Often when travelling on an organised tour, the itinerary has the group constantly moving from one place to the next. The evening destination is considered to be just somewhere to sleep before moving on to the next place; never stopping long enough to take in the ambience and surroundings of that evening destination. This was one time that didn’t happen. And it’s easy to see why we stayed in this beautiful valley for three nights with plenty of time to relax and enjoy the ‘destination’ – the delightful Uma by Como Hotel.
The hotel is nestled in the hills further up the Mo Chhu. The entrance gate, with courtyard behind, is rather understated but this hotel is built to fit into the landscape not dominate it.
Below the reception area, it became obvious why the hotel was built in this position with views over the valley. As I took this photo, I noticed the men whipper-snipping the grass just below the hotel. A few moments later, they stopped their task – guests had arrived – and the peace of the valley was restored.
A view of the village below the hotel.
Tourist hotels like this provide extra work for the people of the valley.
We were taken to our room, again understated. It’s the views that make this place special.
And what views. How about this for a view from your bedroom window!
Now this was well worth a three night stay!
Lunch was served – a ‘deconstructed’ Caesar Salad – fresh, crisp, delicious. Because the Puankha Valley is so productive, much of the food used in the hotel’s meals comes directly from the local farmers. The chefs receive fresh vegetables, fresh fruit and fresh dairy products every day. And that’s good for the farmers – and for the tourists.
A view of the hotel from further down the hill.
The back basket is a common method of carrying things in Bhutan.
A bit of an explore, then a relaxing rest – just taking in that view from our room.
Why not? Wouldn’t you?
It was good to see so many trees after the comparative barrenness of the hills on the Paro to Thimphu side of the mountain we had passed through earlier in the day. The climate is much more temperate and moist here allowing for the growth of moist mountain forests of rhododendron, alder, cypress, hemlock and fir and bushes such as daphne.
This traditional farm house was not far up the valley. As is so often the case in this mountainous country, the land here is made productive by terracing and that makes for a lot of labour without the aid of machinery.
Back to our room to prepare for dinner… and another look at that view.
The light was changing; dusk was falling; peace reigned.
The ambience of the hotel’s terrace at dusk was also delightful.
Dinner, Bhutanese style, began with momos, with chilli dipping sauce, and a soup.
A hotel set amongst beautiful mountains… what more could you want!
Yes, sometimes, its good to just stop and savour the moment.
We’ll explore some more of the valley anon.
All Photography Copyright © David Young of jtdytravels
Our other travel sites are: