In Bhutan, Do As the Bhutanese Do

A typical Bhutanese platter looks like this:


And, that, milord, eez scrumptious.

Just to give you an idea:

  1. The Bhutanese go in for cheese with a vengeance.
  2. The Bhutanese go in for chillies with a vengeance.
  3. And the portions served are humongous.
  4. In short, IT IS AWESOME.

One would think that with the amount of grub on offer (and their capacity to hog), the Bhutanese would be topping the world obesity charts. But then, one would think wrong. I swear, I didn’t get to see a single pot-belly in the 8-10 odd days I spent hiking and being all touristy in Bhutan. Not even ONE.

Ain’t their fault actually. Punakha apart, I don’t think I ever encountered a single other place, which could be termed flat, flat-ish, or even anything vaguely approaching flat. It was all either uphill or downhill. (Interesting non-sequitur by the way, this might explain Bhutan’s current position in the FIFA world rankings. Imagine, one misdirected kick, and the bloody ball lands somewhere at the bottom of some mountain.)

And automated contraptions in Bhutan, by common perception, are meant for chickens, for friggin nancies, and suchlike. (Another interesting non-sequitur by the way, Bhutan’s probably the only country in the world which does not have traffic-lights. They tried installing a few in Thimphu, but residents complained that they were a little too impersonal.)

Which, basically means, that you walk. All day long, all year round. WHICH IS AGAIN AWESOME. And boy, these guys can walk. I used to think I was reasonably fit. Not anymore. Not after I went hiking, pretty much lost it after the first couple of hours, and then saw Bhutanese guides run circles around me as if they were in a friggin playground. Not after I met titchy school-kids, all nattily attired in ghos and kiras, walk some 10 odd kms everyday to go to their schools.

So, in Bhutan, you do as the Bhutanese do. You Hog. And Then You Burn ‘Em Calories Off on Some Random 15 km Trail. Much, much good 🙂


  1. @ The Davosian: Well, you have Bhutanese style red rice, fried chicken, some sautéed potatoes, a soup thingy, and the white stuff you see on the right hand side is the unofficial national dish, Ema Datsi (or chillies in cheese sauce). My own personal favourite though was a slight variation on that, Shamu Datsi. Bloody brilliant 🙂

    @ Gatta: Not surprised!! (You know, all these lit-wallahs tend to stick together)

  2. Aah, the red rice. Once tried the stuff with Dal. Then admittedly, it was pretty sad. But somehow, Shamu Datsi + Red Rice worked out really, really well for me!!

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