Saturday, August 24, 2013

Swimming Pool in Bhutan

A Swimming pool in Bhutan is almost equivalent to Eiffel Tower in Paris or Taj Mahal in India not for any special reason but for having just one in the country for many many years. That lone swimming pool is located in Thimphu and it has become a landmark, the whole area around it is proudly named Swimming Pool. Many people died without seeing this pool but seriously it’s no better than a pool seen in an average hotel abroad.

Much later some hotels built their own swimming pools and interesting any average Bhutanese can name the hotels with swimming pools in chronological order like an intelligent child can name the oceans on the earth. Yes, if you want to be famous in Bhutan built a swimming pool. It’s so rare than even today people consider going to swimming pool like going to Disney Land, including myself.

Swimming is known to be the best form of exercise to our body. It engages our entire body parts including buttock where usually no exercise can impact. Swimming gives muscles to our heart and lungs. And when you are injured or pregnant swimming is the safest exercise. But where to swim? Our rivers are killers where parents and teachers would never send and thus swimming is very uncommon among Bhutanese.

I am learning the basics of swimming at this age because I didn’t have the opportunity before. I heard about the swimming pool in Thimphu long ago like a legend but I didn’t have the confidence or money to go there.
Now that we have a swimming pool in a Hotel near Bajothang, which is commercially open to public. I am investing in my swimming skills- better late than never. I have learnt enough to safe myself in case an emergency happens but I am yet to master the skill to rescue others.
Bajothangu Swimming Pool- Picture by Hotel Pema Karpo

With the confidence gathered from swimming pool here in Bajothang I dare a visit to the Swimming Pool in Thimphu with my little sister, niece and nephew. I was not allowed to go in because I wasn't going to swim. They told me my little ones will be taken care of. So I had to go in but they wanted me to wear swimsuit and not my regular boxer. So I had to hire a swimsuit for an addition cost on top of the heavy fee. Worse even, the suit was wet, someone just removed and passed it to me.

I could see so many children stopped outside because they either didn’t have full amount to pay or weren’t carrying swimsuit. And inside there were about hundred. The big hall felt like an army firing range with noise echoing endlessly. I badly missed Hotel Pema Karpo Swimming Pool in Bajothang then.

Few Reasons why I loved Bajothang Pool more than Thimphu’s:
Thimphu Swimming Pool
Hotel Pema Karpo Swimming Pool
Indoor,suffocating and noisy
Outdoor with views of Paddies and sky
Restrictions: Only swimmers, family should wait outside.
Only in Swimsuit.
Family can visit and only swimmers have to pay
Nu.200/hr for Adults
Nu.75/hr for Children
Nu.150 for 3 hr for adults (Nu.50/hr)
Nu.100 for Children for 3 hrs. (Nu.30/hr)
No privacy in the restroom and change room.
Private Restroom and Change room.
Water Heated to comfortable temperature
Water Naturally heated to comfortable temperature.

Why Bhutan didn't have many swimming pool? Well I think we must forgive the past and swim into the future. Swimming like any other thing must begin in school and schools in warm places should have a pool each, where every child gets to jump for free and without restrictions that insult their financial ability. It can not only beautify the campus but also make children fall in love with the school. It will not only keep children fit but also keep them from running to the river during hot seasons. This list of advantage goes on and on.

I and many teachers in Bajothang dream of a swimming pool in our school, our principal shares our dream and our Dzongda is the inspiration behind our dream, therefore it won't be long before we have one in our school. Wish us luck.

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