Rediscovering the Joy of a Road Travel—a Trip to Thimphu—the Capital City of Bhutan
Exciting road trips
If you are you looking for an unusual, unforgettable road trip in 2020, explore the Land of Thunder Dragon (called Druk Yul in Bhutanese) and witness the beauty it offers.
6 reasons why road trips in Bhutan are exciting
These are the perks of traveling by road in Bhutan:
1. Stop wherever exquisite beauty lures you
Enjoy the flexibility of stopping the car anywhere on the road and soak in the nature. Bhutan boasts rich flora, such as pines, spruces, firs, conifers, and cypresses.
2. Live in the moment
The beauty all around cannot be ignored. So, put aside all your thoughts and focus on the beauty and create memories.
3. Indulge in digital detoxification
Disconnect from electronics devices, such as Tab, mobile, or laptop and connect with nature, family, friends, or yourself.
5. Spark a conversation
Engage in an interesting conversation with the driver and the guide to know more about Bhutan, its culture, people, food, lifestyle, or legends. It's a wonderful opportunity to strengthen the bonds with family.
6. Taste the local food
Break for lunch, tea, or snacks in roadside restaurants and pamper your taste buds with the local food items. Try the red rice. Sitting for long hours may be difficult, it is better to take short breaks and stroll on the roadside and soak in the nature.
Bhutan—the Land of Happiness
Tucked in the mighty Himalayas, this tiny Asian country will leave a long-lasting impression in your mind, in terms of both beauty and serenity.
The country boasts lofty mountains, picturesque landscapes, and beautiful rivers. Bhutan is covered by thick forests. It has diverse landscapes, such as plains (with paddy fields), high mountains with steep bends, and deep valleys.
The Land of Happiness, Bhutan, is an ideal example of peace and happiness and scores high in Gross National Happiness (GNH).
The country is rich in vegetation and has successfully kept a check on its carbon footprint, thereby becoming a carbon negative country.
What type of traveling are you planning in 2020?
The ethereal beauty of Bhutan entices travelers from all corners of the world, such as India, Canada, Australia, Korea, the US, and the different parts of Europe.
Drive to Thimphu from Phuentsholing
A road trip to Thimphu from Phuentsholing is almost a 5-hour (around) drive through the picturesque villages and towns, serpentine roads, rolling hills, and lush greenery.
Phuentsholing is Bhutan's border city towards India. It is Bhutan's second largest city after Thimphu. It is a busy commercial hub with markets, hotels and restaurants, monasteries, administrative buildings, and a central bus terminus.
Various places in Phuentsholing
Enroute to Thimphu
The day dawned in the morning and before the city got busy, we drove past some of its beautiful places on our way to Thimphu.
We reached Rinchending Checkpost to get the approval to enter only Thimphu and Paro. The validity of the permit spanned only for 7 days.
After the clearance, we drove for a while in search of a restaurant for breakfast. Meanwhile, we were away from the hustle and bustle of the city and the lush green surrounding with hills in the backdrop set our mood in the right tune.
Organic oranges on the roadside
We stopped to buy organically grown oranges from the fruit sellers on the roadside selling various fruits. Even though the oranges were expensive, we bought some as Bhutan is famous for tasty oranges. The oranges did not disappoint our taste buds.
Fruit sellers on the roadside
Toorsa Tea Garden—breakfast
We had our breakfast in a small, clean, beautiful, homely restaurant in the lap of the hills. The food was served hot and we relished it.
While our food was getting ready, we struck a conversation with the local people in the restaurant, who told us more about the Bhutanese culture and food. Their hospitality and warmth touched our heart.
Experience during the drive
We drove past small towns (Gedu), villages, picturesque landscapes, hills, waterfalls, rivers, prayer wheels, and stupas.
The serenity that each place offers reflects why the country scores high in the GNH Index.
We were spellbound by the spectacular beauty of the surrounding, the color of fall on the leaves, and the tranquility. We stopped our car quite a few times to soak in the nature and absorb the happiness from the surrounding.
Water-powered prayer wheels
We saw water-powered prayer wheels and our guide explained to us the mechanism behind the operation. The prayer wheel is turned by the water coming from the waterfalls.
After the scrumptious breakfast, our next phase of the journey commenced.
The serpentine roads are clean and well maintained. There are big boards on the road displaying the direction and distance.
A drive with the family on a sunny day ejoying the magnificent scenery is a bliss.
More and more stunning views
After continuing the drive for a few more hours, we parked near a restaurant for lunch in Wangkha. We sat by the window overlooking the towering mountains.
The clear, blue sky; the beautiful scenery; the calmness of the surrounding; and the cool breeze eliminated the fatigue and filled our minds with happiness.
Crossroad—left road towards Paro and straight road towards Thimphu
We reached a crossroad from where one road has headed to Paro while the other to Thimphu.
Thimphu—the capital city of Bhutan
We entered the beautiful capital city, Thimphu, in the late afternoon through a magnificent gate, which is an ideal example of Bhutanese architecture and reflects its rich heritage and culture .
The capital city is surrounded by lofty mountains and a river called Wang Chuu or Thimphu Chuu flows through it. Thimphu is one of the world's high altitude capital cities (around 2,330 meters) and does not have any airport. The only international airport of the country is in Paro.
We meandered through the capital city to the hotel near Clock Tower Square and with that, our epic drive to Thimphu concluded.
8 Things to Carry During Your Road Trip
1. Carry adequate quantity of drinking water.
2. Keep chocolates, candies, and fruits handy.
3. Carry a high-quality camera.
4. Carry tissue papers, a sanitizer, a liquid soap, or paper soap strips.
5. Keep sanitary napkins handy.
6. Take your medicines on time as prescribed by the physician.
7. Carry a small notebook and a pen to note down the names of places, any important information shared by your diver or guide, or any other interesting information.
8. Keep your sunglasses, lip balm, and moisturizer handy.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Prantika Samanta