Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Land of the Thunder Dragon. Land of Studio Ghibli.

Bhutan. Its like stepping back in time as well as going half a world away, but with a kind of modern outlook and modern day appreciation of old traditions. Most of the country is national park, there is a great respect for natural resources and the traditional way of life. It is so picturesque, if anywhere in the world was like walking into a Studio Ghibli movie, visiting Bhutan is. I half expect the racoons (of which i've seen none) to talk and Laputa to appear in the sky. The fields of rice are yellow like The Golden fields of Nausicaa, and the clouds roll in over the mountains and the mist covers the prayer flags in the morning. I've never been anywhere like it. So peaceful and... happy.
YET Heavy metal still lives! Our tour guide Thimley loves Metallica and i saw a kid in a Cradle of Filth t-shirt today. I threw him the horns from our bus.
We're now in Thimphu, 2 hour drive from Paro. Along the drive the landscape is just so majestic and beautiful, buildings like the bath house in Spirited Away, but all in White and red, sometimes with gold on the roofs. The people are so smiley, although i think slightly bewildered, and maybe even nonchalant about tourists now and again. The Bhutanese policy towards tourists is low number, high value.
Talking of value, i bought my "national dress" (which everyone has to wear in Bhutan to work or school or they get thrown out the building, but it does actually seem to be the preferred dress of most people anyway). It set me back $85 for the skirt, jacket and belt. But we bought it from the place where the skirts were being weaved, and i wanted to dress for the Tsechu tomorrow. Some of those skirts take 4 months to weave so i can't say that my plain one was bad value.
High value. Low number.
The weather is alpine, beautiful sun, refreshing rain, and everything is so green. I tried momo's today ( think that's how they're spelt) - Cheese dumplings! Yum!
Talking of food, its nearly 7pm here and i'm really hungry - so i'm gonna go eat. Food prediction: Rice, chillis, Vegtables.


  1. Hi! I'm following your blog which I found via Twitter!
    Can you give more info about where you bought your outfit for $85? I'm going to a festival in Ura in November and I'd like to wear a kira!

  2. I got it at Gagyel Lhundrup Weaving Centre in Changzamtok, Thimphu, Bhutan i can give you the email if you need it.