The guide says that this short hike up from Sangaygang (BBS Tower) to Wangditse Goemba, a monastery up on the hill is a good warm-up for the Tiger Nest hike. It is a good way to get ourselves acclimatize to the higher altitudes.Although it is just a 2-hour short hike up and down, it is still rather exhausting due to the steep and uncut slopes. You tend to get breathless easily due to the higher altitudes as you climb up. After climbing up for the slope for 5 minutes, I was already breathing hard.
Nonetheless, you could always take a rest throughout the hike to catch your breath since it is, after all, a private tour. But at the back of my head, I kept telling myself I had to finish this hike quickly so that I could take a rest. It must have been this thought that gives me the willpower to continue without taking many breaks in between.The view up here is amazing with all the colorful prayer flags strung up together and flapping against the strong wind.As you head up the hill, the view gets even more picturesque. It was worthy to stop for photos as you look down the valley from above.That was also the moment I realized that it is somewhat difficult to establish cities on such mountainous terrains yet Bhutan somehow knew how to work with nature and develop well-connected cities and towns. It is only in the valleys that life springs forth.
Once we reached Wangditse Goemba, the monastery uphill, we took a pit stop. I did not take many photos at a monastery as I was told that I was not allowed to take photos of the monastery. It is actually still under construction. Thus, there is not much stuff to do up there except to enjoy the scenic view from the hilltop.
Since the animals took the same route as humans, expect to see animal droppings on the path. So do look carefully as to what you are threading on as you hike!After 2 hours and 30 minutes of hiking, we made our way back to Sangaygang (BBS Tower) and went to a nearby temple called Chagangkha Lhakhang. It is the oldest temple in Thimphu which was built in the 12th century.Photography is usually not allowed into temples, and you will have to be dressed in a proper manner (with knees and shoulders covered) to enter religious grounds. You would also need to take off your shoes before you enter the inner sanctum.
It was quite an interesting sight as we walked into the sanctum where the monks clad in red robes were sitting on the floor, chanting the mantras written on ancient scrolls which looked like they were a thousand years old.The locals visit this temple to request auspicious names for their newborn from the resident monks and to seek blessings from the protector deity called Tamdrin.The National Institute of Zorig Chosum is known as the painting school or the school of thirteen arts where students learn the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan. This includes crafts like wood carving, embroidery, statue-making and painting in general.After the rain stopped, we left the postal office for Buddha Point at Kuenselphodrang Nature Park. The sky was still looking gloomy, but at least, the rain has stopped. But we could still hear the thunder rumbling in the skies.What you see in this picture above is the bronze statue of Buddha Dordenma which stood at 169 feet tall.
According to the guide, the Buddha point will be an important pilgrimage site for all Buddhists from all parts of the world. However, some parts of the temple are still under construction. So, the site is not fully ready yet to welcome the pilgrims.Before the sky turns dark, I decided to take a walk in Thimphu Town. I had my guide to accompany me as I walked along the streets. Some of the shops sell modern clothes and sportswear. There were a few souvenir shops and minimarts as well.Don’t forget to catch the sight of Bhutan’s only human traffic light at Thimphu town too. This traffic light man happened to be changing shifts.