2 independent reviews for Western Bhutan walking holiday
Reviews for Western Bhutan walking holiday
Susan McKenzie review 24 Nov 2019
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?Bhutan in general. It is a fascinating & beautiful country
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?Be prepared for all kinds of weather, but it turned out lovely & warm-could have gone the other way though!
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?Yes. The $250 fee per day goes in part towards healthcare & education.
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?WONDERFUL. The operator & our guide, Tharchen were great.
Cindy Fung review 30 Mar 2019
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?There were so many memorable parts. First, the scenery is as amazing as everyone said it would be. There's just something so peaceful and serene in the valleys, mountains, rivers and farmlands of Paro, Thimphu and Punakha. The hike up to the Paro Taktsang was incredible. Beautiful views all around. In fact, all our hikes had amazing views. I liked one of the hikes where we ended up overlooking all of Thimphu, and also the hike up to Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten where we were greeted with a sweeping view of Punakha. Secondly, the temple designs are very intricate and they are all unique in their own way. Even though we visited a lot of temples during this trip, we didn't get tired of them at all, they were all so interesting! We also appreciated our guide's in-depth explanations about buddhism (we are not religious), the various buddhas and the meanings behind the common items we come across (the holy water, the 7 bowls of water, the prayer wheels and prayer flags etc). Lastly, we really liked the food there. The pink rice, the cheese and potatoes (kewa datsi), the cauliflower and cheese, some mysterious pork dish that was to die for etc - so simple yet so healthy and delicious. We also greatly enjoyed their amazing ginger tea and milk tea. I loved chewing doma (Bhutanese nut with lime paste and bitter leaf) too!
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?Do plan at least 3 months in advance since flights and hotel rooms are limited and you need to allow time for the wire transfer and visa clearance as well. On this note I would like to express my huge thanks to Kinley who graciously and patiently dealt with my change of dates (at least twice!) as well as my difficulties with the wire transfer. We visited in mid-March and the weather was quite excellent for hiking. Also caught the Paro Tsechu (one of the popular festivals) during our stay and it was pretty fun to witness. The tour operator was great in giving advice on the different offerings of Bhutan during different months. Definitely bring a good pair of hiking shoes/boots, hats, and sunscreen!
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?Yes. We were connected directly to a local tour agency, had a local guide and driver, stayed at locally-owned (versus chain-owned) hotels plus a homestay and had all our lunches at local restaurants which all offered healthy, natural and locally-grown food. Since Bhutan adopts a "high value low impact" tourism policy to conserve their culture and protect their natural environment from mass tourism, and a part of our visa fees goes towards their government for free healthcare and education, I believe that in a small way our trip supported their government's tourism policy (which should be adopted by more countries).
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?Loved it, it was a great experience and we were a bit sad to leave this wonderful country. For those who like hiking, this is a really nice hiking trip, not too strenuous and the trip was well-paced, we hiked every other day and had lots of time to relax in between. The itinerary itself is very flexible so we got to see a lot of things but it did not feel rushed at any point. Accommodations were comfortable and the staff were friendly and helpful. Our tour guide and driver were very nice too, it was a pleasure meeting them. Would love to visit again!
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