We had a lovely trip and hope to return to Bhutan at some point in the future.
Hotels Paro - Tashi Namgay Resort
Bumthang - Mountain Resort
Trekking - Trek Camp
Bumthang - Chumey Nature Resort
Gangtey - Hotel Dewachen
Punakha - Meri Phuensum Resort
Thimphu - Hotel Jumolhari
Paro - Tashi Namgay Resort
TID 775 Grand Cultural Tour with Bumthang Owl Trek ( June 06-18,2014)
Sorry for this tardy email. We’ve been busy catching up after our trip.
We’d like to start by saying our visit to Bhutan was a wonderful experience. The countryside and the people were lovely and Windhorse, Yeshi and Tshering did a very good job of keeping us on track, entertained and fed. Our trek was a particular highlight. The time and effort which went into planning that amazing trip was awe inspiring. Your office handled all of our various financial issues (overpayment, cancelled flight) very impressively and communication was always timely . Thank you for all of that.
We can think of three things that may be helpful to you in the future;
1) On the day of our arrival we were greeted by our temporary guide, Yonten. Our flight arrived rather late (fourish) to do any tours as many things close between four and five. I think that new arrivals are either excited or exhausted. We were excited. We wish Yonten had suggested a walk or some other introduction to our exotic new environment and if we were tired we could have said no. Instead he assumed that we must be tired and dropped us at our hotel. Yes, we could have pushed for a walk but we didn’t which was our fault. Maybe we just look too old!
2) On the fateful “cancelled flight” day (day 2) we felt a bit adrift. Yonten had given us his phone number in case there was any difficulty with the flight. Initially the flight was merely delayed an hour so we waited. When it was delayed again and there was some thought that it might eventually be cancelled we decided that we should contact Yonten. Another party nearby who were traveling with their guide were discussing their alternatives and we weren’t sure what ours were. We do not travel with a phone (perhaps this is rare) so we had to borrow one from an airline employee to make the call. Yonten did not seem to be nearby so we waited for him to arrive. It might make sense for the guide to be checking the flight status so they can be close by when decisions need to be made. We know that in a situation like ours the guide can’t sit in the departure lounge since they are not flying.
Once Yonten arrived he was very accommodating and offered us several options. We wanted to be in Bumthang for our trek two days later so the overnight drive was our best option. Our driver did a spectacular job getting us across the country to Trongsa in fog, rain, mist and dark without a complaint. He is to be commended. We realize that neither Yonten nor the driver had anticipated their extended time with us and they remained pleasant and helpful through the whole experience.
3) This falls into the “wish” category. One of the wonderful things about Bhutan is it’s seeming remoteness. It would be nice if there were some additional lodging choices to reflect this fact. Although most of our accommodations were fine, there were a few that felt too large and overrun with bus tours. Those traveling in small groups might like the choice of a guesthouse or something more intimate. It seemed that rather early in the planning phase we were already booked into our hotels and we could not suggest other places. I know booking quickly must be important if you are traveling in high season but we weren’t. Having the choice of smaller, more intimate places would be greatly appreciated. Do they exist? Perhaps not.
We hope these don’t sound too much like complaints because they really aren’t. We had a lovely trip and hope to return to Bhutan at some point in the future.
All the best.