Adventure. Culture. Nature
"Bhutan is a fascinating and rewarding destination."
- Lonely Planet
Alpine Bhutan Travel
Old Trade Route South
Just about 50 years ago, Bhutanese economy was a self-sufficient one, growing whatever they needed on their farms from cereals to spices, from fruits to nuts. However, as in other mountainous societies, one commodity had to be bought all the way from the sea - the salt.
Salt was so scarce and important in those days in Bhutan that it was accepted as a form of currency for barter. Salt came mostly from India. Once a year after the harvesting season, in winter, able-bodied men from the valleys would make a trip to India. They would take produce from Bhutan like corn flakes, dried cheese and yak hair to barter with salt in India. They would bring back salt on their back and mules to last a year for the whole valley.
old trade route passed through mountain passes and rocky cliffs, river
ravines and uninhabited jungles of Southern Bhutan. The journey was full
of perils. Arriving in the plains Bhutanese traders would camp at the old
trading post at Pasakha (now near Phuentsholing). The journey would take
anywhere between 7 to 12 days.
This tour package would follow the old trade route to South (which is no in disuse). After seeing the cultural and historic centres of Bhutan for the first days, then you would drive south. The zigzagging road would follow the same trail that Bhutanese traders walked on foot just half a century ago. It would lead you from the mountains of Bhutan to the plains of India.
You can arrange a extend tour for you in the old kingdom of Sikkim if you would like once you are out of Bhutan.
©2007 Alpine Bhutan Travel.