We head onwards to trongsa

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Waking up at Chendebji Hotel

Although our beds were a bit on the short side they were indeed a little softer than those in which we slept in Thimphu. However we suffered a major dog barking problem on and off all night. It seemed like the dogs were so close because the barking was so loud. When we got dressed and went outside we saw just how close they were. Their sleeping place was bang smack on top of our en-suite roof. Surely the hotel owners must realize that guests can’t sleep with that sort of noise going on all night.



The chorten at Chendebji We walked to the chorten to liven ourselves up

To liven ourselves up we had a quick walk along the road to see the nearby stupa. It was freezing cold. Perhaps the dogs were barking because they were so cold all night. The brief walk did us good and breakfast was ready when we got back to the hotel. We were served cornflakes, hot milk, eggs, chips, fried rice and toast. All were very filling and tasty too. Back in our rooms we packed up our gear ready for the next leg of our journey. Jeremy spotted a huge patch of mould on his bedroom ceiling which he hadn't seen in the dark last night.



Waiting for breakfast at Chendebji Hotel restaurant Jeremy and Ian at the restaurant at Chendebji

We head off to Trongsa

We are going to stay in Trongsa for two days. Primary aims of the visit are to see Trongsa Dzong and the Trongsa Museum. There were the usual endless kilometres of windy rough roads. We relax now and don’t stress out about the roads like we did when we first arrived in Bhutan. Dorje is a brilliant driver and we all feel safe in his hands. At one stage of the journey we had to wait half an hour way out in the middle of nowhere. We couldn’t see it from the car but road works were being done around the next bend. There seem to be masses of cows in this area. They wander across the road at any time so we were always swerving around them.


Trongsa looks so close in this photograph Trongsa Dzong behind us


Trongsa Dzong – so near and yet so far

We stopped at a lookout to take photos and Kinga pointed out the Trongsa Dzong across the other side of the valley. It looked so close but Kinga said it would take us 45 minutes to drive there.  There are sometimes as many as 13 tight bends per kilometre on Bhutanese roads. Add into the equation that the roads are quite rough and you can soon work out why it takes so long to get from Point A to Point B even when it looks very close.


 Trongsa Museum and Dzong

Trongsa Dzong is surrounded by flowers and terraces Picturesque Trongsa Dzong

First stop though was the Trongsa Museum. Dorje dropped Kinga and us off at the roadside with the idea being we would climb up the (many) steps and visit the museum. In the meantime, he would drive the car up to the top of the hill and have it ready and waiting for us after our visit. Being a person with Chronic Fatigue I can tell you I struggled up those steps but I did make it. Unfortunately it was bad news – the museum was closed for the day. I think it was something to do with a festival. The closure was quite disappointing to all of us. True to his word, Dorje had the car parked up the top of the hill in the shade ready for us to climb into.

From there we headed off to the Trongsa Dzong. The outside of the dzong was very impressive with terraced areas and lots of blooming flowers. The building itself is absolutely huge. After climbing up dozens of steps sadly we found much of it was closed. We still got to mooch around a big area within the dzong so all was not lost. We actually saw a group of monkeys there! It was the first time we’ve seen monkeys outside of zoos so it was really special.

Lunch at the museum restaurant Jeremy eating his lunch


Lunch at the Museum Restaurant

Back into the car and we all drove back up to the top of the hill area car park where the museum restaurant is located. An English fellow was coming out of the restaurant so we asked him if the food was good and he said it certainly was. Before sitting down to eat we had the obligatory toilet visit. It wasn’t too bad in the loos. You soon get used to going without your home comforts!


We were the only people in the restaurant. We had tiny battered fried vegetables, other mixed vegetables, a tasty mushroom dish, a pasta dish, rice, chilli cheese, and a pork dish.

As always there was masses of food. Everywhere that Lhomen Tours have taken us to there have been huge portions of food on the tables. There are big sliding windows in the restaurant so Jeremy opened ours slightly to let in the breeze. Some grubby little faces appeared at the open window. I’d seen them earlier when we were first there. One little fellow obviously had a cold and his little face was a mess of snot. Fortunately we’d eaten most of our dinner by then. I think the kids were bored – what better than some silly tourists to oggle at.


Puenzhi Guest House

Puenzhi Guest House Puenzhi Guest House

After lunch we travelled further up in to the hills to our accommodation for the next two nights.

Even from the outside, the Puenzhi Guest House looked picturesque with lots of flowering plants and shrubs. We found we had two rooms adjoining each other and they are fabulously decorated in Bhutanese style. Each room has a verandah with a spectacular view down the valley and there were chairs for us to sit out there and soak it all in. This afternoon is rest time for us seeing as we are ahead of our program with the Museum and Dzong being closed.


One of the guest house twin rooms Our twin room at Puenzhi Guest House

We were totally happy with having a rest and we sat out on the verandah reading our books and admiring the view. At one stage we heard an explosion and then saw smoke and dust rising from the hill on the opposite side of the valley. We figured it was rock blasting at the road works area where we waited in the car earlier in the day.

There are no TVs in these rooms but there is one in the lounge area in the restaurant. There is wi-fi at the hotel but we had trouble getting onto it that first night.  We had our showers early because we couldn’t wait to get cleaned up after missing our showers the day before. The hot and cold taps were around the wrong way and you had to fashion your own system for holding up the shower rose. Nevertheless it was a good hot shower. We put totally clean clothes on and we felt like a million dollars after that.


Next page - Off to visit Bumthang




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