When dealing with Bhutan, one inevitably comes across the sport of archery. It is so popular among Bhutanese men that there are stories of Bhutanese mortgaged their farm to buy a modern, high-performance bow.
We wanted to learn more about this topic and our Bhutanese travel guide suggested learning the whole thing from scratch. So we first visited a market to buy metallic arrowheads, bamboo sticks and feathers for the arrows and also found hardened wood to make the bows out of. We also acquired a rope that was eventually braided into a bowstring at our destination of Trongsa.
But before the practice, we first visited the Buddhist Trongsa Dzong, the largest monastery fortress in Bhutan. This monastery was built in 1543 over the gorge of Mangde River. In order to be able to see the spectacular inner courtyards and nested floors, one had to get up early, since visits were only possible in the early hours of the morning, before the monastery began to function.
And finally the time had come, the resin in the arrowheads as a compound between metal and wood was now hardened and we went to an area near Trongsa to test the bows and our talent. Well, the bows were great, but after many attempts and aching shoulders, we finally preferred to watch the practiced Bhutanese with their throwing techniques and archery skills.