Compass & Camera

Plunge into the sublime seas, dive deep and swim far, so you shall come back with self-respect, with new power, with an advanced experience that shall explain and overlook the old. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Day Two in Bhutan: This is Life

The Sitting Buddha

Our second day in Bhutan began with breakfast at the hotel and a drive up the mountainside near Thimphu. Fin was taking us to see Bhutan’s sitting Buddha — what will soon be the largest sitting Buddha in the world at nearly 170 feet tall. Bhutan is so small, and yet this Buddha is SO big — facing east, overlooking the valley and enormous in scale as you begin to approach it. The mountainside has been carved away and flattened out, with a massive expanse of concrete where the Buddha sits at the west side. The Buddha emanates good energy and happiness to everything in the vicinity.

The Sitting Buddha

Construction of the sitting Buddha is an exercise in international cooperation — funded by a Singaporean, constructed by Indians, with metal work completed by Chinese and land supplied by Bhutan. The project was started about six years ago and is nearing completion, although quite a bit later than expected. The Buddha was created in China and shipped to Bhutan in pieces, where it has been welded together on site.

The Sitting Buddha

The cone-shaped third eye at the forehead is five feet across and encrusted with diamonds. The hair is deep sapphire blue, the face with well-defined features and a gaze that looks past you toward the edge of the mountain. In the Bhutanese sun, the entire Buddha glows brightly against the sky.

The Sitting Buddha

Thimphu

From the site of the sitting Buddha there’s a terrific view of Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. From here, we were headed across town to the hillside on the north side of the city to do a morning hike at Sangaygang.

Sangaygang

The hillside at Sangaygang has been joyfully overtaken with prayer flags strewn in every direction. From here, the trail climbs steeply up and leads to several monasteries and meditation sites in the hills.

Sangaygang

The current king’s residence, Samtenling Palace, isn’t far from here — we were able to get a glimpse through the trees. According to Fin, the fourth and former king (Jigme Singye Wangchuck or K4, as he’s known) is 57 years old and enjoys mountain biking on this trail. No wonder — it’s great single track with wide open views of the valley. Bhutan definitely has the terrain to become a world-class mountain biking destination of the future.

Wangditse Goemba

At the top of the hill we reached Wangditse Goemba, founded around 1750. A large prayer wheel stands at the south side, with prayer flags staked along the edge of the site.

Wangditse Goemba

Sangaygang

All over Bhutan, groups of 108 tall white prayer flags mark significant locations and memorialize people who have passed away. In Mahayana Buddhism, 108 is an auspicious number referencing 108 volumes of the Kangyur — a collection of the words of the Buddha. White prayer flags symbolize air, while blue, red, green and yellow symbolize space, fire, water and earth. Traditionally, mantras were printed on prayer flags with wood blocks. Wind spreads the peace, goodwill and blessings of prayer flags to everyone and everything around them.

Sangaygang

The Takin

From Sangaygang, we drove down the hill and stopped to see Bhutan’s national animal — the takin. Thimphu has a takin preserve (free admission), with fenced acreage on which they can roam with barking deer. Takins are strange looking animals. Legend has it they were created when Bhutan’s Divine Madman put the head of a goat on the body of a cow and brought his new creation to life.

Bhutanese architecture

A new building at the takin preserve will open someday as a museum and visitors center. It was amazing to see such beautiful new architecture, with ornamental spirit and exquisite hand-painted detail. Traditional artistry is very clearly valued, preserved and passed on throughout Bhutan.

Handpainted exterior

Land of the Thunder Dragon

Weaving scarves at the Takin Preserve

Departing the takin preserve, we stopped to watch this young woman weaving on a loom. She displayed stacks and stacks of colorful raw silk and cotton scarves she had created while overseeing the entrance to the preserve. I picked up a little souvenir for myself.

Thimphu Royal Golf Club

Back on the road, we drove into downtown Thimphu for lunch, passing the Royal Thimphu Golf Club along the way. Quite a few golfers were out on the course enjoying the sunshine amidst a few deep water hazards.

We ate lunch on the top floor of a building downtown — fried dumplings, buckwheat noodles, potatoes, vegetables and the usual Bhutanese chili-cheese combo. Fin, owner of Bridge to Bhutan who had accompanied us for our first 24 hours in Bhutan, introduced us to our official guide and driver who would take us from there. We were sad to see Fin go, but Kinga and Kumar were fun, well-educated companions from whom we would learn even more about life in Bhutan.

Thimphu Post Office

After lunch, Kinga and Kumar escorted us to the bank and the post office — the latter being well worth a stop on anyone’s itinerary. Bhutan has a rich history of stamp production, with elaborate and beautiful stamps from the past several decades celebrating everything from Olympic sports to aviation to Bhutanese folk lore to butterflies of Bhutan. Best of all, you can have your photo taken and printed on Bhutanese stamps you can use on the post cards you send home! So cool! Check the mail, mom, but it might take a few weeks.

Jungshi Handmade Paper Factory

After the post office, we were off on an afternoon tour of Thimphu which started with the Jungshi Handmade Paper Factory. Housed in a one-story white building, the operation begins outside where fibers are soaked, boiled and cooled, then dumped in a heap on a table inside.

Jungshi Handmade Paper Factory

Jungshi Handmade Paper Factory

Jungshi Handmade Paper Factory

The grinder

The fibers are processed into pulp using an old grinder. The pulp is poured into a sink where it’s spread onto a screen, then the screen is lifted out and the paper is placed in a stack where it releases water and dries into sheets.

Spreading the pulp

Lifting the sheet

Aligning the edge

Laying the paper

Jungshi Handmade Paper Factory

When dry, the paper is hung up one piece at a time, brushed off and stamped with a logo. Jungshi has a small paper shop on site where you can buy the paper, posters and journals they produce.

Archery competition

Leaving the paper factory, we made an impromptu stop at an archery range where an afternoon competition was taking place. In retrospect, the 20 minutes we spent here is one of my favorite memories from the entire trip. Archery is Bhutan’s national sport, practiced with great enthusiasm all over the country.

About two dozen archers were at the north and south ends of the archery range which was 140 meters long. (What a VAST distance to cover with a traditional bow and arrow, not to mention the tiny target which is about the size of a dinner plate.) Archers at the south end of the range took turns shooting while archers at the north end stood behind concrete walls, out of danger, waiting to see if their arrows hit the target. When the archers at the south end had finished, the archers at the north end similarly took their shots.

When we arrived, an archer at the south end had just hit the target near us which brought about a synchronized “dance” with singing and shouting by all the archers at the north end of the field. Quite a production, no doubt steeped in years and years of tradition.

Archery competition

After the dance, the archers at the north end took turns shooting their arrows. Ready, aim, fire… then they each waited for shouts and hollers to see if they scored.

Archery Competition

Archery Competition

Archery competition

If I ever return to Bhutan, I hope to spend more time watching archery. It’s fun, spirited and pretty incredible to see these sharp shooters in action, even as an occasional dog wanders in front of the target. Just two Bhutanese athletes competed in the 2012 Olympic games — both female, and one of them in archery. It’s a sport loved by men and women alike.

Trashi Chhoe Dzong

The sun was setting and that was our cue to get to the Trashi Chhoe Dzong for the changing of the guard — newly implemented since last year’s wedding of King and Queen Wangchuck. We walked to the far end of the dzong where soldiers were assembling to march out and lower Bhutan’s flag.

Trashi Chhoe Dzong

Changing of the Guard

In a ceremony that lasted about 15 minutes (I’m hoping to get video up soon!), a monk led the procession from the dzong to the flag, then the flag was lowered, rolled, carried inside and stowed until the next morning.

I reflected on the day’s events over dinner at the hotel. We had canvassed Thimphu from morning to dusk, capturing many moments of daily life in Bhutan that didn’t seem all that different from my own life: hiking, golf, archery, paper making, the post office and bank, a dzong, the takins and one big, giant Buddha (okay, that part was very different). It was all foreign, yet not unfamiliar. Fascinating, yet similar. Strangers, yet people who are just like me and you. It was a day of adventure for sure, yet just an ordinary day in the life of Bhutan.

Next: Day Three in Bhutan

226 comments on “Day Two in Bhutan: This is Life

  1. pearlsandparis
    December 18, 2012

    amazing shots! what an experience

  2. segmation
    December 18, 2012

    Awesome colors!

  3. Mike Knoche
    December 18, 2012

    Great experience. Reminds me of Myanmar in a way. Very different geopolitics though. I hears Bhutan went strictly organic today. Enjoy.

    • Compass&Camera
      December 18, 2012

      Thank you! Yes, we were in Myanmar in May and I would agree — similar but very different, too. Didn’t know about the organic development yet — thanks for the info, and for reading my post. K.

  4. Peggy Tee
    December 18, 2012

    Always wanted to go to Bhutan! thanks for sharing this.

  5. oceanbounds adventures
    December 18, 2012

    Wonderful shots and I love your blog! Thank you for sharing and i can’t wait to see the rest of it

    • Compass&Camera
      December 18, 2012

      Wow, thank you so much! I appreciate you stopping by and exploring! Much more to come – days three through six in Bhutan, and more from the Khumbu Valley. Thanks again!

  6. Lakshmi Loves To Shop
    December 18, 2012

    Enjoy your trip…it looks fab :-)

    • Compass&Camera
      December 18, 2012

      Thank you Lakshmi! Looking forward to India, perhaps sometime in the new year!

      • Lakshmi Loves To Shop
        December 19, 2012

        Great! Your trip sounds fabbo :-)

  7. alfianeffendy
    December 23, 2012

    Awesome photos. I really want to go there, hopefully :)

    • Compass&Camera
      December 23, 2012

      Thank you! I hope you get there! It’s a very interesting place. :)

  8. rachaeldorset
    December 23, 2012

    Such lovely photos- I must go there!

    • Compass&Camera
      December 23, 2012

      Yes! I would agree! You must go – a lot to see in a quiet and beautiful country. Thank you for reading! :)

  9. Gaurav
    December 23, 2012

    Very nice pictures and yes wonderful writing too ………… Bhutan has always fascinated me ….. would love to visit once at least ……….. looking forward to your next few days of experiences in Bhutan :)

    • Compass&Camera
      December 23, 2012

      Thank you! Day Three is hopefully coming soon, amidst the holiday hubbub! More stories to tell and photos to share. Thank you for reading! I hope you have the chance to go someday.

  10. Angeline M
    December 23, 2012

    Congrats on being freshly pressed! Great post, as are all of your posts.

  11. Fenya
    December 23, 2012

    Looks great!

  12. wearywanderer64
    December 23, 2012

    Lovely views of what we can expect to see there

  13. katrinamillen
    December 23, 2012

    Amazing pictures!!!!!! I’ve always wanted to go to Bhutan, it seems so beautiful and peaceful, yet full of life. Great Post :)

    • Compass&Camera
      December 23, 2012

      Thank you! I hope you get the chance to go — it definitely is beautiful and peaceful, a world of its own. Days three to six are coming soon. Thank you for reading! :)

  14. Megan
    December 23, 2012

    Thanks for sharing these lovely photos and a detail of your trip. I enjoyed reading this very much.

    • Compass&Camera
      December 23, 2012

      You’re welcome! I’m so glad you enjoyed it. Four more entries about Bhutan coming soon. Thank you for reading!

  15. Anita Mac
    December 23, 2012

    Wow….that Bhudda is impressive! Sounds amazing to see in real life. Thanks for sharing insight into the life in Bhutan….very interesting,

    • Compass&Camera
      December 23, 2012

      Anita,
      Yes, it was amazing! I have four more days to write about, including Tiger’s Nest which was really beautiful. More posts are coming soon! I hope you’ll read. Thanks for stopping by.
      Kelly

  16. myliteraryleanings
    December 23, 2012

    These are great photos. How do you get around word press’ limit on photographs?

    • Compass&Camera
      December 23, 2012

      Thank you! Is there a limit? I guess I’ve been ignoring it! Maybe that’s how? Thanks for reading!

  17. sharonstjoan
    December 23, 2012

    Reblogged this on Voices and Visions.

    • Compass&Camera
      December 23, 2012

      Thank you for reading and reblogging, Sharon! Happy holidays!

  18. jennyyu822
    December 23, 2012

    Reblogged this on jennyxiaoyu and commented:
    I really want to experience it!
    Thanks!

  19. Pingback: Day Two in Bhutan: This is Life « My Blog

  20. Pingback: Day Two in Bhutan: This is Life « Resort & Luxury Real Estate, Co.

  21. Terie Kay
    December 23, 2012
    • Compass&Camera
      December 23, 2012

      Cool! Thank you for reading and re-blogging! Happy Holidays! :)

  22. mycreamsandpotions
    December 23, 2012

    Beautiful photos!

  23. Kate Johnson
    December 23, 2012

    Terrific photos….!!!!!

  24. argud2
    December 24, 2012

    Really awesome experience! I was wondering if people need to line up in order to get visa to enter the country? I think they have tourists limitation?

    • Compass&Camera
      December 25, 2012

      Thank you! Your visa is arranged before you arrive, by the tour company with whom you book your trip. You receive a visa number/form by e-mail. When you arrive at the airport, immigration handles it from there. Pretty easy and organized. Thanks for reading!

      • argud2
        December 26, 2012

        Thanks for answering my question! It helps a lot! Happy Holidays :) Hope you are having fun with your family and friends!

  25. Ally
    December 24, 2012

    I enjoyed reading your post. Fabulous photos too :)

    • Compass&Camera
      December 25, 2012

      Thank you! Great to hear you enjoyed the photos. More to come soon of days three to six.

  26. Experienced Tutors
    December 24, 2012

    This is fantastic.Love both photos and information.

  27. Paundram
    December 24, 2012

    lovely photos n bolg. I have similar experience when I travelled to new zealand. feel free to read n comment http://nareshkjoshi.wordpress.com/2012/12/14/experiences-for-soul/

  28. smbrannan
    December 24, 2012

    Very nicely done. Makes me want to go, even more than I did before.

    • Compass&Camera
      December 25, 2012

      Thank you very much. More to come soon – days three to six. I hope you go someday! Thank you for reading my blog. Happy holidays!

  29. jeritilley
    December 24, 2012

    Great collection of photos there, and also a good commentary. A good read and the photos are just right. Informative!!!

  30. puresketch
    December 24, 2012

    So much fun reading your blog. I was overwhelmed by soooo much information!
    Nice!

    • Compass&Camera
      December 25, 2012

      Thank you! Yes, we really packed a lot into one day – it was exhausting. Thanks for reading! Days three to six coming soon!

  31. Bama
    December 24, 2012

    I’ve seen pictures and read stories of Bhutan. But every new perspective of the country is always interesting. Reading yours makes me dream of visiting the country one day!

  32. Kimbernator
    December 24, 2012

    These are amazing pictures, of what looks like an amazing place! I want to go there! Last summer we went to Hong Kong and spent the day on Lantau Island that has a huge bronze sitting Buddha similar to this. It’s on top of a mountain like this too. Very cool blog! Congrats on being FP’d!!

    • Compass&Camera
      December 25, 2012

      Thank you SO much! I am just overwhelmed with the wonderful support and enthusiasm of my fellow bloggers like you. Thank you for reading and commenting. I hope you get the chance to go to Bhutan. I haven’t seen the sitting Buddha in Hong Kong – thanks for the tip! I’ll try to go.

  33. Corina Lăzărescu
    December 24, 2012

    Awesome! Hello from ROmania

    • Compass&Camera
      December 25, 2012

      Hello Romania! I hope all is well in your part of the world. Thanks for stopping by my part of the world. :)

  34. samantha
    December 24, 2012

    Bhutan the country that invest in the peoples “gross national happiness” instead of it’s “gross national product” :) thank you for sharing

    • Compass&Camera
      December 24, 2012

      Yes, more on that in my next entries, days three to six. There are many things to be happy about in Bhutan. Thanks for reading!

  35. lifealight
    December 24, 2012

    Great photos! Seems like a great place, I must visit! :)

    • Compass&Camera
      December 24, 2012

      Thank you! I hope you make the time to go soon – it’s changing very quickly according to many locals. Thanks again!

  36. agbl
    December 24, 2012

    Wow, I´d like to go there!!

  37. Crazy irish Poet
    December 24, 2012

    Awesome, images and I love your storytelling..how can anyone be the same after such. Journey

    • Compass&Camera
      December 24, 2012

      Thank you! As I departed for Bhutan I had a moment when I thought about how much my mind was going to be changed in the next six days – that I would return with new thoughts and perspectives, which definitely happened. I love that about traveling – you do not return as the same person. Or if you do, you may not have traveled far enough. Thanks for reading my blog!

      • Crazy irish Poet
        December 25, 2012

        True, it’s always worth going that star mile when an adventure is concerned, whether hat is in distance o for someone,,life should never be the same again

  38. Kantilal Doobal
    December 24, 2012

    It wonderful with pictures !

  39. and now that I think about it
    December 24, 2012

    This is amazing! I hope the rest of your journey turns out to be equally inspiring! Beautiful pictures too!

    • Compass&Camera
      December 24, 2012

      Thank you! The rest of the journey was great – days three to six are coming soon! Hope you’ll read along. :) Thanks for stopping by!

  40. amira
    December 24, 2012

    Bhutan is one the most peaceful places I have been to. The most beautiful place indeed. Clean roads, clean air.
    And the joy on the peoples faces is unmatched anywhere else in the world.
    The prayer flags a sight to behold. I can’t help but believe the wind actually does spread the prayers from the flags :)

    • Compass&Camera
      December 24, 2012

      Agreed, quiet and peaceful. Looking forward to writing about our Day Four walk in Pobjikha Valley to see the black necked cranes. It was near silent, just the wind blowing and birds flying. Thanks for reading! More to come soon!

  41. ETrade Supply
    December 24, 2012

    It reminds me of Tibet in China. The clothes, architecture, and temples or worship style…

    • Compass&Camera
      December 24, 2012

      I haven’t been to Tibet, but can’t wait to go. Thanks for reading!

      • ETrade Supply
        December 24, 2012

        Tibet is a great and wonderful place, you won’t miss it

  42. amritaspeaks
    December 25, 2012

    I have been to Bhutan and want to go back there someday. It’s the most beautiful, peaceful and safe country that I have ever seen. your post and pictures are very informative. enjoyed reading.

    • Compass&Camera
      December 27, 2012

      Thanks Amrita! So few people have been there! Great to hear you had a chance to go. I agree – such a beautiful, peaceful country. Thanks for reading – more posts coming soon!

  43. elliotclaire
    December 25, 2012

    Wonderful photos! I’m really curious now what Bhutan will be like up close. Thanks for sharing.

    • Compass&Camera
      December 27, 2012

      Thank you for reading! Days three to six are coming soon, when I have the chance to write amidst all the holiday fun!

  44. Imaginarium of Pau
    December 25, 2012

    These are such great snaps. Nice colors and composition. Looks like you enjoyed the entire trip because it looks like one on photos. :)

    • Compass&Camera
      December 27, 2012

      Thank you! Yes, I really enjoyed the trip. More to come soon!

  45. sania007
    December 25, 2012

    Reblogged this on charmingdiva.

  46. cloudoflace
    December 25, 2012

    Enjoyed reading every bit of your post! & the photographs you take are simply amazing :) makes me want to visit Bhutan one day!

    Best,
    Hiba
    http://www.cloudoflace.com

  47. Emilie Jane
    December 25, 2012

    Beautiful photo’s! Makes me miss the year when i lived abroad in Asia

    • Compass&Camera
      December 27, 2012

      Ah, great that you lived abroad in Asia for a year! What an experience, I’m sure. Where did you live? Thanks for reading!

      • Emilie Jane
        December 27, 2012

        I was an exchange student at the Polytechnic University in Hong Kong. Quite a life-changing experience I must say! Asia is full of so many vibrant and enchanting countries – definitely can’t wait till I can go back! Do you live in Asia currently?

  48. joleenchen
    December 25, 2012

    Wow! Bhutan looks so beautiful! The scenery, the people, the culture-I’m impressed by it all! :)

    • Compass&Camera
      December 27, 2012

      Yes, there is much culture and beauty to experience. Thanks for reading!

  49. Lawyers Perth
    December 25, 2012

    It’s looks very peaceful there…truly amazing…

    Luxury Villas in Seminyak

    • Compass&Camera
      December 27, 2012

      Yes, peaceful indeed. And so quiet in the countryside. Thanks for reading! Days three to six coming soon.

  50. ghummakkad
    December 26, 2012

    Thanks for an amazing journey. Have added Bhutan on the wish-list!

    • Compass&Camera
      December 27, 2012

      Thank you for reading! Bhutan is worthy of wish-list status. Hope you get there someday!

  51. Sony Fugaban
    December 26, 2012

    Just wow!

  52. jazzdhami
    December 26, 2012

    very nice information.

  53. Nice Blog.

  54. Adeline
    December 26, 2012

    Than you for this journey, found new thngs
    Greetings from Romania

    • Compass&Camera
      December 27, 2012

      Hello! Greetings from the US (currently). Thanks for reading!

  55. restlessjo
    December 26, 2012

    Fascinating has to be the right word! Wonderful to be able to travel this beautiful country with you. I need to return to the start of the adventure now.

    • Compass&Camera
      December 27, 2012

      Thank you! Days three to six are coming soon! Hope you’ll continue to read along!

  56. rgadiraju
    December 26, 2012

    very nice.

  57. Jane
    December 26, 2012

    Lovely photos! I’d like to be able to visit one day.

  58. wstedeford
    December 26, 2012

    Thank you for being so descriptive! I plan to get to Bhutan someday but this really helps until then!

    • Compass&Camera
      December 27, 2012

      You’re welcome! There is less info out there about Bhutan than other, more traveled countries. I was hoping to shed some light on what to see and what life is like in Bhutan. Days three to six are coming soon – hope you’ll read long. Thanks!

  59. belasbrightideas
    December 26, 2012

    Wondrous images – thanks for sharing!

  60. royalrohith
    December 26, 2012

    According to some global survey Bhutan is the happiest country in Asia. I can feel that from ur pictures. Amazing pictures.
    Is Taktsang monastery is included in your trip? Looking forward for ur posts

    • Compass&Camera
      December 27, 2012

      Yes, people seem very happy in Bhutan. It’s so quiet and peaceful, too. Yes, we went to Tiger’s Nest (Taktsang) on the last day. It was spectacular. I’ll be posting days three to six soon, with lots more photos. Hope you’ll read along! Thanks!

      • royalrohith
        December 27, 2012

        I am waiting for your posts. I am following your blog now.

  61. mcgeeles
    December 27, 2012

    I feel like I am right there with you. Beautiful!

    • Compass&Camera
      December 27, 2012

      Perfect – that’s the effect I try to create! Thank you for reading. More to come soon!

  62. Marija Perisic
    December 27, 2012

    This is very beautiful… thank you .:)

  63. susanmaedetera
    December 27, 2012

    I had a classmate from Bhutan in the university here in the Philippines and we became best of friends, but i lost contact of him after graduation when he went back to Bhutan…it has been my dream to visit his country and hopefully to meet him again…..nice post! your photos reminded me of my Bhutanist friend….i wonder where he is now……

    • Compass&Camera
      December 27, 2012

      I hope you find him! Maybe through social media you can reconnect. I hope you get a chance to visit Bhutan, too. Good luck with both! Thanks for reading. :)

  64. nessissa
    December 27, 2012

    Nicely written and nice capture too. Have u been to my country Indonesia? I would like to read ur experiences here.

    • Compass&Camera
      December 27, 2012

      Thank you! Yes, I’ve been to Indonesia – Bali, Lombok, Batam, Sulawesi… all wonderful places in a great country! Just search for Bali and Sulawesi on my blog and the entries should be there. Thanks for reading!

  65. happyholistichealth
    December 27, 2012

    What an interesting trip and great pics…they have fired my interest

    • Compass&Camera
      December 31, 2012

      Awesome! Thanks for reading. I just posted Day Three. Happy New Year!

  66. Larva
    December 27, 2012

    Great pics. By the way, did you hang your own prayers flag there?

    • Compass&Camera
      December 31, 2012

      Ah, such a good question and I’m sad to say I did not. However, with the help of a monk I did pick a name for a child at Tiger’s Nest. More on that coming soon! Thanks for reading!

  67. isguardiola
    December 27, 2012

    Great post, great story and a great culture! Thanks for sharing such a beautiful experience.

  68. Red Toenails
    December 28, 2012

    Wonderful.

  69. ingridwood
    December 28, 2012

    Thank you for sharing your adventures. Bhutan sounds like a marvelous place. I’ve never visited but knew a man from Bhutan who attended Indiana University. We have a beautiful world; again: thank you for sharing

    • Compass&Camera
      December 31, 2012

      I couldn’t agree more with your comment about our beautiful world. It’s such fun to share it with others, especially places that not many people have been to or plan to go. Thanks for reading and Happy New Year!

  70. Sprouting an Old Soul
    December 28, 2012

    Love this! Especially the prayer flag photo. Thank you so much for sharing these photos, it’s definitely stirred the travel bug within me!

    • Compass&Camera
      December 31, 2012

      Aha! Mission accomplished to stir the travel bug within! I just posted Day Three. Enjoy, and Happy New Year! Thanks for reading.

  71. jamesroom964x
    December 28, 2012

    Wow, awesome shots. Looks like you had quite the experience there. I’m thinking of visiting this summer, and your pictures make me want to go even more!

    • Compass&Camera
      December 31, 2012

      Thank you! I hope you go! It’s a special place. Happy New Year!

  72. roniel
    December 28, 2012

    really nice! makes me want to go there right away! It’s always been on my list to visit but always gets pushed back…

  73. sil86as2
    December 28, 2012

    Reblogged this on gottopickapocketortwo and commented:
    Great post with photography about Bhutan a country that measures it’s success by the level of happiness of its inhabitants.

  74. mindfulacting
    December 29, 2012

    Brilliant post! Your pictures are beautiful. I spent two weeks in Nepal in October and had an amazing time there. Bhutan sounds wonderful too. I’ve added it to my list of places to see.

    • Compass&Camera
      December 31, 2012

      Thanks so much! I just posted Day Three – hope you enjoy. Nepal is such a great place. Great to hear you enjoyed it. Thanks for reading and Happy New Year!

  75. cocobeam
    December 29, 2012

    love the photos

  76. artijalan
    December 29, 2012

    Wow! These are amazing photos. Looks like you had an amazing time :) Love the stamp idea! I’m off to South East Asia soon and am inspired!

    • Compass&Camera
      December 31, 2012

      Thank you! Have fun in SE Asia! So much to explore – endless! Thanks for reading and Happy New Year!

  77. vickyinglis
    December 29, 2012

    What a fantastic trip, and such beautiful photographs. I look forward to hearing more about your adventures.

    • Compass&Camera
      December 31, 2012

      Thank you! I just posted Day Three. Enjoy, and Happy New Year!

  78. sanskritchantsnprayers
    December 29, 2012

    great pictures. Nice article. Feels like I am there

  79. nutsfortreasure
    December 29, 2012

    Reblogged this on Living and Lovin.

  80. fabsforns
    December 29, 2012

    Reblogged this on CasaForns Blog and commented:
    Magnificent images and great read.

  81. coffeediva
    December 29, 2012

    These are some awesome photos! I especially loved the story and pics about the paper factory. Very interesting. Thank you for sharing these and have a Happy New Year!

    • Compass&Camera
      December 31, 2012

      Thanks so much! Agreed – the light at the paper factory was amazing, made for great photos. Day three will be up within the hour. Happy New Year to you, too! :)

  82. thinker007
    December 29, 2012

    Wow! This must have been such a spiritual, holistic experience. Kudos to you for the cool blog

  83. divya2suhani
    December 29, 2012

    Amazing article and the beautiful pics validate your experiences.

  84. OyiaBrown
    December 30, 2012

    Reblogged this on Oyia Brown.

  85. OyiaBrown
    December 30, 2012

    Wonderful article. Thanks.

  86. ailsapm
    December 30, 2012

    Wonderful post, Kelly, and fabulous photos too. I’d love you to join in the weekly travel themes on http://wheresmybackpack.com sometime. Happy travels!

    • Compass&Camera
      December 31, 2012

      Thank you! Thanks for the invitation to join the weekly travel themes. I’d love to! I’ll check it out. Happy New Year!

  87. Great shots, love the name of your blog too…happy travels to you~

    • Compass&Camera
      December 31, 2012

      Thank you, Bryan! :) Day three will be posted later today. Happy New Year!

  88. Felicity
    December 30, 2012

    Amazing, what an awesome trip that must have been! Being around all that rich culture and lovely sights to see! :D

    ~Felicity

  89. John Carswell
    December 30, 2012

    Love your blog! My wife and I were in Bhutan in October and loved the experience much as you describe it. No wonder that Michael J Fox goes there and his shaking from Parkinsons stops! A magic place that we will definitely return to. Thanks again.

    • Compass&Camera
      December 31, 2012

      Thanks John! Wonderful to hear you enjoyed Bhutan as well – it IS magical. I didn’t know that about MJF! Day three will be posted later today. Thanks so much for reading my blog. Happy New Year!

      • John Carswell
        December 31, 2012

        It sounds like our guide was just like yours – his name was Tendin and he worked for Yangphil. Have you seen the Wickipedia entry on Bhutan? It is horrible and needs someone with your skills to get it fixed. I tried but failed – it has statements like Gross National Happiness is a ploy of the government to subjugate minorities. Can’t wait to read the rest of your trip. Happy New Year!

      • Compass&Camera
        December 31, 2012

        Thanks John! Awesome that you’ve been to Bhutan! My adventures of day three will be up within the hour. Haven’t read the Wikipedia page – too bad about the false info. Hope you have a happy new year, too! Thanks again!

  90. shil
    December 30, 2012

    Beautiful pictures and beautiful country !!

  91. Joe V. Sinisi
    December 30, 2012

    Finn is the best guide is Bhutan. We use his exemplary services every time we send travelers to the land of the Thunder Dragon. Accesschinatours.com

    • Compass&Camera
      December 31, 2012

      Yes! He’s wonderful! I can’t say enough great things about him. Thanks for reading. Happy New Year!

  92. Lex Bonife
    December 30, 2012

    Great stuff you have here. I’m happy to stumble into it.

    • Compass&Camera
      December 31, 2012

      Thanks you Lex! Great to hear that! Day three in Bhutan will be posted later today. Happy New Year!

  93. SAKEE
    December 30, 2012

    great post. I love to travel and I also have my camera with me :) keep writing and visit my blog sometimes!

    • Compass&Camera
      December 31, 2012

      Thanks for reading! I’ll visit your blog – what’s the name and URL?

  94. BagspackedI'moff
    December 31, 2012

    Great post. Bhutan is a fantastic country. I had the good fortune to visit it a couple of years ago. The archery is not to be missed especially the dancing and singing after someone makes a good shot. When we were there they were also singing, dancing and shouting to put the opposite team off! To me it wasn’t only a sport, which is taken very seriously, but also a great social occassion. I look forward to more posts about your trip.

    • Compass&Camera
      December 31, 2012

      Thank you! I couldn’t agree more! Bhutan is great and the archery was such an unexpected highlight. I would love to go back and see more. Thanks for reading! Day three will be up later today. Happy New Year!

  95. jersey
    December 31, 2012

    My brother suggested I may like this blog. He was totally right.
    This submit truly made my day. You cann’t consider just how much time I had spent for this information! Thank you!

  96. haroldfeddersen
    December 31, 2012

    I love the photos and write up of the giant Buddha. How amazing to see it in person. Congratulations on creating this experience for yourself. Happy 2013.

    • Compass&Camera
      January 1, 2013

      Thank you! That’s very insightful what you say – “creating this experience for yourself”. That’s really the key – we can all create the life experience we want to have. Thanks for reading, and Happy New Year to you, too!

  97. Madhu
    January 1, 2013

    Stunning images and a fabulous report! Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed :-)

    • Compass&Camera
      January 1, 2013

      Thank you! Christmas came early this year with FP! Thanks for reading.

  98. the prophet
    January 1, 2013

    The West has much to learn

  99. Moonstone Love
    January 5, 2013

    Wow…awesome shots!

  100. Pingback: Picture the World : Madeira « restlessjo

    • Compass&Camera
      January 11, 2013

      Hey Restless Jo! Thanks for nominating me to provide a photo of Bhutan for the Picture the World Project! So hard to choose just one, but I’ll gladly send one over. Your photos of Madeira are beautiful, btw. Thanks for reading my blog! ~Kelly

  101. restlessjo
    January 8, 2013

    I gather life is frantic right now, but when it settles, would you look at doing a photo of Bhutan for the Picture the World project? The link is here http://restlessjo.wordpress.com/2013/01/07/picture-the-world-madeira/
    I must apologise for my formatting advance. Something went amiss and I seem unable to change it.

  102. designmixer
    January 11, 2013

    Just great! Thanks for sharing your great experience in Bhutan. It is one of the countries I want to visit the most. So much curious about their daily life and culture!

    • Compass&Camera
      January 11, 2013

      Thank you! I hope you get the chance to go there someday!

  103. sombhandari
    January 12, 2013

    It is great to learn that you had enjoyed traveling Bhutan, its landscape, culture, and people. Yes, it is one of the safe and protected country. Life is still very traditional which I like very much. Fortunately or unfortunately, I am struggling at the other side of the world and can’t go there even though it is my birth place. Perhaps, one day, the door will be open for me to get there. It was interesting to go through your blog. Have a wonderful trip there.

    • Compass&Camera
      January 14, 2013

      Thank you so much for your message. I wish for you that your struggle ends soon and you can return to Bhutan when you are ready. You are blessed to come from such a beautiful country. Thanks again!

      • Som
        January 14, 2013

        Would you mind capturing and sending me the stunning pictures of lofty southern foothills, too? Will the Bhutan government allow you to travel towards Southern Bhutan? If you can, I would like to have photographs of some of the exotic pictures of Southern Bhutan where Bhutanese people of Nepali origin are likely to been seen observing their festivals, herding their cattle, farming and cultivating rice, maize, wheat, buckwheat, barley, and many other varieties of food-crops and cash-crops in their sloppy and fertile farmlands. I would like to recollect the images and memories of the days when I was there before I had to leave it overnight empty-handed in 1992.

      • Compass&Camera
        January 17, 2013

        Sorry Som, I didn’t get to visit the southern region of Bhutan so I don’t have any photos. Sorry to hear you had to leave so suddenly. I hope you’re doing well wherever you are now.

  104. KMS Molding Paste
    January 15, 2013

    Nice post.

  105. iyliayazmin
    January 17, 2013

    Those are some wicked photos and experiences! Makes me miss Nepal more than ever, and super determined to visit Bhutan now!
    Wonderful job, will be reading your other posts and looking forward to new ones!

    Cheers!

    • Compass&Camera
      January 18, 2013

      Wow, thank you so much! Where did you go in Nepal? That’s easily one of my favorite countries I’ve been to. Bhutan is similar in some ways, very different in others. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it whenever you go. Thanks for reading! Enjoy the weekend. More on Bhutan coming soon!

  106. Tibet Travel Package
    January 22, 2013

    When I initially left a comment I appear to have
    clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and
    from now on each time a comment is added I receive four emails
    with the exact same comment. There has to be an easy method
    you are able to remove me from that service? Appreciate it!

    • Compass&Camera
      January 29, 2013

      Hmm, I don’t think I have control over that since that’s an option you clicked on. It may be easiest to un-follow me completely and then re-follow me again (please!). Good luck! Thx.

  107. toemailer
    January 22, 2013

    We would love to post the picture of the woman brushing the paper at toemail if you do not mind? http://toemail.wordpress.com

    • Compass&Camera
      January 29, 2013

      Hi Toemailer! Thank you for asking, but I really prefer to keep my content on my own blog if possible. I hope you understand. Thank you for reading!

  108. Pingback: Day One in Bhutan: Surprise, Surprise | Compass & Camera

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This entry was posted on December 18, 2012 by in Beauty, Experience, Photography, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , .

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