Wangdi Dzong

Wangdiphodrang Travel Blog

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Next day morning i went to the Immigration office to apply for the permits to visit other places towards East. There was a long queue as the office was opening after 3 days. First I needed to extend my original permit, which was for only 7 days, to 15 days and then apply for the Special places permit to visit the restricted areas in the east. Had to run around a bit to get photo copies of the permits and the nearest photocopy place is around 5-10 min walk towards the town on the main road. The procedure is fairly simple, you fill in the forms, attach your photos and photo copies of the original permit and if requested, the permit can be collected after 2-3 hrs, else later in the evening after 3pm. I was planning to leave Thimpu the same day, so requested to get the permit earlier.
Was asked to collect it at 12 noon. So i proceeded to the bus stand which is across the river and found that there are lots of options for local transport to go around. But most of the buses started from Thimpu's this  inter-district bus station through out the day, so the tickets needed to be booked in Thimpu only. Buses heading to the east leave between 6:30 to 7:30AM.  But as the inter-district buses are often full, it is advisable to purchase a ticket a few days in advance.
The main and good bus for the next few days were full, so had to request another bus fellow to get me tickets till Bumthang for a bus which was going further till Tashigang. The bus fellow agreed as it was a slow local bus and I got my ticket for the next day to Bumthang and decided to board it from Wandue town.
Wild mushrooms
Had planned to reach Wandue today via a shared taxi which is around 3 hrs and go around the Dzong, sleep over and catch this bus the next day.

At the later towns, it was mostly flagging down the buses and if there was any space, you can hop on. Other option was to hitchhike as there are few cars/trucks going from one town to another. Around noon, i went back to collect the permits, checked out of the hotel, bid goodbye to the hotel staff at Tashi Delek and was off to the bus stand. Got a shared taxi and before I knew, we reached the Dochu La pass from where you get a beautiful view of the Himalayas, later descended into the warm, lush valley of Wandue all in 2.5 hrs. With the help of the taxi driver I was able to change some money to local currency as the higher denomination Indian currency is not accepted in the interior parts of Bhutan.
The local businessmen were more than happy to give me change.
Indian Rupees 100 is accepted everywhere in Bhutan, Rupees 500 notes at a very few places, but Rs 1000 notes are not accepted anywhere.
Started looking around for hotels and found a good one, but it was full. The only other hotel with quite shady rooms (look at the pics) one of the worst places I stayed, and I dont even want to recall how the toilet/bathroom was. It was locked and you need to collect the keys from the reception before using it. It seemed that all the other people from the bus station used this toilet so the owner came up this idea of locking the toilet so that only the hotel guests are able to use it.

Went to the Wangdue Dzong before it closes at 5pm and later took a stroll around the town. Its a very small place with the bus/taxi stand at the center and all shops and houses are gathered around it. It gets dark very soon and i looked around for a cheap place to eat. The rice and curry cost my Rs.30 and the room rent was Rs 150. As there was nothing else to do, and no other choice for a better place, i retired to my shady room, started reading my books and soon fell asleep.
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Wild mushrooms
Wild mushrooms
Thats the room you get for $3.
Thats the room you get for $3.
photo by: Vanessa_Mun_Yee