Monday, December 8, 2008

Day 8 in Beautiful Bhutan - 27 November 2008

Archery, Hot Stone Bath at Uma Paro Resort and Singaporean cooking

This morning after Mr Chhimmy, the boss of Baeyul Excursions, our tour agent in Bhutan, had tentatively settled our flight to Kolkata, he went to take part in his Archery competition. We decided to go down to the Rinpung Sports Association to cheer for him and his team (yellow team).
Archery is the national sport of Bhutan and large crowds turn up to watch the game being played...

Here we can see Mr Chhimmy using the modern bow and aiming to shoot...

A very interesting feature at the archery competition is the traditional ritual dance performed when a member of the team shoots on or near target; it is a sort of victory dance with synchronised steps and singing. In this photograph, Mr Chhimmy and his team mate were performing the victory dance after one of their team members shot near the target.

These monks were also spectators at the archery competition. The score board of the three teams is behind the monks.

The sun was piercingly hot so we had our hats and sunglasses on... And this was supposed to be late autumn/ early winter in Bhutan.

Another group photo of our group - every one wore sunglasses to shield from the hot, hot sun.

Tiang with a helpful gentleman in traditional Bhutanese costume - at the archery competition. He explained the archery game to us.

This holy man came all the way from Bumthang in Central Bhutan and he was also at the archery game.

After watching the Archery competition, we decided to visit the 5*Uma Paro resort again. In the lobby, we practised sounding the singing bowls. Singing bowls which are found in Tibet and also in Bhutan are used in meditation, healing, relaxing and in prayers.
Hold the bowl in your palm with the wooden dowel (stick), rub the outside rim in a circular motion slowly in a clockwise direction and gently increase the speed as the bowl begins to vibrate.
Look we were quite good at it - after several practices.
The vibrations from a singing bowl can fill our hearts with joy, peace and a sense of well being.

During our earlier stay in Uma Paro Resort, we could not book the popular Hot Stone Bath and Massage at the Spa centre. So we decided to try it this time. The above picture shows the set up for the hot stone bath. Hot stones are dropped into the rectangular wooden bath (tub) from the opening on the wall into the compartment separating the bath itself. In this way the water in main bath is heated up.

Ngoh and Tiang enjoying the thirty minutes hot stone bath. Tea, water, singing bowl (to request for more hot stones) towels soaked in ice cubes and bath robes are placed within easy reach for the bathers.

Tiang was obviously enjoying the bath... After the bath we had a very relaxing massage - long, soothing strokes - using oil.

Hsiao Yun with her "Pinky" (computer) in the Changing room - after her hot stone bath and massage. Look how relaxed she looked.

All three in their bath robes after their massage - waiting for their ginger tea.

Another relaxing pose after their massage.

In the evening, at the request of Hsiao Yun who was craving for home-cooked food, Khin agreed to cook for us in our hotel - Sonam Trophel. Tiang was the assistant cook. In which hotel in the world would the management allow its guests to cook in their kitchen? Only in Bhutan where the people are really hospitable and accommodating ...

Khin, the chief cook enjoying herself in the kitchen.

This is the hotel's resident cook. She was very skilful in peeling and chopping garlic as well as in other cooking tasks. We enjoyed the sweet and sour chicken dish and the fried potatoes that she cooked.

End of day - 27 November 2008

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