There are still a number of people asking me about my trip to Bhutan last October. So this post is specifically the dreaded hike to one of Bhutan’s famous monasteries, Tiger's Nest also known as Paro Taktsang!
A week before my trip I think I've been having anxiety attacks because of this. Thankful for my prayer warriors for praying for and with me. It's actually my first hike ever so when I told a couple of my friends and family members about this trip they were a bit shocked and worried. Thank goodness I made it!!! Wah!!! The climb is not physically exhausting but it’s because of the thinness of air that makes it more difficult.
There are 3 viewpoints on where you will get the best view of the Paro Taktsang. First view point was the cafe an hour away from the base. The second viewpoint is a 30 to 45-minute trek from the cafe and will get you a good view of the monastery. Finally the third viewpoint is the Paro Taktsang itself before reaching it, you need to go up and down a series of steps (a total of 1400+ steps to and from)!
I initially just wanted to see the first view of Tiger’s Nest but after a 30 minute stop at the cafe I decided to go until the second viewpoint. YAY!!!
I almost forgot I was afraid of heights because of the calming view of the valley. It was quite a peaceful hike you will only hear the birds and the wind. Oh and sometimes when you pass by other travellers you will also hear them gasping for air. Haha!
I loved the experience of having to go through the hike and meeting other travellers. I hope one day I'll make it back to this place and be able to conquer the third viewing deck!
I am also posting some tips if anyone is interested to conquer Tiger's Nest.
1. You need a guide when you venture your way up the monastery.
2. Bring good quality hiking shoes. Preferably the ones with good ankle support.
3. Ask your guide to provide a long bamboo stick this will help you balance your way up and down the rocky mountain.
4. Focus on the trail that's right in front of you. If you look up and check out the trails ahead it would mentally distract you to continue further.
5. Take it slow and steady. You can always stop and rest.
6. At the base camp, you can rent a horse going up the cafe but I suggest you just do the climb on your own. It will be worth it.
7. There is a restroom at the base camp but you need to pay Nu 10. The cafe also have restrooms and can be used for free.
8. The cafe also offers free biscuits and milk teas for the hikers.
9. Bring only the things you need. An extra shirt, a small towel, tissues or wet ones and of course a camera. You'll definitely need to layer on clothes as the temperature varies as you go up and down the mountain. So it would be easier to remove them once the sun rises.
10. Have fun and enjoy the climb! 😊