Journey to the last Shangrila, Bhutan - Day 3 (Punakha - Thimphu)

Punakha - Thimphu

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We were supposed to move on to Wangdue, visit Black Crane Information Centre and spent a night at one of the farm house in Gangtey. However, my tour guide told me that black crane had left Bhutan (they only fly to Bhutan from early November to end March), Gangtey Goempa is probably the only attraction there and there were 3 road blocks between Punakha and Gangtey. If we insisted to Gangtey, we would need to wake up very early the next day and spent most of our time on the road coming back to Thimphu. In the end we decided to give up Gangtey and give up farm house stay which was one of the highlight in this trip.

Since we not going to Gangtey anymore, we had plenty of time to explore Punakha.

Punakha Dzong

It was built in 1637 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. It is located at the junction of Pho Chu (male) and Mo Chu (female) rivers. Punakha was capital of Bhutan until 1955.

Giant prayer wheel right at the entrance.

Punakha Dzong is a religious and teaching center, many young monks are staying here for training.

Pho Chu suspension bridge

This 160m long bridge is known for the longest suspension bridge in Bhutan. From here you can see the spectacular view of Punakha Dzong and Pho Chu river.

We walked around 100m from Punakha Dzong car park to this suspension bridge. It's very scenic along the way especially in this beautiful blue sky sunny day.

We had lunch at Punakha, the Divine Madman temple village, before we moved on to Thimphu. It was a very bad ride and made me really sick. We stopped at Dochula Pass for a break after 2 hours drive.

I was attracted by these colorful prayer flags, they are on a hill which is just opposite Dochula Pass.

Check point. Visitors' tour guides need to stop here and handover some paper to this check point.

We did not go out after we reached hotel at 7pm. The bumpy road really made me very sick and we had another day in Thimphu the next day also so we still had some time to explore Thimphu.

Since the change of plan was decided last minute, booking of accommodation can be difficult. However our tour guide did a very good job and managed to get us a good hotel in Thimphu, Hotel Kisa. Read the review here.

Interested to visit Bhutan? Read my post here - How to plan your Bhutan trip? Click here to read day 1day 2day 3day 4day 5day 6 report

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