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It is one thing to toot your own horn, but something else when some speaks for you. Following are unedited testimonials of some of our past clients, many of whom will vouch for us.

TID 8584 - Haa & Juniper Ridge Trek (Aug 11 to Aug 22, 2014)

Hello Anan,

Thank you for your comforting email in inviting me to provide feedback on my Bhutan experience. 

The trip was a huge success for me, and at the centre of it there was Wind Horse Travel. From the moment I got in touch with Jambay and Ugen to discuss my itinerary, I instinctively knew that the trip would be nothing but special.

Teamed with knowledgeable guide Yonten and dependable driver Tshering, my Bhutan journey began with a great excitement. What really impressed me was the punctuality and professionalism of the pair, which stayed consistent until the very last day of the trip.

Every monumental sites I visited, Yonten was excited to tell me all related stories and histories, in as much details as I wanted them to be. Yonten always invited me to ask any questions and he was delighted to answer them when I had any. On the other hand, Tshering was always polite and pleasant to deal with. He ensured that the Wind Horse Travel ride was the shiniest of all at all times. Needless to say, his driving skills were unmatched for- safety and smoothness above all else.

A pleasant surprise was when I found out that Wind Horse Travel had arranged a five-star hotel accommodation for me in Punakha- the stay was really nice and I very much appreciated the extra consideration that Ugen and Jambay have given for my special Bhutan trip. Also, I really enjoyed my stay at the Gayul Guest House, where I got to make friends with the host Lhapsel and his cute niece Karmaniya. Lhapsel even made momos for me after he found out that momos are one of my favorite foods. What a beautiful place it was, I really wish I can visit it again in future.

Then came the trekking experience, which was the highlight of my trip. I met the A-team trekking crew, which was made up of the best members that I could have ever wished for. Wangda the cook made food that was tastier than any of the hotels that I visited in Bhutan; the assistance cook Dorji took care of all uneasy jobs throughout the travel; and the horseman Wangdi was unforgettable for his charisma and skills in controlling the horses, and for his comforting presence throughout the trip. Then there was Yonten, who guided and supported me throughout the whole trekking experience, and this was also the time that I got to meet the other members of Wind Horse Travel, the two Pemas and Sonam.

Begun with climbing a small monastery located in the middle of the Haa Valley Mountains, my heart was pumping with each step I took forward. As difficult as the trail proved to be, my spirit was being cleansed with fresh air and immaculate scenery surrounding me. The first day of trekking was very challenging and by the end of it I even felt that I was experiencing some mild altitude sickness. However, it was all good after having some nice warm milk tea followed by delicious dinner at a military soldier's lodge in the middle of mountains. The warm fire pit we had in the room was definitely a bonus.

Then came the second day, when the other Wind Horse Travel guides joined the group at the top of the Chelula path. The day turned challenging when the weather started to rain. We climbed through the jungle following Wangda the cook who led the way with machete in his hand. At times we had to jump from rocks, and at some point on this day I stopped caring about my socks and shoes getting soaked in the rain. It was a wild experience. However, with the bigger group came greater fun at the camp site, especially with some Ara (Local Homemade Liquor) that Sonam and Yonten had brought for me to the trip.

The third day of trekking was good and we were all lucky to see sunlight for the most part of the day. The hike was moderate compared to the two previous days, until we reached the camp site where a cow farmer had already occupied the space. We decided to continue on to do the 4th day's hike, which turned the day into another challenging journey. After 9 hrs of total hiking, we arrived at the airplane signal transmitting site, where the two residents greeted us and provided shelter. We had our last supper together and enjoyed the rest of the night (except Yonten, who got a moth trapped in his ear during the night).

The fact that I was the first taker ever on the Haa Valley-Juniper trek was definitely very special for me. Although some of the paths were hard to spot due to heavy fogs, the trekking crew really ensured the safety and wellness of me. Yes, the trekking was physically challenging, especially for the first two days of the hike; and yes, the rain made the trail very muddy which created difficult challenges at times. However, the fact that I was able to really see the untouched nature was priceless, and the fact that there was no sign of pollution - like garbage on the trail - was also a huge bonus for me. I would say that any moderately fit person in between 15 and 45 years of age can handle the trail no problem, although the speed may have to vary depending on each person's physical conditions. One suggestion I have is to confirm the usability of the camp site ahead of the time, to avoid any unexpectedness like the one I experienced. It was not a big deal for me, but the 9 hrs of hike did feel quite tiring especially near the end of it. I need to highlight again that the trekking crew that accompanied me was truly a gem, and I truly appreciate all the excellent and hard work that they did for me.

Last destination of the trip was Paro, and it definitely topped my expectations at an entirely different level. Hanging out with my new friends from trekking trip - Pema, Sonam in addition to Yonten and Tshering - was the main aspect that made the Paro experience extra special. I played Bhutanese darts and hung out with them in Pema's restaurant and at his place, which are activities that I will always miss here in Canada. Oh and Yonten and I climbed the Tiger's Nest in 64 minutes and 66 minutes, respectively, which is a new record set to be challenged by future Wind Horse Travel guides and guests.

The Bhutan trip was definitely one of the best trips that I experienced in my life. I truly feel like I've met real friends (or even more, brothers) while I was in Bhutan. The experience was so special to me that I am honestly considering to re-visit as soon as I could afford the trip again.

Thank you very much for your the excellent service that your company has provided to me. I sincerely command the team that you have established. Without you guys, my Bhutan experience would have never been the same.

If there is anything I can be of help at any time, please don't hesitate to contact me.

 


Posted on Sep. 10, 14
Scot S. J
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

 Dear Anand,

It all seems to have happened a long time ago, as we are in Phuket packing for our long trip home to Chicago later today (via BKK and NRT). Our two days with Yeshi were wonderful; we can't say enough good things about his service as our guide. Also, Dawa was a wonderful driver, but, of course, we spent much less time with him. Because our Bhutan trip was cut short, we had the opportunity to visit Kathmandu for two days, which also was very nice. The bottom line is that our trip turned out quite well, even though we missed seeing the Puhanka area. As for blame, I agree that a large part belongs on the ministry of tourism, which at first refused to grant me an extension, then relented, but refused to authorize my itinerary. I do think that you should have been aware of these issues, but I certainly understand how you were caught in the changing rules. Be assured that I will not be writing any unfavorable reviews; you handled the situation as well as could possibly be expected by refunding my payment for the two days that I could not tour. Other than the visa snafu, everything else went smoothly.

Best regards,


Posted on Sep. 19, 14
Rebel A.C.
Chicago, USA.

 Dear Anand,

We really enjoyed the trip and organization despite the fact that my husband got sick the second day we arrived.

Within the highest positive experiences are flexibility of the the itinerary and the way our trip was promptly rearrange when we missed the flight. I also have to mention our guide a - un-bothering personality and great knowledge about the country, traditions and Buddhism.

Scenery/sightseeing was covered well. As for the suggestions - it would have been nice to see local culture - dancing/singing, maybe some performances. We spotted some kind of the dancing in the hotel in the last night, but only the last 5 min.

Hopefully my feedback will be useful. Thanks again for the great time we had in Bhutan.

with best regards,


Posted on Sep. 19, 14

Petain Rd,Singapore.

 Dear Anand,

The trip with Windhorse was excellent. You did a phenomenal job organizing the whole trip and everything ran incredibly smoothly. Namgay was an excellent guide, always courteous, polite and informative.
I would highly recommend your services to friends and family visiting Bhutan.
If you would like me to write up a review of Windhorse online somewhere, please let me know.
Best,

Posted on Dec. 31, 69
Alexander G
Encino, California, USA

Dear Anand,

 
I think the trip exceeded my expectations, but it may have been more the case because of the beauty of Bhutan.  Actually, Yeshi and the driver were great traveling companions and were able to accommodate my requests.  I did not get a chance to go to Punakha as the road was blocked but we came up with a good alternative.  The level of the hotels varied from 3 to 5 star.  The Paro hotel Tamsay was of inferior quality compared to the others Druk and Zhiwa Ling.  Probably more consistency in the hotel quality (excluding the premium hotels) would improve the experience.  As a note, the food at Zhiwa Ling was way overpriced for the quality.  Otherwise, I enjoyed the food elsewhere.  
 
I had no issues with the trip and have no complaints and thoroughly enjoyed the trip and hope to return to Bhutan again.

Posted on Sep. 19, 14
Taka J
New York,10009, USA

 Ugen,

I am writing to let you know that Robert, Isaac and I were very pleased with the arrangements Wind Horse Tours made for our trip. With eight legs, seven internal flights and the road trips, there was always someone waiting for us at each destination. We were well taken care of by all of our guides and drivers. We feel honored to have met and trekked with Lakpa Sherpa and his crew. The trek was longer and tougher than we thought, and we were not acclimated, but we went at our own pace and were proud to make it to Lomanthang. To have made the return trip in three days we felt was unrealistic, and Lakpa got us a ride part way. The trek, and the entire trip was an incredible adventure.

Seeing the Dalai Lama in Ladakh was an unexpected bonus. Kashmir was a rare treat, more so due to the hospitality and time taken by Shafi  and his people to make sure we got to go everywhere that we wanted safely and efficiently. We didn't expect much beyond r&r and cold beer in Goa, but a local innkeeper arranged drivers and gave them specific orders where to take us, what not to bother with and what to charge us, so we saw quite a bit and had wonderful seafood.

With a complicated itinerary in a challenging part of the world, Windhorse made it work for us. Our thanks to you and your people. We will strongly recommend your services to anyone travelling to South Asia.


Posted on Sep. 19, 14
Thomas P
Youngstown,New York,USA

TID 8520 Glimpses of Bhutan (May 05 - May 10,2014)

We just got back home from our full trip so I apologize for the delay. We had a great time in Bhutan and Namgay did an excellent job as our guide. He set up an extra hike for us that was really fun.

As we've talked about our trip we have a really positive opinion of your company and Bhutan. Our only real negative experience was the amount and condition of the stray dogs. I realize that problem is largely out of your control but anything that can be done to help the situation would be worthwhile.


Posted on Sep. 19, 14
Brett H
Santa Monica, California, USA

Dear Windhorse team,

I recently travelled to Bhutan with yourselves and was lucky enough to have Kinley as our tour guide.  I wanted to express to you as a company my great thanks for the tour and how well it was run and set up and in particular the professionalism of Kinley Tenzin and our driver.  My trip to Bhutan has been a dream for a long time and I was lucky enough to finally get a two week break in my dairy that allowed me to plan it. I came directly to your company less than a month prior to my  journey and from the start find the process smooth and easy and well managed.  I was very keen to work with a locally based company not only as this was far cheaper than western based companies that added on high margins but I also wanted to support a local company.
The trip was well planned, the car of a high standard, all chosen accommodation was good, everything was taken care of and we achieved everything we planned.  As with many travellers I fell in love with your country, its people and the beauty of both but my particular thanks and praise goes to Kinley.  When you have a guide for an intense period like the trip provided the relationship and the personality of the guide will make or break the trip, Kinley is an Ambassador for Windhorse who ensured that everything ran smoothly, had great knowledge a passion for his job and his country and faith and I genuinely enjoyed spending time with him. 
I view it as a blessing in my life to have been able to share the journey with such a beautiful soul.
I would be more than happy to write you a reference/quote on your website and please do praise Kinley for being himself!
Thanks for a very grateful,
 

Posted on Sep. 19, 14
James O
Thorparch Road London. UK

TID 775 Grand Cultural Tour with Bumthang Owl Trek

Hello Jambay,
Sorry for this tardy email.  We've been busy catching up after our trip.
We'd like to start by saying our visit to Bhutan was a wonderful experience.  The countryside and the people were lovely and Windhorse, Yeshi and Tshering did a very good job of keeping us on track, entertained and fed.  Our trek was a particular highlight.  The time and effort which went into planning that amazing trip was awe inspiring.  Your office handled all of our various financial issues (overpayment, cancelled flight) very impressively and communication was always timely . Thank you for all of that.
 
We can think of three things that may be helpful to you in the future;
1) On the day of our arrival we were greeted by our temporary guide, Yonten.  Our flight arrived rather late (fourish) to do any tours as many things close between four and five. I think that new arrivals are either excited or exhausted.  We were excited.  We wish Yonten had suggested a walk or some other introduction to our exotic new environment and if we were tired we could have said no.  Instead he assumed that we must be tired and dropped us at our hotel.  Yes, we could have pushed for a walk but we didn't which was our fault.  Maybe we just look too old!
 
2)  On the fateful "cancelled flight" day (day 2) we felt a bit adrift.  Yonten had given us his phone number in case there was any difficulty with the flight.  Initially the flight was merely delayed an hour so we waited.  When it was delayed again and there was some thought that it might eventually be cancelled we decided that we should contact Yonten.  Another party nearby who were traveling with their guide were discussing their alternatives and we weren't sure what ours were.  We do not travel with a phone (perhaps this is rare) so we had to borrow one from an airline employee to make the call.  Yonten did not seem to be nearby so we waited for him to arrive.  It might make sense for the guide to be checking the flight status so they can be close by when decisions need to be made.  We know that in a situation like ours the guide can't sit in the departure lounge since they are not flying.
Once Yonten arrived he was very accommodating and offered us several options.  We wanted to be in Bumthang for our trek two days later so the overnight drive was our best option.  Our driver did a spectacular job getting us across the country to Trongsa in fog, rain, mist and dark without a complaint.  He is to be commended. We realize that neither Yonten nor the driver had anticipated their extended time with us and they remained pleasant and helpful through the whole experience.
 
3)  This falls into the "wish" category.  One of the wonderful things about Bhutan is it's seeming remoteness.  It would be nice if there were some additional lodging choices to reflect this fact.  Although most of our accommodations were fine, there were a few that felt too large and overrun with bus tours.  Those traveling in small groups might like the choice of a guesthouse or something more intimate.  It seemed that rather early in the planning phase we were already booked into our hotels and we could not suggest other places.  I know booking quickly must be important if you are traveling in high season but we weren't.  Having the choice of smaller, more intimate places would be greatly appreciated.  Do they exist?  Perhaps not.
 
We hope these don't sound too much like complaints because they really aren't.  We had a lovely trip and hope to return to Bhutan at some point in the future.
All the best.

 

 

 


Posted on Jul. 07, 14
Woodman Way, Newburyport Massachusetts, USA
Amy L.J & Roger T.B

TID 8511, Bhutan Private tour (1.06.14 to 15.06.14)

Hello to the  Windhorse team,

 

Thanks for the opportunity to give some feedback on our recent tour.  Back this past winter my daughter Leah and I were discussing where we might travel to celebrate her graduation from college.  We discussed a number of different locations bur were intrigued by the idea of visiting Bhutan and experiencing the culture, particularly as influenced by the underlying Buddhist philosophy as well as the beautiful landscapes.  As we looked at different agencies to arrange our tour, Windhorse was the only one offering a horse trekking tour.  Both of us love to ride, so this settled the issue and we set up a tour that included a horse trip in the Tang Valley.

 

Suffice it to say that our trip was far beyond any expectations we had beforehand.  From the moment we arrived in Paro it was clear we had come to a very unique place on the face of the earth.  We had hoped to leave behind the paraphernalia of Western Civilization and indeed we had.  One of the most significant factors in the quality of our tour were our guide and driver, Sonam Loday and Sonam Tenzin.  As time went on during the tour, our appreciation of their attentiveness to our needs and the detail  with which they filled in the history of the sites we visited only increased.  I know our experience would not have been the same without the rich and detailed narration by our guide Sonam.  He knew of our interest in Buddhism and was able to vastly enrich our understanding of this very important part of Bhutanese Culture.

 

Our accommodations were very comfortable and the food was enjoyable and satisfying.  The hotel staff were universally pleasant and anxious to please.  At no point did we experience a rude, angry or disagreeable Bhutanese person, which I think is quite remarkable and must reflect the depth to which Buddhist Philosophy has penetrated the culture of Bhutan.  The horse trek was amazing.  I will always remember riding through deep pine forests on inches of fallen needles, silent as ghosts or emerging into high passes with spectacular views in all directions.   We were made very comfortable during the camping and riding portion of our tour, all of our needs being anticipated and provided for.   

 

We did some walking after a chance to acclimatize and although demanding, was very much worth the effort.  Hiking on Dochula pass as well as the trip to Takshang will be experiences I will remember forever.    The visits to the Temples and the opportunity to participate in the ceremonies were a rare and wonderful experience for a westerner and remain my personal  highlights.  Sonam Loday went out of his way to arrange a visit and overnight stay at Padtseling Monastery as well as an audience with the Tulku Rinpoche, for which I will always be grateful.  

 

I will admit that this trip changed me deeply and in ways that will persist for many years, if not forever.   I am already thinking of how and in what capacity I might return to experience more of this wonderful culture and country.  I cannot say that there is anything specific that I would have wanted to change about our trip other than the cloud cover which obscured some of the views.  I hope that the tourism industry is allowed to grow at a sustainable pace and continue to provide visitors the same experience we had.  We did have a discussion with Mr. Rinzin at the office in Thimphu about our specific recommendations regarding the horse operation and again offer our help in finding needed supplies and tack to help develop it.  ( We have found a good used western roping saddle for a small framed horse which would be good for the current horses in Tang.  If you like, we could forward it to Ugen in Minneapolis.)   

 

Thanks again for the opportunity to visit your country and please feel free to contact us if there is anything we could help you with.

 


Posted on Mar. 07, 14
David L R
Franklinville, New York,14737,United States

 Three Himalayan Kingdoms, TID 8513 ( 12.0614  to 25.06.14)

Trip was wonderful.  All hotels had shampoo and soap so it would be better weight wise not to advise people to take their own.  Food at Thimphu hotel was not good.  Moldy bread etc.  The hotel it's self was nice.  All of our guides and drivers were very good. Only one day in Bhutan at the furtherest city we had nothing to do from 1:30 in the afternoon.  So that was too much down time.
The culture of both counties was amazing.  We are hoping many of our friends will travel with Windhorse.

Posted on Jan. 07, 14
Sandy L
Encanto, La Quinta CA, USA

TID 693 From 10.04.14 to 24.04.14

Dear Anand!

We are very sorry for our delay for writing comments and feedback.

Time now is a bit more relaxed, summer holidays already started and for the next 2 month sometimes even you are not on holidays you think somehow you are. You try to call someone or send an email and you get the response that the person you wanted is on holidays for 2 or 3 weeks.
First of all thank you to Windhorse travel and all persons involved for the perfect planning, realization and finish of your trip.
We could it make us simple and easy with our comments and just say, it was wonderful, excellent and we can recommend you in all conscience.
But that would be too easy.
So we will start with our comments:
Booking procedure: best score
I sometimes was a bit nasty with my questions and all were answered in the best way, thank you J
Welcome in Paro: best score – what a surprise to meet with the people we exchanged so many emails
Treasures of the Thunder Dragon: very interesting book and a wonderful memory of Bhutan
Invitation to the evening event: we enjoyed it a lot to meet all of you and had a really nice chat with the Australian couple. Good food, nice drinks and wonderful mask dances
Tenzingling Hotel:
Good hotel, nice and big room. One problem is the heater, which has not the power to warm up the room. We were happy with our sleeping bags, without I would have killed you J.
The Studiosus group also complained about the cold rooms.
Why not to mention that it could be a good decision to bring a sleeping bag in case you are a person who is bit chilled through.
The food was excellent, we enjoyed it very much.
Festival:
If you have a thermo cushion with you, you would feel comfortable. There were a lot of tourists equipped with cushions. So why not to mention it in the tour program.
Tiger Nest:
Bhutan is a country where environment protection has a high value. So why there are no dustbins on the way to the Tiger Nest or if you find one, it is awfully cramped and no one takes care to empty them. Not a very pleasant impression.
Hotels in general: 
We were very satisfied with all the hotels we have had.
Tour guides and drivers:
Excellent, reliable, handsome, good drivers, skilled tour guides.
Kalimpong: We were there on a Sunday and most of the shops were closed and also the orchid garden, which was in the tour program. Would be nice to mention, that shops are closed on Sundays and try to check if this kind of gardens are open.
Photos: As promised, we will send the one or other not common photo. But Franz is still in working process and not finished with brush them up with PhotoShop.
Well, I hope I have done a good job in commenting and hope to hear from you.
Please say hello to Jambay.
Best regards from Vienna

Posted on Feb. 07, 14
Mrs Gabriel K
Im Gestockert, Vienna, Austria
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