Saturday, December 14, 2013


I must be a little crazy, but I love waking up in the early dawn to the sound of roosters crowing. I'm an early bird anyway, and I think it stirs childhood memories of staying at my grandparents' farm in rural Tasmania.

We stayed the night at Phayul Resort in Autsho village to have the chance to see a little more of this place. It is right in the middle of town and surrounded by small family farms. A Bhutan Canada Foundation teacher was placed here last year and I've heard another is coming for 2014.

Phayul Resort was a cosy, family run place to stay.

View from hotel.
I love the patterns on the outside of this house.

Remy running round the Chorten.

Autsho is an easy hour drive from Mongar (at this time of year anyway) and situated close to the river. Simple shops in wood huts by the road sell general items and fresh vegetables.

Even in winter the weather is warm and the evening was pleasant enough to sit with the door open at dinner time. No need to huddle round a bukhari, I like this place!

We spent a few hours in the morning exploring the village on foot. It was strange to have everyone we passed stop to stare at us: mustn't be too many foreigners come this way! We crossed the river on one of the many wobbly suspension bridges and walked through long grass and wildflowers past a handful of simple village homes. Women were milking cows as chickens and toddlers scrambled round their feet.

River view from the longest suspension bridge.


First our jumpers were shed, then our tshirts, then I was down to a singlet top while the boys went shirtless! Even in summer we never felt this hot in Chumey! I'm sure it must be sweltering in Autsho in summer, but it felt so good to be warm. I felt like I could be be happy living in Autsho.

Look at my muscles!

While walking we encountered locals busily going to and fro on the paths and bridges. One group with a pack of mules had come from a village two hours away with goods to sell and later we saw them walking back home. It is very true of Bhutan to say 'the hills are alive': dotted high on the mountains we see villages in the most unlikely places. While villages like Chumey and Autsho feel far away from it all, being on the main road they are actually well-connected. For a large number of Bhutanese being hours or even many days walk from the road is a reality and a largely subsistance life in the high mountains is how they survive.

We had a great start to our day spending a few hours walking and getting fresh air and exercise while exploring Autsho.  And then it was back to the car: destination Trashigang via Yadi to visit Colin.


  1. So nice to learn that a foreigner is in love with our country. You have described Autsho so well.
    Hope to see more of your writings while in Bhutan.
    Happy stay to you and your family here in Bhutan

    1. Thank you Dumcho! we have thoroughly enjoyed our year in Bhutan and I hope we can return someday.