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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

Bhutan Traverse from West to East, Oct, 2015

  • Hotels Paro -Tashi Namgay Resort
    Haa - Soednam Zingkha Heritage Lodge
    Thimphu - Osel
    Punakha - Hotel Y.T
    Gangtey - Hotel Dewachen
    Trongsa - Yangkhil Resort
    Bumthang - Yu - Gharling Resort & Spa
    Mongar - Wangchuk Hotel
    Trashigang - Lingkhar Lodge
    Samdrup Jongkhar - Mountain Hotel
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