in very low light conditions inside the museum, and it was extremely difficult, almost impossible at least for me, to get good shots.  I don’t think I was pushy enough to get better angles.  Definitely something I would like to try again though.  After the sessions, we ended up giving gifts of toothbrushes and chocolates to the kids, and tips to the others.

Finished the day with a great dinner and some amazing custard dessert.  Even sampled some more Ara, a sandlewood version, which was much smoother than the egg one I had previously.  Finished off the night with a few more Red Panda beers and travel stories before calling it a night.  Out of all the places we stayed at, the museum rooms, completely isolated from what it seemed like the rest of the country, with no internet and modest accommodations, was by far my favorite.  For a trip wanting to disconnect from life back home, this was the perfect place to stay.

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