Bhutan East West Traverse presents an all-encompassing journey across Bhutan, capturing the essence of its nature, landscapes, and cultural richness through a comprehensive exploration.
Commencing from eastern Bhutan, you’re instantly transported to the lesser-visited, secluded portion of the country. Here, a world of remote villages and authentic connections with genuine individuals awaits. Gradually progressing westward, you’ll journey through the renowned central and western regions of Bhutan. These areas are celebrated for their breathtaking valleys, captivating landscapes, and iconic monuments.
The Bhutan East-West Traverse tour offers an immensely exciting journey that encapsulates the very essence of Bhutan. From its remote villages and nomadic lifestyles to encounters with local craftsmen, women weavers, visits to sacred sites, and exploration of iconic monuments, this journey immerses you deeply in the heart of Bhutan’s cultural tapestry.
Embarking from the plains of Assam, the tour navigates through foothills, sub-tropical jungles, and transitions into temperate and subalpine regions before descending into temperate valleys. Throughout this adventure, you’ll engage in an array of experiences, from delving into village life to witnessing vibrant festivals or impromptu local celebrations. You’ll observe traditional sports like archery, sample diverse local cuisines, and actively participate in the mutual exchange of learning and sharing personal stories.
Day 1: Guwahati to Samdrup Jongkhar
Day 2:Drive to Wamrong Village (simple Guest House)
Day 3: Drive to Trashigang
Day 4 & 5: In the highland village of Merak (Village Homestay)
Day 6: Drive back to Trashigang -Mongar
Day 7: Drive to Bumthang
Day 8: In Bumthang
Day 9: Drive to Gangtey, Phobjikha
Day 10: In Phobjikha
Day 11: Drive to Punakha
Day 12 & 13: In Thimphu
Day 14: Paro Valley Tour
Day 15: In Paro (Hike to Tigers’s nest)
Day 16: Departure
Cost is based on the number of participants. For details contact us.
Plus airfares to Bhutan and out of Guwahati.
Price Policy: Price is subject increases. We guarantee our prices for those who have already signed-up. Full price details upon request.
- Bhutan Daily tourists fees & taxes
- Bhutan Visa and Permits
- Accommodations in listed or similar.
- All meals in Bhutan.
- Evening tea/snacks
- All land transfers by good quality vehicle
- Sightseeing with entrance fees
- English Speaking Bhutanese Leader/Guide.
- Bottled water and other complimentary services in the vehicle
- Flights into Bhutan and out of Guwahati (listed separately)
- Indian Visa.
- Travel / Medical Insurance (recommended)
- All other optional personal expenses such as Tips, Bars, Beverages, Telephone, Laundry, Gifts and other personal expenses.
In October / November we went to North India and Bhutan for two weeks. We did not have a good idea beforehand about what to expect from Bhutan, but it was absolutely incredible! The country was fantastic, the people friendly and the organizationof Windhorse was really great! Our guide Tshering was not only very friendly and funny, but also very flexible and he showed a lot. It was a holiday which we will not forget and absolutely above expectations!Highly recommended! Keep up the good work :)
WendyOct - Nov, 2017
Dear Rinzin Jamtsho,
A big hello from Berlin. Let us thank you and your amazing team for a wonderful journey through Bhutan. We had a marvellous time from the first minute on and Duba and Jigme are an excellent team. It was perfectly organized and the combination of culture and nature experience kept us in constant amazement. We also had a lot of fun and giggled our way through from west to east.
Now the 1200 pictures have to be selected and shown to our friends in Berlin. We will recommend your agency at the end of the presentation and who knows, maybe you will have more customers from Berlin in the future.
I know that you will be in Berlin for ITB next week. It would be great to catch up in 2017. Our venue is right beside the Brandenburg Gate, if you find time to visit I would love to welcome you for a chat and coffee.
All the best from Berlin and a big smile and hello to Duba and Jigme
Martina GMarch 21 - April 4, 2016
Bhutan Traverse From West to East.
Sorry my reply is late but I really wanted to give some feed back..
My tour with all of you was actually great and I have nothing bad to say. All hotels accommodations were good. Maybe the one in Punaka can improve but we were only there one night just to sleep so it was tolerable. I think the food was good and everywhere we went, the food was adjusted to us foreigners so that was really nice
For the drive, thanks to our “James bond” driver, I always felt safe! You and tilsrum did a fantastic job in giving explanation and background info! You were always welcoming and allowed to be flexible if we wanted to change plans!!! I felt safe and comfortable spending 2 weeks with all of you.
I really don’t have any bad thing to say! I’ve been missing the trip so much since I got back I definitely would like to go back!!!
I feel that everyday I leaned something new and the cultural differences of west and east was very interesting! You made the trip full of different colours I never felt it was repetitive information! Although we visited a lot of temples, I felt that the trip had a mixture of shoppings, hiking, temples, festivals, crafts, and getting to know the local way of living!!!! I really enjoyed the trip and feel that it was really well organised!!!
Thanks again for all the great work!!
Hope everyone is doing well and let me know if there is anything else you need!!
Shizuka Maria INov 10 - 24, 2015
Bhutan Traverse from West To East, Oct, 2015
In October, 2015 we traversed Bhutan over 21 days with Wind Horse Tours on a Bhutan private tour. (This review is for the tour company, which also owns the ranch) . We had a superb, knowledgeable, caring guide in Sonam Pelden and expert driver in Yamraj. Despite the current indescribable state of the roads in Bhutan, we never felt unsafe. Wind Horse, which is a Bhutanese company with a satellite office in Minnesota, worked with us to design an itinerary which met our goals rather than require us to take one of their standard tours and proved to be less expensive than other companies we had contacted. We were provided with a comfortable minivan and excellent accommodations, many of which far exceeded our expectations. Our rooms were spacious and comfortable, and nearly all meals were tasty and edible (if you want gourmet food, go to Paris or San Francisco). Although we had a defined itinerary, there was plenty of flexibility during our stay in each location we visited.
Bhutan is a country of beautiful, friendly people, gorgeous landscapes, and a unique philosophy of life and world view. There are opportunities to purchase exquisite textiles. It may be the only country without a traffic light. It also has main roads which are nearly impassable, a surprising amount of litter, and dogs everywhere, some of whom bark at night (a white noise maker may be helpful)
Some of our trip highlights included:
1) Tiger’s Nest—it was not overwhelmingly crowded despite peak season
2) Rafting down the Mo Chu, Trongsa. There are 3-4 class 2 rapids. For a more exhilarating trip, there are class 3 rapids on the Pho Chu
3) Visit to Oygen Choling museum/manor house and Burning Lake, Tang Valley. We had a guided tour led by Kunzang Choden, who can trace her heritage back 22 generations. It gave us a unique perspective of rural life in Bhutan, and is worth the 90 minute drive on an unpaved road through the Tang Valley to reach
4) Festival at Jakar, Bumthang Valley
5) Dzongs at Paro, Trongsa, Panakha
6) Hike at Dochula Pass. This ascends to around 11,500 feet, so you should be in good shape. There are dramatic views from the monastery at the top
7) Visiting a local school. Eye-openings to see the Bhutanese educational system
8) A visit to Zorig Chusum in Trashi Yangtse, which is a vocational high school teaching students traditional cultural arts
I would have no reservation doing another trip with Wind Horse and would be happy to share our thoughts for those planning a trip
Mark WOct 12 - Nov 02, 2015
TID 8650 March 25 – April 08, 2015 (Tashi Gyalteshen – Guide)
First of all, let me say that i enjoyed the trip very much.Positives were the beauty of the country and friendliness of people in general.I think a 14 day trip really is worth it and through your choice of sights offers a great insight of the country.
I thought hotels in general were very good and the services of driver and guide as well. The car was always clean and the driving of the driver was very safe and skilful.
Tashi always explained the sights we were visiting well. Generally he provided answers to all our questions in a very sovereign and knowledgeable way. He also invited us into his home which was a highlight and very much appreciated. Also Tashi’s calmness is a good asset.
In terms of potential improvement, I see three areas.
1) Considering the government charges a rather large daily fee they should definitely ensure better roads, especially in the east. Also, wifi network is quite bad. In most hotels, the connection was quite weak and the hotels claim this is due to the country’s network. Wifi often is the only means of contact with home and works better in every other country in Asia I know. I suggest to submit thesr suggestions to the tourist board
2 ) If you have a small group then i would book them into smaller boutique hotels in instead of thr big hotels where we stayed. Although quality of hotels was fine, they are quite impersonal and not very cosy. Same goes for restaurants. In addition i suggest to offer more special events, like a picnic or two (we had one picnic and that was great), more longer hikes, homestay dinner, sunrise visit to dzong and so on. These ideas would really lift your itineraries and just require a bit of creativity.
3) I understand our guide and driver knew each other and we did spend a lot of time in the car but they should be careful talking to each other continuously. As a foreigner you don’t understand so it sometimes feels if they are talking about you especially if they talk amongst themselves after talking to you. I am sure there is no bad intention and of course they can exchange a few words but they should be careful. In the western world, this is considered impolite! Other than that i would like to say once more i really liked the trip!!
Kristen DMarch 25 - April 08,2015
Bhutan, India, Sikkim Tour
We were very happy with the Complete Bhutan tour. A good guide can make such a difference in one’s enjoyment of a tour and Sonam was wonderful. He’s very open and friendly and we learned a lot about Bhutan from him, not only about the places we visited, but also the food and customs and religion. Gudu was an excellent driver and also a pleasant traveling companion. We were very fortunate to have good weather almost the whole time. We found the Bhutanese to be friendly, particularly the children. We were happy with the accommodations; we were prepared for a different standard in the eastern part of the country, so that was okay, too. The least interesting part of the trip is the drive from Trashigang to Samdrup Jonghar, but that should change when the road work is completed.
Bhutan is a beautiful country made more so by the art, architecture and customs of its people. We have many great pictures to ensure we wont forget our visit. We highly recommend this tour. (In fact, we met a Canadian couple in Lachung and gave them the Windhorse website and phone number since they were interested in Bhutan).
Our visit to Sikkim was not so successful, but weather is unpredictable. I think March is not the best time to tour there. Our guide, Naresh, was excellent – amazingly, he was our guide in Darjeeling for 2 days in 2006 and he and I remembered each other right away. Driving the terrible roads is less tedious when you have good weather and great views of the mountains, which we never did. It was especially disappointing to drive all the way to Lachung and then be prevented from reaching the Yumthang Valley by snow at the pass! However, we did see some beautiful monasteries and we could appreciate the lower parts of the mountains with rivers, waterfalls and terraced fields. The accommodations were always good, as was the food. Our drivers (mostly Santosh, but also our driver for northern Sikkim) did a great job navigating the difficult roads. We would like to take this tour again some day, but definitely would come in October or November!
Finally, we really appreciated your efforts on our behalf when our flights were canceled in Guwahati. We also have to praise the Jet Airways people there, who were amazingly helpful, from taking us to a guesthouse the first day, getting our train tickets the second day, and then driving us from the airport into town. You all made a bad situation so much better than it would have been if we’d been left on our own.
We want to thank all of you at Windhorse for an enjoyable and memorable vacation.
Lindsay Holgrem & John Anderson
Bhutan Traverse from West to East – Tour(TID 8532) Nov 19- Dec 03, 2014
Overall we had a great experience and would definitely recommend Windhorse to future guests. Penjor was amazing.
He was very competent and very professional in all situations. He always managed to accomodate our special interests and added several small side trips on the way. We felt in very good hands from the beginning to the end. Baliman was always driving very carefully, bringing us safely to all places. On top of that, he was always very friendly and helpful. The hotels and the food were way above our usual standard. All hotels were nice and clean, and there was always more than enough tasty, but international food. Unfortunately, the resorts were mostly far away from town. Therefore it was very difficult if not impossible to go individually into town. We really enjoyed our short look at this beautiful country. The Bhutanese people are incredebly friendly and always smiling. We did not meet a single unfriendly person. Everything is so peaceful, respectful, and civilised.Of course, also the landscapes are breathtaking. Unfortunately, we very unlucky with the weather and only rarely had a good view. It goes without saying that the festivals were a highlight of the tour. And we were very happy that we did not only see them as plannend in Mongar and Trashigang (which already would have been great) but by chance also in Trongsa and Womrong. Thanks again to Penjor for finding that out! One thing, which Windhorse can probably not change on its own: One feels a bit like in a golden cage. We stay at special tourist hotels, eat at special tourist restaurants and goes to visit tourist sights. There is very little chance for interaction with the local people.Also it seems that these places (especially the hotels and restaurants) do not give an idea of how the people live. One sees alot during the day, but it seems a part of the cultural experience, the every day life of the local people, is missing. We assume that given the current system of tourism in Bhutan, it is difficult (if not impossible) to change that. Yet, maybe if Windhorse has some influence, it could be nice to open the system a little bit for tourists who prefer local hotels and restaurants instead of the very fancy ones we stayed at.
Mr Christoph Alexander LNov 19- Dec 03, 2014
TID – 8607 (Nov 18 – Dec 04, 2014)
Attention Ugen I want to thank you for putting up with my questions and phone calls. They were well worth it for me, as I think that Jon and I had a perfect trip. Our guide and driver,Duba and Sonam were the perfect choice .They couldn’t have been more obliging, sensitive to our wants and needs, and helpful in customizing the trip to our interests. You certainly have a couple of true winners in them. Jon and I both fell in love with Bhutan, the countryside and the people.We feel that this trip gave us a unique opportunity to visit the villages meet the inhabitants , and truly gain a knowledge of the culture. My interests in the art sand crafts, particularly the weaving, and Jon’s in photographing people were more than fulfilled, thanks to Duba and Sonam. My thanks again, best wishes,
Janet SNov 18 - Dec 04, 2014
Bhutan Traverse from West to East – Tour(TID 8532) Nov19 – Dec03, 2014
Hello, I want to thank you for a wonderful tour of Bhutan. The guide, Penjor; and the driver, Baliman, were top-notch. I certainly will recommend Wind Horse to my friends; and I hope to use your firm again in a return trip to Bhutan.
Robert LNov19 - Dec03, 2014
TID 741 – Dec 4 to 18 Bhutan Traverse from east to west ( in reverse order of Bhutan Traverse from West to East)
Dear Jambay, Thank you for all your help in making my second trip to Bhutan one of the highlights of my life. Ms Yandon, our guide, was professional and friendly and did everything she could to make our trip interesting and exciting. We were blessed to have her. She was very successful in adjusting our schedule when we learned of things that interested us (a farm we were invited to and a home that was having a religious ceremony, a hike we wanted to take) and gave us more information than we can possibly remember. She also has a keen eye and spotted a red panda and a tree full of griffon. We feel extremely fortunate.
Two of the highlights (of a completely highlighted trip) were the festivals – the beauty, fun and grace of Druk Wangyel Festival in Dochu La. The people were so friendly to us and the Queen Mother acknowledged out presence. The National Day Festival was so different from when I attended 4 years ago. The crowds, as the King noted, were so large and welcoming, so much music, the dancing, the games. And to our surprise, we met the King and Queen as they walked through the stadium. They welcomed us and asked where we were from and told us we looked beautiful in our kiras. We were thrilled. When all the Royal Family and the Ministers joined the dances, it was so moving to see all the people together. I can really see the changes that have come to Bhutan in the last four years and how much the people have benefitted. (Not to minimize what his father did before him, but the new King really seems to connect with the people.)
When we hiked up to Tiger’s Nest the last day of our trip, my friend, Helen, went to Tiger’s Nest. Since I had been there before, our driver, Dawa, took me to the Temple just above it. I could see Tiger’s Nest below just to the East. However, I failed to get the name of the Temple. If you could send it to me, I would appreciate it.
I wish you all the best with Wind Horse. I am so impressed with your dedication to service and helping people explore your beautiful country. I hope to come back again.
Please give my thanks to Ms Yandon and Dawa (who was not only an excellent driver, but always ready and willing to help in any way possible). It is not an easy task to take care of people for two full weeks. I am so satisfied with my trip. I couldn’t ask for more… except for more time in Bhutan. I have Ms Yandon’s phone number, but not her email. If you could send it, I would like to send her a personal thank you. I know she is planning to study English in Melbourne.
With all best wishes for a Happy New Year in the world’s happiest place.
Ms Elizabeth EDec 4 to 18, 2013
TID 595 Bhutan Traverse from West to East (11.10.13 – 25.10.13)
Dear Windhorse Tours We recently concluded our trip Bhutan Travers West to East (Oct. 11 – 25) with the Parnells. We were met at the Paro airport by our guide, Pema Tenzin, and taken to our hotel that exceeded our expectations. We were lead to believe from the Wind Horse newsletter that our accommodations could be “primitive”. Each hotel was far from primitive offering comfortable beds, bathroom facilities that were at Western standards and friendly and accommodating staffs. We were very pleased with what was offered.We found that the food was abundant in quantity; however, there was little variation in the menu over the course of the two weeks. We were not looking to be fed a Western diet and we never left the dining room hungry…there was always lots to eat.We enjoyed having the picnics. They provided some nice variation in location.Regarding the travel plan, we were mostly delighted with the locations and being able to stop to see some wildlife (Takin Sanctuary, some monkeys and langurs crossing the road), different vegetations and landscapes. We visited a large number of dzongs and temples which got to be a bit repetitive as the tour progressed. Each one had interesting features but there was a lot of repetition in seeing so many of them. However, it was a pleasure to meet some of the monks, senior and junior and visiting the two nunneries. We felt it a privilege to witness many of the ceremonies that were in progress when we were there. The religious festivals were also a highlight. Our guide, Pema, seemed well acquainted with the history of the dzongs and temples and could interpret for us the Buddhist stories as depicted by the wall paintings.The van was always comfortable, clean and well-driven by our two drivers, Goto (?) and Balli (?). They were both personable and drove carefully on the roads that were often treacherous by Western standards.A request was made to have a chance to participate in some archery but that never happened.
We did, however, get a chance to see a tournament in progress so that was good.Some of the highlights were seeing the Himalayas, especially at the Dochula Pass (I think), going to the Tiger’s Nest, and going to the home of our guide’s cousin (?) and being welcomed with butter tea. It would have been nice to have more direct contact with people working at their day-to-day lives on their farms.If there was a downside to the trip it would include the condition of many of the roads and the amount of litter/garbage that was visible in many of the places we visited. Bhutan has so much natural, pristine beauty to offer that is was very disappointing to see garbage being dumped down the sides of mountains and littering roadside and rivers. Garbage was strewn about by people and animals that were rooting through the containers. Bhutan’s reputation is one of natural beauty but it is spoiled by the garbage. The tranquility of Bhutan is something remarkable. We have rarely experienced the profound silence that exists there. Even the barking dogs were noticeable only for the first couple of nights. After that, we remember the quiet. That was lovely.For us, Bhutan was a trip that we will remember for the rest of our lives in a good way. Our guide and drivers looked after us exceptionally well like we were family.
Terry & Carol TOct 11 -25, 2013
TID 595 Bhutan Traverse from West to East (11.10.13-25.10.13)
Let me first say that we enjoyed our trip immensely! The sight where nothing short of spectacular and although we were Dzonged out by the end of the tour it was very informative. Always our guide made the information we received interesting and spoke with great passion while relaying his stories. We realize this was a very active (always on the move) tour but would have appreciated some down time just to take in the views, shops etc.. When we (the four of us) discussed this back home I think Terry summed it up best “This was not so much a Holiday but rather an Adventure”.
We were quite surprised at our accommodations in a pleasant way as we had expected possibly something a little less. Of all the places we stayed I think our last night before leaving Bhutan was probably the worst but the food made up for that! As for the food it was ok and again our guide on more than one occasion arranged for meals at locations other than the Hotel. I’m not sure but I know we had a few picnics which were very nice. So when I say down time this is the kind of thing I’m speaking of, to sit back and take in the views, which can be very peaceful and relaxing.I would like to comment on one thing that I know is not really a Windhorse issue but feel it important enough to mention. To illustrate the issue I will use the hike up to the Tigers Nest. Along the way there are garbage containers that are full to over flowing. We read in many locations signs that said please don’t litter.
I understand that on trekking tours garbage must come back from the trip so there’s no littering from those tours. Clearly this garbage along the way to the Tigers Nest is not picked up as often as it should be so why not remove them and use the same policy as used on Trekking tours. We all enjoy hiking in a pristine environment so anyone including the locals should adopt the policy of “Garbage in Garbage Out”. We really enjoyed the clean air and the scenery. I hate to think of what the landscape will look like in another 30 years if Bhutan doesn’t get a handle on this issue.
Again I only mention this as you being a tour operator in Bhutan might be able to bring this to the attention of those in power to affect change!I will mention one other issue that is under your control. At first we didn’t think anything of it until at the Guwati Airport. When getting our boarding-pass the official had issues with our passport and how it was stamped on entry into India. Not being familiar with the whole process I will attempt to relay our departure from Bhutan.Around 6:00am we were handed off to a driver (who spoke no English) from India who was to take us to the airport as this was to be safer for traveling though this part of India (first time “safety” was mentioned!). Our guide paid an individual and we were to make sure we tipped our Indian driver on delivery to the airport. The guide and driver for Wind Horse left us at this point. At the check point we gave our passports to the driver who went to have them stamped as our entry into India.
I must say that is the first time I have ever had my passport stamped without verifying the picture to my face not to mention questions concerning the reason for entry into the country. We all checked our passports to verify it was indeed stamped which they were. The issue at the airport was trying to explain how we got into the country and from where. The stamp was a lot different in exiting than the one we got at the check point which we got after a considerable amount of explaining how we got there! This was the only time I can say we all felt vulnerable. Again not knowing the process if there was an area for improvement I would suggest you take a look at this.All in all it was a great trip and thank you for the experience to be part of another part of the world. Truly an education full of life long memories!Regards,
Grant & Judy P
Grant & Judy POct 11 - 25, 2013
TID 655-Bhutan Traverse from East to West (March 14-April 1,2013)
Thank you for the great trip from which I am still going through some serious Bhutan withdrawal. From the initial contact with Ugen then Jambay, my interactions with your company were always positive and your efforts considerate.
I wanted a private journey which covered Bhutan from East to West and the itinerary was comprehensive and well planned. My guide Karma Letho and driver Tsering were my eyes and hears into your country with its incredible history deeply interwoven with its unique Buddhist culture which gave me many things to ponder after returning home.
I still shudder when I think back on many of the roads in the East which were more of an endurance test especially the one to Bomdeling. I found the constant use of the horn prior to careening around blind corners with no guard rails and several thousand foot drops to invoke examination of one’s mortality.
I will not miss the night time serenading of the dogs but I will miss the incredible people, geography and spectacle of Bhutan and will return for a trek next time. I look forward to an ice cold Druk 11000 and a bowl of chili cheese and some great conversation again.
Daniel DMarch 14-April 1,2013
TID 562/563-Bhutan Traverse From West to East & Extension Tour of Sikkim/Darjeeling
(11-29, Nov. 2012)
I just finished Wind Horse’s Bhutan Traverse, from Paro to Trashigang, during festival time, then a short week long excursion to Darjeeling and Sikkim. These two itineraries are EXACTLY what I wanted. I couldn’t be more pleased about the overall experiences gained on these two tours.The itineraries were GREAT! Bhutan’s beauty is simply magnificent; that makes up for the fact that the roads make for difficult travel at times, but Wind Horse certainly can’t do anything about that! The Guides were wonderful. Jambay’s follow-through and vast knowledge of Buddhism, and Tharchen’s accommodation and knowledge of mountaineering were astounding. These two could spin spellbinding lectures. We couldn’t have asked for better, nicer, more competent drivers than we had in Chimmi and Sangay. Chimmi’s tire change on a winding, narrow cliffside road, was not less impressive that a FORMULA ONE race car Pit Stop tire change. I felt absolutely safe and well cared for on these trips.
I didn’t think we needed to be warned about dull cuisine, or repetitive menus. I didn’t find it to be that bad! Always consider taking the Bhutan 562 segment BEFORE the Darjeeling/Sikkim 563 extension. The reason for this is, Bhutan is more physically demanding, and has more challenging walks/hikes/roads, higher elevations, and lesser hotels than India’s. While warning about the physical fitness required for Bhutan WAS present in the pre-tour reading, you should take these warnings seriously, especially if you’re older or out of physical condition. The Darjeeling/Sikkim section of our trip was positively EASY, which was good, for how tired we were on arrival. We had been traveling a long time, even before the Bhutan section….and how about those festivals?! I’ll have visions of amazing, twirling colors dancing in my head for the rest of my life.
I’m very grateful for the tremendous efforts, from the first email contact, onward, that the folks at Wind Horse made, to make this a trip I will cherish.
Karen K(11-29, Nov. 2012)
We have just come home after a fascinating trip to Bhutan. We were surprised by the kind way of welcoming us at Paro airport and by the caring attitude of our guide and driver during our trip. They have supported us throughout our journey when things were difficult at times eg when climbing up to Tiger’s Nest or when being carsick. We have appreciated the interesting conversations with Tashi, our guide, about Bhuddism and we have certainly appreciated the safe and gentle driving of Dawa, our driver.
We have appreciated the nice hotels and the good food and we have even appreciated the night at the weaver’s home in the east of Bhutan. Admitting this was a tough experience for spoiled westerners. We will certainly promote Wind Horse with our friends and family and one of the reasons is that both our guide and our driver were so proud of the company they worked for. Thank you, Windhorse, thank you Dawa and Tashi
Chantal & René M V HDec 17,2012
Bhutan East to West (23rd April – 6th May) Bhutan Traverse from West to east in reverse order
Dear Jambay, Our trip was excellent and Bhutan is fascinating. I would like to thank you for your efficiency and organisation. Your Company is highly recommendable.
Jerome F23rd April - 6th May,2012
Cindy SSep 9-29,2010
Just a few selected photos to give you a hint of what we were doing in Bhutan. Ugen, I’ll send a short report to you in the near future. I completed the longer form that Wind Horse provided at the beginning of our adventure. The bottom line is that while we are glad to be home after three long and fairly rigorous weeks, the many faces and experiences of Bhutan are indelible fixed in our minds. Sonam and Mr. Guddu (sp?) were our perfect hosts. Jb.
West to East Bhutan Traverse from Sept 10-24 & North India from 24-29 Sept 2010.
John BSept 10-29,2010
I have just returned from your exquisite country still wishing I was there… It has been a wonderful experience and loved every minute of it, even the long drives and some confusions in the hotel reservations…I will send you the feedback form as soon as I have completed it but would like to take this opportunity to say that our guide Sonam Jamtsho and our driver Guddu Chhetri were marvellous and did everything they could do to make our trip very enjoyable.
Nicole MMarch -10, 2010
Pour un futur voyageur au Bhutan.
Je recommande vivement Kinga Dechen et son agence WINDHORSETOURS. En janvier 2006, j’ai passé 12 jours au Bhutan et ai visité Thimphu, Punakka, Paro et environs avec un guide épatant, KINGA DECHEN. Grâce à sa connaissance remarquable de l’histoire, de la religion, de la nature du Bhutan ( et des régions avoisinantes) , grâce aussi à sa présence toujours pleine d’attention, à son intelligence et à son excellent sens de l’humour, j’y ai fait un séjour inoubliable.
je m’étais promis de revenir et c’est chose faite. En novembre (2008), j’e suis venue de Gauhati, dans l’Assam, en Inde, et j’ai traversé le pays d’Est en Ouest, un voyage passionnant de 1200 km à travers une région beaucoup moins connue et visitée. Dans chaque hôtel où nous descendions, Kinga Dechen était acceuilli chaleureusement car il est connu comme étant un agent de voyage particulièrement honnête et un homme toujours prêt à aider et des plus aimables. Ces contacts personnels m’ont toujours fait offrir la meilleure chambre !
On dit : “Jamais deux sans trois”
et déjà je contemple un nouveau voyage que je ferai organiser par Windhorsetours, la très sérieuse agence de Kinga Dechen que je recommande chaleureusement.
To whom it may concern – To future travellers wishing to really discover Bhutan.
I spent 12 days in January 2006 visiting Thimphu, Punakka, Paro with a wonderful guide, KINGA DECHEN whom I had the luck to be accompanied by.
He made my stay unforgettable by his knowledge of history, religion, nature pertaining to Bhutan ( and the whole region) , and by his friendly, helpful presence, and by his personal intelligence and great sense of humor.
I had promised myself I’d come back and this I have just done, coming from Gauhati in India, and travelling East to West thru Bhutan, a fascinating journey of 1200 km which I enjoyed immensely. In every hotel we went, Kinga Dechen was welcomed warmly across the country he is known as a particularly honest travel agent and a friendly, helpful man. Thanks to these personal contacts, I always had the best room .
In French, one says : Jamais deux sans trois, which means Never two without three,and I am already contemplating a new journey to be organized by Windhorsetours, Kinga Dechen’s very serious and trustworthy travel agency which I recommend heartily.
Marie Lippens, Belgium
Pasé 12 dias en Enero del 2006 visitando Thimpu, Punakka y Paro con un guía maravilloso. KINGA DECHEN con el que tuve la suerte que me acompañara. El hizo de mi viaje una experiencia inolvidable con su conocimientos de historia, religión, naturaleza de la región de Bhutan, con su inteligencia y gran sentido del humor.
Me prometí a mi mismna volver y esto es lo que he hecho viniendo desde Gauhati en India, y viajando del Oeste al Este a través de Bhutan. Un viaje fascinante de 1.200 km que disfruté en todo momento. En cada hotel donde nos alojábamos, con Kinga Dechen era un contacto con el que siempre tenía un recibimiento caluroso, al conocérsele como a un agente de viajes honesto , cariñoso y muy valioso. Gracias a sus contactos personales siempre tuve la mejor habitación!!!
En francés se dice : No hay nunca dos sin tres.
Ya estoy pensando en mi próximo viaje, con la organización ” Windhorsetours “, la agencia seria y capaz de Kinga Dechen, a la que puedo recomendar de todo corazón.
— Marie Lippens, Astridlaan 4, 8300 Knokke Heist, Belgique. N’imprimez ce message que si vous en avez vraiment besoin
Aan alle belangstellenden
Aan de toekomstige reizigers die het “echte” bergkoninkrijkje Bhutan (Bhoetan) wensen te ontdekken
Gedurende 12 dagen in januari 2006 heb ik het geluk gehad Thimphu, Punakka en Paro onder de deskundige leiding van een uitstekende gids KINGA DECHEN te bezoeken. Door zijn kennis over de geschiedenis, godsdienst en natuur van Bhutan (en omgeving), zijn vriendelijkheid en behulpzaamheid, zijn intelligentie en goede zin voor humor werd mijn verblijf aldaar onvergetelijk.
Ik had mezelf beloofd om naar Bhutan terug te keren en dat heb ik net gedaan. Vanuit Gauhati in India, van oost naar west doorheen Bhutan, heb ik ten zeerste van deze fascinerende reis van 1200 km genoten. In alle hotels waar wij verbleven werd Kinga Dechen met open armen ontvangen, daar hij als eerlijke, vriendelijke en behulpzame reisagent alom bekend is. Dankzij deze persoonlijke contacten heb ik altijd in de beste kamers mogen logeren.
In het Frans zegt men : Nooit twee zonder drie. Ik denk nu al aan de organisatie van een derde reis bij Windhorsetours, het zeer betrouwbare reisagenschap van Kinga Dechen dat ik hartelijk kan aanbevelen.
–Marie Lippens. Heist, Belgique. N’imprimez ce message que si vous en avez vraiment besoin –
Marie LippensApril 20,2006
TID:147: Complete Bhutan Travese into India (Oct 6-21,2008)
Dear Ugen, We had a marvellous time! Both Jambay Dorji and Mr Baliman, our driver, could not have been more helpful; please convey our thanks once again to them. The hotels were not all as advertised to us but were better. We had been prepared to ‘rough it’ a little, especially in the east, but the level of accommodation, washing facilities and food was excellent throughout. The car was very comfortable and we were able to visit more places than a larger group would have been able to do.
We were very pleased to be invited by Windhorse for an enjoyable evening in Thimpu. Vivienne, my wife, has commented on this on the form for feedback which we gave to Jambay in Samdrup Jonkhar.
Overall, we would have no hesitation in recommending Windhorse to others. The only comment we have which you might like to consider is that it is no longer true that the Indian rupee is accepted alongside the ngultrum. We came through Delhi and changed pounds sterling into rupees at the airport there. As usual, such exchanges like to give out high denomination notes. Fortunately we asked for a large number of Rs.100 notes but still had several Rs.500 notes. As we approached the end of the trip, we happened to ask Jambay about using these notes and he told us that they are no longer accepted as legal tender in Bhutan. We managed to negotiate an exchange of these notes but others may have some difficulty in doing this. You might like to warn other tourists about this so that they ask only for Rs.100 notes at the currency exchange. Regards, Chris
Christopher & Vivienne POct 06-21,2008
Again some very happy travellers have returned from Bhutan – the Lundmarks had a great time and TL thoroughly enjoyed his 50th birthday – he said he was very surprised that Wind Horse knew about it and made a fuss – so thank you very much indeed for all your work on this booking – they enjoyed every moment of their travel. They wished that they more time. They told me their guide and driver were exceptional.
ZEPPELIN TRAVEL – Travelscene/American Express
Benowa Gardens Shopping Centre
Sherron MMarch,23, 2006
West to East and return to West Bhutan
I am sorry to have taken so long to write. When I arrived home from my splendid vacation in India and Bhutan I was just in the beginning stages of coming down with the flu. I was sick for more than a week, but I am doing much better now.
I have some thoughts and suggestions regarding my tour in Bhutan. First, let me say that it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. I was able to visit so many interesting and exciting places and to see a great deal of the country. Of course, I would like to have seen more, but it is not possible to cover every square inch and see every beautiful attraction in just 12 days. One puzzling thing was finally cleared up at the very last minute. I hardly saw any ladies that I would think are beautiful. But, when I got on the airplane to fly to Kolkata, every flight attendant was beautiful. So, that is where they all went.
As far as my trip and Wind Horse are concerned, I have many thoughts. For one thing, I could not have had better escorts. Lopen Singye is an excellent driver. He doesn’t speak very much, but he has a marvelous sense of humor and he was good company when Lopen Choki was otherwise occupied. As for Lopen Choki, he is a living encyclopedia of Bhutanese history and religion. His explanations were detailed and clear. He could identify every object of art in every temple and monastery. We engaged in lively conversation on a wide variety of topics, Bhutanese and otherwise. He had many questions about the history of the world and of the United States and I hope I was able to stimulate his curiosity about things in other countries as much as he stimulated my interest about Bhutan and its wonders.
Here are a few details about my experience.
First, my arrival in Phuentsholing. I reached the gate at about 3:30 PM Bhutan time. I was not aware of the 30 minute time change but I fixed that the following day. I went strait to the entrance of the Druck Hotel where I was greeted by Lopen Choki with a warm smile and welcoming handshake. We immediately headed to the Kharbandi Gompa, followed by the Zangtopelri temple. It was really great to get in this bit of sightseeing right from the start. Lopen Choki then took care of getting my visa so we could head north early the next morning. I was a bit disappointed to be left alone to wander the streets and have dinner.
We were supposed to meet at 6:00 AM the next morning, but my clock was still on India time, so I was 20 minutes late, although I thought I was 10 minutes early. But there were Lopen Singye and Lopen Choki, bright-eyed and ready to go. We got stopped at the checkpoint because they were holding up traffic until 10:00 AM due to road construction. But Lopen Choki exerted his influence and after explaining that we were on the road at that hour to get to Thimphu early, we were allowed to pass.
We got to Thimphu and did a bit of touring, including visiting the Weekend Market. AT a bit past 3:00, Lopen Choki informed me that the sightseeing was over for the day and he took me to the hotel for evening tea and, later dinner. I had a few disappointments here. For one thing, there was still daylight and we could have taken in another attraction or two. It did not do much good to get an early start and use all the morning hours, but then to waste the afternoon hours of daylight. For another thing, I was left to have my tea and dinner alone, which was not a joy, however good the food was. Also, the quantity of food ordered was about double what I could eat.
During the period while we were planning the tour, I had made some suggestions regarding what I would like to see. Anand was able to get permits for me to visit the temples and gompas and to view the wonderful sacred art in those places. I did not understand that there was an INDIVIDUAL PERMIT required for each site. So, when he let me know that I would have the permit, I thought it was one permit to visit everything. Therefore I had stopped adding the names of sites that I had discovered in my readings. I would have included about ten additional sites if I had known about this.
I was very lucky that some unexpected locations were added to the journey. The first was the honor that I had to visit the family home of Lopen Choki. That was a real treat. It also gave me a chance to view some of the scenery along the road to Samdrup Jongkar as well as to visit a weaving facility that had no sales outlet. Additionally, we made a brief stop at only college in Bhutan, which was also a nice experience.
Then, on the day we were supposed to go to Trashi Yangtse and then spend a second night in Trashi Gang, we drove all the way back to Mongar, which added a day to the journey. We later used this day to visit Ha, where I got to visit an important gompa that was originally created by Songtsen Gampo and also to view Jomolhari from the high pass on the way to Paro.
One other little disappointment was that on a few occasions, especially returning to Thimphu from Trashi Gang, both Lopen Choki and Lopen Singye drove at a speed that I considered to be unnecessarily slow. I got quite irritated by this, but I didn’t want to tell them how to do their jobs. The most enjoyable part of travel is being somewhere. Getting there is the price to be paid. Anyway, this is not a big deal, but I mention it for the record.
The hotels were all fine. Of course, in Trashi Gang, the facilities were Spartan. But I had been well aware that the hotels in the east do not have the comforts of those in the west of Bhutan. No problems about this at all. All the other hotels were fine, with the possible exception of Paro, where the water in the pipes froze during the night and I was able to get just enough to drip out in the morning to wet my hair so that I could comb it.
If there is anything I can do for Wind Horse or any of the fine staff there, I will be delighted. You can direct prospective clients to send me e-mails or call me if I can help them to plan their trip or if I can give you the wonderful reference that you would surely get from me. And, if any of you happen to head to San Diego, you are welcome to make my home your base during your time in the area. No charge–of course.
In the meantime, if you have any additional questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me. I will always be happy to help you all and I hope to someday return to Bhutan as your client and continue with my discoveries.
If I have any further ideas I will send them to you in later messages. Warmest good wishes,
Chomolhari Laya Gasa Trek and across Eastern Bhutan
32 Days trip with Wind Horse in Bhutan – Oct & Nov 2005
And…….thanks for all the help putting the tour together for us. It was more than we had hoped. Tashi dele with Windhorse. Jerry Oyama.