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Beoordelingen van onze reizigers

Reisbegeleiding 9,0
Vervoer 7,9
Overnachtingen 8,2
Reisroute 8,4
8.0 4 beoordelingen
  • 8

    The bumthang valley

    This is a busy trip with some very early morning get ups. It has a great variation between culture, camping and trekking and some inside history into the life of the people. Getting to see and participate in the fire festival was great but we were all too tired to stay up to see the dance of the naked man !! The general opinion of the group at the end of the trip was that they felt it warented a level 3 and not a lesurely 2. The walk on the 2nd day was long and tiring and some of the older members of the group struggled a little. It was however a great walk. The camping has disappeared and it is now glamping with hot water bottles. ( lovely as it was cold at night )

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It has to be walking to tigers nest. It was a beautiful autumn day and the views were spectacular. The walk is hard in places but just take your time. To finish it off we got back down to a fab lunch all set up in the woods even with a celebratory beer. I also enjoyed the very long drive to bumthang on the road that is being widened with interesting results. All I can say is Pasan you are a star ( our driver ) and top gear eat your heart out

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Norbu was our leader and he was great. I made it a challenge to ask him a question about Bhutan that he couldn't answere but it never happened. He was tireless and kept a sense of humour. He was very well organised and knew a lot about the buddist faith. I would have him again. It was lovely to have local staff. We actually went through the village he used to live in.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Pack a warm sleeping bag and good head torch. Be prepared for a busy tiring trip but great. Be reasonably fit the walks are not easy.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The group were Dzonged out by the end of the trip. We felt a little less pushing of the Buddist faith would have been appreciated. Everyone enjoyed the private and state museums, it was good to see what more modern day life was like. We would have liked to see more of that and less Dzongs. The food in Bhuton is monotonous and repetitive but it is mentioned in the trip notes Hot water at the end of a day is very important and this was not always available.

  • 8

    An immersion into how life could be!

    So, first of all, the bad bits; the hotels aren't top notch, lots of "quaint" idiosyncrasies, especially with the electrics. Wifi was variable, and there is rather a lot of time spent travelling- much of it on very poor roads. You won't see lots of snowy Himalayan peaks, and the food is really average! So why go? Because it is the most remarkable place on the planet (ok, there's lots of the planet I haven't been to yet, but, you get the idea). This trip is really about Buddhism, and how one tiny country has decided that there is another way to live other than secular consumerism. If you are reading this, you will probably have heard all about gross national happiness, but what you get is an exposure to what that means in practice. You may also have an idea about vajrayana Buddhism, and seen prayer wheels, Chortens and the like in other places. In Bhutan, the spiritual element seems to run through the country like letters through a stick of Blackpool rock. At the same time, it is clear that the nation is getting to grips with the issues of development, and how to maintain it's identity in the 21st century. They have eschewed mass tourism and the "trickle down" approach; it is amongst the poorest countries in the world, and yet I didn't see a single beggar. A fair distribution of wealth and giving just seems to be what you do, mostly to the monks and temples who use it and also redistribute it. They seem to genuinely revere their line of kings, who seem to have masterminded a steady process of change over the last hundred years or so. If this sounds like I have swallowed "the party line", that's fine, but I had no sense of "propaganda" from our guide or those we met. More a celebration of a way of living that cares more than we do in the west.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Stepping off the plane from Kathmandu (so many similarities, so many differences) into the amazing world apart that is Bhutan.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't worry too much about iodine pills or similar. Water is provided. Mobile reception is better than we have at home (not saying too much), but the hotel wifi kept coming and going.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The trek involved one reasonably long day, but not more than a decent day of hill walking in the UK. Basically however, the trip is a cultural one with some lovely walking involved.

  • 8

    The Bumthang Valley

    An inspiring trip to a beautiful and remarkable country, with a mix of trekking (fairly easy but some to quite high altitude) and culture - which, as this is Bhutan, means a lot of Buddhism and a lot of Dzongs! Be prepared to be very busy; there was very little time for chilling. Also I had expected mountains of a more bare and snowy variety, while Bhutan is forested to a large extent and a fair amount of walking is through trees. But it is really beautiful and culturally fascinating, and our leader and team did their best to look after us and give us an in-depth introduction to their country in a very short time, with considerable success.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Very hard to say as there were so many! The final day's ascent to the Tiger's Nest has to be up there, a lovely (and steep at times, but not at all scary) walk with an iconic destination. The festival, which being on a smallish scale felt relaxed and friendly as well as colourful and interesting- and the market there is a great place for souvenir shopping (and you can haggle). The Dzongs: I know some of the group got a bit 'dzonged-out' but I loved them, particularly at Punakha and Paro. The trek - I just wanted more of it!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Norbu was great. He had the job of moving us all, and our gear, all over the place, making sure that everything worked and answering endless questions about absolutely every aspect of life in Bhutan, as well as looking after anyone who felt ill or particularly tired, while being constantly patient and cheerful. He obviously has a wealth of knowledge and understanding if his country and religion and was keen to share these without ever (for me) being oppressive. He also arranged for treats for us - a picnic in the woods at the end of the final walk, hot stone baths during the trek, hot water bottles while camping- which really made a difference. Also I have to mention our wonderful driver, Pasang, who coped with hours of horrible conditions with great skill and cheerfulness, even though his wife was having a baby at the time! And the whole trekking team, who did a great job and came up with some of the best meals of the holiday.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't go to Bhutan if you really have no interest in Buddhism! It is such a huge part of the culture that it just permeates everything. Also, if you really mostly want to trek, then this is maybe not the trip for you - we had one long day of walking, on pretty reasonable paths but to quite high altitude, while on trek, and the Tiger's Nest is a decent walk, but the other two trek days were short and easy. I found that trainers designed for walking were fine - though having poles was really useful. The Trip Notes suggest a few things that we didn't find necessary: we could get bottled water at all times (there was always some for us on the bus) and loo roll was provided. My long skirt and shoes were not needed either; the Dzongs seem happy to allow trainers, sandals and trousers, so normal gear is fine, though a tshirt with too-short sleeves is not OK. Lightweight shirts as cover-ups could be useful. Finally, don't expect to be too comfortable! This is not a developed country tourism-wise and the hotels and food, as the Trip Notes say, are not of the kind of standard people in the West are used to. Meat in particular was often pretty horrible! And any extra requirements are probably best dealt with by taking stuff with you. On the plus side here, no one had real tummy problems, so the food was at least safe. Oh, and don't go if you don't like dogs! They are everywhere. They seem to be pretty benign but it's worth having a head torch if you are out at night as they are easy to tread on or fall over.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I am very glad I went, and I would love to go back, it's a country that the Western world could learn a huge amount from. If I had a complaint it would be that at times things felt rushed: I would have loved an extra day or so and the same activities, to allow some down time. I don't know about anyone else but I got quite tired, and it might have been good to just be able to potter about a bit and look around. Also I don't think having two brief visits to Kathmandu added much, while taking up a fair amount of valuable time. Maybe it is just much cheaper to do the flying that way, but I didn't have enough time to do much in Kathmandu and would rather have had more in Bhutan.

  • 8

    BHUTAN: THE BUMTHANG VALLEY

    Getting the opportunity to go to the fascinating Kingdom of Bhutan is really the trip of a lifetime.  I highly recommend this trip and Exodus Travels. 

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The first amazing moment (and hair-raising) was our flight from Nepal into Bhutan. Flying right past the majestic snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas (and Mt Everest!) was just stunning and awe-inspiring. Just being in Bhutan is inspirational. The people are friendly, the place is mostly clean, and people ARE happy. It's a peaceful, tiny Buddhist nation with a lot of good ideals and a lot we can learn from. 

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We had two leaders: Sonam and Dorji. Both were great! Sonam was always ready to leap and do whatever you needed. He had a lot of knowlege on the country and was happy to share all with the passengers. Dorji kept everthign organized and together. I appreciated how he checked in with the group for some group decisions with hiking and some weather issues. Both leaders are friendly, fun, and knowledgeable. I'd be remiss not to all mention our driver, Dorji. Driving is a very intense job in Bhutan with all the twists, turns, and mountain passes. He did an exceptional job. 

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Because of the topography of the country, be prepared for a lot of driving. Because you are on a tour with scheduled time, the driving can get tedious, but this is the nature of the beast. Our guides did allow for lots of stops which included walking some to stretch legs and the bus picking us up down the road. Also be aware that some of the hiking is strenuous. The longest hike day did take 9 hours and included a lot of rocky, uphill terrain. You should be prepared for this and possible rain.  

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I like that Exodus uses local tour companies and local guides. It is hard to get to really know a place in such a short time, but having local guides helped me connect more with the country and its people. 

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