Tashi could switch to an equally excellent experience when circumstances required a change
Hotels Paro - Tenzinling Resort
Bumthang - Mountain Resort
Punakha - Meri Phuensum Resort
Thimphu - Hotel Druk
Paro - Tenzinling Resort
TID 756: Grand Gultural tour for Gregoire & Party Oct. 27 – 05, 2014
Dear Ugen and Jambay,
I wanted to write to let you know how our experience with Windhorse in Bhutan (October 27 to November 5) went. First of all, thank you for setting us up with your “A” team. Tenzin was a cautious, capable and efficient driver. He was always on time with a ready smile. Even the three of us who are generally terrified by the combination of narrow, difficult roads and great heights felt comfortable with Tenzen driving. In a word, Tashi was great. He knew the answers to all of our (occasionally ridiculous) questions and remained calm and professional when things did not go according to plan. We mainly stayed with the itinerary but Tashi could switch to an equally excellent experience when circumstances required a change ( eg Druk Airlines left Paro 4 hours lake; the Folk Museum was closed on Sunday, etc.).
When he realized that we would prefer more hiking and visiting fewer Dzongs, we went on a challenging hike up to a monastery where the graduating class of monks and their families were celebrating. Not on the itinerary but a real highlight fore sure. I do have some comments. The 7-8 hour drive to Punakha was in fact 12 hours. We left at 8 am and arrived a 8 pm, well after dark. The road was under construction which was the cause of the delay, but we guests were all very tired and grumpy when we arrived at the hotel. Eight hours of driving is enough. Could a Plan B hotel, even if not up to top standards, not be an option? We would have appreciated the choice. Second, we arrived in Thimphu on November 1, a national holiday. Some attractions were not open, and we missed an archery competition which is apparently traditionally held on that day. When we were scheduled to visit the Folk Museum the following day , Sunday, a day it is always closed that weekend felt like a cut and paste itinerary rather than a well planned private tour.
My third comment involves a longer itinerary. Once we were in Bumthang, several of us were sorry not to be able to go closer to the Eastern border. We are not trekkers (due to the altitude I did not get close to the Tiger’s Nest) but would love to see and hike in the Eastern region of Bhutan. Perhaps a 14 day itinerary for our ability level could be considered. My husband Conrad and I had an excellent holiday and are very happy we chose Windhorse for our trip to Bhutan. Tashi took us all to his home for our farewell dinner and it was a pleasure to meet his family and experience an excellent home cooked meal and authentic hot stone bath. The meal began with butter tea, ended with ara, and consisted of a multitude of traditional Bhutanese dishes (minus chili cheese, thankfully). I hope his mother was compensated by Windhorse for the huge effort she made as we were caught off guard and thoughtlessly came empty handed. Please let Tashi and Tenzin know how much we enjoyed their expertise, good humour and company. All best wishes,