Thursday, June 8, 2017

Bhutan - Third Gallery Is Available

The Butter Lamp Cleaner

Another gallery of our recent tour across Bhutan is now available for viewing.

This gallery of 20 photographs is from May 9th, the 12th day of our tour.

The photographs are from the eastern city of Mongar situated at 1600 meters elevation (5,249 feet).

Much of our day was spent at a wonderful temple named Kadam Gompa which serves as an elderly daycare center.  Many elderly people spend the day there worshiping and socializing along with being fed lunch while their children are working.  On the day that we were there, there was a special day long ritual going on for a special annual Buddhist holy day.

Duang and I spent most of the morning in the temple observing the special Mahayana ritual - Monks chanting, drums beating, horns blaring, incense burning ...  Because of the holiness of the temple and ritual, we were not allowed to take photographs but we were fed tea and bread along with the Monks that were all around us - a very special memory for us.  We returned in the afternoon.  Duang spent the afternoon in the temple worshiping while I spent the afternoon photographing outside of the temple and going to a primary school variety show.

Exiting the Temple - Watch Out for all those shoes!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Bhutan - Second Gallery is Available - Brokpa Cultural Program

Brokpa Dancer Performing a Cham, a Ritual Dance

The second gallery, 41 photographs, from our recent tour across Bhutan is now available for viewing on my personal photography site.

The gallery covers the 14th day of our tour, a very special day.  We had reached the eastern most location of our journey across Bhutan.  We attended a cultural exchange program sponsored by our tour company.  A group of Brokpa people, semi-nomadic people who tend yak herds, had hiked two days to participate in the program highlighted by their performance of traditional Mahayana Buddhist chams (ritual dances) along with their unique Yak dance.

As per tradition in Bhutan, we as sponsors and esteemed guests, served lunch to the Brokpa people as well as the local villagers who show up.  It was a great event with many opportunities to get up close and personal with the Brokpa people as well as the people who inhabit the farms in the area.  Best of all, the only foreigners in attendance were our travel companions.

Young Monk With Puppy

It was a great day which left me wondering as to which group enjoyed themselves the most - much happiness in a land that values GNH, Gross National Happiness, rather than GNP, Gross National Product.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Bhutan - First Gallery is Available

Three weeks ago, Duang and I returned from a very special tour of an extraordinary place - Bhutan.

We had spent 16 days traveling across the land-locked Himalayan kingdom (Constitutional Monarchy).

We were fortune to travel with a small group of extremely interesting people from the USA,  Canada, Russia, and Australia.

Our tour was truly the trip of a lifetime.

We returned home to Thailand with many new friends, some wonderful memories as well as a desire to return in the Fall of 2018.

I also returned with 12,823 photos.  I have been very busy and will continue to be busy, if not obsessed, for the foreseeable future with editing as well as post processing the photos.

The first gallery of 26 selected photos is now available for viewing on my personal photography website at the following link:

As time goes by, I will be adding more galleries as well  as blog entries documenting this extraordinary place and wonderful people - often referred to as "The Last Shangri-la"


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