Being born in the lowlands of Holland, my passion for mountains may not seem logical. However, my parents took me to the European Alps before I could barely walk and I can't remember any family holiday we didn't spend in the mountains. By the time I was 15 years old I would hitchhike to the south of France and spend the entire summer rock climbing in the Provence with friends.
As a teenager, this gave me an ultimate feeling of freedom, joy, and adventure. And every time I get a chance to go to the mountains - whether it is the Alps or the Himalayas - I still get this same feeling. During my early twenties I started studying Tibetan Buddhism and after completing a degree in Ecology it was time to make a life-long dream come true: see the highest mountains on earth. So I booked a ticket to Delhi and traveled for a year in the Himalayas. My life was never the same after that...
What places and activities do you specialize in?
"Wind Horse Tours tries to facilitate travel experiences in Bhutan in the broadest way possible. Of course most of the trips we organise for our guest would involve cultural sightseeing, dayhikes and/or trekking. But there is really a lot more to Bhutan you would think. If you are interested in things like birding, nature, meditation & buddhism, traditional medicine, textiles, Gross National Happiness; or in activities like biking, rafting, motor cycling... we always try to find a way to give our guest what they want to see or do. With nearly 20 years of experience in Bhutan we feel confident that we can organise exactly the holiday you want."
How did you get involved in travel?
"After coming home from my trip to the Himalayas, the only thing on my mind was how to go back there as soon as possible. So instead of applying for an office job as an ecologist I applied for a job as a tour leader, and the next years I spend leading trekking groups in Nepal, Tibet, India and Bhutan. I was lucky to see many beautiful places and remote corners of the Himalaya, but what I also learned during this time is that it were the people around me - both locals as well as the tourist I was guiding - who really touched my heart. My 'clients' were telling me: "this is the most beautiful place I have ever seen", and the local people would tell me: "thank you so much for visiting our home". Then only I realized how rewarding a 'career' in tourism can be. Enriching peoples lives by offering amazing travel experiences, and enriching local peoples lives by giving them a means of livelihood. After a couple of years of guiding I started working in the office with a large Dutch trekking company and soon after that I joined Wind Horse Tours in Bhutan. And by now I know for sure that I would never wanna do anything else!"
Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.
"I love the overwhelming silence of these majestic Himalayan mountains, just sitting somewhere and quietly gazing at a distant peak. For me, similar feelings pop up when I visit buddhist temples. I remember visiting Kyichu Lhakhang, one of Bhutan's oldest temples, and sitting there on the old wooden floor. Everything came together in that moment. For me, the people of the Himalaya are very inspring. They are kind, friendly, hospitable, humble, pure, strong, and easygoing. And their religion encourages them to develop their mind in such a way. When I was sitting in Kyichu Lhakhang I could feel this tiny spark of clarity in my mind of who I am and how I want to be as a person. That felt even more special than any Himalayan mountain view I ever saw."
Featured trips & expertise
Take in the best Bhutan has to offer, from culture to mountain scenery. Visit the impressive fortresses and monasteries of Thimphu and Punakha, see the tranquil Bhutanese countryside, and enjoy day hikes before embarking on the famed trek to Mount Jomolhari. It's an adventure that takes you to the stunning snow-capped mountains and lakeside campsites, with the chance to see Himalayan vultures and the elusive snow leopard along the way.
With customs and traditions still going strong after centuries and an environment rich with diversity, Bhutan is a country that is completely unique. On this journey you will explore the wonders of Western Bhutan from the ancient capital of Thimphu to the spectacular Dochu La Pass and semi-tropical valley of Punakha. Take in the great Himalayan views and experience Bhutanese family life before hiking to the famous Taktsang, a hike light of any Bhutanese adventure.
Western Bhutan is home to many of the kingdom's top sights and most beautiful landscapes. You'll explore the region on this well-rounded 7-day trip that starts in the capital city of Thimphu. Discover the glacial valley of Phobjikha, attend an evening prayer ceremony in Punakha, enjoy a picnic in the mountains, and hike to the famous Tiger's Nest Monastery. Since the itinerary focuses on just one part of the country, you'll spend less time traveling between destinations and more time simply enjoying them.
Bhutan is home to more than 700 avian species. You'll spot many varieties on this colorful excursion through the western part of the country, which takes you to both well-known and off-the-beaten-path birding zones. Fall in love with Bhutan's forested landscapes and majestic wildlife on this itinerary that's tailor-made for nature lovers.
The kingdom of Bhutan remains one of the last unspoiled gems of the Himalayas. Closed to foreign visitors until the 1970s, Bhutan's past and present are firmly grounded in traditional Buddhist culture. On this quick 5-day journey around the country, you'll visit quiet monasteries, explore ancient fortresses, and enjoy stunning views of the mountains as you hike through peaceful valleys.
This Bhutan bike tour is an excellent combination of biking through Bhutan's stunning landscape, experience the real Bhutanese countryside life, and visit some cultural highlights as well. Biking is done mostly on good roads with very little traffic, but we will guide you on quiet roads as much as possible and during the last days you will leave the main road and cycle on farm roads exclusively. You will stay in good hotels, sleep in traditional farmhouses, and camp in nature.
Recent trip reviews for Bas
Wonderful whirlwind tour of Bhutan! · Bhutan - Oct 11 - Oct 18, 2019
Memorable trip! We had a fabulous experience with Sonam as our guide, and Prem as our enthusiastic, very skilled driver (how we navigated those narrow roads without a scratch, I'll never know!). Bas and the team were fantastic in tailoring the trip to our specific dates and needs, including arranging for my flight tickets to and from Kabul (which proved to be much more problematic than I'd anticipated). I'd indicated a preference for photography and hiking, and the team managed to provide us... read more
India, Bhutan & Nepal Trip 7 days · Bhutan - Oct 2 - Oct 8, 2019
Bas organised a fantastic trip for us through Bhutan, India and Nepal.
The accommodation was world class and the tour ran really smoothly!
Bhutan Laya Gasa Trek · Bhutan - Apr 1 - Apr 21, 2019
Background: I was originally supposed to do the 12 day Laya Gasa Trek, but we had to abort after 3 days (at Mt Chomolhari Base Camp), due to heavy snow on the passes. Consequently, we completed on alternative trek. Either side of my visit to Bhutan, I stayed in Kathmandu for 24 hours while waiting for my flight to Paro. Dates for trip 1/4/19 until 22/4/19.
Comments on KimKim: In short, the service from KimKim and Bas in particular was superb. I cannot fault it. Since this trip encompassed 3... read more
highlights of bhutan · Bhutan - Mar 2 - Mar 7, 2019
Bas did a wonderful job of planning a fabulous week for us in Bhutan. What a beautiful country it is and we were lucky to enjoy everything in perfect weather. Our trip included some beautiful hikes away from the Tourist coaches ...they started out short and easy, through planted farm lands and worked up to the ultimate..Tigers Nest which was our reason for the visit. The challenge we had was the altitude (coming from our home in San Francisco at sea level) but our expert guide; Nomgay and... read more
highlights of bhutan · Bhutan - Mar 2 - Mar 7, 2019
Wonderful itinerary and accommodations! Lovely caring and professional guide (Namgay) and driver (Sonam). Will cherish my memories and would go with Bas and Windhorse again and highly recommend to utilize those interested in visiting Bhutan either via biking and trekking.
TajKatBhutan · Bhutan - Jan 19 - Jan 25, 2019
If you decide to go to Bhutan, Windhorse is a good choice for anyone. They customize, advise and will comply to your needs, budget and visits you want to make along your way. The pick ups were very important; we don't know who to trust, so we don't have this worry. Bas was dependable and pleasant at all times and that gave us the opportunity to have the trip we desired. The Bhutan staff was super-professional, prompt, informed and tried to accomodate our desires. Yentin was crystal clear... read more
3 girlfriends to Bhutan · Bhutan - Jan 1 - Jan 5, 2019
It was a really great experience, our guide Pema was super attentive as for our driver, both super nice and took really good care of us. Beyond that, the knowledge and experience was very important for us and we enjoyed every sightseeing and spot we visited.
Would totally recommend it to our friends and family.
Bhutan nature trip · Bhutan - Nov 12 - Nov 27, 2018
The trip was fantastic everything worked perfectly - we saw many amazing birds (over 135 species and we are not twitchers), himalayan bears, golden langurs, squirrels , butterflies and plants and incredible landscapes and temples. We stayed in some good and reasonable hotels and the camping was fine. We enjoyed great food (especially by the camp cook). We became great friends with Subash Rai our truly excellent guide and also our safe and careful driver. The car was fine for the roads and the luggage. We shared a lot of laughs and remain in touch. Thousands of photos now to process!
Druk Path trek and cultural highlights · Bhutan - Oct 29 - Nov 11, 2018
THe booking was easy and straight forward and Bas was efficient in responding promptly, however the order of activities could have been much better as we suffered from altitude sickness all through the hike - whihc we did only 2 days after arriving from sea-level. As we were there for two weeks with only 5 days on teh hike it would have been possible to do more of the lower altitude activities first so as to acclimatise better before the hike. The hotels turned out to have very different... read more
Highlights of Bhutan - 5 Days · Bhutan - Oct 8 - Oct 12, 2018
Amazing trip in Bhutan. Starting off with Bas who put together an itinerary to meet my requirements. My guide Namgay Dorji was fun and informative and I could not have felt more safer on those mountain roads with a driver like Dhanbir. An experience where the memories will stay with me forever. I’ll definitely be coming back.
Friend trip · Bhutan - Aug 23 - Aug 25, 2018
Awesome! Guides were great and trip was wonderful. Thank you so much!
Bhutan · Bhutan - May 13 - May 31, 2018
Overall, the trip was fantastic and I am truly grateful that you suggested India before Bhutan. However, the hotel in Delhi was superb. They upgraded us to a fabulous room the the 2nd and 3rd times that we were there which was lovely. Our guides in India were fine. I do have a couple of suggestions....I think we could have done with 1 night in Rathombore. We saw 1 tiger on all our safaris, although others saw many more...just lucky. We really liked Jaipur and maybe should have had 2 nights... read more
Richard Masla Bhutan · Bhutan - Apr 18 - Apr 24, 2018
Our group of 4 just returned from a 7 day tour of Bhutan. From the beginning of my contact with Bas, to touring the amazing countryside of Bhutan with Sonam and Tawa (guides from Bhutan). My experience was phenomenal, two thumbs up for the curtosy, kindness and professionalism of all the staff.
Trip to Bhutan · Bhutan - Mar 31 - Apr 5, 2018
I have traveled a lot--around 130 countries--and I almost never use an organized tour. I thought I didn't like them. But this trip changed my mind. Mr. Pema, my guide, was impeccable, as was my driver, Mr. Ugee. They anticipated my every need, were beautifully friendly and polite and quite interesting people. I felt like I was traveling with friends. Mr. Pema was very skillful and knowledgeable as a guide to both the sites and the culture, and we had philosophical as well as historical... read more
Snow Leopard photography · Bhutan - Jan 30 - Feb 8, 2018
Our journey in the mountains of Bhutan was richly rewarding. A gift not wrapped in paper but bound instead in the thread of discovery and the characters we were blessed to encounter along the way. A journey of reflection and life in focus - so generously mentored by the welcoming will and inspiring talents of the Bhutanese people, Like our fabulous guides Yonten and Pema, who helped us climb higher..beyond....as each new step took our breath further away. Thank you!
And also thank you to... read more
Bhutan Trip for Nat · Bhutan - Jan 6 - Jan 10, 2018
Trip was better than we could have ever expected. The entire process from the first messages with Bas till the fairwell hugs with tashi and Jigme at the airport and everything in between was beyond words! Tashi as a guide is phenomenal, can’t fault him. And Jigme was his perfect side kick. Nothing was too hard for the boys. Thank you for a wonderful trip!