On our fourth day in Bhutan, we made our way to Punakha Valley which was previously the capital of Bhutan until 1955. Although it is considered to be one of the warmest valleys in the country (due to its lower elevation of 1200m above sea level), it was still super cold. I don’t know how the Bhutanese people do it, especially when they’re in traditional clothes. But I guess they’re used to it. It’s all good though, at least I get to layer to my heart’s content–away from the usual island girl life for once.
When in Punakha, every tourist must visit Punakha Dzong–the country’s largest and most beautiful dzong where all of its kings’ coronation took place. Strategically located where the Po Chu and Mo Chu rivers meet, I can’t help but feel that the dzong looks like something straight out of a painting. More so during spring time when all the flowers are abloom and the sun is shining brightly down the river. Nevertheless, even during winter, I can totally see why its full name translates to “Palace of Bliss”.
Aside from being the old seat of government of Bhutan, Punakha Dzong also houses a monastery and temple. We were actually fortunate enough to see the monks doing some sort of ceremony where they presented the offerings and chanted a prayer but of course, no photos were allowed. All I can say is it was a really enriching experience. One that I will cherish forever.