The Statues of Lord Buddha overlook the town of Tawang. The little Chortan you see here tells the story of the life of the Buddha in beautifully illustrated panels, on your way up to the massive golden statue you see in the background.
But Tawang has a certain charm that you might not find in most places across the country, with its old village feel, small wooden houses, and tiny roadside eateries that sell momos and chow-chow. Most of the roadside eateries call themselves ‘Hotels’ giving it a grand feel.
Walking around the main market you see little children on their way to school, older women in more traditional clothing going about their business, and the locals opening up their shops and restaurants. There are shops and halls that advertise snooker tables, which seems to be a favourite pastime for the young men around. One interesting sight that hits you immediately, is that each village or town we have passed by or stopped at has an inordinately large number of liquor stores, sometimes more than any other type of store.
While we got many explanations for this phenomenon, none seemed satisfying and we were content to remain slightly stupefied. One supposes that in this bitter cold, a little bit of alcohol goes a long way in warming the insides.
The day here begins at about 7am, with the sun coming up by 5am, and ends at 8pm. By 6.30pm you find the mist has rolled in and it is difficult to get around without a torch, and if you are hungry after 8pm, the options are severely limited. We highly recommend the Tak Restaurant, run by the quiet but informative Dorji, who is happy to whip up a mean beef thain-thuk, a hot soup made with beef stock, small pieces of pasta and vegetables, guaranteed to not only fill your stomach but warm you up from the soul.