Our First Night in Bhutan


“My friend has invited us to a dinner tonight with Swedish Musicians” 

Were some of the first words that came out of our friend’s mouth when we arrived in Bhutan. We were still trying to take it all in. Bhutan, working with animals, hanging out with friends, breathtaking views.


When we first arrived to the airport in Paro, Bhutan

When we first arrived to the airport in Paro, Bhutan

We can’t say that our first night in Bhutan was authentically Bhutanese, but it was definitely a night that most visitors don’t ever get to experience.

Our friend Toni lives in Bhutan and has made some friends during her time there. Passang is one of them. He is a friendly and generous man, always making sure that we had a great time, and so he really wanted us to join him for a Bhutanese dinner with the Swedish musicians.


Toni and Giselle on our way to Thimphu

We really had no idea what to expect, we joked that hopefully we would be meeting ABBA, and thinking we might be having dinner with some Swedish old timers.

We left Toni’s place and walked to a landmark that we all knew to meet Passang. The four of us were the first to arrive at the restaurant. We chose our private room and were immediately offered drinks (the Bhutanese way) before we even sat down. The beer flowed from then on.


Downtown Thimphu

One thing you should know before heading to Bhutan. If you are a drinker, prepare to drink.

A lot.


We chatted for a while munching on chips, and Cody and I joked again about the Swedish band possibly being Refused, one of Cody’s favorite bands from Sweden.

A few minutes later, Four men walked into the room. We were introduced to Johan Westman, a music teacher living in Bhutan, Jesper Garold, and Johan Melin, from the band Fontän and Simon Ohlsson from the band Silverbullit.


Bhutanese dinner with new friends from Sweden

We all hit it off immediately. We enjoyed a great Bhutanese meal together and spoke mostly of music, hockey, and travel all night. There was a lot of laughter and everyone connected very well. We learned that Jesper  toured with Lykke Li, and has recorded violin with At the Gates, another band that Cody really likes.

We learned that Jesper Garold, Johan Melin, and Simon Ohlsson were invited to Bhutan to record traditional Bhutanese music, and based on what we’ve heard, they are doing a great job of it.


Jamming out till the early morning

They were very cool and so down to earth. We had a great time together; so much so, that after dinner we relocated to a bar that offered us a private room. They all showed up with their instruments and gave us a little sample of their version of Bhutanese music. At one point in the evening, (after quite a few beers) I even joined in and sang several songs with them until the sun came up.

Our first night in Bhutan was phenomenal. The days ahead definitely had some competition.

Comments To This Entry.
  1. Angie March 7, 2014 Reply

    Sounds like such an amazing experience!

    • Giselle and Cody March 8, 2014 Reply

      It was a great night and it was only the first day. We will be posting more videos of the great time we had in Bhutan.

  2. natasha March 9, 2014 Reply

    The meal looked awesome – is bhutanese food spicy? I look forward to seeing the video 🙂

    • Giselle and Cody March 12, 2014 Reply

      Natasha, no Bhutanese food was not really spicy at all.
      We ate a lot of Veg Momo while we were there. Most Bhutanese food contains cheese or butter so we ate a lot of Indian food (Which is always fine by us)

  3. Franca March 17, 2014 Reply

    What a night guys, I know that if there is an opportunity to sing and jam you’ll take it 🙂 Love the video!

  4. Diana Edelman March 17, 2014 Reply

    So jealous!!

    • Giselle and Cody March 18, 2014 Reply

      Let’s go there together Diana!!
      Actually…..we should just travel together everywhere.

  5. Abby March 18, 2014 Reply

    Non-spicy food and tons of booze: I can’t wait to learn more about Bhutan from your posts lol.

    • Giselle and Cody March 18, 2014 Reply

      Haha oh yeah TONS of booze.
      They just kept filling and filling and filling…….
      Even when you put your hand on top of the cup to cover they would try to give you a little more.

  6. Jo (The Blond) March 18, 2014 Reply

    It sounds like they welcomed you with open arms.
    Is Bhutan really hard to get to in terms of visas etc?

    • Giselle and Cody March 18, 2014 Reply

      It’s not very hard if you have the cash.
      You need to be with a tour company and it costs $250/day to go to Bhutan.
      We were very fortunate to be invited, so we got to bypass that expense.
      The visa was only $40 to enter the country but the $250 a day scares a lot of people off.

  7. Alex March 19, 2014 Reply

    Wow it is so interesting to read about Bhutan outside of the crazy $250 a day tour groups! I can’t wait to see more! I’d also love to read about the process of bypassing that requirement with your “invite.”

  8. Elizabeth March 20, 2014 Reply

    Very cool! The last 5 seconds of the video is the BEST! lol..

  9. Mindy & Ligeia March 21, 2014 Reply

    Wow! We’re extremely jealous! Bhutan is calling us…

  10. Toni March 25, 2014 Reply

    Love it, love you guys <3

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  12. Lucia July 8, 2014 Reply

    BEAUTIFUL!!!! BHUTAN…..even though it was cold, I’m sure it was
    all worth it!!

    • Giselle and Cody July 9, 2014 Reply

      Mom, you would love Bhutan so much. You really need to travel there one day 🙂

      Maybe with us…..

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