Rate this testimonial

Evaluation Form of Wind Horse Bhutan submitted by email
Lara and Nick B ( 13.05.06-25.05.2006
Guide: Mr. Namgay
Driver: Mr. Lhakpa

01. Were you provided adequate information about your trip
Yes. The information we were provided was adequate and we also supplemented by reading a number of books (fiction and travel guides) before and during the trip.
02. Arrival

There were no problems with our arrival, both guide and driver were there to meet us and were very kind and welcoming.
03. Did the tour get off to a good start
Yes, absolutely. We were staying at Uma during our time in Paro, which included the first few nights of the trip. As you know this is a first class hotel so we enjoyed ourselves there very much.
04.– 05.Itinerary

Namgay followed the itinerary but was also very flexible with us—in case we wanted to do something different (which didn’t happen very often, as we were happy with the itinerary that had been created for us.) There was nothing confusing about the itinerary.
06.-07. Service of guide and driver

We were extremely happy with both Namgay and Lhakpa. Both men went out of their way to ensure we had a good trip, that we experienced the things we wanted to experience and that we were happy with all aspects of the trip. Namgay was a particularly good choice for us because we are young (mid-30s) and Namgay is also young, energetic and we enjoyed getting to know him very much. We would not have been as happy with someone less enthusiastic and more formal, we felt very comfortable by the end of the trip. Both men really went “above and beyond” to make the experience a good one for us, for example, when Nick mentioned that he would like to try some local ara, not only did they drive out of their way to get some, they managed to produce three different kinds! There were many examples of this kind of attention-and we were very grateful for it. No problems with punctuality.

08. Food and Accommodation, and Trekking.
It is true that Bhutan is not the most sophisticated culinary spot and that for a Western palate used to a lot of variety it could become monotonous at times. However, both Nick and I were pleasantly surprised at what we ate, and in general, the food was much better than we were expecting and I can only think of one meal (our last night in Paro) that we thought was not good. And, if one was tired of eating Bhutanese style food, you could usually find Indian or Chinese (at least in the cities.) So really we were satisfied with the food on the whole. (Another way our guide went out of his way to make our trip enjoyable was that we mentioned we liked the Tibetan momos a lot, and Namgay always made sure the restaurants we went to would serve us momos if possible!)

What was a bit strange for us was eating in restaurants that are clearly only for tourists—this was the first guided trip we have ever taken, and between us we have traveled to all over the world-Asia, Africa, India, South America, etc. So even though we were not with a big group, and we were not even in Bhutan during the peak season, eating in some of the restaurants where everyone else is a tourist and all the guides and drivers are eating together somewhere else on site was a bit strange. Either that, or we were the only customers in the whole restaurant which was equally strange. I do understand that in Bhutan “eating out” in restaurants is not the same as it is in the U.S.-far less common, different culture, etc. But I just wanted to comment that we had found that strange at times.

Hotels in general were satisfactory-clean, neat and always hot water! Some, like Uma, and the hotel in Phobjika, were really wonderful. Two ways in which we thought they could improve. One, some places need to train their staff to be a little more professional. Although everyone was friendly, we found many of the people working the hotels (usually young people) seemed almost startled by the appearance of or by questions from guests—or staff who just didn’t seem to be fully prepared to be working in a hotel. I think the tourist economy just needs to mature a little and this will change. The other (VERY MINOR) thing is that fluorescent lights are used in many rooms and public spaces, which I know is because they are less costly and last longer, but they tend to make the rooms and public spaces a lot less pleasant than they could be with better lighting and have an effect overall of making things seem dingy. The only reason I even bother to mention this is because everyone in the Bhutanese tourist industry seems very eager to understand how to make things the best they could be and also because travel to and in Bhutan is expensive, so I guess it makes one a little more critical. If I were paying 5 dollars a night for a hostel or little room somewhere in India for example, I wouldn’t even think about something like the lighting! It’s just that everything else in Bhutan is so beautiful and amazing, and the focus seems to be on attracting a certain “class” of tourist, so I mention it here. We really enjoyed out trek—and we loved the crew. The cook, Penjor, was great– every night we were really impressed by what he was able to make out of the provisions we had. He even caught us a fish from lake…it was delicious. And Karma, the horseman, was impressive as well—bringing back all the loads of firewood on his back and keeping the horses (and the cold tourists) happy. We were very surprised that the days you are trekking and the days you are sightseeing by car were the same price—it seemed as if the trekking days would be more expensive because of the crew and all the work they did. We were very impressed with the crew and really enjoyed the time with them.

09.First visit
Yes, this was our first visit to Bhutan and we would definitely go back again, although probably not for a while—there are so many places we want to visit and a trip to Bhutan is time consuming and very expensive.

10.Rating services.
Services from Wind Horse and all of your staff were excellent.
General Comments:
Bhutan is a fascinating and wonderful place—like no other place we have ever been. I am glad we had a chance to experience it now, because I know things are changing fast and although it seems the government is trying hard to control the pace and direction of the changes, they won’t be able to control it all forever.

We both really enjoyed getting to know the people we met—namely our guide and driver. It would be great to spend some time in Bhutan not as a tourist, so that it would be a little easier to meet more Bhutanese and see how different people view the development and changes happening –just to get a broader perspective. I will enjoy visiting Bhutan in the future when it is possible to be a little more of an independent traveler as well.

Bhutan is a fascinating and wonderful place—like no other place we have ever been

  • Ratings
0 Trip(s) on shortlist