36 independent reviews for Bhutan holidays, cultural tours

Reviews for Bhutan holidays, cultural tours

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review 16 Sep 2017

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

Bhutan was amazing. We loved the culture, the slow pace and Tigers Nest was the highlight, we loved the hotels, the food and the tour was superb. Our agent in Kathmandu, and our tour operator was excellent. He put together the right itinerary for us and we were very happy with his service. I would highly recommend him to fellow travellers.

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

The Tigers Nest walk down on a muddy path was treacherous, so be very very careful if you travel at this time of year (rainy season). We were so grateful to our guide and driver who both supported us on this walk over the lower part of the part (where the horses had made the path like an ice rink).

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

Yes in Bhutan as the government take a large part of the travellers money and they are distributing it well it seems.

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

10 out of 10.

review 4 Sep 2017

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

Tiger's Nest Monastery .. it was the place I was most looking forward to visiting, and was every bit as good as I hoped. However, all of Bhutan was magical .. it's a such a remarkable, pristine country, comparatively untouched by mass tourism. From the moment of landing in Paro valley (it felt like the wings of the plane almost clipped the mountains!) it was an amazing experience.

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

The climb up to Tiger's Nest is hard, but you can take it at your own pace. Plenty of senior tourists were doing it. I went in August - low season, and end of the monsoon - don't be afraid of going at this time, there was rain, but not all the time and it had no bad effect on the holiday. I tailored my holiday slightly and did the Nepal bit independently (I had been there before, and don't usually travel with a tour group) and Achut was helpful in letting me do this.

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

I don't know, but was impressed with the sustainability and environmental ethos in Bhutan in general.

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

Just marvelous; well organised beforehand and well paced once I was there.

review 26 May 2017

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

Flying into Bhutan over the Himalayas and then the sharp right to get down into the narrow valley to line up with the runway. Exciting, definitely! I loved the greenery, the steep valleys and sometimes roaring rivers. I loved the houses and the little bit of wildlife we saw, so few birds. I loved the last dinner with music and dancing from Nepal. Achut took us out for dinner on our last night was such a treat.

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

Know your costs beforehand. Ask what exactly is paid for. You may not get a straight answer but at least you've asked. I was asked for entrance fees to historic sites in Kathmandhu whereas the group I was with was not. Also ask for an itinerary., but having said that, there's nothing much you can do once you've set out on your holiday so if your itinerary is changed make the best of it and go with the flow.

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

I don't think my holiday did anything to support conservation or reduce environmental impact. The holiday was prepaid so apart from tips to the porters (usually young girls), drivers and guides and a bit of spending locally in Thamel in Kathmandu the rest of the money went to the travel company, both local in Bhutan and Nepal.

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

An 8 out of 10. Bhutan is lovely, BUT won't be for much longer. The countries on its borders have free entry so dzongs and other sites are overcrowded with lots of noisy, pushy people, as are the roads and hotels. Historic sites in Kathmandu were impacted by the 2015 earthquake, some very badly. I think the travel companies should be up front about the destruction.

Read the operator's response here:

Thank you very much for your kind feedback. We believe that all our trips are helping in the grow up economy for local communities, preserving the local culture and heritage site and trying to keep clean environment and reduce the environmental impacts; for example we use local guide, porters and transport, they will receive the benefits from the tour products and paying for entrance tickets and park conservation and permit charges etc that will be helping to protect environment and heritage sites. After paying all taxes, duties fees and trip operatation charges, obviously we the local tour operator will receive a small percentage of holiday amount as a recognition of service to making the trip smoothly and happy to clients.

review 18 Jan 2017

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

I have just returned from an amazing holiday organised by our tour company. I visited Bhutan for 6 days and did a 4 day hike in the Nepalese Himalayas. The experience was incredible. The highlight was the trek up to the Tiger's Nest Temple in Bhutan. What a wonderful day - it was really challenging, but so worth it when you get to the top. Also the 4 day hike in the Annapurna region - amazing mountain scenery and I met great people along the way.

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

Take lightweight clothing. Even though I went in December - the days were really hot, but nights were so cold - you will need down jackets and warm clothing. The food was great in Bhutan - lots of fresh vegetables and either chicken / fish for lunches and dinners. From a shopping perspective - great jewellery in Paro and silk shops. I found Paro much better for shopping than Thimphu.

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

In Bhutan they only use local guides and drivers. You cannot go anywhere without these guides - so, a definite benefit to the local economy. It all seems very unspoilt and not touristy (at this time). People were so friendly everywhere. They have a major focus on the environment and conservation in Bhutan.

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

I had a wonderful and unforgettable holiday in Bhutan and Nepal. Well organised by our tour company - they were flexible and incredibly helpful all the time. The tour guides were superb in both Bhutan and my hike in the Annapurna region.

review 28 Apr 2017

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

The time spent in Bhutan, especially the trek up to the Tiger's Nest. Well worth the effort. Paro the smaller of the two stop over locations was by far the more attractive, Thimpu the capital is starting to become more commercial. There was even traffic jams!

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

The trek up to the Tiger's Nest was a tiring experience especially with the high altitude. If you believe you could be in difficulty go up to the halfway point, on the horses available, to the restaurant. From there you will get outstanding views of the monastery and I suspect greater motivation to complete the journey on foot.

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

Certainly Bhutan has benefited from the tourist tax which is a component of the tour cost. The mandatory tourist guide certainly was a mine of information and his Buddhist faith added to the value of the trips into the Temples we visited.

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

The Bhutan element was life enhancing. Kathmandu was in striking contrast and a challenging experience for all my senses! A very chaotic city which could be too frenetic for some visitors. If you do feel the city is getting too overwhelming then go to the Garden of Dreams, an oasis in the middle of the chaos.

review 14 Nov 2016

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

Bhutan was the most wonderful friendly country. Peldan our guide was the best and really looked after us and was very knowlegable in the history while keeping us entertained as well. Tiger's nest was the highlight, amazing place. The tour operator organised the whole tour to perfection even organising my friend's 70th birthday evening.

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

Book through this operator, they do go the extra mile.

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

It certainly benefitted the local people of Bhutan in tourism.

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

We would certainly reccommend going to Bhutan. Khatmandu is an exciting place but still reeling from the earthquake last year.

review 13 Nov 2016

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

Trekking up to tigers nest. A lifelong wish finally coming to fruition with a super guide and lovely fellow tourists.

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

Pretty cold in the evenings, so warm clothes and good walking footwear, everyone is so lovely so bring along a big smile!

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

Not sure.

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

Achut in Nepal, bent over backwards to ensure I managed to do what I wanted. I added a couple of days onto the end and he arranged for me to trek in the annapurnas with a lovely guide - krishna who coped with my exuberance admirably! Peldan and dorji in Bhutan found out everything we asked and added in requests from us all to make our trip more personal. I cannot fault any part of the holiday.

review 1 May 2016

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

Without a doubt the unforgettable sight of The Tigers Nest clinging to the mountainside with the mist swirling around the temple. The story and history was brought to life by my friendly and informative guide resplendent in his national costume.

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

Book with this operator for superb care given by Achut and his brother. They are friendly, kind and courteous and driven by a genuine desire to share their culture and love for their country with you, the traveller. On the practical side, good walking shoes ( I was hopelessly ill equipped !) and don't bother to pack any fancy clothes as there will not be an occasion to wear them! Lots of early starts and lots of walking but amazing and so well organised.

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

Not really sure but Achut took me to a local school where I spent the afternoon teaching the children songs and telling them traditional English stories. So I suppose they may have benefited from my visit ?

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

Amazing and made especially amazing because of Achut and his family who kindly invited me to spend the last couple weeks of days in their home. I was immersed in the Nepalese way of life and found it to be enchanting !

review 5 Apr 2016

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

So many ... the trip on the river at Chitwan, spotting a rhino and its baby, riding through the jungle on the back of an elephant, the colour and wonder of Kathmandu, the shops (!), the humility of the people in Nepal, seeing Everest from the plane from Kathmandu to Bhutan, walking over the 100ft suspension bridge twice, the monasteries, the vastness of the natural environment, the organic food, the Bhutanese friendliness, the scenery, the efficiency of the people in hotels, the fresh air, the amazing giant Buddha Dordenma Statue, back at Kathmandu and visiting many wonderful sights including the monkey temple and the remains of the stupa at Boudhanath, a monk clad in orange, the lady in Pattan who literally made me a necklace there and then and of course our wonderful tour organisers and guides.

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

Don't hesitate, an amazing experience especially if you are drawn towards spiritual ways and a completely different way of looking at the world. I would check the hotels though as the one in Kathmandu suffered from power cuts, although the staff were fantastic but if you like your home comforts, then perhaps pay a little more for a less basic hotel.

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

Yes, the organisers obviously used many local businesses and people very aware of the area. They were constantly aware of environmental issues relating to the areas we visited. Many places we visited obviously aided in the restructuring of the buildings in Nepal too.

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

I absolutely loved it and even now a few weeks later, the wonderful sights and sounds are still with me. I hope to return again in a couple of years .. and will most definitely use the holiday provider again.

review 23 Nov 2016

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

The climb up to the Tigers Nest was hard but worthwhile as the views and the Monastery were amazing. The walk through the Phobjikha valley to see the Black Necked Cranes had staggering scenery.

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

Warm clothes for the evening and good walking shoes. All the hotels I stated in had good facilities and the food was ok. The roads outside of the towns are pretty bad so if you suffer from car sickness you would need to take something.

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

Felt that the local people benefited from the tourists. They themselves and the government take a keen interest in conservation which in itself rubs off onto the traveller.

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

The holiday was well organised by our tour operator out of Kathmandu. I had a great guide who was very knowledgable and a driver who managed the difficult roads. I was meant to be part of a group but in the end there was just me. So I had these guys as my personnel guides. Result!

review 5 Nov 2015

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

The whole journey on the roads in Bhutan was something special, but of course the most momentous was the hike up to the Tiger's Nest. It was really something special. And the guide took time to ensure that we would manage it as well.

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

When you have some time on your own, especially, when staying in Thimphu, then walk around and see the neighborhood. We really had a great time walking around, and people are really nice and helpful. - A shop even let my wife try some dried yak cheese for free. - Though no recommendation came with that. :)

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

We clearly felt that tourism is an important source of income to many people. Maintaining the local traditions and protecting the environment are key objectives in Bhutan. It was a great opportunity to experience both without feeling as a disruptive element. Our holiday was a great example of balancing the benefits of tourism and the protection of local traditions and the environment.

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

We had a great time. the trip of a lifetime. It cannot be explained, only experienced.

review 20 Oct 2015

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

People and countryside

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

If you want to go in a group, make sure they have placed you in a group.

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

I think it helped other people. Probably supported conservation. Not sure driving everywhere reduced environmental impact.

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

Was disappointed to be travelling alone rather than in a group, but still had a great time.

review 15 Sep 2015

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

Experiencing the hospitality of the Bhutanese and Nepali people

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

The holiday providers are a really helpful compnay

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

Yes

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

It was an excellent holiday

review 24 Dec 2014

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

This was an excellent holiday with huge contrasts between the mountain countries of Nepal and Bhutan. Both countries are steeped in their unique cultures and histories - it was a joy to learn so much. The walk to the Tigers Nest in Bhutan has to be a highlight - an unforgettable day!

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

Although December is the low season in this region, and it was very cold at night, it was wonderful to travel with far fewer tourists at the destinations. The days were full of climatic contrasts - bright clear sun, snow and haunting mists. A great time to travel and very competitive prices as well. I would recommend getting out of Kathmandu when in Nepal - the chance to explore Pokhara was really worth it with wonderful views of the Annapurna range.

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

We stayed in local hotels, used local guides, transport and restaurants. It was good to see our spending being invested in local companies. I am not sure we reduced the environmental impact of our travels as we used vehicles and air flight during our stay. However, there was also plenty of opportunity for walking to various sites.

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

A really good holiday thanks to Achut's organization and all the help from the operator. A great team of guides and drivers who made every effort to make sure the holiday was enjoyable. I would certainly recommend them to other visitors wishing to explore Nepal, Bhutan and Tibet.

review 17 Sep 2014

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

Everything about Bhutan and Mt.Everest in Tibet.

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

You need a good camera. Umbrella to protect from rain and sun.

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

Not sure.

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

Enjoyed every minute of it. Well organised, everyone involved provided excellent service.

review 7 Apr 2013

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

The most memorable part of my holiday was the beautiful scenery on the treks in Bhutan and Nepal and the 51 metre Buddha high on a mountain in Thimpu is impressive and inspiring. The garden of Dreams in the busy centre of Kathmandu is a peaceful and really worth a visit. The crafts, carvings, textiles, masks, pottery, jewellery, dancing and music all display the rich culture and happiness of this area of the world.

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

It is a photographers paradise so take a good camera.

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

Tourism benefits the local people and economy.

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

My holiday was amazing the guides were so helpful and made my experience wonderful.

review 26 Jul 2013

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

Visit to the Dzong in Thimpu and Tiger's Nest.

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

If going in rainy season make sure you take an umbrella!

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

Yes both in Nepal and Bhutan the interface was with the local people who from hotels, restaurants and local businesses were the recipients of the monies paid.

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

It was very good. The operator in Katmandu were attentive and well organised as well as very helpful people. Their agents in Bhutan provided an excellent guide and driver who were knowledgeable. It was truly an amazing experience.

review 4 May 2013

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

The contrast between the vibrancy, noise and incense of Kathmandu in Nepal, and the serene, picturesque beauty of Bhutan. I really enjoyed both counties. In Bhutan, Punakha was a favourite place for me as it's a little more rural and remote. The Dochula Pass on the way was also very lovely; it was really misty so we didn't get mountain views but the stupas surrounded by the mists had their own - almost mystical - beauty. Hearing the locals talk about their king is also really interesting!

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

For an independently-minded traveller, I found Bhutan a little strange as you have a guide with you at all times and there is clearly an itinerary which most tour guides follow...though very few tourists overall and no big groups: Great! This way of travelling isn't specific to this company but is how tourism works in Bhutan and busy itineraries do have the benefit of ensuring that you see a great deal in a limited amount of time. Try to speak to local people and ask your guide to take you somewhere where locals go to get more of a feel for local life. I would also recommend the book 'Married to Bhutan' to get a feel for the culture...though don't expect such an immersion in the culture if you're only there for a few days as a tourist, rather than settling there as a teacher!

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

The tourist tax certainly supports the local economy. They have a strong focus on protecting the environment for future generations in Bhutan.

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

I really enjoyed my trip and feel that travelling from Nepal allowed an excellent opportunity to visit two - so different - places. Achut and Keshav were very welcoming and quick to arrange anything which I needed.

review 19 Dec 2012

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

The flight to and from Bhutan, the views of Mount Everest and the Himalayan range is as impressive as the landing at Paro airport. Excellent tour guide and driver, exceptional hotels, very friendly people in an incredibly beautiful country.

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

Get to the airport a little earlier as the seats are issued out on a "first come first served basis".

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

Yes, very much so. The trip involved tours of various schools, apprentice workshops and small businesses where locally produced items were offered for sale allowing people to purchase direct from the manufacturer. A visit to the local conservation park was also included.

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

Combined with a trip to Nepal I would rate this trip very highly, the contrast between the two countries is vast and needs to be experienced to be believed. On the outset it was slightly expensive, but it is not going to get any less so and what you do get for your money is well worth it.

review 20 Oct 2012

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

We have so many fond memories of Bhutan but if we had to pick one it would be trekking up to Tiger's Nest monastery - even though it was drizzling! Thoroughly atmospheric.

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

Double-check your itinerary to make sure you are covering as much ground as you can - especially in Bhutan to get the most out of your $250 per day!

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

We used local guides and drivers throughout our time in Nepal and Bhutan, so yes.

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

Excellent - the companies that you recommended to us to use were both very good; always friendly and helpful.

review 30 Jul 2012

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

Bhutan-hiking to tiger monastery.

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

My initial plan was to visit Tibet but tour was diverted to Bhutan due to travel permit issues. Was a little hesitant about going to Bhutan during monsoon rains however it was very beautiful and the rains had turned the entire countryside to lush green. Most of the Himalayan ranges are covered by clouds during monsoons however was able to see the Annapurna range which is beautiful.

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

Maybe.

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

Great trip. Bhutan is indeed a hidden kingdom. Nepal has many cultural sites, temples, palaces etc.

review 7 May 2012

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

The climb to the Tiger's Nest.

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

Fly out to Kathmandu with Jet Air. The stopovers in Delhi are very short, less than two hours. Don't bring back Nepal rupees; nobody in UK will change them into Sterling. There is a lot to see, so obtain a good map of Kathmandu and read up on the key sights of interest before going. A visit to Bhaktapur is a must. If you need a haven of rest from the bustle of Kathmandu, visit the Garden of Dreams, a beautiful quiet walled garden with an excellent restaurant. Bhutan is marvellous. Take comfy walking boots, otherwise absolutely everything is provided.

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

It definitely benefited local people and supported conservation, particularly in Bhutan. I'm not sure flying in and out and driving about reduced environmental impacts.

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

Absolutely magnificent. Enjoyed every minute of it. It was extremely well organised, and everyone involved provided us with the most friendly and efficient service.

review 21 Mar 2012

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

Our holiday to Bhutan included 4 days in Nepal. The most memorable part of our holiday was seeing the beautiful Dzong at Punakha bathed in sunshine. It is sited at the joining of 2 mountain rivers and with its white walls and glowing painted wood was like something out of fairytale. In Nepal the ancient city of Bakhtapur was amazing - an vibrant city that is still lived-in in much the same way for over a 1000 years - unforgettable. The most exciting part was the 2000 ft climb to the Tiger's Nest temple in Bhutan- a real challenge for the more mature traveller (!) but an interesting and amazing experience.

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

Be prepared for lots of really wiggly roads - the only straight one in Bhutan runs beside the runaway at the airport! There is a lot of driving as the destinations have to be reached over mountains -a long drive to Pokhara in Nepal included many astounding mountain passes but the views are fabulous and our drivers everywhere were excellent.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes, we felt that the holiday benefitted local people as we were in Nepali and Bhutanese-owned hotels, ate in Nepali and Bhutanese-owned and run restaurants and our guides and drivers were both local and working for a local company. In both countries tourism is an important part of the economy and in Bhutan it is well controlled by the King and government. However, we couldn't say that, even there, our holiday minimized the impact on the environment other than that the number of tourists is well controlled.

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

It was an excellent holiday. We were warmly greeted at the airport by Manakamana Travel and made to feel very welcome throughout. Our guides were delightful, with good English and very knowledgeable. Our drivers also spoke English and were very competent. The hotels in Bhutan were all very good, although the ones in Nepal were a little tired. The food everywhere was delicious. Bhutan is a stunningly beautiful country even though we saw it before the spring flowers and blossom and the Bhutanese are very friendly. We would recommend anyone to visit.

review 27 Dec 2011

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

The temple at Paro in Bhutan which encapsulated the dignity and serenity of the Drukpa people of Bhutan

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

Make sure you understand the visa systems for these countries = it could cost you lost time as well as money

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

In Bhutan the holiday enabled the tourist to appreciate a very different approach to environmental issues with the government policy of Gross National Happiness and the people were keen to teach us their unique attitude to life. I had taken funds raised in England to support a Royal initiative to help rural communities support themselves and learned of other ways we can help. In Nepal you never know how talking to local people can benefit them

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

The holiday was a once in a lifetime experience and everyone involved made sure my interests were catered for with their flexibility. It was amazing value for money and even with a 24 hour delay which led to me arriving at Hethrow 9pm on Christmas eve, a holiday I would recommend to all ages.

review 22 Oct 2011

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

Visiting Bhutan - a wonderful unspoilt place with excellent facilities and guides.

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

Everything was planned well by the company, so relax and enjoy the adventure. Even when I suffered from altitude sickness things were dealt with well and the schedule reorganised.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Most definitely - in Bhutan, Tibet and Nepal guides and drivers were native and had excellent local knowledge. We used local restaurants and facilities which were very good. Bhutan and Tibet 'limit' numbers in different ways so there was never a feeling of being overrun by tourists.

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

Excellent - flexible adventurous and eye opening.

review 4 May 2011

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

My trip was organized very well by the operator. It gave me the rare opportunity to see Bhutan - everything was exciting about the country! Also the part in Nepal - the cultural tour of Kathmandu valley was great!

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

Everything went very smoothly! If the travellers read a guide book - that would be enough!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Of course, with the required minimum of $200 a day in Bhutan our trip benefited the local people! Also in Nepal people in the tourist industry from us. We were very conscientious about leaving as little footprints as possible.

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

The holiday was great! Truly unforgettable!

review 31 Oct 2011

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

So many things - flying over Everest on the way to Bhutan. All of our experiences in Bhutan. Driving on crazy roads from Kathmandu to Pokhara.

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

look into the quality of your hotel in Kathmandu

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

No.

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

Overall, had a brilliant holiday

review 17 Oct 2011

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

The lovely and wonderful nature and friendly people in Bhutan and Nepal.

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

Bring a camera for many photos. Take good time, there is so much to see and expire!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes.

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

One of the best of five best countries I have ever visited, now 72.

review 29 May 2011

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

The Punakha Dzong was breathtakingly beautiful. The trek to the Tiger's nest and the views through the rhododendron forests to the monastery were stunning. I enjoyed the luxury of travelling alone and not having to pay a single supplement. I could ask the driver to stop whenever I wanted to take photos and add a few stops at places I'd read about. And I could drop off a few of the less interesting Dzongs that were on the itinerary (you do get a little dzongked out after a while)

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

Earplugs! ...against the noise of stray dogs that bark all night. A long sleeved shirt and long trousers are a modest must for visiting all those dzongs and temples. If the weather is hot (as it was in May during my visit), you'll need thin material. You'll need a good pair of comfortable runners or boots for the slippery trek to the Tiger's nest monastery, otherwise simple shoes that can slip on and off easily are good for Dzong visits. I found my ipod (or an mp3) was a handy accompaniment as you can connect it in the car for those long drives through the mountains. On that note, have some anti nausea meds handy if you suffer from motion sickness. They are very winding roads and my driver liked to barrel along!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Difficult to say. I'm sure the money tourism provides is benefiting some. There is a lot of driving and flying which can't be all that environmentally friendly. I brought along some water purifying tablets so I could safely refill my water bottle and save on buying water bottles which are not recycled. There seemed to be no where I could refill a water bottles at the Bhutan hotels and that was disappointing. The amount of rubbish that is produced and discarded is a big issue for me and is especially conspicuous in Nepal (the pollution in Kathmandu is very depressing).

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

I really enjoyed it. Achut, who runs the trekking company in Kathmandu was very helpful in organising some further travel in Nepal at the end of my tour. You can tailor your own trip and arrange trekking, or a trip to Chitwan or Pokhara which is handy. I was only in Bhutan for 5 days which didn't seem like enough. I'd love to go back for a trek there

review 6 Apr 2011

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

It was the combination of entering Bhutan for the first time to see everything that i had read about, but also going on the safari in Chitwan in south Nepal to see the crocodiles, rhinos and elephants that we hadnít planned but that the tour operator so helpfully arranged for us at the last minute which round off the holiday nicely.

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

Donít expect too much free time as the timetable to pretty full, but in a good way so you are never left at a loose end. Embrace the food, the culture and the friendly people met in both Nepal and Bhutan and would be hard pressed not to enjoy the holiday.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

I would hope. We were driving around in a car for parts of the holiday but that is hard not to do since most places are tough to get to and from without one unless you fancy trekking for days on end.

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

A great and unique holiday overall that i will unlikely to be able to copy anywhere else. both Nepal and Bhutan were very different but equally as accommodating as each other.

review 3 Jan 2011

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

Meeting local people, seeing how they live so differently from anywhere else I've been in the world

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

Allow at least a week - travel light - be flexible - tell your guide/driver what you want to see rather than adhering to tight prearranged schedule. Would recommend travel as single or couple rather than as large group.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes. All visitors pay a "levy" to the Bhutan government as part of their tour entry cost - this goes to pay for provision of schools and health services as well as building/upkeep of roads etc

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

Excellent holiday - fascinating country shared at a very personal level - I had a guide and driver to myself and it is normal to have just one or two persons travelling together. Saw lots of beautiful scenery and wildlife and shared in the culture, ate good food (and drank excellent beer), hotels very comfortable.

review 2 Sep 2010

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

Climbing up to the Tiger's Nest. Currently a handrail is being put in place for the last very steep descent - a good idea! Also an early morning walk through peaceful rice fields in Bhutan to reach a small temple where we were able to see part of a service - all very special just the two of us with the guide in the temple with the local people.

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

Take an umbrella if visiting Bhutan or Nepal in the monsoon season as it can be very wet indeed! A walking stick was thoughtfully provided by our guide for our walk up to the Tiger's Nest which was useful especially as it was rather slippery on the descent and therefore perhaps take your own if you have one. A torch was useful for the occasional power cuts in Nepal although low level lightning was available in the hotel and candles were provided. Having a passport size photo ready for the visa issued at the airport in Kathmandu would be useful, saving time on arrival although there is a photographer there. We added on a trip to Pokhara which enabled us to see more of Nepal although the car 5 hour car journeys, on very poor roads, in the rain with many lorries and trucks, stray dogs and no seat belts was rather scary!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes - by the use of local guides and drivers and buying souvenirs, especially from the Tibetan community in Pokhara. Nepal. Eating locally produced food, especially delicious apple juice in Bhutan.

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

An amazing experience - full of contrasts: The energy and bustle of Kathmandu compared with the beauty of the lake at Pokhara; the magnificence of the dzongs in Bhutan with beautiful views. We hope to return to see more of both countries - possibly at a different time of year so that the mountains are visible and to attend a festival in a dzong. We appreciated the flexibility offered to us by the tour operators and the guides allowing us to spend more time in some places and to add a visit to somewhere having read about it in the guide book. All the travelling arrangements worked well and being taken out to dinner by the travel operator was an unexpected pleasure where we were entertained by local Nepali dancers as we dined.

review 20 Dec 2010

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

The visit to Tiger's nest, near Paro. The climb to the top was not too difficult but the view from the top was spectacular and well worth the effort. The temple itself was as if out of a dream.

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

Spend at least a week there in Bhutan. A trip to Phuentsholing by road is another way into the Kingdom.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes.

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

Wonderful experience and I would rate the Tiger's Nest temple as one of the most spectacular one I have seen. 4 stars. Will revisit soon and for a longer period of time.

review 29 Nov 2010

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

Bhutan was a beautiful country (I would definitely recommend going before all the western influences creep in!). The Tigers Nest was something else and certainly worth the climb!! The people were great, so friendly and generous.

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

Wear waterproof boots and take a walking/hiking pole if you visit the Tigers Nest - I wouldn't have made it up without one. Take a torch if you are staying in Nepal beforehand as we had several power cuts (sometimes 2 a day - first thing in the morning and early in the evening).

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes.

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

Bhutan was great and I would like to go back - sooner rather than later before it changes too much!

review 27 Sep 2009

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

There were many amazing parts, but highlights included the short trek to Tiger's Nest monastery in Paro, Bhutan, seeing students at work in the handicrafts school in Thimphu and having an elephant bath in Chitwan National Park, Nepal - an extra short trip I booked at the end of my main tour. Bhaktapur and Patan are fascinating and very different from Kathmandu, despite their proximity.

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

Take a lantern or torch with you as Bhutan and Nepal are subject to frequent power cuts. In both countries, people go to bed far earlier than in the UK so you might want to be able to read in your room after dark! Sturdy, waterproof shoes are also a must. Many people worry about becoming ill when visiting the Indian subcontinent. I'd say you shouldn't let concerns of this nature put you off sampling the broad range of delicious food available in Nepal as this was a definite highlight of the trip. I'd recommend the kidney bean soup, lentil dhal and momos - and I wasn't sick once.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

The tour company used local guides and accommodation. We travelled in a very small group, enabling more interaction with local people than has been my experience on larger tours.

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

I had an amazing holiday unlike any I have been on before and came home rejuvenated. I can't stop telling my friends about it.

review 25 Sep 2009

Booked my trip through this operator, starting in Nepal then headed off to Bhutan for 5 days. The company meet me at Kathmandu airport and showed me around the valley for the first two days giving me a expert guide who was knowledgeable and informative, giving me a great insight into the culture. Then I flew to Bhutan which was amazing right from the plane trip with great views of Everest. The guides in Bhutan were exceptional hosts and guides to their beautiful country. Nothing was a problem for them. Arriving back from Bhutan my hosts from the tour company were there to greet me again. I had another week in Nepal and the operator was able to tailor make me a trip to the places I wanted to travel to in Nepal. All my transport of choice and accommodation was organised without any problem and always with a friendly smile. I would not hesitate to recommend this company to anyone wanting to experience Nepal, Tibet or Bhutan.

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

Excellent.

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