Paro Taktsang – Tiger’s Nest Monastery

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The Tiger’s Nest Monastery, probably one of the most famous sights of Bhutan, was the destination of our trek on the second day of my Bhutan holiday in October 2018.

This hike was also our practise hike to acclimatise to higher altitude. Paro was at 2,200 meters and the monastery at 3,120 meters. So we almost climbed 1,000 meters that day.

This was my first introduction to altitude. I had never hiked at any significant altitude before and had no idea how my body would react to it. Yet, I decided to stay in the risk-taking camp of our group – the ones that didn’t take any Diamox. Diamox is a medication that reduces the symptoms of altitude sickness. I had bought some cheap Indian version of it back in Kathmandu (I can recommend buying it there, much cheaper than in the UK!) but hadn’t taken any because it had some side effect such as stomach issues and tingling limbs. In the end I never had any real issues with altitude, so not taking it was the right decision.

But back to the adventure of my second day in Bhutan. We started early (which turned out to be the norm on this holiday) and an hour or so minibus ride took us to the trail head.

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This was to be the common sight for the next few days of hiking. Ganga in the front of the group with the big first aid bag. And from the back you would hear Norbu shout: “Ok, follow Ganga!”

So we followed.

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Some tourists took horses up to the monastery.

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The view from the bottom.

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The view after having gained a bit of height.

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Along the way there were all these boards, reminding visitors to keep the environment clean.

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Tiny windmills made from plastic bottles.

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After a couple hours or so of walking we passed the café and had tea and crackers.

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And then we continued our walk.

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Getting closer!

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Once we got there we took our shoes off and went in. Unfortunately we couldn’t take any photos inside. The rule was: no photos allowed when the shoes are off. One of our group didn’t bring any long trousers but our guides found him a traditional men’s wrap-around outfit and dressed him in that. Once again, very pragmatic!

We had a late lunch in the cafe on the way down and got back onto the minibus to Paro.

 

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