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Crazy SPICY BHUTANESE FOOD  Buddhist Monastery Hike | Thimphu, Bhutan

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Crazy SPICY BHUTANESE FOOD + Buddhist Monastery Hike | Thimphu, Bhutan

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My adventures in Bhutan continued on the morning of my sixth day in the country’s capital city, Thimphu. Join me as I dive even further into the world of crazy spicy Bhutanese food and go on a Buddhist monastery hike in Thimphu, Bhutan!

My day began at Typical Bhutanese Restro & Bar in the center of the city to have a traditional, local breakfast. I met up with my guide from MyBhutan, Tsheten, and entered the small and cozy restaurant.

On the table, I could see some ezay (spicy chili salsa), dried beef, rice, scrambled eggs, and ngaja (milk tea). The dried beef was tough but really nice. I also liked the rice with chilies, which was super spicy! I used the milk tea to calm down the heat. I like it a lot more than the suja, which is traditional butter tea.

The eggs were oily and the heat from the ezay really hit me hard. It was the spiciest ezay I’d had in Bhutan so far! The rice and ngaja helped to cool it down. The trick to getting through the beef is letting it sit in your mouth and letting it soak up your saliva to soften it up.

Then, we packed up some food from the restaurant to have for lunch later, and left to go on our hike! We drove 30 minutes north to Jigme Dorji National Park. Along the way, we saw a huge, beautiful, colorful Buddha that was painted on the side of a huge rock.

Then, we crossed a beautiful wooded bridge over the river, passed a temple, and began our hike up the mountain! It was intense and the path was really rocky. Halfway through out hike, we reached a stupa, which marks the halfway point of the hour-long hike.

We made it to the monastery in just 45 minutes! The monastery was under renovation. In the area, there’s a small hut that’s used as a meditation house.
You can’t film in the temple, but you can film the amazing views over the valley! Near the rooms for the monks were 108 prayer wheels. Further on, we passed the place where the monks were meditating, so we had to be quiet. We continued on up a steep staircase to the very top of the monastery.

Inside the building at the very top is where Ngawang Namgyal, the unifier, meditated for three years, three months, three weeks, and three days. We admired the view of the valley, river, university, meditation huts, and the monastery before taking a quick, 15-minute trip back down the mountain.

From there, we’d drive 3 minutes to a spot along the river for a Bhutanese picnic lunch.
We arrived at a small stupa with a little, covered picnic area by the river. It was super relaxing and had prayer flags fluttering in the wind all around.

We got some rice, ema dashti made from Indian chilies, cabbage, dried beef with squash and chilies, wet beef, and beans. I used some hand sanitizer and dug in with my hands for a more traditional feel.

The beans were light and creamy and the dry red chilies were great but not spicy. Then, I went for the dried beef, which was dry but a little moist on the outside, almost like beef jerky. The wet beef with chilies was a little too tender for me. The chilies weren’t hot at first but I started felt it later. But it was nowhere near as hot as breakfast!

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About Me:

My name is David Hoffmann. For the last 12 years, I have been traveling around the world in search of unique culture, food, and history! Since starting David’s Been Here in 2008, I have traveled to over 1,100 destinations in 77 countries, which I welcome you to check out on my YouTube channel, travel blog, and social media sites.

I focus a great deal on food and historical sites, as you probably have seen! I love to experience the different flavors that each destination has to offer, from casual street food to gourmet restaurant dining. I’m also passionate about learning about the local history and culture.

P.S. Thank you for watching my videos and subscribing!
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Bhutanese STREET FOOD at Farmers Market - Chili Momos, Honey & Dry Chilis | Thimphu, Bhutan

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Day four of my epic trip through western Bhutan continued with me trying some out-of-this-world Bhutanese street food at a farmers market in Thimphu, Bhutan! Come along with me as I dive even deeper into this magnificent country’s culinary scene!

I arrived at Centenary Farmers’ Market with my guide from MyBhutan, Tsheten, to start my evening. This is a weekend market that sells fresh fruit, vegetables, cereals, chilies, and more.

Because it was Sunday, there weren’t that many people there. We first saw some different types of rice grown in Bhutan, including red rice, white rice, and roasted rice. The red is the most common in the country. There’s also some delicious puffed rice. Then, I tried some dried apple, which cost 30 Nu/$0.40 USD for a bag.

We passed by more rice and dried corn as we continued. Then we moved on to the massive produce section, where we saw onions, tomatoes, lettuce, chilies, carrots, potatoes, and more! Most of them came from India.

In the fruit section, only the mandarins, apples, and bananas were grown in Bhutan. There was also some massive sugarcane and papaya from Punakha. Upstairs, we saw some cabbage, garlic, ginger, and more. We also saw the cow cheese that’s used to make ema dashti.

As we continued, Tsheten pointed out dried pumpkin, dried green chilies, dried turnip leaves, dried white chilies, and dried red chilies. The red chilies are more expensive than the green. I tried one, which wasn’t hot at all. Then, we found some local honey! A small bottle costs 300 Nu/$3.98 USD. It was so rich and wasn’t very thick. It was so good!

Then, we found some street food, including some veg momos with chili sauce. It was so mouthwateringly good with nice spice. The cabbage inside was so good and I didn’t find the chilis that spicy. Maybe I was becoming immune to the heat! I made sure to soak up all of the chili sauce for my final bite. The momos were so good and only cost 40 Nu/$0.53 USD.

Then, we took a 3-to-4-minute ride downtown The buildings had shops on the bottom and residential on the top. I loved the architecture!

We saw some statues of gods and a jeweler blowing fire to make a ring, before we reached a peaceful town square. Then, at an intersection, we saw an officer monitoring traffic from a booth in the middle of the road. There are no traffic lights in Thimphu, but there also aren’t many cars either. It’s busier in the mornings and evenings.

Then, we headed to my hotel, Pedling Hotel & Spa, which was across the street. Inside, they gave me some sour, lemonade-like lemon tea. Then, I headed to my room. It was in the traditional Bhutanese style with wood furniture, two low twin beds, a fridge, a spacious bathroom, a closet, and a TV. There was also a table with water, cups, tea, and coffee.

I relaxed for two hours and then headed downstairs to dinner at 7 p.m. I started with a local craft beer, a Bhutanese dark ale. It’s called Red Rice and is made by a brewery in Paro. It tasted similar to a dark German beer.

I ordered some red rice, mushroom curry with spring onions, and beef with glass noodles and spring onions. The delicate glass noodles and beef were fantastic. The beef was tender and juicy, and the curry also contained some Szechwan peppers.

The mushroom curry was also really tasty and creamy and contained a bit of cheese. I had had the mushrooms before in the ema dashti, which was an amazing combination.

What an awesome experience trying Bhutanese street food at the farmers market in Thimphu, Bhutan!

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About Me:

My name is David Hoffmann. For the last 12 years, I have been traveling around the world in search of unique culture, food, and history! Since starting David’s Been Here in 2008, I have traveled to over 1,100 destinations in 77 countries, which I welcome you to check out on my YouTube channel, travel blog, and social media sites.

I focus a great deal on food and historical sites, as you probably have seen! I love to experience the different flavors that each destination has to offer, from casual street food to gourmet restaurant dining. I’m also passionate about learning about the local history and culture.

P.S. Thank you for watching my videos and subscribing!
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MASSIVE Bhutanese Food Dinner - 15+ Spicy Dishes! + Sightseeing in Thimphu | Bhutan

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My fifth day in Bhutan continued with another outstanding afternoon and evening in the capital city, Thimphu. Come along with me as I enjoy a massive, mouthwatering Bhutanese food dinner of over 15 spicy dishes after I do some sightseeing around Thimphu, Bhutan!

My guide from MyBhutan, Tsheten, started at the National Memorial Chhorten, which was built in the memory of His Majesty the Third Druk Gyalpo Jigme Dorji Wangchuk.

The stupa is surrounded by green grounds and there are 10 prayer wheels to the left. Mostly elderly people come there to pray. The stupa is beautiful and has five golden spires on it. I could hear chanting inside as we walked in a circle around it.

From there, we hopped back in the car and headed to a field where they practice archery. Here, they shoot at targets from 140 meters away using professional compound bows. There was a sharpshooter there who hit the target from that distance!

Then, we headed over to the post office, where you can customize your own stamp and buy postcards. It costs 500 Nu/$6.67 USD to make your own stamp from any photo on your phone. The postcards cost 30 Nu/$0.40 USD each. For 40 Nu/$0.53, you can send the postcard anywhere in the world! I sent three: one to my wife and one each to my two daughters.

Next, we headed to Coronation Park, which is home to a tall, gilded, standing Buddha made in the Thai style. It’s right next to the Wangchu River and stands on a golden lotus.

Then, we headed to the downtown area. The buildings were mostly shops on the bottom floor, with restaurants, bars, and other businesses on the second floors. The third floors are mostly residential.
Next, it was time for dinner at the Folk Heritage Museum Restaurant. They give you starters before the main meal, including suja (butter tea), ara, cucumber salad with cow cheese, veggie momos, pork feet, ezay, and puffed rice.

I started with the suja with puffed rice in it. I liked this butter tea because it wasn’t so buttery, and I really enjoyed the puffed rice!

Then, I went with the phenomenal veggie momos with spicy ezay, a sip of ara, and cucumber salad with the ezay. Then, I had the gelatinous, fatty, and bony pig feet with ezay. The alcohol helped temper the heat. The cucumber salad and cow cheese reminded me of a Greek dish with feta. I also loved the cabbage inside the momos.

Next, we had some light mushroom broth, red rice, 9 grain salad, bitter buckwheat pancakes, mixed vegetables, ema dashti made with dried red chilies and cheese, dried pork, chicken, dried beef with radish, kewa dashti (potatoes with cheese), French beans, and chili salsa. I couldn’t wait to dive in!

Tsheten made my plate for me. I tried the buckwheat pancake with some ezay in it. It was like a Bhutanese taco. It was so good and spicy and opened up my sinuses! It wasn’t that bitter. Then, I went for the radish, which was nice and spicy as well.

The cauliflower in the mixed vegetables was good, as were the long beans. The chili salsa was great, and the ema dashti was made from bird’s eye chilies from India. The cheese melted throughout was so amazing!

Then, I went for the kewa dashti, or potatoes with cheese. I tried it with the ezay on top. It was hot! Next was the chicken and buckwheat. The buckwheat was great! The dried beef was like a super dense beef jerky. But the ema dashti was the best! I also loved the fatty pork! What a meal! It was the best I’d had so far in Bhutan!

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About Me:

My name is David Hoffmann. For the last 12 years, I have been traveling around the world in search of unique culture, food, and history! Since starting David’s Been Here in 2008, I have traveled to over 1,100 destinations in 77 countries, which I welcome you to check out on my YouTube channel, travel blog, and social media sites.

I focus a great deal on food and historical sites, as you probably have seen! I love to experience the different flavors that each destination has to offer, from casual street food to gourmet restaurant dining. I’m also passionate about learning about the local history and culture.

P.S. Thank you for watching my videos and subscribing!
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Exotic BHUTANESE FOOD & Buckwheat Pancakes + Hike to Buddhist Monastery | Thimphu, Bhutan

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With four days in Bhutan already under my belt, day five started off with a bang! Come along with me as I enjoy some exceptional and exotic Bhutanese food and buckwheat pancakes and go on a hike to a Buddhist monastery in Thimphu, Bhutan!

My day began bright and early on a cold March day at the Pedling Hotel & Spa, where I breakfast!

In the dining area, I had some buckwheat pancakes with honey. They were light and buttery, with an earthy flavor. I needed to fill up on some carbs before my hike!

After breakfast, I met up with my guide from MyBhutan, Tsheten. We and drove back through Thimphu to the Buddha Dordenma, the largest sitting Buddha in the world. From there, we’d take a 90-minute hike through the forests of Kuenselphodrang Nature Park to Changang Lhakhang, a 12th-century monastery.

We passed lots of prayer flags on the mountainside and got amazing views of Thimphu and the distant Buddha Dordenma, which looked even more massive from far away.

We then passed a picnic area, where we could see the city and the temple we were heading to, as well as higher, snowcapped mountains in the distance. After gradually heading uphill and walking through more prayer flags, the path narrowed as we headed into the forest.

The hike wasn’t bad. There are some super steep drops on the right side of the narrow trail, so I advise sticking to the left side!

After 90 minutes, we reached the monastery. I took off my hat entered the courtyard. People come there with their kids so they can be named and blessed. They don’t have family names in Bhutan, so the names come from the temple.

I couldn’t take photos or videos inside. Inside is a small room with many monks, the god of compassion, and people coming in with their children to be named. There are 108 prayer wheels to turn outside.

Before we left, we saw a colorful display that’s meant to wash away evil spirits. Then, we hopped back in the car to go to a local restaurant to have some exotic Bhutanese foods! We passed by some beautiful buildings in the capital, which is pretty dense and congested, but it only takes 10-15 minutes to cross it.

We arrived at Kalden Restaurant, the only restaurant that only sells traditional food in Thimphu. There, we ordered spareribs, cheese and egg butter fry, spinach and cheese, white chilies and cheese, pigs feet, red rice, creamy spinach soup, and tripe (beef stomach).

The creamy spinach soup was spicy, light, creamy, and tasty. It’s a common dish you’ll find throughout the country. The tripe was phenomenal. It contained chilies and was so flavorful! It was a little rubbery and spongy with numbing and spicy Szechwan peppers.

Next were dried red chilies with red rice. The rice tempers the heat a bit. The chilies were oily and numbed my mouth! Then, I went with the cheese and egg butter fry, which tasted like melted mozzarella cheese!

The white chilies with cheese were nice, meaty, and full of flavor. They weren’t too hot and were nothing compared to the red chilies. The flavor and texture were similar to mushrooms due to their thickness.

Next were some gelatinous pig feet and the spareribs, which had a glazy sauce on them. They were similar to Chinese ribs and drenched in a spicy chili sauce!

Then, I went for the spinach and cheese, which looked like cream of spinach. It contained chilies and had a similar texture to all of the other cheesy dishes. The tripe was my favorite, though. I love organ meat, so I got another order of it!

What a meal!

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About Me:

My name is David Hoffmann. For the last 12 years, I have been traveling around the world in search of unique culture, food, and history! Since starting David’s Been Here in 2008, I have traveled to over 1,100 destinations in 77 countries, which I welcome you to check out on my YouTube channel, travel blog, and social media sites.

I focus a great deal on food and historical sites, as you probably have seen! I love to experience the different flavors that each destination has to offer, from casual street food to gourmet restaurant dining. I’m also passionate about learning about the local history and culture.

P.S. Thank you for watching my videos and subscribing!
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Spicy BHUTANESE NOODLE Breakfast + Largest Sitting Buddha in the World! | Thimphu, Bhutan

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My fourth day in Bhutan began as I made my way to the beautiful capital city of Bhutan! Come along with me as I have some delicious and spicy Bhutanese noodles for breakfast and visit the largest sitting Buddha statue in the world in Thimphu, Bhutan!

My day started in the city of Punakha. We had a two-hour drive to the west ahead of us to get to Thimphu and along the way, we’d grab some breakfast. Along the way, my guide from MyBhutan, Tsheten, told me that 100,000 people live in Thimphu. It’s the only world capital that doesn’t have traffic lights!

About 20 minutes outside of Punakha, we stopped at Drukdruel Lodging & Food for breakfast. We ordered some shakam dashti, which is dried beef with chilies in broth, and puta, which are buckwheat noodles with chilies. While I waited, I had some ngaja, (Bhutanese milk tea), which contains ginger and is very similar to Indian chai.

The puta was so tasty and contained oil, chili paste, chilies, and an egg. They were so tasty and oily! They weren’t too spicy at first, but then they got really hot! They made my lips tingle from the Szechwan peppers. This noodle dish was the most different thing I’d had so far in Bhutan, as it was more Eastern influences.

Then, I tried the shakam dashti, which is dried, tender beef that is cooked with chilies and onion and contains a nice, spicy broth. This was my favorite breakfast in Bhutan so far!

As we continued through more wilderness toward Punakha, it also got colder because we had climbed to about 8,100 feet above sea level. This forested area is home to Himalayan black bears, deer, wild boar, and leopards and tigers!

Then, we arrived in Thimphu. It was the first place I’d seen that was densely populated in Bhutan. It’s amazing that there are no traffic lights there! On the way to the largest sitting Buddha in the world, we passed lots of prayer flags along the road, which celebrate the third anniversary of the current king. They come in five colors: white, red, yellow, blue, and green.

The city was gorgeous, with the city in a valley between the mountains. At the top of Kunzangphodrang mountain is the Buddha Dordenma. It’s located in Kuenselphodrang Nature Park and is made of bronze but gilded in gold. It was built to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Bhutan’s fourth king, Jigme Singye Wangchuk. The massive statue was also built to fulfill two prophecies from the 8th and 12th century, which said that a giant Buddha statue would be built to bless the world with happiness and peace.

The Buddha Dordenma is 169 feet tall. It was mostly funded by a Singaporean businessman. Construction began in 2006 and finished in 2015. It’s located in a massive square that reminded me of squares in China. You have to climb down 186 steps, but they’re not complete yet.

To go inside, I had to take off my shoes, but I couldn’t film or take pictures. In addition to thousands of smaller Buddha statues, there are also images of the Bhutanese kings and the royal family.

Then, we headed into the city to get me a scarf. I was freezing! There are lots of shops in town. My hotel was in the center of town. But we stopped at Yeti Handicraft to get a traditional wool scarf for 950 Nu/$12.52 USD. They also had other souvenirs, including teacup covers, tea sets, and huge, expensive masks.

What an epic morning, starting with the Bhutanese noodle breakfast and the trip to the largest sitting Buddha in the world in Thimphu, Bhutan!

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About Me:

My name is David Hoffmann. For the last 12 years, I have been traveling around the world in search of unique culture, food, and history! Since starting David’s Been Here in 2008, I have traveled to over 1,100 destinations in 77 countries, which I welcome you to check out on my YouTube channel, travel blog, and social media sites.

I focus a great deal on food and historical sites, as you probably have seen! I love to experience the different flavors that each destination has to offer, from casual street food to gourmet restaurant dining. I’m also passionate about learning about the local history and culture.

P.S. Thank you for watching my videos and subscribing!

Hiking to TIGER'S NEST Monastery + Spicy BHUTANESE FOOD | Paro, Bhutan

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After spending a day exploring the beautiful Haa Valley in Bhutan, I began my eighth and final day in Bhutan with a trip to Tiger’s Nest Monastery! Come along with me as I hike to Tiger’s Nest and enjoy some hot and spicy Bhutanese food in Paro, Bhutan!

Tiger’s Nest is a Buddhist Monastery that clings to the side of a cliff near Paro. It’s the number one tourist attraction in the country and is the main thing I wanted to see on my trip. But first, I had to have some breakfast with my friend and guide Tsheten from MyBhutan!

My traditional breakfast consisted of a large, dense wheat ball, super spicy ezay, and chicken curry with chilies. It was a dense and hearty meal perfect for the weather, but it wasn’t my favorite breakfast overall.

Next, we had a two-hour drive ahead of us to Paro. We took the same road we came in on because the only other road in and out of Haa was under construction. Along the way, I saw the second-tallest mountain in Bhutan, Jomolhari. After an hour and 45 minutes, we entered Paro Valley and eventually the city itself.

In town, we stopped at the same shop I stopped at on my first day in Bhutan to buy a mask. I bought a beautiful blue one with skulls around its crown for 8,500 Nu/$112.57 USD. It was so worth the price! Then, we drove 20 minutes to the trail to Tiger’s Nest.

You have to hike the path through a forest to get there. It was brutal and the sun was scorching. I made it to the halfway point 50 minutes in and stopped at Taktsang Cafeteria to have a quick lunch of red rice, scrambled eggs, chili, potato, radish, and dal.

The potatoes were good and hot, while the radish was nice and creamy. I added some of the gravy from the radishes to the rice. I decided to leave the chilies alone and give myself a break from the heat. The scrambled eggs were nice and oily.

It was a lot steeper going forward. I could see Tiger’s Nest and a couple of other monasteries. I got a closer view of three or four of the monasteries I saw earlier. At the viewpoint, I got a gorgeous view of Tiger’s Nest. I wouldn’t be able to film or take photos inside, but this was the experience of a lifetime.

Finally, we made it to the security check, where I had to pack up all of my stuff and put it in a locker.

My experience at Tiger’s Nest Monastery was one for the ages! It’s a beautiful, 17th-century monastery and is a must-visit when you come to Bhutan. I suggest starting at 8 in the morning. It’s made up of shrines dedicated to the second Buddha and is incredible. I lit a butter lamp to pray for my friends and family and everyone affected by COVID-19 while I was there.

Then, we had to climb back down to the car. The hike down was more difficult than I anticipated. You have to go super slow because it’s easy to slip. In all, the trip took 4 hours!

From there, we headed to the Rinpung Dzong, which is the fortress of Paro. It was built before Tiger’s Nest in the 17th century. The fortress was gorgeous and reminded me of Punakha Dzong Fortress. Inside are colorful paintings of gods on the walls, courtyards, administrative buildings, and the central tower.

About 160 monks live in the fortress. There was a lower level, where there’s a balcony where you can see a palace in the distance that offers the best view of Paro. You can see the main town, the rice fields, and the river.

There were also roosters roaming the fortress because in the olden days, there were no alarm clocks, so the roosters wake them up in the morning!

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About Me:

My name is David Hoffmann. For the last 12 years, I have been traveling around the world in search of unique culture, food, and history! Since starting David’s Been Here in 2008, I have traveled to over 1,100 destinations in 77 countries, which I welcome you to check out on my YouTube channel, travel blog, and social media sites.

I focus a great deal on food and historical sites, as you probably have seen! I love to experience the different flavors that each destination has to offer, from casual street food to gourmet restaurant dining. I’m also passionate about learning about the local history and culture.

P.S. Thank you for watching my videos and subscribing!

Rare BHUTANESE DUMPLINGS in Haa Valley + Haa Village Tour | Bhutan

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After arriving in Haa Valley on my seventh day in Bhutan, I immediately hit the ground running with an amazing Bhutanese lunch! Join me as I have some super tasty Bhutanese dumplings in Haa Valley and go on village tour in Haa, Bhutan!

My afternoon started outside the Pedlen Restaurant in the village of Haa. I was joined by my friend and guide Tsheten from MyBhutan.

I started with some chilies, potatoes, and beef; ema dashti with red and green chilies; radish with red chilies; a dumpling; and potato fritters. The ema dashti was super spicy. It hit me right away! It was both creamy and spicy and was fantastic. I needed some chai afterward to calm down the heat in my mouth! Next was a piece of moist, tender, and slightly spicy beef with soft potatoes.

The radish was really nice in terms of spice. I followed that with some cheesy and creamy tomatoes. The hoentay dumplings were a little bitter and full of soft and delicate turnip greens They were my favorite dumplings of the trip so far, especially with the ezay! Then, I had some earthy ara, a soft and spicy potato fritter, and some papad and dal to finish up.

After lunch, it was time to explore Haa! The population is only around 14,000 people. It’s known for having more shopkeepers than customers. I loved the traditional architecture in the town.

We visited a pair of general shops, the second of which only sold Buddhist items for the home or families. I bought a carved skull keychain, which fends off evil and cost 250 Nu/$3.31 USD.

We braved the frigid wind across a suspension bridge over the Haa Chhu River. On the other side was a small Buddhist temple and tons of white prayer flags, which are for someone who has passed away.
We walked along the Haa Chhu River, past a golf course and the Fortress of Haa, and through a colorful stupa, to get to the White Temple.

The White Temple was made up of several buildings and a massive courtyard. To the right and left are the monks’ residences, and at the very top is a temple with a statue of the god of longevity.

Then, we hiked past a herd of cows down a path toward the Black Temple. It was much smaller than the White Temple. Inside are statues of the future Buddha, the second Buddha, and the Unifier. It is thought that the statue of the future Buddha has saved the locals from epidemics and famines. The grounds were beautiful!

Then, we hiked back down to the road and drove to Risum Resort, where I had a super nice room. After a tour and a quic nap, it was time for dinner! There, Tsheten served me 10 fried hoentay dumplings, 10 steamed ones, ema dashti, chili paste, ara, and chai.

I tried a fried hoentay with the chili paste. It was oily, crunchy, and full of turnip leaves. It tasted like a fried empanada. The chili paste wasn’t that hot, though. The ema dashti was really cheesy and spicy but so good! The cheese was a little different; it was processed.

Then, I grabbed a steamed hoentay with no chilies. It was bigger than the ones I’d had earlier. I added some ema dashti to a large fried hoentay, which was so good. The fried ones were tastier, but I loved the steamed ones, too. They were right up there with the xiaolongbao I loved when I visited Shanghai. When you mix dumplings, vegetables, chilies, and cheese, you can’t go wrong!

The ara was also delicious. It was super clear and flavorful. What an awesome day in Haa Valley!

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About Me:

My name is David Hoffmann. For the last 12 years, I have been traveling around the world in search of unique culture, food, and history! Since starting David’s Been Here in 2008, I have traveled to over 1,100 destinations in 77 countries, which I welcome you to check out on my YouTube channel, travel blog, and social media sites.

I focus a great deal on food and historical sites, as you probably have seen! I love to experience the different flavors that each destination has to offer, from casual street food to gourmet restaurant dining. I’m also passionate about learning about the local history and culture.

P.S. Thank you for watching my videos and subscribing!

Trying INDIAN NEPALI FOOD in Bhutan + Fungus Tea Tasting | Thimphu, Bhutan

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With my sixth day in Bhutan well underway, my exciting adventures in the country’s capital continued. Come along with me as I try some delicious Indian Nepali food and go for a fungus tea tasting in Thimphu, Bhutan!

My afternoon began at the Royal Takin Preserve in Thimphu’s Motithang District. This 8-acre wildlife preserve is dedicated to the takin, which is the national animal of Bhutan. It has a head similar to a goat but a body like a cow’s!

My friend and guide from MyBhutan, Tsheten, told me a legend about the takin that goes back to the 15th century. It became the national animal in 1985 and lives between 12-15 years.

The preserve is also used as a rehabilitation center. We saw a mountain goat that had lost a leg. We also saw a sambar deer and the takins. Some of them were just lying down and sleeping. They were beautiful!

Then, we headed a tea tasting where the tea is made from cordyceps, which is a worm-like creature that’s similar to a caterpillar. Along the way, we passed an area about 15 minutes from the city center where members of Parliament live.

We arrived at Cordyceps Tasting House in the downtown area. It’s a two-minute walk from the Pedling Hotel & Spa. There, the employees showed me some dried cordyceps before tried a strong mini shot of ara with cordyceps, which makes it very strong.

Next, I tried some 2% tea and K5 whiskey with cordyceps. It was really nice. I liked it more than the ara because it was smoother.

Then, it was time to get some Indian food at Thakali Kitchen in the downtown area, about a 2-minute walk from the Pedling Hotel & Spa. The restaurant is located down a set of stairs to another alley. I loved the atmosphere inside. It was very vibrant and reminiscent of India and Nepal. Instead of having Indian food, I went with the Special Thakali Thali, or buffalo thali, off of a suggestion from the chef.

This thali has less masalas and almost no desserts. While I waited, I enjoyed some Zumzin peach wine, which was like straight peach. It was like a very sweet white wine.

Then, the thali and appetizers arrived! The appetizers consisted of prawn fry, picked radish, mixed pickle with chilies and tomatoes, dried spinach, radish, wild fruit, and round chilies. My buffalo thali contained rice, veg, papad, black lentil soup, and yogurt.

The black lentil soup was so earthy and a little creamy. The buffalo was like butter and fell apart in my mouth. I liked it so much more than cow beef. It’s softer and gamier, and is more tender. I also loved the curry on it. It reminded me of food I had in Kerala!

It was so tasty with the rice. The dried prawns were quite spicy and crunchy. Meanwhile, the radish wasn’t spicy, just pickled. The veg with chilies were really delicious, and I loved the dried spinach! The pickled berry had very little flesh on it and contained a huge seed. Then, I tried the round chili, which had a spicy juice that hit me right away. It wasn’t unbearable and it only lasted a few seconds.

I couldn’t get enough of the buffalo, radishes, and the prawns. The radishes were like a crunchy and creamy water vegetable and were my favorite of the appetizers!

There were so many textures and flavors in this meal! Then, I took a bit of everything with the papad. It was too good!

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About Me:

My name is David Hoffmann. For the last 12 years, I have been traveling around the world in search of unique culture, food, and history! Since starting David’s Been Here in 2008, I have traveled to over 1,100 destinations in 77 countries, which I welcome you to check out on my YouTube channel, travel blog, and social media sites.

I focus a great deal on food and historical sites, as you probably have seen! I love to experience the different flavors that each destination has to offer, from casual street food to gourmet restaurant dining. I’m also passionate about learning about the local history and culture.

P.S. Thank you for watching my videos and subscribing!

Bhutanese HOMESTAY FOOD + Bhutanese Whisky, Brandy & Rice Wine | Punakha, Bhutan

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My second day in beautiful Bhutan continued that evening from the amazing city of Punakha. We were going to start with a hike up to a gorgeous monastery!

Accompanying me was my friend and guide Tsheten from MyBhutan. The monastery we were hiking to was built by the mother of Bhutan’s current king. It was built for the protection to the country and to spread peace and harmony to the world, which is what Buddhism is all about. We crossed over the Mo Chu (Female) River via a suspension bridge, which was draped with hundreds of prayer flags. They come in 5 colors: yellow, green, white, blue, and red.

On the other side of the bridge, we followed a rocky trail past rice farms and a little spring to a prayer wheel. We rung the prayer bell and then continued on to the monastery. I had to take off my hat and shoes to go inside, but I couldn’t film inside.

After climbing three floors, we reached the top. There, we could see the river, rice paddy fields, and the route we’d trekked. We could also see a white tea house where the royal family stays when they visits, as well as where the monks stay.

Then, he headed back down to a mini-market, where I tried a super strong whisky and a fruity brandy that was just OK. I liked the brandy better but I didn’t love either. Then, we drove to another suspension bridge to get to the Happiness Field Village Homestay.

There, I met the owner and the woman who cooks the food. The homestay was beautiful and traditional. I watched them make a chicken dish; ema datshi; and stir-fried spinach with tomatoes, garlic, onions, red peppers, and chilies. They also had a rice wine called ara with egg and butter! I’d never had that before.

The ara is similar to Japanese sake. It was strong and really different. It contained lots of clumps of egg, which I liked. The first batch had a lot of butter, but the second was lighter on the butter.

Then, it was time to eat! I had seven things in total, including red rice, ara, ema datshi, potatoes with chilies, cucumber salad with chilies, dry chicken with chilies, chicken curry, and the spinach. Everything contained chilies and looked so good!

The potatoes were soft and spicy, with some green onions. The cucumber salad contained fresh cow cheese. The spice on it wasn’t too bad. I don’t usually love cucumber, but this was amazing. It reminded me of a Greek salad but with coriander. The cheese tasted like fresh feta! The dry chicken with chilies had so much flavor and wasn’t spicy at all. The stir-fried spinach was a little hot and left a tingle on my lips.

The chicken curry came in a light, flavorful gravy, which I dipped some of my rice in. It was great! Then, I dug into the ema dashti, which is always super hot! This one wasn’t as hot as others I’d had so far, but it still had a real kick to it! My favorite overall was the spinach!

I loved how organic and fresh the food was. It was amazing. I highly recommend staying at a homestay to eat traditional food with locals. You can’t beat it!

Then, to finish up, I tried some ara without butter or egg. It was a lot better. The one with egg and butter is considered special, but I really liked this one!

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About Me:

My name is David Hoffmann. For the last 12 years, I have been traveling around the world in search of unique culture, food, and history! Since starting David’s Been Here in 2008, I have traveled to over 1,100 destinations in 77 countries, which I welcome you to check out on my YouTube channel, travel blog, and social media sites.

I focus a great deal on food and historical sites, as you probably have seen! I love to experience the different flavors that each destination has to offer, from casual street food to gourmet restaurant dining. I’m also passionate about learning about the local history and culture.

P.S. Thank you for watching my videos and subscribing!

Bhutanese VILLAGE FOOD in the Capital + Archery, Ara & Cultural Performances | Thimphu, Bhutan

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My incredible fourth day in Bhutan continued in the capital city, Thimphu. Come with me as I enjoy some delicious Bhutanese village food in the capital, try my hand at archery, drink some ara, and enjoy a cultural performance in Thimphu, Bhutan!

I began my afternoon by heading to Simply Bhutan, a museum that shows how locals lived in remote areas of the country back in the day.

My guide Tsheten and I went inside and met the woman who would be showing us around. We made our way to a stone hut, where we enjoyed some ara. It had a smoky flavor and was different from other ara I’d had.

We also saw photographs of all of Bhutan’s kings, and then saw how they build mud houses, which includes a prayer song. Then, we saw a stone tool that turn to grind rice flour and a stone bath.

Next, we saw some colorful phalluses similar to the ones I saw at the temple of fertility Punakha. I also saw some dried red chilies hanging on the walls outside and a traditional kitchen.

Then, we visited the souvenir shop, which sells the Bhutanese gho, which is traditional clothing for men. They cost 2,000 Nu/$26.38 USD. It cost an extra 500 Nu for the belt, so it was $32.97 USD total.

Then, we went to play some archery! They do a dance and song whenever someone hits the target. I hit the target and joined the guys in their victory dance!

Next, we headed to the dining hall to have lunch, where we saw another traditional performance. Our meal consisted of ema dashti, pork, ezay, chicken, rice, puffed rice, buckwheat noodles, and cabbage. We started with suja with puffed rice. I’m not a huge fan of the amount of butter in it, but it was better with the puffed rice in it.
Then, I tried a creamy spinach soup, some fresh and delicious cabbage, and a mild ezay.

The ema dashti was spicy and creamy, and I loved the chicken and buckwheat noodles with the ezay. The gravy from the chicken was great with the rice. I also had dried chilies, which tasted sweet, almost like they were caramelized.

I also loved the juicy, oily pork. The ema dashti and the buckwheat noodles together was like a creamy pasta dish!

I also enjoyed some more smoky ara, which is mixed with sandalwood.

Then, we left for a Tashiccho Dzong, a 17th century fortress built by the unifier, the Tibetan scholar who arrived in Bhutan that century. After the capital was moved to Thimphu in 1962, the fortress was enlarged and the new complex was consecrated in 1968.

I had to take off my gho because it has to be 100% traditional when you visit the fortress. The fortress was massive with a huge flag out front with two royal guards below it. The fortress was super impressive, beautiful, and colorful.

Inside were gorgeous paintings and depictions of the walls of dragons, the god of energy, and many others. There’s also a huge courtyard where they used to perform the festival that they now do in Punakha. There’s also a temple. The fortress is divided into two sections: the religious and administration areas. Visitors can only visit the religious area.

There are over a dozen beautiful monasteries inside the fortress. You can see elephants, tigers, Garuda, and snow leopards depicted on their exteriors. I couldn’t take photos or videos inside the temple, where we saw about 50 monks chanting inside as well as the Buddha, the unifier, and the second Buddha.

What an amazing Bhutanese village food experience in Thimphu, Bhutan!

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About Me:

My name is David Hoffmann. For the last 12 years, I have been traveling around the world in search of unique culture, food, and history! Since starting David’s Been Here in 2008, I have traveled to over 1,100 destinations in 77 countries, which I welcome you to check out on my YouTube channel, travel blog, and social media sites.

I focus a great deal on food and historical sites, as you probably have seen! I love to experience the different flavors that each destination has to offer, from casual street food to gourmet restaurant dining. I’m also passionate about learning about the local history and culture.

P.S. Thank you for watching my videos and subscribing!
x

Chili Loaded BHUTANESE FOOD + Punakha Cultural Festival | Punakha, Bhutan

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After an unbelievable first day in Bhutan, I was ready to do it all again on day two! Come along with me as I try more chili loaded Bhutanese food and go back to the Punakha Cultural Festival!

My morning began at the Drubchhu Resort in Punakha, where I enjoyed a spicy breakfast of egg curry, a chili salsa called ezay, and fried rice. The egg curry was light, like a watered-down soup-like curry, but it was full of flavor! It wasn’t too hot, though.

The fried red rice (which also contained chilies) was amazing with the curry. The ezay was unreal. It was like a spicy veggie salad with cheese. I added more curry over the rice, which was amazing. It doesn’t get more traditional than this here in Bhutan! I could taste the influences from both India and China in the food.

I also got some suja, which is salty butter tea, and some black coffee with no sugar.
Then, I met up with Tsheten and Nidup from MyBhutan to head to the festival! On the way, I got out of the car to get an amazing view of the two rivers meeting in the foreground, with the fortress behind them.

Then, we continued on to the fortress. Across from it was a pop-up mini market that sells food and souvenirs to people visiting the festival. I could see peanuts, noodles, wine containers, and more!

Inside the fortress, I got to see several traditional music and dance performances where the performers wore beautiful, colorful costumes and masks. There were about 3,000-4,000 spectators. There was a section for tourists to watch from, and the rest of the fortress was for locals.

Tsheten took me to the monastic area, which is mainly for the monks. There are about 400-500 monks living there. The architecture was stunning and extremely colorful. There were vibrant depictions of dragons, snow lions, and more carved everywhere, as well as script in Sanskrit. There’s an on-site shrine and a temple and golden doors, through which they coronated Bhutan’s first king in December of 1907.

Inside the main shrine is a statue of the Buddha and the unifier who unified Bhutan, who was a Tibetan scholar.

Then, we headed to get some lunch at the resort, which consisted of dried beef with chilies and rice noodles, an ema dashti made from red chilies, cauliflower with cheese, and white rice from India. The broth from the ema dashti was super spicy!

The dried beef with noodles super chewy but full of fat and flavor. The ema dashti was really good as well and not as hot as the one with green chilies. I also loved the cauliflower. The cheese was almost completely liquid, so it wasn’t gooey at all.

I suggest mixing the ema dashti with the rice, which is so good! I also went back for more beef with noodles, which was way more tender than my first bite. These chilies aren’t hot right away. They sneak up on you and make your lips tingle! The green chilies are way too hot, though!

I also loved that Bhutanese cuisine contained a lot of vegetables. The cauliflower was my favorite. The ema dashti was better than yesterday’s because it wasn’t nearly as hot. The dried beef was good, but it was a little too tough and rubbery for me. If you love veg and spice, this is the country for you!

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About Me:

My name is David Hoffmann. For the last 12 years, I have been traveling around the world in search of unique culture, food, and history! Since starting David’s Been Here in 2008, I have traveled to over 1,100 destinations in 77 countries, which I welcome you to check out on my YouTube channel, travel blog, and social media sites.

I focus a great deal on food and historical sites, as you probably have seen! I love to experience the different flavors that each destination has to offer, from casual street food to gourmet restaurant dining. I’m also passionate about learning about the local history and culture.

P.S. Thank you for watching my videos and subscribing!

Medieval Bhutanese VILLAGE FOOD & Tour + Bhutanese Puris | Wangdue, Bhutan

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My epic third day in Bhutan continued that afternoon in the Wangdue District, about a 30-minute drive south of the city of Punakha. I’d be exploring a 17th-century village first, and then head to a second village to experience local life and have some amazing food! Come along with me as I try some medieval Bhutanese village food, including Bhutanese puris, in Wangdue, Bhutan!

Tsheten (my guide from MyBhutan) and I started in the village of Rinchengang, one of the oldest villages in Bhutan! Here, the houses are all clustered together. You can see traditional stonemasonry and multigenerational households. There were cows and stray dogs wandering around everywhere. It was like taking a trip back in time!

I loved the architecture. Then, I got to see some of the mud-bricks that they use to build the houses. A lot of the older houses have stone foundations and mud-bricks on the top. The newer houses also have wood in them.

There’s only one main path that connects the 20-or-so houses in Rinchengang. It reminded me of an Ottoman village I once visited in Turkey.

We reached the bottom of the town and got back in the car with Nidup to cross the river to the second village. Along the way, we saw Wangdue Phodrang Dzong fortress, which burned down in 2012. We followed a narrow, winding road on the side of the mountain, which got very rocky and bumpy.

In the second village, the houses are much farther apart from one another. We visited one with lots of space and small, low couches.

We had some milk tea with sugar, flattened corn, flattened rice, and roasted rice powder. The tea was basically like chai. The flattened corn was the best.

Then, we went to see some locals making puris, and along the way, we played a little archery. Then, we arrived at the house where they were making Bhutanese puris called maku, which are made from rice like Indian puris. They take a small amount of dough, press it into a small disc shape, and deep-fry it so it puffs up into a hollow, crispy ball.

It tasted like popcorn and was crispy, airy, and not too oily! I wanted to try some with some ema dashti! We bought a bag of them for 200 Nu/$2.65 USD.

After Tsheten had to run away from a bull protecting its calf, we entered another house by climbing a super steep staircase to the second level. There, we had some maku with red chili salsa with onion and tomato called ezay. We enjoyed it with some strong ara!

I broke the maku in half and scooped up some of the ezay. It was extremely spicy, but so amazing! I couldn’t get enough of it! Then, it was time to make some ema dashti! I cut a few chilies before the cook took over.

Fresh cow cheese and processed cheese went into this ema dashti. We enjoyed it with red rice, kewa dashti (chili, cheese, and potatoes), ema dashti, spinach soup, fried beef with chilies, and ezay (chili salsa). We ate everything traditional-style, on the floor with no tables.

I started with the spinach soup, which was creamy and full of spinach. It was a nice, small portion and so yummy!

The ema dashti was nice and spicy, while the kewa dashti was super creamy. The beef looked amazing and was so spicy, juicy, and full of flavor! The chili salsa was so refreshing. The numbing Szechwan peppers were outstanding. Every meal in Bhutan got better and better! The tender beef with the peppers and chilies and cheese was unreal!

This afternoon and evening was one of my favorite experiences in Bhutan so far!

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About Me:

My name is David Hoffmann. For the last 12 years, I have been traveling around the world in search of unique culture, food, and history! Since starting David’s Been Here in 2008, I have traveled to over 1,100 destinations in 77 countries, which I welcome you to check out on my YouTube channel, travel blog, and social media sites.

I focus a great deal on food and historical sites, as you probably have seen! I love to experience the different flavors that each destination has to offer, from casual street food to gourmet restaurant dining. I’m also passionate about learning about the local history and culture.

P.S. Thank you for watching my videos and subscribing!

Exotic BHUTANESE STREET FOOD + Driving Through the Himalayas to Haa Valley | Bhutan

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My seventh day in Bhutan was the beginning of yet another incredible adventure in the western region of the country. Come along with me as I enjoy some exotic Bhutanese street food on my way through the Himalayas to Haa Valley in western Bhutan!

My day began in the capital city of Thimphu. My friend and guide from MyBhutan, Tsheten, and I set off toward Haa Valley with our driver Nidup. The valley had been closed to Westerners until 2002.

We followed the main highway to a hut-like shop that was like part convenience store, part restaurant. There, they had the outer skin of the yak, tripe, lungs, beef sausage, pork sausage, veal, and more. It was spicy, non-veg organ meat!

I started with some ngaja, or milk tea, while Tsheten and Nidup got the suja, or butter tea. Then, I dove into the most exotic breakfast I’ve ever eaten! I had beef lungs, tripe (beef stomach), two pork blood sausages, and ezay.

The pork blood sausage was super spicy and tasted like morcilla! It was nice, juicy, and dense. Then, I dug into the lungs, which was good! It had a similar consistency to kidneys. It was so soft and full of numbing spices. I loved the spice level. It was so good!

Next was the tripe. It was really tasty but a little tough. Then, I added more ezay to it. It tasted like a medium or overcooked flank steak! There was a fleshy side and a more gelatinous side.

The ezay wasn’t too spicy. It was more like a chili paste. It was made with chili powder, onion, tomato, and oil. The sausage was one of my favorite morcillas ever! Overall, the spice level was maybe a 7 out of 10. Then, I finished with some porridge made from boiled rice, paneer, and chili powder. I could feel the chilies in it!

From there, we left the stand and hit the road again. Outside of Paro, we passed through a small village called Shaba and passed some fields where they grow potatoes, chilies, and other vegetables. There was also rice fields, lots of houses, and some stupas.

We were making our way up the mountain. We passed some domesticated horses on the road. Then, we reached a viewpoint where we could get an amazing view of Paro.
The road was the windiest one I’d ever been on.

Then, we saw a cat leopard and then we began passing slushy patches of snow. I wanted to have a snowball fight! They use lots of salt on the road because of the snow, which mades the road bad. It got super bumpy and muddy with potholes. It was like a Bhutanese massage!

We stopped for a second so we could have a snowball fight! Afterward, with my hands frozen, we hopped back in the car and passed lots of yaks. To our right, we could see the second-highest mountain in Bhutan, which is 7,340 meters above sea level.

Then, we made it to the highest pass in Bhutan, Chele La. It’s 3,988 meters above sea level. The views were incredible! There were prayer flags everywhere and some prayer wheels. I could feel the altitude; it was hard for me to catch my breath. I definitely recommend wearing winter clothes there!

From there, we had less than an hour ride to get down. The road was literally cut into the mountain. I hadn’t felt the altitude like this in a long time.

We stopped at another viewpoint to see Haa Valley in all its glory. There was a military base and a town there. It’s a long valley surrounded by mountains. I could see a monastery with a red roof to the left.

We made it to the bottom of the mountain. There weren’t that many people in the town. We’d finally arrived in Haa Valley. I couldn’t wait to explore it!

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About Me:

My name is David Hoffmann. For the last 12 years, I have been traveling around the world in search of unique culture, food, and history! Since starting David’s Been Here in 2008, I have traveled to over 1,100 destinations in 77 countries, which I welcome you to check out on my YouTube channel, travel blog, and social media sites.

I focus a great deal on food and historical sites, as you probably have seen! I love to experience the different flavors that each destination has to offer, from casual street food to gourmet restaurant dining. I’m also passionate about learning about the local history and culture.

P.S. Thank you for watching my videos and subscribing!

Authentic Bhutanese Foods + SHOCKING Village of FERTILITY Tour | Punakha, Bhutan

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My third day in Bhutan began with breakfast at the Happiness Field Village Homestay in the city of Punakha. After that, I’d visit a unique local village and monastery!

My traditional breakfast included some rice porridge and an amazing, sticky, risotto-like fried rice with ezay, which is a spicy chili salsa. The ezay added a lot of heat to the rice porridge. Overall, the spice level was maybe an 8/10. I finished up with milk tea (chai) with ginger.

Then, I met up with my driver, Nidup, and my guide Tsheten, both from MyBhutan. We arrived in the village of Sipsikha, a town of less than 1,000 where phalluses are painted on every house and restaurant as a symbol of fertility. The phalluses are all different colors and have eyes. Some even have fangs! They also chase away evil spirits. In the handicraft souvenir shops, they even sell phalluses! The tradition of painting phalluses dates back to the 15th century, when a Tibetan saint who came to Bhutan and subdued evil spirits using his phallus. It was so unique…I’d never seen a place like this!

It takes about 2 minutes to walk through the first part of the village. Between the two parts of the village are rice paddy fields. It’s really beautiful! Past the fields is the second part of the village, where you’ll find a water prayer wheel and many more shops on your way to the Chimi Lhakhang Monastery.

The shops sell phalluses of different sizes, some of which are painted, while others are plain. They also have beautiful paintings, scarves, prayer beads, and masks. The traditional ceramic masks were about 1,500 Nu, or about $19.84 USD.

The architecture in the town was beautiful. We continued on to more fields, where we saw them making mud bricks.

Near Chimi Lhakhang Monastery is a black stupa, where the Lam Drukpa Kuenley, an unconventional Buddhist master known as the Divine Madman captured and subdued a pair of demons who wanted to kill him. There’s also a large prayer wheel and 108 smaller ones.

Inside the temple, I took off my hat and shoes and filmed inside the courtyard. Inside, prayers were in session. There are also students and lots of different types of offerings.

Next, we headed to a nunnery, but it was closed, so we headed to Chimi Lhakhang Organic Café, a rustic, wood café that offers amazing views of the paddy fields, village, and mountains.

I had a Druk lager, red rice, ema dashti, vegetable soup, dried beef sausage with chilies, and dried pork with spinach and chilies.

The ema dashti was spicy and delicious and contained mushrooms. The green chilies are really hot, but the red ones aren’t so bad. The red rice really helped calm down the heat. The beef sausage contained some chili seeds and chili oil. It was nice and crunchy. You eat them with the ezay, which also contains onions.

The vegetable soup was light and cloudy and contained spinach but no spice. Then, I went for the dried pork. It was mostly gelatinous pork fat with a bit of meat. You eat it with the spinach and chilies. The gelatin falls apart in your mouth, and the sautéed spinach and chili combination was really nice. The layer of meat was hard to bite through, though.

The ema dashti was my favorite. It’s one of my favorite dishes on the planet now! It has a consistency similar to spinach dip. The chilies in the sausages felt like numbing Szechwan peppers. My least favorite was the meat layer in the pork, but it was still nice. The sausages were so good that I got a second plate!

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About Me:

My name is David Hoffmann. For the last 12 years, I have been traveling around the world in search of unique culture, food, and history! Since starting David’s Been Here in 2008, I have traveled to over 1,100 destinations in 77 countries, which I welcome you to check out on my YouTube channel, travel blog, and social media sites.

I focus a great deal on food and historical sites, as you probably have seen! I love to experience the different flavors that each destination has to offer, from casual street food to gourmet restaurant dining. I’m also passionate about learning about the local history and culture.

P.S. Thank you for watching my videos and subscribing!

Bhutanese CRAFT BEER & FOOD Experience at Bhutanese Brewery | Paro, Bhutan

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My eighth and final day in Bhutan continued as I enjoyed Bhutanese craft beer and food at a brewery in Paro, Bhutan! Come along with me as I finish my Bhutanese adventures with a bang!

My friend and guide Tsheten from MyBhutan and I headed to a local brewery called Namgay Artisanal Brewery to have some craft beer and food. It’s the only brewery in Bhutan that makes beer from red rice. Red rice is a staple in Bhutan. I had already sampled their dark ale earlier in my trip in Thimphu, but they have a lot of varieties.

The brewery has a great view over Paro and its airport, which I’d fly out of the next morning. The smell inside the brewery was incredible. I loved the wood décor and the atmosphere. One of the women who works there gave me a tour of the facility. There, I saw some huge fermenting tanks and the brew system, including the hot water and cold water tanks.

I got a flight of each of their beers, including the red rice lager, dark ale, wheat beer, IPA, milk stout, apple cider, pilsner, and local pale ale. They were all really good, but the red rice, milk stout, and local were my favorites.

Then, it was time to eat! We had more ema dashti (chilies & cheese), pork, kewa dashti (potatoes & cheese), spinach soup, cucumber salad with spices and cheese, rice, and buckwheat pancakes. I dipped the buckwheat pancake into the ema dashti, which was delicious. The chilies weren’t too spicy. It was so good!

This set menu comes with 7 items and only costs 450 Nu/$5.93 USD. It’s such a great deal! The spinach soup contained lots of herbs and was spicy because of the numbing chilies. I’d been eating chilies for eight days straight, so my stomach wasn’t too happy with me! I’d been eating them straight, which isn’t the way to do it. Instead, you’re supposed to mix them with rice. I liked eating them straight, though!

The best thing to do was have the buckwheat pancake with the ema dashti. It was so good! Then, I added the pork and its gravy to my rice. The gravy was creamy and delicious. It felt like India! It was so flavorful and wasn’t too crazy on the spices, but was still chunky and fatty. The non-veg food in Bhutan is the best but the chilies can mess up your stomach if you’re not careful.

The kewa dashti was nice and creamy with a little bit of chilies. It contained both processed cheese and fresh cow’s cheese. My boy Tsheten was going nuts with the rice! He always eats a mountain of it with his meals! Finally, I finished up with the cucumber salad with spices and cheese. It was crumbly and reminded me of a Greek salad-like dish.

Then, I added my ema dashti to my rice and went all out since it would be my last time eating it in a long time! I enjoyed my last few bites with some of their amazing red rice lager.

Most people who come to Bhutan only stay at the hotels and hit the buffets, but I highly recommend trying the traditional Bhutanese food when you can. It’s incredible!

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#Davidsbeenhere #Paro #Bhutan #DavidInBhutan

About Me:

My name is David Hoffmann. For the last 12 years, I have been traveling around the world in search of unique culture, food, and history! Since starting David’s Been Here in 2008, I have traveled to over 1,100 destinations in 77 countries, which I welcome you to check out on my YouTube channel, travel blog, and social media sites.

I focus a great deal on food and historical sites, as you probably have seen! I love to experience the different flavors that each destination has to offer, from casual street food to gourmet restaurant dining. I’m also passionate about learning about the local history and culture.

P.S. Thank you for watching my videos and subscribing!
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TIBETAN CHINESE Street Food Tour in REMOTE China! YAK SASHIMI, TEMPLE FOOD, + UNKNOWN Street Foods

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Street Food - Tibetan Chinese Street Food - BEST Street food in China
We found YAK SASHIMI and so much delicious Chinese Tibetan street food in West Sichuan, near Tibet! Join us on a deep Tibetan Street Food Tour! You can travel with us through this street food tour vlog and taste some of the most UNIQUE, delicious (LIKE YAK SASHIMI!), and UNKNOWN street food around the world. We traveled to Kangding, specifically to eat the best street food. First up, we went to a morning street food market and found a ton of different Yak, all laying out and ready to sell to chefs for their special Chinese/Tibetan recipes. This is the same YAK that we sampled for the YAK SASHIMI at a fancy Tibetan restaurant in the evening.

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We went to a Tibetan breakfast restaurant and had some amazingly powerful Yak organ soup, which to be honest, was not very delicious, although the spicy chili sauce was great! After that, we traveled to the local monastery buddhist temple to eat with the monks! This was truly a once in a lifetime street food temple experience! The authentic local Chinese Tibetan recipes the chefs were making were incredible! The flavours will blow you away, they all had this incredible home-cooked flavour.
There were so many authentic Chinese recipes that the chefs were making, it will blow you away! All of it had an amazing home-cooked flavour!

After that amazing monastery meal, we went back into downtown on the hunt for delicious street food recipes to try, and found an amazing Tibetan restaurant serving up some amazing Tibetan delicacies, like raw yak meat Sashimi, tsampa highland barley flour with yak butter and so much more!

You can follow our travels through this tea horse road series as we travel through China on a 6 week street food tour journey and try delicious Chinese street food and Chinese cuisine all the way from Sichuan and into the west of Sichuan with Tibetan food, and then into Yunnan in the south of China! You can discover with us exactly why China is the best place for street food in the world!

If you’re thinking of traveling through China because of the delicious street food, or even living in China for the food, You definitely must travel throughout Sichuan to taste the flavours! There is so many back street markets to explore and new delicious recipes to try! Come hungry! There is a lifetime worth of delicious street food to try! And the locals are all extremely friendly!

Here in China, Chinese street food and Chinese cuisine is so varied and abundant and diverse that you couldn’t eat it in your whole lifetime. We consider ourselves very lucky to be able to live in Chengdu, Sichuan, eating delicious Sichuan street food and tasting new and enticing street foods almost every day.

Here are the addresses for the street foods in this video:

1) Morning Street Food Market (with the RAW yak meat and the Yak Meat Jerky!):
Market:四川省康定市康定临时牛肉市场

2) Tibetan Chinese Breakfast (Yak Organ Soup):
早餐:四川省康定市东大街74附2丁三哥特色小吃

3) Tibetan Monestary Lunch:
午饭:四川省康定市南无寺

4) HUGE Tibetan restaurant feast:
晚饭:四川省康定市东大街82号6楼玛拉亚藏餐厅

ABOUT THE FOOD RANGER
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My name is Trevor James and I'm a hungry traveler and Mandarin learner that's currently living in Chengdu, Szechuan, China, eating up as much delicious.
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Indian Village Food in Nagaland - Fire Roasted Pig Intestines with Grandpa!

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Nagaland is a state in India located in the very northeastern part of the country, just to the west of Myanmar. I was excited to visit a friend in Nagaland, and before I arrived, I had no idea how important pigs were in the Naga diet. Soon I was dining on delicious pork cooked with dry bamboo shoots, rice, dal, and lots of different chili paste sauces.

But then I had an opportunity to roast and eat fresh pig intestines with my friend's grandfather - and what a fantastic idea that was! He sliced down some fresh banana leaves to use as a plate. He then took the pig intestines and sliced them into pieces. In order to roast over fire, grandfather then took bamboo and make slivers used for skewers, sharpening them to a point. He skewered each of the intestines and then prepared them to be immersed into the flames. They aren't grilled, they are roasted in Nagaland.

The grease from the pig intestines even caught on fire, as grandpa quickly blew out the flames. The result was flame charred pig intestines. They were actually quite delicious, like naturally sausage that just oozed with porky grease and flavor. I actually overall preferred the small pig intestines which were a little less oily and were slightly crunchy!

Anyway, I had an incredible time visiting Nagaland, India, and roasting pig intestines the local Naga way, should be high on anyone's priority list for a great time!

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Tibetan Food in Shigatse - TRADITIONAL BREAKFAST in Tibet!

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SHIGATSE, TIBET - Along with Lhasa, Shigatse is one of the most important and largest cities in Tibet. We had the honor to explore Shigatse for the day, learn about the city, eating Tibetan food, and learn about the amazing Tibetan culture. #Shigatse #Tibet #food

Tibetan breakfast - There’s nothing better to eat for breakfast in Tibet than tsampa - roasted barley flour, mixed with yak cheese, yak butter, and sugar, and formed into small hand-squeezed balls. It grows like a loaf of bread in your stomach - it’s so hearty and filling. The best part of the experience was eating it in a local home and watching them as they made it for breakfast, the common way they do everyday for breakfast. The butter tea was excellent.

Tibetan food lunch - We went to a local family restaurant for lunch we we tried a number of Tibetan, and specifically Shigatse foods, including dumpling in soup, a fried bread stuffed with yak, fried sheep lungs, and Tibetan blood sausage. It was a heavy and meaty lunch, and the food was delicious.

Tashilhunpo Monastery - As the palace of the Panchen Lama (second most important spiritual figure in Tibetan Buddhism), the Tashilhunpo Monastery is one of the most sacred and important sites in Shigatse. After walking around the temple complex in the morning, we then went into the temple complex in the afternoon.

It was a great day of food, exploring, and learning in Shigatse, Tibet.

Thank you to Travel China & Tibet ( they sponsored my trip to Tibet, and they did an amazing job to cater to the exact things I wanted to do. Highly recommended when you visit Tibet.

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Top 10 Places to Visit in Suriname

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Back in July of 2019, I spent 11 amazing days traveling around the diverse South American country of Suriname. These are the top 10 places you must visit in Suriname!

1. Paramaribo
Suriname’s capital and largest city. It’s a cosmopolitan melting pot where you can find a rich, colonial past and cuisines that range from Chinese to African to Indonesian to Indian to Dutch. You can also find accommodations for every budget!

2. Tamanredjo
A small town between Paramaribo and Albina. Most of its people are Javanese, and you can find incredible Indonesian chicken, fried banana, rice, and beans, at Warung Lenny’s restaurant in town.

3. Galibi
A small village located at the meeting place of the Maroni River and the Atlantic Ocean. There, you can find lots of outstanding seafood and, between February and June, you can find nesting sea turtles!

4. Brownsweg/Ston Eiland
A town about 80 miles south of Paramaribo, near Brownsberg Nature Park and the Brokopondo Reservoir. The reservoir and surrounding forest offers jungle treks, Howler Monkey Island, and fishing for piranha, and you can find Surinamese barbecue in town!

5. Atjoni
A tiny port village that provides transportation to villages along the Upper Surinamese river. Here, you can grab some Indonesian-inspired food at the riverside restaurant and take a boat ride to Isadou Island.

6. Isadou Island
A small river island in the Upper Suriname River that is home to the Isadou Resort. You can also enjoy delicious jungle food, take treks in the forest, take a dip in the river, search for caiman at night, and visit nearby Jaw Jaw village!

7. Browns-Mountain
A 500-meter-tall mountain in Brownsberg Nature Reserve near Brokopondo Reservoir. From its summit, you can enjoy views of the reservoir and hike to two different jungle waterfalls.

8. Palumeu
A tiny village along the Tapanahony River deep in Suriname’s interior. Take a hike through the jungle to Poti Hill, explore the primary and secondary forests, go fishing in the river rapids, and visit the village!

9. Lelydorp
A mostly Javanese village along the main road leading south from Paramaribo. It’s a great place to find unique handicrafts and Indonesian-inspired street food like lumpia, satay, chicken sausage, and boiled vegetables with spicy peanut sauce!

10. Johanna-Margaretha
An area east of Paramaribo near the meeting place of the Suriname and Commewijne Rivers. Watch the pink-bellied dolphins at sunset and have an Indian dinner at the Johanna en Margaretha plantation before heading out into the swamp to look for caimans at night!

And there you have it! Those are the top 10 places you must visit in Suriname. This country is so unbelievably diverse in terms of culture and food, and is also a gorgeous country that is largely untouched and unknown to most. You will love it!

Where have you been?

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#Davidsbeenhere #Suriname #DavidInSuriname

About Me:

My name is David Hoffmann. For the last 12 years, I have been traveling around the world in search of unique culture, food, and history! Since starting David’s Been Here in 2008, I have traveled to over 1,100 destinations in 77 countries, which I welcome you to check out on my YouTube channel, travel blog, and social media sites.

I focus a great deal on food and historical sites, as you probably have seen! I love to experience the different flavors that each destination has to offer, from casual street food to gourmet restaurant dining. I’m also passionate about learning about the local history and culture.

P.S. Thank you for watching my videos and subscribing!

Trip to Bhutan 2016

9day tour in Bhutan (2016)
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