I have to say that it was seeing Bhutan through our guide Sonam’s eyes.
Hotels Thimphu - Migmar Hotel
Punakha - Hotel Y.T
Bumthang - Mountain Resort
Trongsa - Tashi Ninjay Guest House
Gangtey - Hotel Gakiling
Punakha- Dochula Resort
Paro - Hotel Gangtey Palace
TID 692 Drukyul Walking Tours (12.11.13 – 25.11.13)
When people ask me what my favorite part of Bhutan was, I have to say that it was seeing Bhutan through our guide Sonam’s eyes. Being in the presence of a devout Buddhist and hearing stories of his life and the people of Bhutan was remarkable. His enthusiasm made me feel like we were his first personal guests in Bhutan! While most people seem to really like their guides, I am convinced that Sonam is the best la! I felt I truly entered another world, so different from my life in the USA and my earlier travels in Scandinavia. Every day of our tour was an adventure and we were blessed with blue skies and sunny weather the entire 2 weeks. Potential travelers should not take lightly the altitude and the nature of the roads. I really hadn’t anticipated that they would be so challenging; be prepared with altitude sickness medication and patches for car sickness. Our driver, Barleman was the best. It was a little scary at first on the left side of these narrow roads but we soon found we could put our full faith in his driving skills, sit back and enjoy the view. There were 4 travelers in our tour and this seemed perfect. We definitely saw tons of temples and I felt like I was visually drunk on their beauty. I loved the walk through the valley farms where we saw the harvesting of rice taking place. As other travelers have noted, the accommodations were adequate, but even with space heaters, I wore warm clothes at night at times. The food; yes, much is written about the food. We had very good food at the YT Hotel and at the restaurant near the Wind Horse office in Thimphu. Otherwise, the food was monotonous and I have to say after two weeks, it was hard to face another “buffet”.
For a couple of foodies, we learned to” eat to live” instead of “living to eat”, which is a valuable experience in and of itself, and part of immersing yourself in a culture void of the fancy restaurants and emphasis on food elsewhere in the world. There were two things I would have enjoyed which we did not do; visit a school and have an opportunity to spend time with some local families. Since we were never at a loss for things to do, I didn’t specifically request this, but in retrospect I think we could have sacrificed a few temples for this. This tour was more than I could have envisioned and will live long and vividly in my memory. Thank you Wind Horse!