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romania

Our 14 day trip to Bhutan was a wonderful and memorable experience. If is also from our understanding, a path less travelled as few people explore the eastern part of Bhutan.  This is one of the reasons why we wanted to write a testimonial and advertise the intact nature and culture in the eastern part of Bhutan.

Route:

The route we followed started in the very far east (close to the border with Assam, India) and followed the following route: Samdrup Jonghar, Trashigang, Rangjung, Trashiyangtse, Mongar, Lhuntse, Khoma, Bumthang, Trongsa,Phobjikha, Punakha, Thimpu and Paro. We chose to spend more time in Bhutan in order to able to explore the ”intact” part of Bhutan in the east, where the nature is breathtaking and Bhutanese people still preserve old tradtions (such as raw silk weaving using back strap looms, which we got to experience first hand). Since we were driven by Bhutan Vajra Adventures for the entire trip we had many opportunities to admire the scenic forest trails (and stop countless times to feed our landscape photography addiction!). We also passed Bhutan’s highest pass Thrumsing La (12,467 ft) from which the view is very impressive.

Lodging:

We were all very happy with the lodging our guide chose for us. Even in the eastern, more rural part of Bhutan we stayed at hotels which were extremely clean; the staff also being extremely welcoming and helpful. We remember with great pleasure the breakfast we had in Mongar at Hotel Wangchuck, where we were served delicious food on the balcony with a breathtaking view of the mountains nearby.

Our tour also included two overnight stays at farmhouses which were a very pleasant experience for us. We found the hosts in both farmhouses to be very welcoming, hospitable and kind. We also got to experience ”living” in a typical Bhutanese house and eating delicious traditional Bhutanese food.

* It is to be noted that in the eastern, more rural part the lodging standards are not your typical European ones- if you are used to lavish hotels, it would be a good idea to check with the agency if there is any other options for you.

Bhutanese culture and sightseeing:

It would be nearly impossible to include everything we saw and experienced during our 14 day trip in a testimonial, so I will just give a brief overview. It included many visits to monasteries and Buddhist temples (”Dzong”) where our guide, Karma was great at being patient in explaining the ins and outs of Buddhism. We feel that we got a great understanding of Buddhism, as well as ganed apperciation and respect for it.

We also visited the Tower of Trongsa Museum, the Ura Valley (believed to be home to Bhutan’s earliest residents), sacred places which are linked to local legends, Buddha statues and the famous Tiger’s Nest.

Both while visiting these objectives as well as during our journey, our guide  Karma did a wonderful job at explaining  various Bhutanese traditions, beliefs and customs which gave us an insight into a culture that is completely different to ours. He was extremely knowledgeable and patient with the plethora of questions we had.

* We would recommend this tour if you are truly interested in learning about Buthanese and Buddhist culture as a whole- visiting all the aforementioned landmarks enables you to immerse yourself in an entirely unique world.

Transport:

The entire tour was done using Bhutan Vajra’s own van, which was driven by a very talented and experienced driver, Wangchuck. He expertly navigated through Bhutan’s rural roads making our journey as comfortable as possible. It is to be noted that particularly in the Eastern part it is impossible to travel fast even by car due to the mountain roads which are present everywhere in Bhutan. This, however gives you the opportunity to admire the beautiful nature. You will notice that most of the roads are currently under construction and will be improved soon- we hope that it won’t make Bhutan lose any of its charm.

* We believe the road conditions make the tour less ideal for people who are sensitive to sudden movements and get car sick easily (plenty of bumps). This, however, can be overcome if you keep a positive attitude, keep the next objective in mind and maintain a sense of humour.

We can’t thank enough our main guide Karma Tshedup, his apperentice Sherab and our driver Wangchuck for making our Bhutan adventure such a memorable experience. They always made sure we had everything we needed and that we were happy with the itinerary. Our guides were very knowledgeable, friendly, helpful and courteous so we are extremely happy we chose Bhutan Vajra Adventures. We whole heartedly recommend their services and hope to return soon- there is still so much more of Bhutan that we wish to explore.

Best regards,

Maria, Marcel, Ela, Andreea, Monica & Cristina. (Guests from Romania)

 

Truus and Henny Jenner

Bhutan was very high on our list to visit and we are happy that we made the trip after attending an unforgettable wedding in India. We selected Bhutan Vajra adventures after comparing many other offers but we felt comfortable with the choise of Vajra adventures.

Between arriving- and returning to the airport Tshedup Karma and the driver Suresh did their utmost to show everything during the 7 days western Bhutan tour. They showed us all the interesting places like the historical monasteries, the tradional villages, the nature, the animals, the birds and everything that Bhutan offers.

All the nice memories I could capture on my camera and have 75 minutes on DVD to show our friends. We enjoyed the clean air and the beautiful mountains we are missing in the Netherlands.
We were the first Dutch visitors in Bhutan accompanied by Vajra adventures, but hopefully many will follow and we can recommend everybody to get toured around by Vajra adventures.

 Truus and Henny Jenner, The Netherlands

 

Meredith Monk

Karma Tshadup is a perfect guide: knowledgeable, conscientious, and kind. It was a joy to discover and experience the magic of Bhutan with him. Everything was carefully and beautifully arranged for us. I highly recommend Bhutan Vajra Adventures for a meaningful and memorable journey.

Meredith Monk, Composer/Singer/Director
Named Musical America’s
2012 Composer of the year

KelvinExcellent work, thanks for arranging the fantastic Bhutan Druk Path Trek… awesome work that we did it in 3 days! The camping was awesome and food was great! Also record time for your guest up to Tiger Nest! Definitely will recommend to anyone who is going to Bhutan! Well done Bhutan Vajra!

 Kelvin Chua, Singaporean

 

On our last night in Bhutan we had dinner in a fabulous Indian restaurant in Thimpu with our guide Karma Tshedup and his family. We appreciated his work and efforts during our stay that we wished to personally thank him, and over the past few weeks of touring and trekking we had become friends. Karma asked us what were the highlights of our trip? We laughed, the answer was so simple: “Everything we experienced on our tour of Bhutan was a highlight. The difficulty was choosing between the fabulous and the fantastic!”We agreed that without argument Bhutan’s pristine natural beauty – From it’s wild and sheer, tree clad Himalayan mountain trails with magnificent and endless views, to crystal clear, rushing rivers, from forests full of magnificently coloured birds and their songs to beautiful villages and people living harmoniously in the forest. When Karma sent us our itinerary description it read like a chapter from Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book. We saw everything Karma wrote about, including the gorgeous Golden Langur monkeys, (endangered in India), flinging themselves through the trees, every day on our 6 day Nabji trek. We saw barking deer, the giant Himalayan squirrels and Bengal tiger paw prints- it was like being in our own Discovery movie! The trek is a haven for bird watching which is of special interest for Karma, our guide, and his extensive knowledge of local birds brought the experience of spotting the myriad of colourful birds to life.

Karma went to great lengths to attend to our needs and interests. His organization skills are exemplary. I would not hesitate to recommend him to anyone interested in travelling in Bhutan, particularly, if they are interested in trekking.Even though we visited in mid-Winter is was no problem and we were brilliantly catered for.

When one of us fell ill for a few days on the trek Karma was able to organize an extra rest day at the village, and local vehicle transport (power tiller) for some of the next stage. Small details such as hot water bottles for our sleeping bags, freshly boiled hot water for face washing first thing each morning, great food and clean squat bathrooms with toilet paper made camping a luxury! The fact is that all of the staff are extremely friendly, helpful and respectful of our shortcomings as strangers to their country.

The non-trek part of the tour organised by Bhutan Vajra Adventures was equally spectacular and comprehensive, we came away feeling extremely satisfied that we had seen and experienced much more than the itinerary had led us to believe. This unexpected richness of our trip was created without fuss.  Karma’s deep knowledge of Bhutanese history and time he took to explain Buddhist beliefs, and educate us about cultural practices & sites translated our superficial knowledge and expectations into a deeper experience and understanding of Bhutan’s people and what thery consider to be important. We were always made to feel like honoured guests and never like tourists.  

The hotels were each bestowed with their own unique traditional flavour, our favourite being the old world more traditional luxury of Gangtey Palace in Paro which had in fact been a “real” palace prior to being preserved as a hotel by members of the Royal family. The true highlight though, is Karma’s ability to make things happen, his flexibility and willingness to tailor the tour to our needs. We were particularly interested in Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness (GNH) index. The principle behind it is that well-being is more important than wealth and the Bhutanese use concept (translated into a practical planning and decision making tool) as a filter before making any policy or planning decisions.

Although not on our itinerary, Karma was able to arrange a session with a senior planner from the GNH commission. Most unexpected! The result was a rich learning experience and a unique chance to exchange some ideas. When we heard about the first ever Buddhist Empowerment in Bhutan, we were curious. Karma was able to arrange for us to attend this fascinating event, and adapted our itinerary so we didn’t miss anything!

Tigers nest, Punakha Dzong, the wonderful Royal Museum in Trongsa, Black necked cranes and yak herders of Phobjika Valley, the stunning snow-capped mountain views. It is impossible to choose any one or few things – Bhutan is the highlight!  All we can say is that Karma and Bhutan Vajra Adventures looked after us like special friends and we highly recommend them to anyone wanting adventure, laughter and an experience totally in the present”.

 Paul and Genevieve, Australian

 

I trekked with Bhutan Vajra Adventures – they were fabulous!! The guide was full of insightful information, had a great sense of humour, and really friendly and helpful with any questions we had. During that week – I trekked high passes, put up many prayer flags, walked around tranquil lakes, ate breakfast surrounded by mountains, ate fabulous food, had many laughs and learnt lots and lots about Bhutan culture – people, places, geography etc. I highly recommend this company.

 Georgia Noy, Australian

 

Meredith Monk

My friends and I have been back from Bhutan for 3 months. Yet, it nags me as I have yet put in writing our pleasant experience in Bhutan and how satisfied we were with Karma’s agency.Karma was so responsive right from the very first email of enquiry. Swift and prompt responses throughout. Delay was caused by him taking a group of monks trekking. Very responsible agent. Friendly and hospitable, he made the effort to join us for dinner one night.

Flexible – we changed our itinerary as we felt that we had enough visitation to the temples / dzongs. We requested for cycling from Paro to Thimphu, a day before our departure. Request was acceded. All in all, we recommend Karma’s agency(Bhutan Vajra Adventures)

Jing Wong, Malaysian

Meredith Monk

Our first trip to Bhutan was memorable and enjoyable experience for both of us. Karma, you are a wonderful and attentive guide and took care of everything for us.

This Bhutan trip was great, adventurous and memorable experience, the whole credit goes to you for being so full of patience and knowledgeable about everything we saw there. The picturesque locations, visit to Holy Monasteries, great hike to Tiger nest, colorful Paro festival, because of you we could see so much in few days, these memories will stay with us forever.
Thank you Karma and we both recommend Bhutan Vajra Adventures to everyone who would like to visit Bhutan in near future, this tour company went an extra mile to give us great, friendly and hospitable service beyond our expectations. God willing we may see you there next time in future. Thanks.

Dr. Rajindra Verma & Savita Verma, Montreal, Canada

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Thank you, Karma Tshedup and Thaybala, for showing us Bhutan, and for making our trip to Bhutan pure magic. We had lots of fun, we felt like we were traveling with wonderful and thoughtful friends. Bhutan Vajra Adventures are the best

Villia Jefremovas,Dr.Joachim Voss and Miss Larysa Voss, Canadian

 

 

Pictures SpaniardsAll has been perfect about the work of “Bhutan Vajra Adventures” with us. Before arriving in Bhutan(by giving all the requested information) and during our itinerary, caring for us any time and doing the best of our experience in Bhutan. We would like to highlight the good disposition of our guide to change our itinerary in order to do and see other things as we requested him. He also paid much attention to our comfortability, specially in hotels and restaurants, always caring for us to get the best rooms, the best views…our journey in Bhutan has been great and we think we have really got to know the essence of this country. Thanks to Vajra Adventures. We will never forget this trip, neither this experience.
Thank you for showing us your Country!!!

Diego Guerra and Patricia De Saracho, Spaniards

 

Feng and CholeWe have been back from Bhutan for a week and we have already missed Bhutan. We were so lucky to have Karma Tshedup to be our guide. With his help, we could be able to explore the last Himalayan kingdom at its best!

Karma is extremely considerate and took care of us on everything. On the day we headed back to Thimphu from Phobjika Valley, we encountered a temporary road block due to road construction, and if we couldn’t pass it through before it blocked again, we had to wait there for another 1.5 hours, which would largely affect our ensuing itinerary at Thimphu. But with Karma’s incomparable driving skills on the bumpy road and his great eagerness to help us, finally, we were able to make it!

Karma was very reliable and always able to provide us insightful information. In order to make sure his information was accurate, he had sorted all pictures of Bhutanese plants and birds with their corresponding English names in his cell phone, just like an Encyclopedia! We also learned a lot from him regarding Bhutanese religion and culture.

We will definitely recommend Bhutan Vajra Adventures and Karma to our friends who have plans to visit Bhutan! This wise choice would be the start point of your memorable journey!

Feng and Chloe, from Beijing, China

Bo Wong pictureI must thank Karma for my wonderful trip in Bhutan. He made sure that the itinerary was tailored for our interests and that lodging suited our needs.

His expert knowledge of his home country meant that he could show us parts of Bhutan that are off the beaten track. Karma is also highly knowledgeable in the flora and fauna of Bhutan, adding insights to the many memorable hikes and road trips.
I highly recommend Karma and Bhutan Vajra Adventures to anyone planning to explore this beautiful country, and shall myself come back for more trekking!

Bo Wong. British Hong Kong

 

 

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