In Punakha, we spent one night in Zangto Pelri Hotel which is nestled amidst lush sub-tropical garden of pine trees.
The building looks really impressive for a guesthouse. Traditional architecture remains alive in Bhutan. As recently as 1998, by royal decree, all buildings must be constructed with multi-coloured wood frontages, small arched windows, and sloping roofs.
While relaxing in the hotel garden, we craved for some nuts to go with our favourite Druk11000 beer. For days, we had not seen any nuts anywhere. The waiter was clueless, so I went to front desk. After a flurry of phone calls and much waiting, she asked, "Cashew ok?"
A plate of freshly fried cashew nuts arrived some 15 minutes later. Nobody knew how much we should pay either. We were probably the first to order a plate of nuts in Bhutan!
According to Phuntshok, even peanuts are considered a luxury in Bhutan. When we return in future, we'll bring lots of nuts.
The next morning, we loaded up the car and hit the road again.
It was back to the single highway that is 1.5 lanes wide with up to 12 bends per kilometre. The 143km journey from Punakha to Paro took almost 5 hours.
We avoided the major road blocks, except for a short one which gave us the opportunity to wander around to take in the views and savour wild strawberries.
Finally, we arrived in Paro, just in time for lunch. I survived the trip without throwing up which was worth celebrating!
Lunch at Buddha Restaurant was delicious, with views of snow-capped mountains to boot. Marijuana grows wild along the road. They are used as fodder for the pigs.
Paro town is one of the most beautiful towns in Bhutan. If you have no desire to travel across the country to see the sights, you'll be happy staying in Paro, which is home to many monasteries and temples.
Even the small shopping district is so quaint and charming. It reminds me of the wild wild west.
|Typical shop in Paro.|
|Brioche sells really good cakes.|