Let me start by saying there are dogs everywhere! In Punakha, in Thimphu, in the country as a whole. It is illegal to euthanize dogs in Bhutan so there are just thousands of them running free and barking all night long (bring earplugs!). It really seems like it is also illegal to spay and neuter as there are so many puppies as well. Where’s Bob Barker when you need him?
In other news, we made our way to Punakha today. We stopped at the beautiful Dochula Pass, where, if you are lucky, you can see the Himalayas. Well, I was lucky! I took in the mountainous views, strolled around the 108 stupas, and drank tea. I have never been offered so much tea in my life, and I just can’t say no! The weather turned quite brisk at such a high overpass. I broke out some of the winter wear I had been lugging along.
The first stop in Punakha was a short hike to the fertility temple. Consequently, the whole town was decorated with penis art. It reminded me of a scene out of Superbad. I was very mature and only took a few photos instead of posing with human sized statues like some other tourists ?. The locals also believe receiving a blessing at the fertility temple will, well, make you fertile. And part of the blessing, according to the photos, is being tapped on the head by a giant schlong. Whatever works I guess.
Dzong (ok, just one dzong, but there are loads in Bhutan)
Next we visited a beautiful dzong (fortress), followed by the longest suspension bridge in the country, and then went on another, longer hike up to a temple with a stunning view of Punakha valley.
The views from both Dochula Pass and over Punakha Valley were incredible. My time in Punakha was my favorite day in Bhutan so far.
The hotel room was also pretty swanky, situated up on a hill with an incredible view. I unfortunately only spent one night in Punakha before moving onward to Paro the next day.