I understand that Bhutan is a Buddhist country, but I was wondering about the provision of food for vegetarians. It is very easy to be a vegetarian in Bhutan. Most meals are buffet-style,and only one or two dishes are meat, even less fish. So you can take what appeals to you. In case you'll get freshly prepared meals, just tell them not to mix meat or fish, many people are vegetarian, so the Bhutanese are used to these requests.
I think there is no pure vegetarian restuarant in Bhutan. If you are strict vegetarian, with no garlic, onion or spring onion, or untensils that are not use for any meat, it is not possible to find such restuarant in Bhutan. Like what Bhutantraveller said, you can ask the restuarant to cook vegetables dishes for you or just select vegetables dishes from the buffet spread. I am a vegetarian, but not the strict type. My guide will instruct the cook to cook one or two dishes for us, at least no meat and no cheese.
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Inside the departures area there are a couple of small shops selling drinks and snacks, but you can read more about that here. Went outside to get the paperwork so I could either rebook or get a refund, and then went to find my guide outside. Headed back to the hotel until it was time to start my sightseeing tour.
I had a different city guide for that. We headed out to Bhaktapur where there were many different temples. Some really stunning architecture! Bought a painting at one of the local art schools, which was a genuine original — I met the artist. Then got lunch at a rooftop restaurant vegetable momos — made with rice flour…Winner!
It turned out to be a Hindu crematorium site, so there were dead bodies. And lots if smoke. From there we went to visit a Buddhist temple site at Bouddhanath. It was beautiful seeing inside the monasteries. The artwork was amazing!
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After that we went back to the hotel so I could meet with the company rep about the trekking. Had to sign liability paperwork, prove I had insurance etc. Then my trekking guide took me to the shop so I could buy a couple of last minute trekking items.
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Had almost everything except for trekking poles and a sleeping bag liner. Got them cheap, so all was good. Back to the hotel restaurant for dinner chilli chips and tomato soup , and to pack, as I had another 4am wake up call for the 6. My simple but tasty breakfast at Gaju Suite Hotel…. The Hindu cremation ceremony inside Pashupati…. Royal Sherpa Resort Up at 4 to shower and finish packing before being picked up at 5am. I left my suitcase at the hotel while I was trekking, and just took a duffel bag.
I also had arranged for a packed breakfast, so got that to eat while at the airport. Again, the early morning meant no traffic, so the drive was quick. The same security formalities as yesterday, but at check-in, they weighed my duffel bag and carry-on. A short delay due to the weather again, except we did eventually get off the ground.
The flight to Lukla took about minutes. Lukla has been rated one of the most dangerous airports in the world. Upon landing, we took our bags to a local guesthouse to sort out our daypacks for the hike to Phakding. The hike is said to take about 3 hours, but even taking it easy, we did it in about 2. The guesthouse in Phakding was simple but nice.
You need to bring your own sleeping bag, toiletries, and towel etc. If you want hot water, they will boil some and give you a bucket full. It costs a few hundred rupees. I basically just used cold water and a washcloth and soap, as I know the guesthouse in Namche Bazaar tomorrow has hot showers. Yes, I do occasionally go a bit feral on these trekking trips.
When we arrived, I ordered dal bhat for lunch. The meals during the trek were included in the cost of my trip. Then crashed for a while before dinner, when I spent some time backing up photos from the last couple of days. Might take a couple of days to explain it. I got vegetable curry and rice for dinner, and a mandarin and banana for dessert. Simple, but good food. Then, a fairly early bedtime.
The airport in Lukla. The ubiquitous dal bhat!
Vegetarian Food - Bhutan Forum
Day 4 Phakding-Namche Bazaar…max: Got porridge with cinnamon for breakfast. Was literally the only thing I could find anywhere that I could eat. The porridge was gluten free by some stroke of luck, I had to ask to see the packet though to check for myself. Lucky it was, otherwise I would have had literally nothing to eat for breakfast ran out of snacks last night. The hike itself was pretty amazing. Some spectacular scenery — and my first sighting of Everest! We were making such good time that the village my guide had intended for us to stop at to take lunch was reached just before So I just said we should keep going to Namche and have lunch there.
Means working to our own schedule for the most part. If I want to stop and take photos, I can. If I want to keep going and not take a break, I can. I suspect all my future trekking will be done like this. Anyway, after reaching Namche Bazaar around I had my concerns about gluten in the broth, and the noodles actually being made with rice flour, but it was fine. Then sorted out some wi-fi so I could check my emails. My guide said it was expensive rupees for 24 hours , which may be expensive by Nepalese standards.
But by Australian standards?
So I was happy. And an actual real hot shower!!! Totally worth the rupees! And calling it doom is an understatement! It literally crapped itself. For no apparent reason, it just stopped working. Tried everything to fix it, factory reset and all, to no avail. Went to dinner to try and settle myself down and stop stressing out, but no such luck.
Vegetarian food in Bhutan - Bhutan Forum
I got dal bhat again, and it was good. I am surgically attached to that thing. I have an acclimatization day in Namche tomorrow, so I am going to see if I can find a replacement iPhone or Android phone. Not holding my breath though…FUCK. Dear world, I hate you right now. Trekking from Phakding to Namche Bazaar…. My first sighting of Everest!!! The vegetable noodle soup I got for lunch…. Day 5 Namche Bazaar Acclimatization…max: I guess most people need it.
Plus, given the fact my phone died last night, I turned out to be grateful for the extra day in Namche for an entirely different reason: I could try and hunt down a new one. At breakfast, same problem again: And I was told explicitly by my guide not to eat the fruit, as he said once you left Lukla, they leave the fruit just sitting around and not refrigerated properly or anything, so it was usually turning rotten, especially at this time of the year.
So one less food option for me…Fantastic. Unhealthy, but carbs are carbs I guess, and you need them for trekking. So much so that I actually got my guide to take a photo of me with the mountain panorama in the background. We ventured back down and checked out the Sherpa Museum before going back to the guesthouse for lunch. I got dal bhat again — sticking to the safe options at this point.
So after lunch, I got my guide to take me phone and food hunting! No luck on the phone front, so will have to go hunting in Kathmandu. Stupid piece of crap Apple products making my life difficult. But I had epic luck with the snacks! Dried fruit, nuts, wasabi peas, candy, gluten free museli bars! I paid a fortune for it really, but when you need food, you need food. I expected it to be expensive up here, so came prepared. A little OTT price wise, but at least I have trekking snacks now! And if I run into issues at breakfast again, I have the dried apricots. Had a rest for a while after that and spent some more time trying to fix my phone.
Gave up again and ended up sitting down with my guide to discuss the trekking itinerary. There is nothing in the weather report to indicate this at all, but the locals have been living here for ages, and may well be able to read the weather better than the professionals.
For dinner, I again got the dal bhat. Not sick of it yet, which is good! Although, while I like it, the constant gas from the lentils is annoying. Trekking up to the Everest View Hotel. Slight modification from the original itinerary, which only had us trekking from Namche Bazaar to Phortse Thanga today, but my guide wanted to push through to Dhole instead because the weather was good, so we did.
Struggled this morning to be honest. Was sick last night, presumably from the food. Just a generic bout of bad food I suspect. These things happen to the best of us at some point, despite every precaution.
Anyway, for breakfast I again resorted to ordering fries. My skin hates the oil, but being a relatively long trekking day, I had to carb load somehow. On the road again at 8am for the hike to Phortse Thanga where we planned to stop for lunch.
We got to Phortse Thanga at The trek from Namche Bazaar to Phortse Thanga was pretty spectacular. A clear day gave us stunning views of Everest! After stopping for lunch I got vegetable curry and rice, with a glass of hot lemon , we made our way to Dhole, a slightly less spectacular trekking segment, but a couple of small icefalls along the way were pretty.
This was apparently meant to take close to 3 hours. We made it in a bit under 90 minutes. I suspect whatever the problem was from last night had made its way through my system by lunchtime. Arriving at the guesthouse in Dhole, it was cold. Only going to get worse from here as well…So I wanted a hot shower.
The guesthouse shower had literally frozen solid.