Bhutan Day 2: From Tango to Tashichho
Updated: Jun 8, 2019
The glorious morning sun had greeted Thimphu valley, illuminating the traditional Bhutanese architecture and vapourising the morning fog as it continued to awaken the sleepy capital. (Above: mesmerising view from our room in Hotel Osel.)
Glancing at the mountains, we were quite anxious about our day ahead. Not because there was going to be any surprise or that we were going to meet His Majesty (which we were still hoping for).
We were anxious simply because our kind tour guide, Mr. Jigme had told us the night before that we'll need to climb more than an hour to reach our first destination today. And according to him, this was considered "easy".
1.5 hours of uphill trekking may sound like child's play to many. But to us, it was a tall order. The last time I ran 2.4 km was 24 years ago. I was an artist during National Service and didn't have to run a kilometre. I had no reservist, no IPPT. I have been driving for years and had rarely needed to walk more than 10 mins to anywhere in this well-connected lion city.
To make things worse, we don't exercise.
After a hearty breakfast to ensure that our energy levels were at their fullest, we hopped onto our vehicle for an hour's drive to Tango Monastery. Along the way, we made a brief stop at a hairpin turn where we got our first photo-op with Guru Rinpoche.
After another 15 mins of bumpy car ride, we reached the foot of Tango Monastery to get ready for our first hill climb in Bhutan. To our pleasant surprise, our driver Mr. Sangye pulled out 4 wooden walking sticks from the boot. They came in really handy in balancing our footsteps along the uneven tracks and sometimes steep gradient.
The total ascend from the car park to the Monastery is approximately 280m in altitude difference. So theoretically, it took us 19 secs to conquer every 1m vertically. That may sound sloth-like but to be fair, we made several rest and photo stops as usual. And not forgetting the altitude to start with.
The Tango Monastery was extremely peaceful and indeed, like what a monastery should be, celestial and clandestine. Incidentally, there were ongoing repair works and those timber scaffolds and skip bin didn't do justice to the beautiful entrance.
Walked past several houses perched precariously on the rocky cliff on our descend. We really wonder why did Bhutanese in the past loved building on vertical surfaces so much.
From soaring the monastery of Tango to strolling the grounds of Tashichho, it was no doubt a tiring day for us but definitely a happy and rewarding one! Thanks to our cheerful guide, Mr. Jigme.