Punakha is relatively warmer compared to many other places in Bhutan and so it is the winter residence of the central monk body, the summer residence being Thimphu. With Phochhu (male) and Mochhu (female) rivers flowing through the valley, the fertile land of Punakha is popular for growing organic vegetables, fruits and rice.
The journey from Paro to Punakha is exceptionally intoxicating with murky & chilly mountains suddenly reshaping into a picturesque valley. The view is such that we could not help but admire the beauty with amusement.
We chose Gatshothang’s Home Stay in Punakha which is situated in the Pochu side of the Valley, standing alone in a 24 acre land.
After walking through a hanging orange colored bridge, we reached the other side of the river where Gatshothang’s staffs were waiting to escort us to the Homestay.
Since it was already dusk, we could not really enjoy the view around the homestay. But the house itself gave us some real goosebumps. Supplied with minimal modern facilities, Gatshothang is truly a place to stay within Nature. No mobile network, only one bathroom, minimal water facility. But the experience was nothing less than a treasure hunt.
Our host, Mr Karma was a very kind person who guided us explore his house.
We were served with some local wine, followed by a sumptuous Bhutanese dinner prepared by Mrs. Karma. The Ama datsi, Chicken curry and a trade mark dish by Mrs Karma made us drool over her cooking skills. It was around 12, when we decided to call it a night after an hour long gossip session as Mr Karma promised to take us for a morning walk the next day.
All of us were ready by 6am to take a walk within the nature, foggy mountains, rivers, paddy fields, a huge farm with organic and fresh veggies and what not. Mr. Karma accompanied us in our expedition. We got to know so many things about farming, bhutanese culture, their customs & traditions etc. from Mr. Karma. Check this link and experience Mr. Karma talk.
We were served with hot cup of fresh cow milk once we arrived in our rooms after the walk.