Ko Samui (II) Rainy

Monday, 29-OCT

There are apparently contradicting information about the end of the raining season. Or somebody forgot to inform the weather. Whatever the problem was: It rained. More or less intensive basically all day. After some back and forth we decided to rent a car to get around the island. While I would originally have preferred a smaller sedan car just because driving in a foreign country with left-sided traffic is enough of a change, the agent as well as the owner of Utopia strongly suggested to take an off-roader. Lucky we listened to them…we needed it, despite not getting off any road. Continue reading Ko Samui (II) Rainy

Bangkok (II) Even More to See

Friday, 26-OCT

We had a lot of sightseeing options in mind. Not too many for a day…but we really only saw just one of them. Just because we walked, and found markets or photo objects, and more markets. And something to eat. But then no ferry, but a king’s barge…naja…things like that, which just happen.

We set out from our hotel towards the Amulet Market. Not anything I would choose, but in the end I was quite delighted by just strolling though the narrow ways, though I didn’t fancy checking out any of the millions of amulets there. Some locals actually bring magnifiers to study the details. And apparently there are series of magazines covering amulets. Must be a big business for some… Continue reading Bangkok (II) Even More to See

Bangkok (I) So Many Sights to See

“One Night in Bangkok…”, and another one, and two more, until our small group of four was complete. With Rafael I had spent two easy days drinking coffee, eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner, drinking more coffee, and finishing up my Bhutan articles. Only very few sightseeing involved. With Petra arriving on Thursday we intensified sightseeing, and kept going with the coffee, breakfast, lunch, and dinner 😉 Zhang Bing was the last one to arrive in the early morning of the day we had chosen to leave Bangkok for Ko Samui. Continue reading Bangkok (I) So Many Sights to See

Thimphu, Bhutan’s Capital

Thimphu, Bhutan’s huge capital: Less than 100.000 inhabitants, said to be the world’s only capital without a single traffic light. There once was one for some time, but it got removed again aftr complains it would be ‘unpersonal’. The traffic police is in place again every day to regulate the dense traffic around Thimphu’s central roundabout. Continue reading Thimphu, Bhutan’s Capital

Druk Path Trek (II) High Mountain Cuisine

Day 4, Thursday 18-OCT, Jimilang Tsho -> Simkotra Tsho (4110m) (cont.)

DP_20071018_103148.jpg: A small make-shift altar at the Jimilang Lake. Ratnar had brought three butter lamps specifically to be placed here. He had lighted them earlier before we started walking. But unfortunately they had been blewn out by the wind when we now passed by. See them burning here again after being lighted once more. They must have continued to burn for the next three days: Everything was perfect now, weather, food, health, trek… Continue reading Druk Path Trek (II) High Mountain Cuisine

Druk Path Trek (I) Only One Survives

Trekking was the part of the Bhutan trip I was looking most forward to. The cultural part reliably proved to be highly influenced by Bhuddism and is in its essence not so much different from Tibet. But in Lhasa I barely left the city proper. Here now I was supposed to walk six days, five nights, over and through Buthan’s mountains at the south-eastern edge of the Himalaya Mountains. Continue reading Druk Path Trek (I) Only One Survives

Paro (II) Taktshang Goemba

Taktshang Goembe, “Tiger’s Nest”, is the most famous and spectacular monastery of Bhutan as it is attached to sheer rock 900m above valley ground. It is the place where Guru Rinpoche flew “on the back of a tigress, a manifestation of his consort Yeshe Tsogyal, to subdue the local demon, Singey Samdrup.” (Lonely Planet) Guru Rinpoche then seem to have liked the tranquility of the place and meditated right there in a cave in the rocks for three months. Continue reading Paro (II) Taktshang Goemba

Paro (I) Entering Bhutan: Temples and Landscape

Getting up early, 3am, for a flight at 5:50 to Bhutan. Where is Bhutan?, you might ask. That’s fair. The immigration officer at Bangkok airport ask me the same thing: “Where is Paro?” (the city stated on my boarding pass) “In Bhutan.” – “Bhutan?…Is that between India and China?” – “Yes, right there, in the Himalayans” – “Oh!”

You should expect that Bangkok immigration officers have to do with Bhutan more often. Druk Air, the Royal Bhutan Airways, doesn’t fly from many places. Bangkok is one of them. But the lady was just curious. Continue reading Paro (I) Entering Bhutan: Temples and Landscape