A Speed Boat Trip to Hong Island, Krabi with Sofitel

By Mridula on October 29, 2014
in Canon D550, Cell phone photography, Photography, Thailand

It is not every day that I have a luxury speed boat all to myself, well almost to myself! For accompanying me were 3 people, the driver of the speed boat, Salim and Nana, my beautiful host for the evening. Our destination was the Hong Island, Krabi. Sofitel Krabi had arranged this wonderful trip for me as a private excursion on their hotel speed boat.

Hong Island is a popular hop over from Krabi, Thailand. The island is a 10 minute ride from the Sofitel Hotel. The beach is right across the road. Long tail boats and shared speed boats are also available from various tour operators in Krabi.

Speed Boat Ride to Hong Island

The Speed Boat Ride to Hong Island

We started in the late afternoon and by now due to my earlier speed boat transfers I knew this was going to be a lot of fun. I always sat on the deck on all my speed boat rides and this was no exception. As a result, I don’t have a tan, I actually have a sun burnt face now!

We were on the beautiful Hong Beach 10 minutes later. As it was late afternoon, the tourists were mostly going back. Nana told me that in high season the beach gets much more crowded. We tried to visit the lagoon but it was low tide so the speed boat could not enter it. But I did get a glimpse and it was beautiful.

On the beach Nana revealed that they had sparkling wine for me as well! Now that was luxury! But before that I went snorkeling. The bay was peaceful and I could spot some colorful fish and coral as well.

The Beautiful Hong Island, Krabi, Thailand

The Beautiful Hong Island, Krabi, Thailand

I sat down next to Nana after snorkeling and we indulged in some girl talk! Before coming to Sofitel, she was working in Bali! Then she asked if I wold like to go kayaking with Salim, her colleague.

Kayaking at Hong Island, Krabi

Kayaking at Hong Island, Krabi

 

I was quite willing to do so. Salim told me to just do the photography and leave the paddling to him! I reluctantly agreed, after all he understood the conditions better. We did a short round and I was back to the beach.

With my Beautiful Host, Nana from Sofitel

With my Beautiful Host, Nana from Sofitel

It was now time for some sparkling wine with canapes. It was the perfect end to a wonderful evening.

Many thanks to TAT New Delhi and Sofitel Krabi for offering me this incredible luxury! I was told that the cost of the private trip to Hong Island from Sofitel is 16,000 Baht.

Pak Khlong Talat- Bangkok’s Biggest Flower Market

By Mridula on October 28, 2014
in Canon D550, Cell phone photography, flowers, Photography, Thailand

Pak Khlong Talat is Bangkok’s biggest flower market. It is a riot of colors, the fragrances float through the street and it is a photographer’s delight. I visited the market at night. The shots are taken with XperiaZ3 or Canon550D.

Flower Market, Bangkok

Orchids by the Road, Flower Market, Bangkok #Canon550D

The market is located on the Chak Phet Road and it is a 24 hour market! The stalls are on both the sides of the street. After a while I was so engrossed in flowers and the scents that I completely forgot the traffic.

Pak Khlog Talat Flower Market, Bangkok

Lotus Basket, Pak Khlog Talat Flower Market, Bangkok #Canon550D

Lotus grows very commonly across Thailand. I have seen it growing in water pots, in tanks, in water bodies, literally growing like weeds! It is also offered at all Buddhist temples. Almost every hotel will have some lotus arrangement on its premises.

Pretty in Purple

Pretty in Purple #XperiaZ3

Pak Khlong Talat is both a wholesale and retail market. Even at night the business was brisk. The customers were mostly locals. You could find an odd awestruck tourist like me going crazy with taking pictures, but mostly it were the locals who were buying the flowers for their homes, as gifts or as offerings.

Marigold Flowers, Bangkok Flower Market

Marigold Flowers, Bangkok Flower Market #Canon550D

Jasmine, crown flower and marigold scents got mixed in the air and they completely overpowered any traffic fumes that tried to stay put and struggle with the flowers. Marigolds were sold in huge numbers.

A Pickup Truck Full of Marigolds

A Pickup Truck Full of Marigolds #XperiaZ3

There were whole pickup trucks decked in marigold. When I pointed my cell phone at the boy he nodded yes and like a pro looked away from the camera!

Big Bunches of Roses

Big Bunches of Roses #XperiaZ3

As I am quite a big fan of clicking screen full of stuff I absolutely went berserk doing just that. There were these fat bunch of roses piled up in rows. And they came in many colors too.

Pretty Roses

Pretty Roses #Canon550D

As this is a wholesale market, the prices were mouthwatering as well. A big bunch of roses was priced at 100 Baht (200 rupees) and the bunch surely had more than 50 flowers! Smaller bunches of different flowers were available for 10 or 20 Baht as well.

Flower Market, Bangkok

Flower Market, Bangkok #XperiaZ3

As the walking path was narrow, it was quite easy for me to get entangled into others feet, as I was not willing to look away from my camera! But an average person in Thailand is very polite and they tolerated me with a lot of patience! Not a single shop owner ever objected to my picture taking frenzy!

A Pretty Bunch of Chrysanthemums

A Pretty Bunch of Chrysanthemums #XperiaZ3

My guide was a little puzzled as to why was I taking so many pictures? I told him I took so many because I was not sure of which one would come out well! When I showed him this picture he also took out his phone and clicked one!

A Riot of Colors!

A Riot of Colors!

Even after walking through both the sides, I was quite reluctant to go back to the hotel. But then it was already late in the night and I had to drag myself back to the car just after one round. Whenever I head back to Bangkok, I would try to go back to the Pak Khlong Talat flower market again!

I was invited by TAT New Delhi to Visit Thailand and I am indeed thankful for the opportunity to visit Thailand again!

The Dusit Thani Club Room, Bangkok

By Mridula on October 23, 2014
in Hotels, Photography, Sony Xperia Z3, Thailand

It is not every day that I stay at a five star luxury hotel And this was the first time when I stayed at a club room. I checked out a few hours ago from the Dusit Thani. It was quite an experience to stay in the Dusit Thani Club Room, Bangkok.

The room was huge with a living area, a bed room and a lavish bathroom. The living area had a work table and a sofa. There was a TV in the living area too, but I never got around to switching it on. It was actually nice to work in this area rather than the bed room. I enjoyed the fruit basket and tea which was complimentary.

Club Room Balcony, Dusit Thani

The View from my Club Room Balcony, Dusit Thani, Bangkok

The bed room was quite comfortable, there were plenty of pillows and I slept well on both the nights. I had the city view from my balcony.

Dusit Club Room, Bangkok

Dusit Club Room, Living Area not Seen in this Picture

The bathroom was truly lavish with a bath tub and a separate shower area. The closet area where I put my luggage was larger than any I have seen till date.

What was entirely new for me was the access to the Club Floor. The third floor of Dusit Thani Bangkok is reserved for the club room members. They can access this floor through using their room key in the lift.

Dusit Thani People

The Dusit Thani Senior Management with Khun Runjuan Director TAT (second from Right)

There were many benefits for being a club member. There was a separate breakfast layout on the third floor. I thought I would go and have at least one breakfast in the main restaurant but I took all my breakfasts in the club area as it was peaceful. I am not a morning person and it was really good to have that extra half an hour of peace and quiet while my brain slowly tried to clear the haze that usually clouds my brain in the morning.

The Colors of Club Area, Dusit Thani, Bangkok

The Colors of Club Area, Dusit Thani, Bangkok

In the evenings from 5.30 to 7.30 they serve cocktails and canapes which you can avail if you have a club room. I did manage to find time to be present on one evening for the cocktails. I think the club area gets most people during these hours! Tea, coffee and soft drinks are served throughout the day in the area.

There are many other benefits like the services of a butler, discount on laundry etc. Do check out the website for a complete list.

The hotel staff informed me that anyone could book a room with the Club Privileges. They also allow children in the club area. So if you are staying at Dusit Thani, check out their Club Privileges.

Thai Food at Basil, Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit, Bangkok

By Mridula on October 21, 2014
in Cell phone photography, Food, Photography, Sony Xperia Z3, Thailand

Whenever I start writing about food, I start with ‘I am not a foodie!’ Well, so what if I am not a foodie, I absolutely loved the vegetarian Thai food at Basil at the Sheraton, Grande Sukhumvit, Bangkok. Before you wonder, yes I am in back in Thailand again with TAT New Delhi. But back to the food tales!

Miang Kham

Miang Kham a Betel Leaf based Thai Starter

Miang Kham is a non-vegetarian starter. But the good folks at the Basil did a vegetarian version for me. You need to fold the betel leaf and then stuff it with coconut shreds, peanuts, onion, ginger, lemon (all really tiny pieces) and then top it with the sauce. Fold it and put it whole in your mouth. It is an explosion of tastes, I truly liked it. I mean I often do food posts as a chore, but not this time. If you ever get a chance to try Miang Kham, go for it. I am already waiting to taste it again!

Pomelo Salad

Pomelo Salad and Phad Thai

I liked the Pomelo salad when I tried it on my last visit. I absolutely loved it at Basil. The other dish is Phad Thai Noodles. I tried the papaya salad too and it was again done quite well. I do not like too much chili and the flavor was just right for me. I took an Thai iced tea with my meal.

Khao Phad

Khao Phad

Khao Phad or stir fried jasmine rice with vegetables and egg was my main course. I was happy that I had two lovely ladies to share the food with, Khun Runjuan the Director of TAT New Delhi and Gobgeao Diessl the digital marketing manager of the hotel. As much as the food, the conversation about India, Thailand and everything in between made the meal even more enjoyable!

The Team at Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit

The Team at Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit

What absolutely floored me was the willingness of the chef and her team to serve me Thai vegetarian delights. Gobgeao (on extreme right) told me that the owner of the hotel is an Indian, so they have an Indian chef and they have a long list of vegetarian food both in Basil and their Italian restaurant Rossinis. I can personally vouch that the vegetarian menu at Basil is quite long. If you wish to try out vegetarian Thai food in a luxurious surroundings you have to try out the Basil at the Sheraton, Grande Sukhumvit. Of course, they have non-vegetarian food too but then that is always the norm, finding such good vegetarian food was a delight!

The Khyber Gulmarg- If You are Looking for Luxury

By Mridula on October 20, 2014
in Food, Hotels, Jammu and Kashmir, Photography

The Khyber Gulmarg is luxury in every way. I have now stayed with them twice and I felt thoroughly pampered on both (I was invited on the trips) the occasions. I was there in March 2013 and then in September 2014. On the recent trip one member of our team remarked- this looks like a luxury resort in European Alps.

The Khyber, Gulmarg

The Khyber, Gulmarg

As I have not stayed in a luxury resort in Alps, I cannot vouch, but then you get the general idea. This was the view from the balcony of my room. In March, the entire green area was white, as it was covered in snow.

Khyber, Gulmarg

Fruits at the Breakfast Table

There are things that have not changed since March 2013, like their excellent breakfast spread. They have much more beyond the fruit bowl, I am trying to encourage you to eat healthy by posting this photo. I personally love their South Indian spread.

The Heated Swimming Pool, Khyber, Gulmarg

The Heated Swimming Pool, Khyber, Gulmarg

But if you indulged in food right from the breakfast, do work it off in the all weather heated swimming pool. I managed to take a quick dip and then indulge in the Jacuzzi. This is a new addition, the swimming pool was being constructed in 2013. Two other additions are the spa and the gym. I have tried the spa and it is amazing, I could not check out the gym though.

Kashmiri Food

Kashmiri Food

The Khyber does excellent Kashmiri food. I love their nadru (lotus stem) but I am told that I miss out on a lot of good stuff by being a vegetarian. The saag and the paneer were also excellent. So, in relation to the food, the gym and the swimming pool are excellent additions, the guests need them!

My Room at the Khyber, Gulmarg

My Room at the Khyber, Gulmarg

This was my room at the Khyber and it was lovely. The rooms are heated. My March visit was pleasant in large measures because my room was heated. Otherwise it was way too cold. So, if you are looking for luxury in Gulmarg, you know where to go.

However, in September 2014, J&K was badly flooded. Even though Gulmarg was never affected and it is now ready to receive visitors, many would cancel the bookings and it is understandable. The resort is ready to receive visitors. The connecting roads are open. As I said when I visited Uttarakhand after the floods that if you wish to make a contribution, supporting tourism is one of the ways. Give it a thought.

Sky Watch Friday- 7 Pictures from 7 Trips

By Mridula on October 17, 2014
in Photography, Sky Watch

For today’s Sky Watch Friday I decided to post seven pictures from the seven overseas trips I did this year.

Levi, Lapland 

Levi, Lapland

Snow at Levi, Lapland

This was March in Levi, so beautiful, so surreal and for me, so cold. After looking at the snow and the temperatures,I totally understand the sauna craze in Finland. You need good central heating and sauna if March looks like this!

Fihalhohi Island, Maldives

Fihalhohi Island Resort, Maldives

Fihalhohi Island, Maldives

What do I say about Maldives, I truly loved it, the blue skies, the white sands and the many shades of blue in the water. It was sheer bliss.

Amman Citadel, Jordan

Amman Citadel, Jordan

Hand of Hercules at Amman Citadel

The giant hand in this picture is said to be a fragment of the statue of Hercules that used to stand at the citadel in Amman! Going by the size of the hand, it must have been a gigantic structure! When I visited Jordan in May, it had lovely blue skies and a mild weather!

Sala Khao Yai, Thailand

Sala Khao Yai, Thailand

Sala Khao Yai, Thailand

I have made two beautiful trips to Thailand this year, so far! This is a resort named Sala Kaho Yai in the Khao Yai region, which is 2.5 hours from Bangkok. We stopped there for lunch. To me it looked like a beautiful place for couples and honeymooners!

Halo Round the Sun, Grand Palace, Bangkok

Halo Round the Sun, Grand Palace, Bangkok

Halo Round the Sun, Grand Palace, Bangkok

I witnessed the halo round the sun at the Grand Palace in Bangkok, on my second visit this year. The more I see of Thailand, the more I like it.

Tiger’s Nest, Bhutan

Tiger's Nest, Bhutan

Tiger’s Nest, Bhutan

Then I visited Bhutan and in this picture you see the amazing Tiger’s Nest perched impossibly on a cliff’s edge in Paro. The hike to the monastery was also quite memorable. The clouds you see, actually poured on us for a while!

Hong Kong at Night

Hong Kong at Night

Hong Kong at Night

Hong Kong was the cutest trip of this year as I took my niece and my daughter on their first trip abroad! Photography mainly took a back seat but there were rare opportunities like this to get a few pictures as well.

So, these are my 7 pictures from the 7 overseas trips in 2014 for today’s Sky Watch. Hope you enjoyed watching them!

Terma Linca Resort, Thimphu

By Mridula on October 15, 2014
in Bhutan, Hotels, Photography

I have stayed at many beautiful hotels this year and I have hardly written about any of them! It is time to set it right and I start with the beautiful Terma Linca Resort, Thimphu. What blew me completely away was its location! It is right next to the Thimphu River.

View from the Terma Linca Resort, Thimphu

View from the Terma Linca Resort, Thimphu

The small concrete path that you see in this picture is part of the Terma Linca Resort. It is this close to Thimphu River. I managed to walk twice along this path and enjoy the serene atmosphere by the river.

The Room at the Terma Linca Resort, Thimphu

The Room at the Terma Linca Resort, Thimphu

I had this huge room to myself. From the window I could see tall sunflowers and the Thimphu River. It was a comfortable room, with  good supply of tea and coffee. The bathroom had a bath tub as well. By my standards this was surely a five star property but the actual rating is four star as it does not have a swimming pool. But then in Bhutan the weather is not too conducive to having a swimming pool.

Beautiful Spaces, Terma Linca Resort, Thimphu

Beautiful Spaces, Terma Linca Resort, Thimphu

My walks took me to the edge of the resort and I found this beautiful nook which was running amok with yellow wild flowers. How I wanted to have a meal on these benches but I never found time!

A Table in the Weeping Willow, Terma Linca Resort, Thimphu

A Table in the Weeping Willow, Terma Linca Resort, Thimphu

There was a huge weeping willow tree in the premises and they set  cozy table in the hollow of it. This was my absolute favorite corner in the entire hotel. How I wish I at least managed a cup of coffee along with a book here. I did sit down quietly on one of the chairs for a few minutes before I was required elsewhere!

Sunflowers at Terma Linca, Thimphu, Bhutan

Sunflowers at Terma Linca, Thimphu, Bhutan

This is the close up of the view from my room and it was absolutely gorgeous! There was a bench in front of this spot too. I did manage to sit here for a while and just listen to the river flowing by. Terma Linca is a gorgeous property and if you are looking for a hotel away from the city, look no further!

Terma Linca Resort is part of the Makemytrip’s Premium Bhutan Package. I was invited by Makemytrip to Bhutan.

 

Grand Palace Bangkok

By Mridula on October 14, 2014
in Photography, Thailand

The Grand Palace Bangkok is a prime tourist attraction. The palace was built in about 1782. However the current king does not reside here, but the palace is used for royal functions.

However, in this post I am going to give you the true insight into how I approach history and monuments! If I research the web, I can give you an educated account. But this piece is a good example of how I really write about history. Be warned!

10. Apsaras on the Ground

Grand Palace

An Apsara on the Grounds

Our guide Joe was pointing out the similarities between Hindu mythology and the figures depicted in the Grand Palace Complex. So, this was an Apsara and we who are familiar with Hindu mythology know what it means!

09. Nagas

Nagas at the Grand Palace, Bamgkok

Nagas at the Grand Palace, Bamgkok

I can’t exactly remember what convoluted explain was given to me about the nagas. I was told they were like dragon only they could not fly or something like that. I remarked that they look like snakes! And then my guide pointed out that they call them nagas too! of course we understand nagas but he pointed out rightly that the rest of the world didn’t!

08. Giant Yakshas

The Giant Yaksha

The Giant Yaksha

If you would ask me, the Yakshas are my favorite figures among all that I see in a Thai temples and palaces. They are the protectors of the place, standing tall right at the gates. And even though they look fierce they never really look scary, at least not to me!

07. Murals on the Walls

Murals on the Wall, Grand Palace, Bangkok

Murals on the Wall, Grand Palace, Bangkok

The walls of the Grand Palace depict grand murals both from Buddhism and Hinduism. If I remember correctly the Hindu murals are related to the Ramayana. Now I wonder why my mind develops a dense fog around historical details!

06. Golden Guards on the Walls of the Emerald Buddha

Golden Guards of the Emerald Buddha

Golden Guards of the Emerald Buddha

I know there has to be a mythical story behind these guards. But guess what I liked them for? They make for an excellent spot for photography, whether you want to get clicked or simply click the scene.

05. The Emerald Buddha

The Emerald Buddha, Grand Palace, Bangkok

The Emerald Buddha, Grand Palace, Bangkok

The Emerald Buddha is a magnificent site. You can not do photography in the main pavilion. So I took out my zoom and clicked this picture from a distance. The Buddha is wearing his autumn attire in this picture. The clothes are changed according to the season in a royal ceremony.

04. The Shoe of the Giant Yaksha

The Shoe of the Giant Yaksha

The Shoe of the Giant Yaksha

I said before that I do not found the yakshas scary and I found there shoes positively cute. The color combination of green, blue and yellow looks so beautiful as well.

03. The Grand Structures

Grand Palace, Bangkok

Majestic Structures at the Grand Palace, Bangkok

The Grand Palace is a collection of beautiful structures. It was quite difficult to get the scale in a single frame even after using a wide angle lens.

02. A Golden Pagoda

A Golden Pagoda, Grand Palace, Bangkok

A Golden Pagoda, Grand Palace, Bangkok

There are many golden pagodas within the complex. one of them is particularly huge. The smaller ones are said to contain the ashes of the royal ancestors.

01. The Grand Palace, Bangkok

The Grand Palace, Bangkok

The Grand Palace, Bangkok

This is a partial view of the Grand Palace. I think the best view of the whole building is from the Chao Phraya river as it gives a bird eye view of the entire majestic structure.

Now that you have slogged through the post, you can see why I do not readily write about monuments. I somehow gloss over all the details and remember only a small bit of everything I saw. Now give me a trek and I would remember everything! But even through my muddle account, you will have agree that it is a beautiful place!

 

 

 

 

Sony Xperia Z3- First Impressions

By Mridula on October 13, 2014
in Cell phone photography, Photography, Sony Xperia Z3

My new phone is a Sony Xperia Z3. It took me a while to start using it as it would take a nano sim whereas I had a micro sim. But that is sorted now through the collective wisdom of my friends on Facebook. So here is what I have to say about the phone.

Sony Xperia Z3

Mom Look I can Multitask too!

Look and Feel: Sony Xperia Z3 is the biggest phone in size that I have used till date. And yet it is comfortable to hold. The surfaces are smooth and yet I never got a feeling that it would slip out of my hands. I have the white color phone and it looks elegant.

Camera: I don’t know when it happened but gradually for me the most important feature of a cell phone became its camera! There was a time when I used to carry a point and shoot for taking quick pictures but I now do it with my phone. Xperia Z3 has a 20.7 megapixel camera which in my opinion is quite adequate, after all I do not blow up my pictures in large sizes, say for a hoarding.

As of now I have not used it as much as I would like but I have noticed a nice thing about it. I usually click pictures of my daughter who doesn’t like to stand still for a single second! The camera somehow manages to freeze Chhavi in motion and that in my opinion is quite an incredible task! The phone has inbuilt camera apps like panorama, including yourself in a shot called ‘Face In’ etc but I have to try it out. The colors come out quite well and I can bump up the ISO up to 12800! Now that sounds quite incredible. I have yet to make a video with the phone but I will upload one soon.

Water Proof: All my life I thought cell phones and cameras do not mix well with water! But then I got to read this on the company website-

With the waterproof Xperia Z3, you can take pictures with the best smartphone camera while swimming in fresh water for up to 30 minutes. You can even dive down to 1.5 metres with it. Just remember that all the covers for the micro USB port, the micro SIM slot and the memory card slot must be firmly closed.”

Notice the word fresh water. In spite of having the phone in my hand I have been unwilling to try this feature! After all who takes their incredibly slim looking phones into water? Not me, at least not till now.  Maybe I should give it to Chhavi (after making sure all the ports are closed) she will dunk it in water without any qualms! I am still gathering courage to take it to water.

Sony Xperia Z3

Now I Never Thought I could Chuck a Phone Underwater!

OK in the end I did put it in water! That hunk with me is my younger nephew who gave me the playstation gyan.

Xperia Z3

Clicked with my Xperia Z3

And here is a green apple that I clicked with it after taking it out from the water! Well, well I need to get used to this fact that my phone does not fear water. I need to remember the 30 minutes limit though.

Sync with Your Play Station: Mobile phones are a communal affair in my home. While my nephew was playing with it, he excitedly told me he could use his play station with it. I would never figure it out on my own.

Apps: As it is an android phone, the choice of apps is huge and the interfaces quite nice.

Battery Life: For the few days that I have used it battery life seems quite good to me. But I will update on this after I take it out on a trip!

This is how my first impression of the Sony XperiaZ3 stands. I will update you guys say after a month of use and see what further I have to say.

10 Images from Thimphu, Bhutan

By Mridula on October 12, 2014
in Bhutan, Canon D550, Cell phone photography, Lumia 1020, Photography

Thimphu is the biggest town in Bhutan. It seems to be in a hurry to become a city but like all the places in Bhutan that I visited it is so beautiful and charming. It didn’t feel like a big city at all.

10. Takin, the National Animal of Bhutan

Takin

Takin, the National Animal of Bhutan #lumia1020

Takins are weird to look at. It feels like they have a small cow’s body and a goat’s head. It is a goat antelope, whatever that may mean! The legend of Takin goes back to the divine madman of Bhutan Drukpa Kunley. It is said that he was fed a whole cow and a whole goat for lunch. When the bones were left he put the goat’s head on the cow’s body and the Takin was born! There is Motithang Takin Reserve in Thimphu where you can see the national animal with relative ease.

09. The Local Vegetable Market

Vegetable Market Thimpu

The Local Vegetable Market, Thimphu #canon550D

As we were passing by the local vegetable market in Thimphu, we went and took a stroll. I was amazed as to how clean it was. In fact whatever I saw in Bhutan, it was absolutely clean!

08. Crafts Market, Thimphu

The Crafts Market, Thimpu

The Crafts Market, Thimphu #canon550D

The crafts market at Thimphu is expensive to shop at. People accept Indian rupees everywhere and the Nu exchanges on par with the rupee. Shopkeepers don’t really bargain. An average tourist coming to Bhutan has to spend 250 USD per person per night and I guess that explains the prices and the lack of bargaining. The crafts market is next to the Taj Tashi hotel.

07. The National Memorial Chorten

The National Memorial Chorten, Thimphu, Bhutan

The National Memorial Chorten, Thimphu, Bhutan #canon550D

The National Memorial Chorten is dedicated to the third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck and to the world peace. It is close to the city center. It is a small monument where you can see a lot of people doing their Buddhist rituals.

06. A Far Away View of Tashichho Dzong

Tashichho Dzong

Tashichho Dzong- A far Away View #canon550D

We didn’t had time to go to the Tashichho Dzong in Thimphu. So I had to be satisfied with a far away view. If you peer hard you can see it close to the mountains.

05. Simtokha Dzong, Thimphu

The Simtokha Dzong, Thimphu

The Simtokha Dzong, Thimphu #canon550D

Simtokha is said to have been built in 1629. We did a quick tour of the dzong and it was impressive. The main prayer halls of all the dzongs I visited were no photography zones. The main prayer hall of Simtokha was huge and exuded peace from every corner.

04. The National Library, Thimpu

The National Library, Thimphu

The National Library, Thimphu #canon550D

The National Library at Thimpu is an impressive building.  It has a lot books, mostly religious, after all it is the national library. But it has a massive display of pictures on the walls as well. The pictures are of the kings and the dzongs. It was quite an impressive collection. I bought a book from the library called The Dragon Finds its Voice by Bunty Avieson. It was a very good decision to buy the book as it gives a good insight of life at Bhutan.

03. A View of Thimphu City from Buddha Point

 

Thimphu, Bhutan

Thimphu the Capital of Bhutan

Buddha Point gives a beautiful view of the Thimphu City in almost all the directions. When I was there construction was going on at the site.

02. Dochula Pass

Dochula Pass

Dochula Pass #canon550D

Dochula Pass is on the way to Phunakha. It is just outside the Thimphu City. You can visit it as a destination in itself. There is a restaurant at the pass. On a clear day I am told that you can see high mountains. But you know my tale since 2013, all I saw was the clouds!

01. The Buddha at the Buddha Point

The Buddha at the Buddha Point, Thimphu

The Buddha at the Buddha Point, Thimphu #canon550D

And this is the giant Buddha at the Buddha Point. It is an amazing site. I loved it for the atmosphere and the beautiful view of the city it provided.

As you can see from the post, there is a lot to do in Thimphu and I am sure I have just scratched the surface as of now!

PS. I was invited by Makenytrip to Bhutan. And they have got me hooked to the country! While writing this post I must have thought at least a 100 times that I have to go back. Let us see when.