Did you know you can get featured on a postage stamp in Bhutan? Yes, one which is legally valid and can be used for sending letters or postcards!
|Receiving a postcard with a postage stamp with your photo on it- can there be a better feeling for any philately enthusiast?|
Thimphu, the capital city of the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan, is unique in lot of ways. It is the only capital city which doesn’t have a single traffic light. The buildings- be it a roadside café or the best hotels- they are all intricately designed. I was in awe of the architecture of the entire country as soon as I first saw it.
One of our first stops at Thimphu was the General Post Office (GPO). And it was no different. It looked beautiful. But why would a post office be a tourist destination anywhere? Well, I had read about it before my trip and was definitely looking forward to it.
|The beautiful General Post Office building in Thimphu, Bhutan. November 2016|
|The entrance. General Post Office, Thimphu, Bhutan. November 2016|
The GPO is a huge building and its right side section houses the tourist centre. Here one can find innumerable souvenirs and memorabilia to carry back home from the Himalayan Kingdom. One of the best and most unique feature of this place is you can get yourself clicked and printed on a Bhutanese stamp.
I got myself recorded in Bhutanese history. You can get 12 stamps each with a face value of 30 Ngultrum and costing 360 Ngultrum in total. Bhutanese Ngultrum is equivalent to Indian Rupee. I also bought a few postcards with some iconic Bhutanese landmarks (which we saw over the next few days in the trip) and wrote letters to my family and relatives back in India.
|The sheet of 12 postage stamps fresh out of the printer. General Post Office, Thimphu, Bhutan. November 2016|
|Postcards with iconic locations of Bhutan- Chele La Pass, Way to Tiger's Nest, Dochu La Pass. General Post Office, Thimphu, Bhutan. November 2016|
|Writing postcards first time out of the English exams. General Post Office, Thimphu, Bhutan. November 2016|
Imagine the surprise when your family receives a postcard addressed to them coming from a foreign country and the top corner holds a stamp with a photo of you!
The lady at the counter informed us that the postcards usually reach within 7-10 days in India. I wrote and posted 6 postcards. The first arrived in exactly 10 days. The second and third after a month. It’s been 4 months but I am still waiting for the remaining 3 postcards. Haha! (I am certain they left Bhutanese territory on time and got lost somewhere in India)
Have you been to the Post Office at Thimphu? How was the experience? Do you know of some other unique post offices around the world?
Now read these posts from the Bhutan series: