Himalayan Adventure - Jun 3 - Jun 13, 2018

Traveler: Matthew D. - Local specialist: Vishal Pradhan

My wife and I took our trip to the incredible treasure of a country, Bhutan, a bit over a year ago now. That it took me a year to write a review is entirely a reflection on myself and not at all 9n our gracious and accommodating hosts and guides.

Vishal and Sonam, our tour organizers, we're incredible from the initial contact about considering the trip, all the way through to leaving for home.

During the booking discussions they made the process easy and worry free for us. They spoke with us about our goals and desires, planned a wonderful tour that was tailored to our needs and wishes, and then handled all of the paperwork for us. All we had to do was pretty much show up.

Once we arrived we were personally greeted at the airport and welcomed warmly. We met our guides (more later) and were off on the journey. Throughout our 10 day trip we were constantly in contact with Vishal who made sure that everything was going well and that all of our hopes were being met. When we had an issue with one of our accommodations, Vishal bent over backwards to ensure that we were moved to an accommodation that suited our needs even under difficult circumstances of last minute booking.

Near the end of our trip we were treated to a family style meal at Sonam's family restaurant. This was one of the highlights of our trip, the food was amazing and the service was second to none. We hope that we can someday return to this very establishment in addition to the country itself.

As for our guides, they were absolutely incredible. Our guide was Ughyen, UT for short, and our driver was Mikmar.

Let's start about UT. He was a wealth of information about his country, as well as a deep pool of interesting anecdotes and pleasant to talk to for 10 straight days. He listen to our non-stop rambling, and our constant wonder at the natural beauty and amazing culture of his country. He never seem to get genuinely bored of listening to us ramble on. Part way through the trip we were lucky enough to take part in a local ceremony at a private residence that UT organized for us. Being Buddhist ourselves this was absolutely the highlight of our trip. It felt like something that most visitors to Bhutan would not have access to. And while this may not be something that every visitor could count on, we were so thankful that UT went out of his way to ensure that our trip was the trip of a lifetime.

We also spent our one year wedding anniversary in the country, and our guides arranged with a local monastery for us to receive a religious blessing, in what we understand to be a fairly uncommon ceremony with access to a Lama that made us feel very welcome and part of a beautiful culture that we are privileged to have taken part in.

Our driver Mikmar was unbelievable as well. He spoke very little but when he did he had an incredible sense of humor and he also put up with our non-stop rambling about his country and how excited we were. The roads in Bhutan have a much deserved reputation for being scary, through the mountains and even in the cities to some extent there is traffic and sharp drop offs as the entire country is built in the mountains. Unlike many of the drivers we saw who would have terrified us to be in their cars, Mikmarmade us feel comfortable constantly. His driving was incredibly professional and made us feel safe happy and enjoy our trip.

About Bhutan as a whole, we could not say better things. The entire country was beautiful. The people were friendly and wonderful to outsiders. The culture is so unique and so interesting, we feel privileged to have been a part of this rare opportunity in this very remote country. We felt that the country itself is a rare jewel, the culture is opening to the rest of the world and as we understand it changing slowly. We hope that it will retain its unique character and look forward to visiting again to see how things change and how they evolve for the better of all of the residents.

in the year since our visit, we have spoken frequently about this trip as perhaps the highlight of all of our travels in our lives now or in the future. There are many beautiful places in the world to visit and many interesting and unique beautiful cultures. However for us Bhutan was the pinnacle of what we hoped and dreamed to experience.

Our trip was made possible by our wonderful guides and tour operators. Although I am certain that visiting Bhutan would be an extremely rewarding experience no matter how you managed to go, we strongly encourage anyone considering a visit to contact Sonam and Vishal via this website. We hope to visit Bhutan again in the near future and if we manage to do so we will certainly be engaging their services again. The cost to visit Bhutan are not inconsiderable, however the value we received from Sonam and Vishal's service was extremely high. We believe that the money could not be better spent and hope that everyone has an opportunity to visit this gorgeous country.

We thank everyone involved in making our trip a success and wish everyone considering a trip a wonderful journey.

Namo Tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sama Sambuddhassa.

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Vishal Pradhan, local specialist, responded to this review:

Dear Matt and Denise,

Thank you very for talking the time and effort to pen down this detailed trip experience. We are totally thrilled to hear of this feedback. Thank you for this opportunity in planning your trip and look forward to working on another bhutan adventure. Thanks Sonam