Day 2 18:30, Thimpu
After breakfast, we checked out the Centenary Farmer’s market in Thimpu that sells cereals, vegetables, meat & fresh farm items on Sundays. BAFRA, or Bhutan Agriculture & Food Regulatory Authority ensures hygiene in the market; I remember seeing their agents vigilant at the airport for any unwanted living plant/animal brought into Bhutan. We also checked out the black-market on the other side of the river which sells antiques – few of them sealed which can be officially carried out of the country.
On our way to Thimpu-top, the 4th king’s modest motorcade passed by; our car waited for him to pass. Bhutan has had democratic monarchy backed by a constitution since 1907; the 1st king was the son of an eastern king who emerged strong & defeated the other two in the south & centre. The Royal family owns several businesses & the king is salaried; most luxury hotels, spas, trading businesses are owned by them. However, the nobility lives a much modest life as compared to other rulers of the world. We stopped by for lunch at a local pizzeria – decent pizzas I must say. Post-lunch, we drove around the city, checked out the National Monument Stupa on Chorten Lam (literally Stupa Street), Thimpu Dzong, India House Estate (houses the Indian embassy, homes & a golf course) and finally a paper factory.
One thing notable about the National Monument is that it is a large premise where you will see a lot of old people praying. The fact is that when the earning members of the family leave for work, they leave their parents here with supplies for the day and take them back in the evening on the way home. Basically, it takes the form of a prayer-garden and day-care for the aged. We returned to our hotel after a stroll on Central Street & visiting town centre. Town centre’s are notable in every city; this is greatly feasible considering the town is even not as a big as BKC. I have nothing to do now, so will spend some time on Facebook (& back-up photos).