A fun thing about Thimphu

Playing carrom in the streets of Thimphu, Bhutan

Many things have been written about Thimphu. It is easy to find lists telling you the ten best things to do in Thimphu. All of them miss out on the most fun thing to do: play carrom at night with the locals. Back from Bumthang, we were feeling warm in Thimphu. After dinner we started looking for ice cream, and wandered into a street lined with carrom boards, all in use.

There were groups of young men playing. This is a game all of us had grown up playing, and it was fascinating. The Family noticed that there was no female player. "Why," she asked, and did not stay for an answer.

Carrom players and kibitzers, Thimphu, Bhutan

We stopped at some of the games to comment on the technique and play. We were not the only ones. Several boards were crowded with onlookers and kibitzers. In India, any carrom board attracts its share of people who give unwanted advice: kibitzers. Bhutan was no exception. If we knew Dzongkha we would have joined in. At some point we did discuss the finer points of strategy on one of the boards. Since we spoke English, and the players did not, we managed not to give away a national advantage.

If you are in Thimphu one night, you can have a good time joining one of these groups to play carrom.

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Author: I. J. Khanewala

I travel on work. When that gets too tiring then I relax by travelling for holidays. The holidays are pretty hectic, so I need to unwind by getting back home. But that means work.

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