Jambay Lakhang festival holiday in Bhutan

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2017: 28 Oct
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Holiday type

Small group cultural tours

Typically you will be sharing your experiences with between 4-20 like minded travellers (depending on the trip, operator and how many others are booked on the trip) and you'll have a group leader with you. Whether you are travelling alone or with friends it's good value, and a great way to meet new people! While itineraries are pre-planned there is some flexibility and you'll have plenty of privacy. This trip will appeal to travellers of all ages who enjoy meeting new people as well as experiencing new cultures.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Jambay Lakhang festival holiday in Bhutan

Environment

The natural landscapes we explore on our cultural holiday to Bhutan are some of the richest, often most challenging, yet at the same time some of the most fragile environments on earth. With education, experienced leadership and appropriate equipment and techniques, it is possible to travel responsibly through these regions. For us, it is critically important that such wilderness travel experiences do not diminish the natural values of the environment.

Our environmental sustainable principles: True sustainability is a guiding aspect in all aspects of our business planning and operations. Specifically our tour operations should be managed in a way where the natural and cultural values of the host region are undiminished in the long-term.

Where possible, we engage in partnerships with local environmental groups and/or land managers to actively campaign for conservation or promote environmental protection and/or rehabilitation.

Our Responsible Travel Guidebook: Our philosophy since 1975 has been to leave only footprints and take only photographs. To reiterate this, every customer who travels with us receives a copy of our award-winning Responsible Travel guidebook. This detailed book outlines our environmentally sustainable principles, and outlines how each customer can minimize their impact while travelling.

Global Warming and Carbon Balancing: The root cause of Global Warming is society's dependence on emission creating fossil fuel. Planting trees is not going to reverse this trend or cancel our carbon emissions very quickly or effectively. We believe the way to reduce these dependencies is to create clean energy production. Therefore, we support renewable energy projects like wind and solar power, and we are aligned with Climate Friendly, the gold standard setter in effective, meaningful action addressing climate change. So, while we believe that tree planting can play a small role in greenhouse gas abatement, we have gone the extra mile in promoting a longer term solution. Is this cheap? No. Is it responsible? Absolutely!

Community

Our local employment policy and high standards of training in first aid, leadership, communication and high altitude trekking ensure that you receive the best possible care during the trip but also has many benefits to your hosts and their communities. There is no better person to teach you about the landscape and culture than a local person which is why we have local guides on all our trips. Employing local people ensures that you receive credible knowledge and local intelligence underpins our ability to operate genuine 'off the beaten track' experiences away from commercial travel routes.

Employing local people ensures a good proportion of your trek fees remain with the people who are custodians of the places and cultures visited.

English language, leaderships and communication skills are fundamentals in our training process. We provide opportunities for personal advancement, industry-leading conditions and inspiration in communities where employment conditions can be very harsh.

The International Mountain Explorer's Connection (IMEC) is a not-for-profit organisation whose mission is to promote responsible and sustainable connections between travellers and the people of developing mountain regions of the world. We are a member of IMEC's Partnership for Responsible Travel Program which recognises those tour operators committed to promoting proper porter treatment and cultural and environmental sensitivity among their travellers.

Reviews of Jambay Lakhang festival holiday in Bhutan

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the holidays.

I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 05 Nov 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Nature Culture and the guide. The views where amazing, the Buddhism was introduced in a very appropriate way and the guide was excellent.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Be ready for inconvenience while traveling in Bhutan outside Paro and Thimphu area.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


I hope so. I really don't know where the big money went to by the Kingdom. The few things I bought helped those I bought from.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


An excellent holiday. The group, the guide, the nature and culture where overwhelming.

Reviewed on 13 Nov 2013 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Note: we did a package of three tours provided under the banner of this operature -- (a) Bhutan, Land of the
Thunder Dragon (Jambay lakhang festival); (b) Nepal - Chitwan National Park; (c) Nepal - Kathmandu Valley
..............

- ‘Safari’ on the back of an elephant - Chitwan
- Viewing the Tiger’s Nest Monastery - near Paro, Bhutan
- Postcard view after view after view throughout Bhutan

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Much of the Kathmandu Valley tour -- particularly the time spent in the city itself -- was wasteful. The day allocated
to touring the city boiled down to 2-¼ hours of guided visiting of two religious sites. We had a particularly ineffectual guide for those 2 hours ... and it was (according to the itinerary) left to us to find our own way or hire a private guide to see other sights such as the Monkey temple, Durbar Square, Thamel district, etc. Our impression was that
Kathmandu is a dump, with little interest except, perhaps, a few hours of meandering in Durbar Square and the
fascinating nearby streets, plus a half-hour at each of the three major religious sites. The (supposed/advertised) five days for this tour could probably be pruned to three. Chitwan was a bit disappointing in terms of wildlife viewing. Seeing two sleeping rhinos was as good as it got. Otherwise, it was just a few deer and monkeys.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes. Clearly the local tour company in Bhutan was prospering and growing because of its connection with this operator. With the exception of our stay at the Radisson Kathmandu Hotel, our money was obviously going into local operations. We were certainly given the opportunity to patronize local crafts persons. In general, we were led to understand and believe in Bhutan’s approach to development, including the commitment to preserve the forests and other natural and cultural resources.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


The Nepal legs were somewhat disappointing, particularly the Kathmandu Valley one, which was very poor value-for-money. Bhutan was superb: certainly one of the most wonderful countries we’ve ever been in, and the tour provided was
top-notch. Star ratings - separate for the three tours: Bhutan: 4-star ... Chitwan: 2-star ... Kathmandu Valley: 1-star.

Read the operator's response here:

Thank you for taking the time to share your comments on your recent adventures. We are pleased to read that you had a fabulous time in Bhutan and that your experience exceeded expectations, but are naturally disappointed that your Nepal Adventures did not reflect the same.

We regret that you did not see much wildlife in Chitwan, and understand that this would be deceiving. Your city tour experience raises concerns and we are sending a senior staff member to Kathmandu to make alterations that may be required to improve our travellers' experience. You will be happy to know that the Radisson Hotel in Kathmandu is owned and employs only Nepalese.

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