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Vishal Pradhan

I am a local bloke, born and bred in Bhutan. Post obtaining a Master's degree in International Tourism and Hospitality from Australia, I started my career in Bhutan tourism in 2003. Since then I have had the opportunity to specialize and curate bespoke tailor made holidays for many clients. Bhutan is a unique destination, the way we lead our lives, our pristine natural environment, the way our tourism policy is positioned, all makes for a memorable travel experience.

Moreover, the government takes lot of initiative to protect and preserve the unique cultural heritage and fragile natural environment of our country. Therefore, it is essential that clients experience Bhutan the way we locals do, encompassing the philosophy of preservation for future generation. I feel extremely blessed to be doing, what I love most (promoting our unique little country to the world and supporting our local communities). I encourage you to visit Bhutan, rest assured the rustic unchartered destination will not fail to amaze you.

What places and activities do you specialize in?

"We specialize in curating bespoke tailor-made holidays to Bhutan vis-à-vis Cultural tours, Festival tours, Community based tourism,Trekking, soft adventure - rafting, fly fishing and cycling, Food tours - Bhutanese cooking class, Honeymoon & Wedding."

How did you get involved in travel?

"My stint as a tourism professional started, when I was hired as the only Bhutanese to set-up and open the sales and reservation department of ultra-luxury COMO hotels & resorts in Bhutan. Since then there has been no turning back for me. Post my experience in high end hotels in Bhutan and my passion for Bhutan, paved the way for me to join the family business, Trophel Tours. Since then I have been curating bespoke tailor-made holidays, extending end to end travel solution for bhutan and travelling the world to promote Bhutan. Now when I look back at this amazing journey, I gather, I would not have wanted it any other way."

Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.

"My journey as a travel designer has been full of learning. While there are many experiences, we have had the opportunity to create, the one that lingers most in my mind, was the organization of an intimate Bhutanese/Buddhist ceremonial wedding. This may sound funny; however, we Bhutanese don’t perform or have ceremonies for wedding. As such, once a man and women choose to stay together, we are considered married. In this backdrop, in early 2003, this sort of experience was virtually done by none. Consequently, we consulted a few learned Buddhist scholars or lamas and was recommended a series of prayer for the ceremony, which were apt for new wed couples, such as prayer for longevity, wellbeing and luck. With this breakthrough, we were able to create an intimate wedding experience, at 7th Century local monastery, kyichu Lhakang. "

Featured trips & expertise

Jumolhari Round Trek and Cultural Tour - 17 Days

This itinerary combines wild adventure with Bhutan's unique culture. The trek, though challenging, is highly rewarding and one of Bhutan's best. En route, catch glimpses of the spectacular Mount Jhomolhari, which straddles the border between China (Tibet) and Bhutan. In Thimphu and other small towns, learn about Bhutan's unique form of Tibetan Buddhism and the culture that was cut off from the rest of the world for so long. In short, this trip has it all!

Nature and Culture in Bhutan - 10 Days

From the famous Tiger's Nest Monastery to the sleepy streets of Paro, visiting Bhutan is all about the simple pleasures of natural beauty and a distinctly preserved culture. Experience this long-isolated country's stunning mountains, colorful architecture, and lush countryside on this comprehensive 10-day tour.

Himalayan Highlights - 5 Days

Explore mystical, naturally resplendent Bhutan - also known as Druk-Yal, the land of the thunder dragon - as it emerges from the mists of its self-imposed isolation. From museums to monasteries, this tour will guide you through some of the best of Bhutanese life, culture, nature, and history.

Dagala Thousand Lakes Trek - 12 Days

Trek through an area adorned with a multitude of pristine, crystal clear lakes, and Bhutanese villages. As you walk, you’ll be treated to stunning views of the entire Himalayan mountain range and some of the world’s highest peaks - including Mt. Everest, Jomolhari, Masang Gang, and many more.

Bhutan Birding Trip - 9 Days

Perfect for nature-lovers, this nine-day excursion into western Bhutan will take you to both well-known and off-the-beaten-track birding zones in search of Bhutan's 770+ avian species. Fall in love with this wild country - where 72% of the land is covered in forests - and its colorful, majestic wildlife.

Recent trip reviews for Vishal

Paro, Bhutan - Oct 24 - Oct 26, 2017

Traveler: kamran a. - Local specialist: Vishal Pradhan

The hotel was not really up to par. We had hot water for showering, only if it could have been done in 30 seconds. Meal arrangements were done by the team. They will take you to the cheapest possible place. They made us pay extra since we wanted real meal.

Vishal Pradhan, local specialist, responded to this review:

Dear Kamran,

Thanks for your review. I am most concerned to hear about the glitches on your hotel room and food. I’m looking into the issues with the hot water and meals, as this isn’t the type of feedback we typically receive nor like to hear from our guests. If we receive this feedback during the trip, we’ll also do whatever we can to address and improve the situation. Nonetheless, much appreciate your concerns, as these feedbacks help us to improve our services.

As indicated in our... read more

Dear Kamran,

Thanks for your review. I am most concerned to hear about the glitches on your hotel room and food. I’m looking into the issues with the hot water and meals, as this isn’t the type of feedback we typically receive nor like to hear from our guests. If we receive this feedback during the trip, we’ll also do whatever we can to address and improve the situation. Nonetheless, much appreciate your concerns, as these feedbacks help us to improve our services.

As indicated in our earlier discussion trips to Bhutan are regulated by the government at a minimum daily tariff ( USD 250 per person per day) , which entitles one to tourism council of Bhutan approved 3 star hotel, meals in this hotel or local restaurant, guide, vehicle & driver, entrance fee to monuments, local sightseeing’s, government taxes and levies. Based on this we had booked hotel Olathang for you, as Hotel Olathang is one of the most popular 3-star hotels in Paro. However, I will certainly take up the hot water issue with the hotel team.

In regards to your meals, I am sorry you felt that we were trying to take you to a cheap restaurant. Rest assured this was not the case at all. Please allow me to explain - Your first day you arrived late and had the option to eat dinner in the hotel; however, you wished to try the Bhutanese food in local restaurants. Bhutanese food is very basic fare and not very evolved. Your breakfast on the second day, due to your early hike to Tigers nest ( 5.00 am) you were unable to have breakfast at the hotel and therefore you had to ‘make – do’ at Taksang Cafeteria. Please note there is no other restaurant or café en route to Tigers nest. Post your hike you went to Thimphu for lunch and went to Galingkha hotel (This was the restaurant of your choosing and you had al carte meals). Dinner, that day, you wanted to have in Uma Paro, a 5-star hotel. As communicated to you on that day our budget did not cover meals beyond 3-star hotels and local restaurants. Dinner charge at Uma was USD 102 per person ( 3 people cost = 306), therefore you had to pay extra. Based on our discussion we refunded you USD 153, half of the cost, although it was above our budgeted meal allocation (We noted that you did not have lunch the first day you arrived and you were entitled to dinner that day).

Given the short duration of your tour (2 Nights), we did not get much time to interact. However, we look forward to yet another opportunity to host you in not too distant future. And most importantly, now that we have understood your preference, we are hopeful that we will be able to execute your next tour as per your specifications.

Thank you
Sonam & Vishal

Bhutan, Bhutan - Oct 6 - Oct 16, 2017

Traveler: Ben A. - Local specialist: Vishal Pradhan

The first thing is that I had never done an organised tour before. Of course with the regulations in Bhutan it is the only way to see the country that I had wanted to visit for so long.  In my early exchanges with Vishal he made me extremely comfortable that a tour did not mean bus rides with many people; controlled timings on visits to places; and having to ensure we experienced the country at the pace of the slowest person in the group. Vishal carefully asked me what it was I wanted to see... read more

The first thing is that I had never done an organised tour before. Of course with the regulations in Bhutan it is the only way to see the country that I had wanted to visit for so long.  In my early exchanges with Vishal he made me extremely comfortable that a tour did not mean bus rides with many people; controlled timings on visits to places; and having to ensure we experienced the country at the pace of the slowest person in the group. Vishal carefully asked me what it was I wanted to see in Bhutan, which Places drew me to the county, and what kind of experience I wanted to take away.  He built an itinerary that combined my need to experience the history, the landmarks, the culture and the trekking, suggesting timeframes that would encompass all of these things without needing to rush, and giving me options throughout the itinerary that gave complete flexibility for us to enjoy. The planning became an exciting part of the trip (as it should be) and was an excellent experience.

Vishal Pradhan, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thank you Ben for visiting us. We are glad we could make this trip a success and an adventurous one for you.