Copper Mountain, ColoradoCopper Mountain, Colorado

Ogyen Choling, Bumptang, and Nunneries

March 14, 2017

Well I've taken a slight hiatus from writing here.  Spent a couple months skiing and traveling, taking a few more pictures along the way.  I wanted to finish up this Bhutan series before moving on to other pictures and places, so I'm continuing with a few more posts for last few days of this Bhutan trip.

Ogyen Choling Palace MuseumOgyen Choling Palace MuseumViews from Ogyen Choling Palace Museun in Jakar, Bhutan

Ogyen Choling Palace MuseumOgyen Choling Palace MuseumViews from Ogyen Choling Palace Museun in Jakar, Bhutan

Jakar Village HomeJakar Village HomeGraciously invited into the homes by villagers in Jakar, Bhutan, near the Ogyen Choling Palace Museum

Jakar Village HomeJakar Village HomeGraciously invited into the homes by villagers in Jakar, Bhutan, near the Ogyen Choling Palace Museum

Jakar Village HomeJakar Village HomeGraciously invited into the homes by villagers in Jakar, Bhutan, near the Ogyen Choling Palace Museum

Jakar Village HomeJakar Village HomeGraciously invited into the homes by villagers in Jakar, Bhutan, near the Ogyen Choling Palace Museum

Ogyen CholingOgyen CholingViews from Ogyen Choling Palace Museun in Jakar, Bhutan

Ogyen CholingOgyen CholingViews from Ogyen Choling Palace Museun in Jakar, Bhutan

Staying in a museum palace in Bhutan was by far the coolest hotel experience of the trip.  Literally as well.  It was much colder in the east of Bhutan during this part of the trip.  We woke up early that morning to walk around the small town and see the start of the villagers' day.  Very muddy walk, with no real roads, running into the occasional cow or chicken on the paths between homes.  When Yonten our guide decided to start knocking on villagers doors to see if we could get a look at a typical family's home, I was a little skeptical.  I mean if a complete stranger knocked on my door at 6 am in Hoboken, asking to see if they could see my place, I would be pretty pissed off.  However the first place we stopped, we were invited in immediately.  Our entire group.  The family was so nice.  Each home has a shrine room, a sleeping room, and a modest kitchen with a wood stove running constantly.  All families there are self sufficient, raising cattle, and growing rice and vegetables.  We visited two places.  Both places offered us Ara, but even for me drinking grain alcohol at 6 in the morning was a little much.  We offered gifts of toothbrushes and chocolate to the children as a token of our appreciation for the tours.

Pema Choling NunneryPema Choling NunneryViews of the nunnery in Tang Valley, Bumthang, Bhutan

Pema Choling NunneryPema Choling NunneryViews of the nunnery in Tang Valley, Bumthang, Bhutan

Ogyen CholingOgyen CholingViews from Ogyen Choling Palace Museun in Jakar, Bhutan

Pema Choling NunneryPema Choling NunneryViews of the nunnery in Tang Valley, Bumthang, Bhutan

Pema Choling NunneryPema Choling NunneryViews of the nunnery in Tang Valley, Bumthang, Bhutan

Views from Yathra Weaving CenterViews from Yathra Weaving CenterLocated in Chumey Valley, Bumthang, Bhutan, the locals were always curious to see so many crazy photographers running around taking pictures of everything.

Views from Yathra Weaving CenterViews from Yathra Weaving CenterLocated in Chumey Valley, Bumthang, Bhutan, the locals were always curious to see so many crazy photographers running around taking pictures of everything.

After a nice breakfast, we left the town and drove back to Bumtang, grabbing a few shots of the valley, Dzong, and a Nunnery along the way before grabbing lunch at Kaila Guesthouse.  We had a long drive ahead of us back to the west of Bhutan, so we grabbed coffee at Cafe Perk before heading out.  Stopped at the weaving center on the way back towards our destination hotel in Trongsa and got a few pics of the local kids who were curious to see tourists in their area.

Trongsa Dzong and ValleyTrongsa Dzong and ValleyViews of the Dzong in Trongsa, Bhutan. You can see a landslide blocking the road in the distance.

Trongsa DzongTrongsa DzongView overlooking the Dzong in Trongsa, Bhutan

When we made it to the hotel, we all tried grabbing shots of the valley view and Dzong at night.  Unfortunately I couldn't get around the damn street lamp that was flaring my lens, so I was pretty disappointed with almost all of my night shots.  After getting set up with a basement room with no hot water or shower, I was looking forward to an extra beer that night.  A few from our group ended up heading over to the driver/guide break room to grab drinks with Yonten and a few other guides/drivers.  I will always be a fan of the local Bhutanese Ara.

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