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Bhutan: Petsheling monastery

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Petsheling monastery | Bhutan | Asia

[Visited: October 2009]

The day before, we had done a long day, with lots of walking, in Tang Valley, and had had a fun evening in one of the bars of Jakar where we saw Bhutanese singing and dancing. I learnt the way a Bhutanese juke box works: you can put your name on a list for a fee, and request someone to sing for you on stage. We left when the atmosphere turned nasty and I found out that even the friendly Bhutanese can turn violent when drunk. It had taken some effort to convince my guide that it was possible to walk all the way from Jakar to Kunzangdrak via Petsheling - now, I hoped that my information was correct. The sky was a serene blue, and we picked up a girlfriend of the guide before heading to Swiss Guest House.

Picture of Petsheling monastery (Bhutan): Lovely location of Petsheling monastery amidst trees and mountains

Swiss Guest House is the starting point of hikes - the guest house itself was founded by a Swiss guy who apparently knew about the famed beauty of the Bumthang girls, married one, and settled right here. I could imagine he would feel at home here: the crisp air, the view of the mountains, the quiet pace of life, the serenity - a perfect place to settle down. We started hiking up, the beginning being a little steep at times. While our female friend seemed to be in good shape in the beginning, she started showing signs of fatigue after a while. For once, my guide and I walked up at a slower pace, which was not even bad after all the high speed hiking we had done the previous days. It allowed us to take frequent rests, and enjoy the scenery and views. The trail cut right through the forest that covered the slopes of this mountain. The scent of the trees was soothing, the open spaces inviting, and the views a promise of even better views higher up the mountain.

Picture of Petsheling monastery (Bhutan): Plaza in front of Petsheling monastery with monks and lama

Sooner than we expected, we reached Petsheling, where we found a lot of young monks, and construction works going on. We happened to meet the lama of the monastery, and were invited in for a cup of butter tea. The friendly lama asked us about our walk, our plans, my country, while I countered with some questions about Bhutan and its future. Bhutanese are very curious to hear the opinion of foreigners about their country, and the lama was no exception. My guide and his friend were very honoured to have met the lama, and it was indeed a special meeting. Fortunately, I had taken some postcards from my country which I handed him. My guide was still not sure about our plan, and once more inquired about the way to Kunzangdrak from here. It proved a beautiful walk with superb views.

Picture of Petsheling monastery (Bhutan): Petsheling Goemba sits on top of this mountain
Picture of Petsheling monastery (Bhutan): Trees, monastery and chorten at Petsheling monastery
Picture of Petsheling monastery (Bhutan): Chorten and trees at Petsheling monastery
Picture of Petsheling monastery (Bhutan): Looking up prayer flag poles and chorten at Petsheling monastery
Picture of Petsheling monastery (Bhutan): Mountain range in a distance from Petsheling monastery
Picture of Petsheling monastery (Bhutan): Detail view of quarters of monks at Petsheling monastery
Picture of Petsheling monastery (Bhutan): Rooftops of Petsheling monastery
Picture of Petsheling monastery (Bhutan): Young Buddhist monks around Petsheling monastery
Picture of Petsheling monastery (Bhutan): Before reaching Petsheling, you have to traverse a forest

Around the World in 80 Clicks

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