We were a little spoiled, too, with “bed tea” in the morning.
Hotels Thimphu - Hotel Druk
Trongsa - Yangkhil Resort
Trekking - Trek Camp
Gangtey - Hotel Dewachen
Punakha - Meri Phuensum Resort
Trekking - Trek Camp
Paro - Tashi Namgay Resort
TID -8621 (Dec 27 to Jan 9) 2015
Jeannie asked me if I’d like to respond to your request for feedback on our recent trip to Bhutan and I said I’d be glad to. In short, it was a fantastic experience and I wish it could have gone on much longer.
We asked Ugen and Jambay to create an itinerary for our group, which consisted of an older couple who wanted only a cultural tour and three others (including Jeannie and me) who wanted also to try some trekking. Even before we left home I appreciated the way Windhorse set up the trip to accommodate all of us, and as the trip unfolded I understood even more how much thought and planning went into making it an experience we would all enjoy. I’ve thanked Ugen and Jambay in person for the work they put into the planning and I’ll repeat it here. We appreciated it every day. I’m also happy with the materials you sent us before the trip. After reading your advice I was well prepared for the weather and temperatures and I had the gear I needed to be comfortable and ready for everything we did.
The pace was just right to mix the sightseeing and road travel and to let us acclimate to the elevation before we set out on the more strenuous part of the trip. The roads were a challenge and there were a couple of long days but the lunch stops and even the temporary road closings gave us a chance to get out, stretch our legs, and mingle with people. I was never bored and never thought we were too long in the car. There was always something interesting to see and Pema was a terrific guide and was good company.
Pema and Bali were our guide and driver and they were first-rate. Pema was charming, knowledgeable and friendly and was always looking out for us and anticipating our needs. Bali was a patient and careful driver and I never felt any anxiety at all about our safety on what are some spectacular (!) narrow cliff-hugging roads. Both of the guys are very competent. I also must compliment the trek crew – Minchu, Teten and Dorji (apologies if I misspell any names). The food was great – I think we all gained a little weight even with all the hiking. The camp was always set up very well and we were very comfortable. We were a little spoiled, too, with “bed tea” in the morning.
I know we were trying out some new tents for you, the ten-by-ten tents. They were quite roomy for two people and it was nice to be able to stand up in them. It was nice to have some space by the door flap to put our boots, too, so the tent stayed clean. We had our own sleeping bags so we didn’t use those that were provided. The sleeping mats were comfortable and kept us insulated from the cold ground. The dining tent was just the right size for us and was warm and cozy.
I know, too, that you were a little concerned that using a farm road for some of our hiking would take away from the experience. I think there’s a trade-off, of course, but I was happy with our hiking. In some ways I think the farm road was better walking and offered more consistent views, since the clearing was wider and we didn’t have to watch our footing so carefully. It did allow us to get to some remote places that would have taken more hours than we had if we’d hiked a trail. There were plenty of beautiful sights right along the road and the “road” is really just a wide, flatter trail anyway. And we did get a lot of trail hiking, too. I think you made the right call on organizing our access to Nabji and Korphu this way. This was one of the high points of the trip and we couldn’t have done it without using the farm road or taking time we didn’t have.
I’ve searched my memory to find anything to say that isn’t positive, and I can’t think of a thing. I think we got a good experience of Bhutan, as good as one can get in two weeks. We met many people, talked to them, and sang and danced with them. Pema taught us history and about Buddhist tradition and made sure we remembered to go clockwise, always clockwise. My only regret was that we didn’t have a longer time to spend.
There’s always next time. When that time comes, Windhorse will be the first to know.
Thanks and best regards,