Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Bhutan: Tashichoedzong

Here's my dilemma: it was pretty easy to take great photos in Bhutan but I'm finding it quite tough to write about what I saw and did there. Really, even a hack untrained photographer like myself can shoot off frames without even trying and the results will be impressive because the entire country is so darn photogenic. However, when it comes to trying to describe my visit in writing, I'm stuck because a lot of it defies description. This would be why my travel journal stops right before my departure from BKK. Just showing you photos here would be lazy, though, so I will have to put some more thought into what to write about...

One of those places that looks perfect in photos without any effort from the camera-holder is Tashichoedzong. A dzong is that most Himalayan of building types: the whitewashed, steep-walled, ornately decorated, flared roof fortress. Even Bhutan's national language, Dzongkha, takes its name from this type of structure. Each district (called a dzongkhag - there's that word again!) of Bhutan has a dzong which serves as the administrative and religious centre. Tashichoedzong is in Thimphu, the capital, so this dzong holds the King's and the Chief Abbot's offices (we saw the Abbot's SUV!).

We visited the dzong on November 11th, a holiday for the 4th King's birthday. Usually you can only go inside after office hours have ended, so we were lucky to visit during the daytime. It was very, very quiet. Only a few red robed monks were wandering around, adding a dash more colour to my pictures.

Tashichoedzong

bird feeder

cleaning

yellow & red

red robes

4 comments :

greg said...

Andrea, I think your writing is just fine - a good balance of description and background.

And those aren't 'hack' photographs. In fact, here's a suggestion. When you're done with this series on Bhutan, contact a travel magazine and point them to your blog, to see if they would be interested in running it as an article. Include the airlines, which usually have their own in-house magazines.

I wouldn't be surprised if you got an offer, maybe even an offer good enough to help pay for the next trip.

After all you've already had your photos published, have you not?

Andrea said...

Thanks, Greg! That's a great idea about trying to get a published article from my photos and notes. I have hundreds more photos to come, too. I have been thinking about how I can raise funds for my next trip to Bhutan but also to make a decent donation to a particular monastery (www.tamshing.org). I will certainly think about your suggestion...

Rob Chant said...

Hey, as Greg says, don't put your writing or photography down! You have a real eye for photographic composition and colour. I find the one of the monk emptying his bucket particular enchanting.

Good suggestion about magazines too. Plus if you ever fancy going on the Trans-Siberian/Trans-Manchurian, give me a shout. I have a client who would kill for decent photos/live-blogging of the journey and everything to see on the way.

Joseph said...

Some pictures! I agree "cleaning" was the most striking picture - vivid colors and intense contrast - as if I myself was there under high altitude sun. Will have to give serious consideration for Bhutan on my "to visit places" list - see, your photo works for travel agency already.

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