Hike up to Bhutan’s oldest nunnery Kila Goempa
A monastery built on a cliff is very unusual. This temple is also called the “Nunnery of the White House”.
A new layer of snow was added to our hike. We hiked through the forest, but we were surprised by the amount of snow. We emerged from the trees below Kilo Gomepa and saw the compound of meditation cells and residences built high above.
The nuns’ monastery is located on top of a mountain. It is believed that the temple and monastery were built in the 17th Century. The nuns live there, and some of them do a three year, three month, three week silent and solitary meditation.
Bonus: This is a good acclimatization trek. It also exercises some gear if you plan to go on the Druk Path Trek (link).
Immerse yourself in Bhutan’s mountains on the Druk Path Trek
This trip was an amazing experience! We got to see some amazing sights and meet some incredible people. I loved hiking in the mountains, seeing the different types of plants and wildlife, and learning about Buddhism.
Get your fill of Bhutanese food especially ema datshi chili and cheese
Bhutanese cuisine is delicious, nutritious, and distinctive. It’s influenced by neighboring countries India, China, and Nepal. Vegetarian meals are common, and there’s always plenty of meaty dishes.
Vegetables are the main part of meals in Bhutan. Meat is imported from India. Killing animals is illegal there for religious reasons.
Admire traditional Bhutanese archery at a local competition
Archery is the national sport of this country. It’s much more difficult than you think. You’ll see some amazing skills during your stay.
Archery competitions are held every year in Bhutan. There are many teams who compete in them. Each team consists of two people. They practice hard to get better at archery. They shoot arrows at targets. Sometimes, the arrows miss the target. But sometimes, they hit the target. And then, there is a dance and singing. After the dance and singing, everyone goes back to their normal lives.
Try to count the statues inside the giant golden Buddha Dordenma
This Buddha is huge! It’s so big, you can see the people who made it. There are about 100,000 smaller Buddhas around it. You can also see the people who made them.
There are many shrines and a large meditative area inside the palace. Photos of the Bhutanese royalty show the succession of kings and Queens over the centuries. A detailed tour of the palace will explain the role of and relationship of the royal family to Buddhism, the country’s main religion by law.
Take in the rituals and living history at Bhutan’s Temples
All of Bhutan’s temples are active. Monks, nuns, and devotee are present. There are no museums or static places. Visitors are guests and respect the locals.
A Buddhist monk carries out a fruit offering. He offers this fruit bowl to bless the people around him. This fruit bowl is used to feed and support monks studying at the attached monasteries. These young monks often come from poor families, and rely on the monastery to help them study and grow up.