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Bhutan Festival & Sikkim Tour TID 598 (Mar. 22-Apr. 07, 13)

Have returned home from the above trip which was enjoyed immensely. It was also nice to have met you after so many emails back and forth over the last few months! I enjoyed the trip very much indeed; it was a great experience to spend time in your wonderful country.

Penjor was a delightful guide who was very efficient and unassuming. I liked him very much indeed! I did find that he struggled a bit with his English and consequently did not always offer the information that he would have done otherwise. For example he could have described in more detail the education system, or the houses or more about the upcoming election or customs such as marriages and how you welcome people into their homes. A suggestion would be to help overcome this could be an organized visit to a school or perhaps to have visited a house or farm during which we could have then asked pertinent questions which I’m sure he could have answered. I ‘m sure his character is typically Bhutanese in that he doesn’t need to fill every moment with information as probably we do in the west, but I think there are ways around this. He is such a lovely man who was very caring especially when Marj was not well and certainly was one of the best guides that I have met. There was a traffic jam for over 3 hours when a lorry got stuck and somehow he managed to get us through before all the other cars and lorries (a little embarrassing as we did not deserve preferential treatment ) but we were very grateful non the less! I was very sad to say goodbye to him.Dorje the driver was superb! The whole trip could have been spoiled if he had not been such a brilliant driver. He took great care and consideration to the whole group and just got on with his job. He cared about the bus and kept it immaculate and after a hard day was immediately up the ladder to get our bags down. Absolutely fantastic!

Nima ‘s English was very good indeed but he didn’t have the caring quality that Penjor had. He was prone to disappear as soon as he could, on the occasion below and in Darjeeling when we were waiting for the train in Darjeeling for 2& half hours when he was waiting in Ghum for us. There were other occasions as well. There was an incident at Gantok after a very long day when Marj and I were given our room keys saying that there was only one room with twin beds which were to go to Greg and his daughter and in so many words said we would have to put up with it. I didn’t make a fuss as often there are two beds together which would have been fine. Our bags were taken up and we realized that it was most unsatisfactory so we went back to the reception to ask if they had another room. They said they hadn’t but we rather suspected that they had. We were even shown to a store room where we could have had a ‘put you up bed ‘ transferred to our room! We asked him to get in touch with Nema who proved to be difficult and it took three quarters of an hour before he was found. We were very cross by this time and it was only because of our persistence we were ‘ upgraded ‘ to the room next door to ours! Nema could have got this organized in a few minutes but he wasn’t there. In addition the man on reception was not very pleasant saying that we would have to pay for the upgrade and kept saying he hadn’t got anything else. The rooms were very poor and the towels and linen were disgusting and looked although they had been used to wipe the floor. The rest of the staff were trying very hard and were pleasant but didn’t know what they were doing. (Lack of training!) I think that if it is possible to get a better hotel in Gantock then it would be appreciated by your guests. All the other hotels were fine. The most important thing is that they are comfortable and clean. (We did like the Mayfair!) but we were very happy with the more simple ones.The two drivers of the cars in Sikkim and Darjeeling were also very good and again we felt quite safe on very difficult roads!

I would certainly recommend others to ‘Wind horse’ and hope that you go from strength to strength.
My very best wishes and thanks

Sue Glassford

It was a great experience to spend time in your wonderful country.

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