While on a recent photographer’s cross-country tour of Bhutan, my wife and I were enjoying the early morning panoramic view of the Tang valley, just after erecting our personal prayer flags. This was a magical place for us, and we had come to experience the unique culture without any expectations of seeing much wildlife.
Bhutan is “the Land of the Thunder Dragon,” called Druk Yul, and it is happiness rather than gross profit that is measured and reported by the Government! The landing in Paro can be challenging, but the experienced pilots of Drukair will slide you into the green valley with no problem. The air and light are crisp and I feel so free as I come out of the plane… only to smile and be happier to see that all the men are wearing wrap dresses! The photos of the young King and his recent bride are everywhere, and they truly are the most beautiful young couple!
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In what should inject some rupees into the local economy, upwards of 3,000 high-end Indian tourists will be visiting Bhutan between May and July, as part of the Druk Air’s marketing collaboration with two online Indian tour companies.
Kangpara gewog in Trashigang is seeing a decline in its traditional bamboo-craft (tsazo) practice, with craftsmen finding better economic opportunities elsewhere or in other line of work. Villages of Madewa, Pasaphu, Pedung practise bamboo-craft, and weave products like bangchung, pen case, tsezem (cane backpack), hand bag, belo (cane hat) and pey palang (incense case).
But this tradition has been on the decline since last year. “My father would transport the bamboo products to Thimphu twice a year but, since last year, he stopped,” a bamboo craftsman in Pedung, Kinzang Tshering, said. “The income is meagre.”
Jerome Oregan and Alison Dyer is a couple from South Africa. This is the first time they are visiting Bhutan. They sit near the Taa Dzong (which houses the Museum of Monarchy) in Trongsa and watch birds before they begin their tour of the Museum. Jerome and Alison are here for few days. Like them there are many tourists visiting the museum ever since it was started in 2008. It has become one of the popular tourist destinations in Trongsa.