When I first arrived in Bhutan to work for the Centre for Bhutanese Studies (CBS), they couldn’t find me any accommodation. In the meantime, they suggested the Thimphu Hotel, a cheap, loud and cheerful place that looked down on the only traffic island in the entire kingdom, from where I could see the dancing traffic cop in his painted box being completely ignored by everyone.
Integral to Himalayan Buddhist belief, intricate mandala serve as a kind of map to the metaphysical universe, and monks have been creating these ephemeral "sand mandalas” for centuries. Not only are they astounding works of art, but they're also a kind of spiritual performance.
It has not been long since we decided to come in terms with our age and agreed to do short hikes on a Sunday. In May 2018, after executing several hikes in and around Thimphu, my friends and I, we set out to execute the two day hike to Bumdra in Paro, Bhutan. Here are some pictures I took from the trek.
His Majesty the King of Bhutan trekked across Lunana from the 1st to 11th of July 2018, visiting villages and meeting with the people of the most inaccessible parts of the country. All photographs in this album are by His Majesty and was shared by His Majesty's Facebook Page on the 16th July 2018.
The game of archery is not exactly a sport that draws frenzied supporters out for a kill. There are no die-hard fans and no follow-the-team-to-kingdom-come fanatics. And no streaking hooligans. If anyone is all pumped up, it is the archers themselves.
Sprinting the Snowman trek in Bhutan the toughest trail in the world at a record-breaking time of 15 days and nine-hours that typically takes 25 to 30 days, a team of four ultra-marathoners sets a record.
It looks like the bellybutton holds the body together. And it looks like the ant that is lost is on a journey to find itself. I’m waiting for the birth of my second child – sixteen years hence after the first – and I’ve no clue what I’m waiting for...
We all enjoy the good night hunting jokes, but know this, morons, that concealed within the funny tales of night hunting are the victims of rape, teenage pregnancy, bastards, single mothers and destroyed dreams. Laugh on now, jerks.
Three of the treks were characterised by driving rain, calf-deep mud, thigh-deep water, swept-away bridges, and overgrown trails, crawling up slippery slopes on hands and knees and lots of bloodsucking leeches.
To my lament on a Facebook post on the widespread practice of cutting down of straight, tall trees for prayer flags, I got a few customary likes from close friends but one comment struck a discordant note.
Attending my hometown festival for the first time I was exploring the stalls for hoentay, tongba and rainbow trout delicacies, and there was no way a piece of rope woven from yak hair could draw my attention.