Punakha served as Bhutan’s capital for over 300 years, before it was moved to Thimphu, with the first king crowned here in 1907. It sits in a fertile and beautiful valley at the junction of Mo Chhu (Mother River) and Pho Chhu (Father River).
The 4-hour hike through rice and mustard fields started by crossing the river over a suspension bridge and ended on top of the mountain to visit a temple.
The guides call this “Deep Trekking” — journeys that takes one under the surface and given with the opportunity to interact and connect with people, landscape, religion and culture.
A gracious farmer invited me to see the inside of their 80-year old house. It was a bit tricky maneuvering the stairs, but it was worth it.
It started raining half way through, but finally reached the destination! Whew (and panting)!
Talo Monastery is a monastic school which is home to around 30 students.