Bhutan - great trip, wonderful trek, excellent guides

We spent 2 weeks in Bhutan - the first week we travelled around with our excellent guide plus driver. Traffic is light and the 50km/hour speed limit ensures nothing feels rushed - just as well as some of the roads are unmade and very bumpy. Our guide Sangjay was delightful and extremely well informed about the history of Bhutan and it's Bhuddism (which has a very magical feel with many demons, dragons, re-incarnations etc). We visited many temples which are small and beautiful and heard lots of stories. He was less good on birds, flowers etc. We took the opportunity to walk as much as possible in the first week to help get acclimatised to the altitude. All our stays were in comfortable hotels, most at over 2000 metres. The Punaka and Phodjika valleys are particularly beautiful. We had great fun visiting and having lunch at a farmhouse in Phodjika. The trek (Druk trail) in the second week was amazing. As 60 year olds of moderate fitness we were concerned about both the altitude (all above 3500 metres with passes up to 4230 m) and the distance . We managed well and were extremely well supported by our same guide and a team of chef, chef's assistant, horseman and 6 horses. We took diamox and had no symptoms of altitude sickness. The only mildly disappointing aspects were the food which is rather monotonous (and either bland or stuffed with chillis) and moderate amounts of litter at the campsites. We don't think that our guiding team contributed to this.

Chris, from New Forest UK

Visited Bhutan in

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96% of our customers would recommend us to a friend.

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What was good about our local partner based in Bhutan?

Very friendly feel to the whole organisation. Excellent guide, driver and trekking team. All extremely supportive and kind.

What could our local partner based in Bhutan improve on?

We are aware that tourism is a new industry but better guide knowledge of common local flora and fauna would be helpful. TravelLocal's partner could try to exert influence re litter at campsites.

What did you think about the guides or drivers on your trip?

Absolutely lovely and very considerate. That treated us with great care and respect. We felt completely secure, even during difficult parts of the trek. Could usefully learn a bit more about the local flora and fauna

What advice would you give to other travellers planning a trip to Bhutan?

One week of temples and cultural activities is great but was enough for us. Consider a trek in week two - allowing time for altitude acclimatisation. Druk trail is probably the least severe and has the best access to support, shortcuts out etc. We felt that Thimpu to Paro was probably better than Paro to Thimpu. if trekking it is really cold at night! It is difficult to choose when to go - we went in early April when spring flowers were fairly well on but rains were just beginning and there was a lot of low cloud. Aparrently Oct/ Nov provides clearer skies and better views of the Himalayas but would be less good for flowers.

What was the most memorable part of your trip?

The whole feel of the country - very safe, friendly, religious and non- commercial. The trek was wonderful. The friendly and supportive guides / team.

How likely are you to recommend TravelLocal?

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