The Gateway

Phuentsholing or Pling(local term)  is the border town and border crossing  was rather easy .Since I had booked through  a registered Bhutanese tour agent  I was told that I could have a guide  through out my stay.I don’t mind having a guide for  a limited period but    having someone for 6 days  reeling off statistics and  cliched stories  was not  appealing  and I decided not to have one. My attention span is quite limited and   I would rather   see,savor and digest.

Checked into Druk Hotel,situated next to the Immigration Office .I did not want to waste any time and took off to  look around.

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Druk Hotel

It is difficult to imagine that just  an ornate gate separates  the two countries.The contrast is overwhelming.One side is too congested,noisy,polluted,chaotic and the other side is clean,orderly and colorful   with people  in their traditional attire.The architecture is also striking.Phuentsholing is considered as the  financial,industrial and trading  centre and most of the goods come from India.Buddhism is a way of life here and prayer wheels,prayer flags and stupas are seen  everywhere.

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No traffic  signals

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And Bhutanese revere their kings.It is a democratic,constitutional monarchy .Pictures of the royal couple and  the fourth King are seen in  all the government buildings and shops.They are popularly known as K4 and K5.

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Sale of tobacco is banned in Bhutan and if you are caught smoking in public places you will be fined. No such ban on alcohol   and I could see more bars than restaurants in most of the places. It was interesting to know that they have  K5-  a premium whiskey to commemorate the coronation of the fifth  King and Silver Jubilee whiskey to honor the fourth King.

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Bus Terminal

I saw a big temple near the hotel  and decided to  go there the next day  before checking out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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