Stand out Customised Itineraries
Like any beginner, we started with tailor made itineraries but over the time we quickly realised that “one size, no longer fits all”. In the same context, we gradually ventured off the rack with the intent to offer more variety/diversity to the guests. In our parlance, it can be best describe as to take you on a path where only local tread. Bhutan’s charm doesn’t rest solely on its numerous Dzongs, Temples and Museums but also in its quaint rural villages, nature, wild life, vegetation etc. Most of our new itineraries uphold the above philosophy religiously, further our itineraries are the basic indicator of daily activities and we are always eager to customise that can potentially add new dimensions to your interests and proclivities.
To augment this, it is seen that customised trips that are made to measure are on the sharp rise. Largely, there are two parallel trends – customised personalised services and customised specialised trips. With the time constraint now, most guests choose to opt for custom itinerary to get specific and to live their interests and likings. Stretching from specific hotels, to special restaurants, to exercising simple aesthetics like visit to rural farmhouses, schools, villages, monasteries etc. Metaphorically, it tends to get more like “their fitting suit and shoes”.
When a guest asks for customised trips, it also puts to test our ideas and knowledge of the places and regions. Merely claiming to be an expert doesn’t hold water unless reflected on the itinerary that we frame.
With time, the realisations lead us to explore new avenues like Horse Riding projects, Deluxe Camping, village tours etc. These elements can be maneuvered to make it an ideal customised trip for you.
Even the highly specialised trip for instance – birding tour, the emphasis lies not solely on birding but on subtle elements like interaction with people living on the forest fringe, getting firsthand info about birds, its importance and religious connotations et al. In the case of mountain biking, unlike most, it’s mostly a departure from the conventional routes, as you will bike upon the farm roads that lead to rural villages, farm houses,temples, monasteries etc. where at large you’ll gain insights into their socio-economic, traditional and cultural structures.
We also happen to come across some difficult ideas to customise such as organising an audience with the King, Royal family, Prime Minister and also some high profile Lama, which in reality, fall beyond the measure of our purview. Having said that, the fact remains that the customised trips are on the rise and here to stay.
Below are some of the sample customised itineraries, which guests find thoroughly interesting and enriching. These are mainly long duration customised itineraries but we have designed shorter ones too.
Some of the unique Customise Itineraries.
Jane and Lester Customised Bhutan Tour
Jane and Lester, New York, USA partook on a highly customised tour from June 5 – 22,2016. From the outset, they knew what they wanted, firstly they liked to traverse from west to east, exploring verdant and historical valley of the west. In addition, they were open to our suggestions to make it unique. In the end, the odyssey was the amalgamation of culture, wildlife, nature, birding and festival with a generous dose of visit to rural villages, temple, local homes, schools and most importantly, interaction with locals. In term of accommodation, it varied from 4 * deluxe hotels like Hotel Druk in Thimphu to tourist standard hotels to simple guesthouses or farmhouses in the east.
An excerpt from their feedback “ During our 18 days of travel — on the roads, in small towns and larger cities, walking across – well, some of the way across — a centuries-old chain bridge, in a Dzong (a combination monastery/district administration building, originally built as a fort) , looking at stupas large and small, a school, a market, a flower show, a festival, eating surprisingly good picnic lunches, turning prayer wheels, feeling the wind shaking the prayer flags, chasing after butterflies, orchids, birds, talking, talking and talking to people — we often found ourselves looking at each other, nodding, smiling, simply joyful to be where we were.”
Please click the link for the detail feedback: https://www.windhorsetours.com/testimonial/customised-bhutan-tour-west-east/
Jane & Lester’s customised itinerary
Day 1: Arrive in Paro
Upon arrival meet and check into the hotel. Get acquainted with Paro town. Evening at leisure. Welcome dinner. Overnight in Hotel
Day 2: In Paro
Full day Paro valley tour, visiting National Museum), Rinpung Dzong, try archery. Kichu Lhakhang, local farmhouse and village. Overnight in hotel
Day 3: In Paro
Drive to Chele la pass, hike to visit secluded Kila Goempa nunnery. If early you may see endemic birds like Himalayan Monal Pheasants, Blood Pheasants etc. Grand vista of Mt. Jumolhari and its adjoining peaks on a clear day. On return visit Drongdrakha Lhakhang and Dungtse Lakhang. Overnight in hotel.
Day 4: Paro-Thimphu (Taktsang Hike)
Transfer to the trailhead and hike to spectacular Taktsang Monastery. After, drive to Thimphu for 1 hr. Overnight in hotel Druk
Day 5: In ThImphu
Full day tour of Thimphu cultural sites including Tashichho Dzong, Takin Preserve, weekend market and many more as per available time and your interest. Overnight in Hotel Druk
Day 6: In ThImphu
Drive north of Thimphu and hike to Cheri/Tango monastery for 1 hr each way. On return, visit some of the sites which you may have miss or add new sites as per available time. Overnight in Hotel
Day 7: Thimphu-Punakha
Drive to Punakha (4,300 ft.), via Dochu-La-Pass (3150m). From the pass, hike to visit Lungchuzekha Temple. In Punakha visit Chimi Lhakhang. Overnight in Hotel
Day 8: In Punakha
Drive north to trail head to hike and visit Khamsum Chorten. On return visit Punakha Dzong . As per available time visit villages and farmhouses nearby.Overnight in Hotel
Day 9: Punakha-Gangtey
Drive to Gangtey. Visit Gangtey Monastery and hike on nature trail, along the way, visiting local home and meeting village people. Overnight in Hotel
Day 10: Gangtey-Bumthang
Drive to Bumthang, enroute stop at Trongsa to visit Dzongs and Museum. Crossing Yontongla pass, stop at weaving center at chummy valley. Overnight in Hotel.
Day 11: In Bumthang.
Today, easy walk around to visit Jampay Lhakhang, Kurjey Lhakhang, Tamshing monastery, Swiss Farm area and others depending on available time. Overnight in Hotel
Day 12: In Bumthang
Excursion to e remote Tang valley . Visit through short hike to Ugencholing Manor, Tang Rimochen temple, local village and others. On return, en-route visits Membartsho lake. Overnight in Hotel.
Day 13: In Bumthang
Drive north of valley and visit Thangbi Temple and surrounding villages. Hike to attend Ngalhakhang Temple festival and farmhouses visit. Overnight in hotel
Day 14: Bumthang-Yongkola
Drive across Ura valley and Thrumsingla pass, now, we ventured into birding zone, in Pass and also along the way, birding is done. Specifically in this region, spotting Red Panda is frequent. Overnight in Farm House.
Day 15: Yongkola-Mongar
These region are the bedrock for Birding, scan the area for birds in Namling, Lingimithang as we drive into Mongar. Overnight in Hotel.
Day 16: Excursion to Lhuentse
Excursion to Lhuentse, renowned for traditional weaving. Visit Dzong, Weaving villages, Farmhouses etc. Overnight in hotel
Day 17: Mongar-Trashi Yangtse
Drive to Trashiyantshe, a small and quiet town yet it brim with rich legacy of making of wooden bowls and containers. Visit some of its workshop, Gom Kora, Chorten Chora temple. Overnight in simple Guesthouse.
Day 18: Trashi Yangtse – Trashigang
Drive back to Tashigang, enroute visits old Trashiyantshe Dzong. While in Tashigang visit Tashigang Dzong. Free evening to stroll in town. Overnight in hotel.
Day 19: In Trashigang
Excursion to agrarian and tranquil Radhi village, enroute stop in Rang Jung to visit its monastery. Radhi is not just breadbasket of east but also renowned for production of special textile called Burha. Watch the womenfolk in action in back strap traditional handloom. Overnight in hotel.
Day 20: Trashigang – Samdrup Jongkhar
It’s a long drive to Samdrup Jongkhar. However we will make series of stops to visit small towns and villages along the way with following changing sceneries with changing vegetation. Overnight in Hotel.
Day 21: Departure (B)
Drive for 3 hours across India to reach Guwahati airport.
Rebakah’s Trek (Laya & Gasa) and customised cultural trip.
When Rebekah Bell (Australian Lady) first set her foot in Bhutan 2014, she fell in love with the country and her love affair continues. Her first trip was in 2014 and she did Bhutan traverse from West to East with extension tour of Arunachal Pradesh in Northeast India.
In 2015 Oct 7 – Nov 5, this time it was a long tour with blend of Trek and Culture. To a certain degree even trekking part was customise to accommodate more interaction with yak herders’ family in alpine highland. However, it was the cultural portion that was customise to the tilt. The stand out features were more day hikes to visit remote villages and temples, farm house visits, only prominent attractions in the valley, and she chose to stay overnight mostly in Farmhouses and trying local culinary. She once remarked, “local dishes in farmhouses were the best she had till date”. An excerpt from her feedback “ Travelling in Bhutan is fabulous and amazing, but travelling in and experiencing Bhutan with the team at Wind Horse makes the experience truly unique and memorable. The Wind Horse difference is immediately obvious; from the support you receive in designing your adventure, the range of Wind Horse exclusive walks, home stays, horse riding, cultural and adventure activities that can be used to make your itinerary uniquely yours”
For full details of Feedback
Day 1; Arrive in Paro
Upon arrival meet and transfer to Hotel. This afternoon visit as per your interest or at leisure. Overnight in Hotel.
Day 2: Paro-Haa
Drive to Haa, regular stops along the way to visit village, Dobji Dzong, roadside shops etc. In Haa, visit village’s monasteries – Tachu, Takchu temples, village and interaction with local people, local culinary experience etc. Overnight in farmhouse.
Day 3: In Haa
Full day Haa Tour. Start with hike to Juneydra temple, after visit Yantong village, and Gyechu temple. Savor local dishes, traditional hot stone bath, and local liquor called “ARA”. Overnight in Farmhouse.
Day 4: Haa-Paro
Drive to Chelela Pass, hike to Kila Goenpa. In Paro hike to Dzongdrakha Cave Temple and surrounding village houses. Then hike and visit to some more villages like Geptey, Nemjo nearby town. Overnight in hotel.
Day 5: Begin Trek to Thongdu Zam
Day 6: Trek to Soi Thangthakha
Day 7: Trek to Jangothang
Day 8: Jangothang Halt
Day 9: Trek Jangothang-Lingshi
Day 10: Trek to Chebisa
Day 11: Trek to Shomuthang
Day 12: Trek to Robluthang
Day 13: Trek to Lemithang
Day 14: Trek to Laya
Day 15: In Laya
Day 16: Trek to Koina
Day 17: Trek end to Gasa
Day 18: In Gasa)
Day 19: Gasa-Punakha
Drive to Punakha across beautiful landscape, though, through sinuous road. Past Goen Damji village reach Punakha. Free evening. Overnight in Farmhouse
Day 20: Punakha-Chummey (Bumthang)
Long drive to Chumey. Along the way visit Chendebji Chorten and Tangsabji village to stretch leg. Overnight in Hotel
Day 21: Chummey-Bumthang (Tharpaling hike to Bumthang)
Drive to Tharpaling and visit Tharpaling Monastery, we hike from there to Jakar across Kikila pass. Attend Fire blessing Ceremony at Jambay Lhakhang festival. Overnight in farmhouse
Day 22: In Bumthang (Attend festival)
Full day at Jambay Lhakhang festival and visit sites as per your interest. Overnight in farmhouse
Day 23: In Bumthang (Attend festival)
Drive to Chummey valley and attend Prakar festival for most part of the day and return to Jakar for overnight.
Overnight in farmhouse
Day 24: Trek to Ngalhakhang (cultural trek)
Full day excursion to Thangbi and hike to Ngalhakhang visiting it’s temple and farmhouses and return to Jakar in the evening. Overnight in farmhouse
Day 25: Excursion to Tang Valley
Drive to Tang valley, In Tang, short walk to visit Ugencholing manor and local village. On the way back, visit Tang Rimochen temple, local village, Horse Ride at our Ranch nearby, a nunnery and Mebartsho lake. Overnight in farmhouse
Day 26: Day hike to Thowadrak monastery
Transfer to the trailhead and hike to Thowadrak monastery for most part of the day. Overnight in farmhouse.
Day 27: Drive to Trongsa
Drive to Trongsa. Along the way visit Yathra Weavers. In Trongsa visit Taa Dzong Museum and Trongsa Dzong as per your interest. Overnight in hotel
Day 29: Trongsa-Gangtey
Drive to Gangtey/Phobjikha Upon reaching Longtey, hike over a pass to Phobjikha valley for 3 hrs. Overnight in Hotel
Day 30: Gangtey-Thimphu
Drive to Thimphu (6 hrs). En-route stop atop Dochula for Mountain view. In Thimphu visit some sights like weekend market, watch archery match in nearby ground and other prominent attractions. Overnight in hotel
Day 31: Thimphu-Phuentsholing
Drive to Phuentsholing through winding road. Regular stop to visit roadside village and savor vista of mountains, gorges waterfalls. Free evening. Overnight in hotel
Customised Bhutan Tour for Michael and Jane Cipra
Jane and Michael Cipra visited Bhutan for second time with us from Feb 24-March 7, 2015. This time, they wanted customised version to see what they missed in their last visit. Mainly, they want to see Bhutan in its villages and visit them through hikes. There were some great day hikes incorporated to visit farmhouses, villages, village temples, school and interaction with local people. An excerpt from their feedback “We’d definitely recommend Wind Horse as a travel company. They are well organised and are very willing to work with you to customise your journey to Bhutan. We had the same guide both times, and Kinley was very patient, thoughtful, caring, and flexible as we sometimes altered our itinerary based on weather or road conditions”
For details of feedback. please click the link below.
Jane & Michael ‘s customised itinerary.
Day 1: Arrive in Paro-Thimphu
Upon arrival meet your guide and transfer to Thimphu. As per available time visit sites of Thimphu. Overnight in Hotel
Day 2: In Thimphu
Drive north of Thimphu and hike to Cheri. On return walk through Kabesa village with a visit to Painting school. Free evening. Overnight in Hotel
Day 3: Thimphu-Punakha
Drive to Punakha across Dochula pass. In Pass, savor Mountain View and embark on hike to visit Lungchuzekha Temple.. Return and drive to Punakha. Overnight in Hotel
Day 4: In Punakha
Attend the final day of the Punakha Droemche festival. In the evening drive north and walk to visit Khamsum Chorten. Overnight in hotel.
Day 5: In Punakha
Attend the 1st day of the Punakha Tsechu festival. In the evening take a short walk to visit Chimi Lhakhang. Overnight in hotel
Day 6: Trek to Limbukha
Drive and walk to Limukha/ Chusakha village. Overnight in tented Camp.
Day 7: Trek to Samtengang
Walk to explore Chusakha & Samtegang village. Overnight in tent camp
Day 8: Trek end and drive to Gangtey
End of trek and drive to Gangtey. In Gangtey, visit its monastery and walk in the valley spotting Black-neck cranes. Overnight in hotel
Day 9: Gangtey-Haa
Long return drive to Haa valley. To ease the long drive, stop occasionally to stretch legs and visit roadside villages along the way. Overnight in Farmhouses.
Day 10: Haa-Paro
In the morning visit Katsho village and hike to visit Juneydrak. On return visit Lhakhang Karpo, Nagpo, Takchu Goenpa and villages nearby. In the late afternoon drive to Paro across Chelela pass. Overnight in hotel
Day 11: In Paro
Transfer to the trailhead and hike to famous Taktshang or Tiger’s Nest monastery. Further up, hike to visit core pilgrimage temples like Zangdopelri and Ugen Tsemo. Return and stroll around in town with farewell dinner.
Day 12: Departure (B)
Transfer to the airport in time for your departure flight.