“Land of the Thunder Dragon.”
We boarded our flight from Bangkok at the most inconvenient time of 4:45am (24 Oct 2013) for the 3 hour flight to Paro, Bhutan.
The final descent through the valleys leading up to Bhutan’s only international airport, is exhilarating, with the aircraft flying so low, barely skimming over the top of the treetops.
Paro Airport is tiny. Not long after exiting the plane, we were greeted at the entrance by our tour guide, Dorji, and our driver, Jamtsho.
Piling into their spacious Toyota Prado 4×4, we were whisked away through Paro valley.
Dorjo warned us early on that Bhutan’s roads were notoriously bad. Poorly built, bumpy, rocky, with narrow mountainous roads prone to damage from landslides and hardly maintained.
“It’s like getting a good massage!” we were reassured.
He wasn’t wrong.
Car travel in Bhutan is slow. Painfully slow. I don’t recall our speedo topping more than 50km/h on the whole trip.
As we bounced through town, we watched a typical Bhutanese morning roll by.
Men, women and children all passed us by wearing their traditional Bhutanese dress.
Farmers were harvesting the fully grown rice stalks then laying them down to dry out in the autumn sun.
Since we had had an early breakfast on the plane, we decided to forego breakfast in Paro and proceed to our first destination, Drukgyel Dzong.
Then it was a short drive to the Kyichu Monastery.
After visiting the Paro National Museum (where we couldn’t take photos), we visited Paro Dzong.
More on that in the next post.
Visited 24th October 2013.