Firstly, apologies for my late response. It’s been a particularly busy time at work and I’ve had 3 days off in the past month! Nevertheless, enough excuses and time for my thoughts.
I first came to know about Bhutan when reading this website about the 25 least visited countries in the world a year or two ago. I like to go off the beaten path, and the idea of an entire country with centuries of history, it’s own unique culture, people, and way of life, can exist with so many people not even knowing about it’s existence is surreal to me. Not to mention a bit unfair!
This hidden kingdom found it’s way into my mind, and once I moved to Beijing to live and work, I decided this past winter was the perfect time to visit. I like to do a little research, but not too much when I’m visiting a country, as I don’t want to have any expectations coming in. My personal opinion is that, the more expectations you have, the more likely you are to be disappointed. It’s preferable to go in with an open mind and take it as it comes. That way you’ll always be surprised and excited by what you see, and that was certainly the case with Bhutan.
The entire time, I felt as if I had secret access to a country that no one else knew about. There was a feeling that I had discovered this magical place, unbeknownst to the rest of the world. Unspoiled would be the operative word. My guide Namgay was a consummate professional, and always had answers to my barrage of questions whenever we were visiting a temple or other site. He also had a few good stories
about his youth when we visited certain sites which lent a personal touch to everything that was greatly appreciated. Our driver Chimi was a master behind the wheel and I always felt safe, even when we were winding through the vertiginous mountain ranges for hours at a time.
My personal style of travel is going solo, so I was a bit nervous that the tour would feel too “touristy” or inauthentic. My favorite moments in my travels have been when I had my own transportation and would drive around the country untethered with no set itinerary, so I was happy to see that while there was a set itinerary, there was enough time for additional diversions and side trips if I wanted. If there was every any building or site that I wished to stop at that wasn’t on the itinerary, Namgay and Chimi were extremely accommodating and did their utmost to fit it in our daily schedule. It was also very nice that when we had spare time in the evening to have the ability to freely wander around whatever area we were in. I did not feel like I was being cottled or excessively looked after, which is a big plus for me personally.
My time in Bhutan was a once in a lifetime trip, and there are several memories that will stay in my mind for a long time, perhaps forever. I have enjoyed telling people about my time there and simultaneously making them aware of this country known as Bhutan. Wind Horse Tours were great in allowing me to experience as much as of this country as possible while I was there, and I’d recommend your company to anyone without hesitation.