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12-night trip with Heavenly Bhutan

big apple
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3 posts
23 reviews
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12-night trip with Heavenly Bhutan

My husband and I have just completed a 12-night tour of Bhutan, using the travel agency Heavenly Bhutan. I researched many and then corresponded with about seven Bhutanese travel agencies before settling on Heavenly Bhutan. Our experience with them was excellent.

Owner/Director Raju helped me plan the details, answering my many emails promptly and courteously. He was completely accommodating to my wishes for specific hotels, advised me on the best routes and gave us the guide (Sajan) and driver (Ram) whom I specifically requested.

Sajan is so knowledgeable, patient and flexible. He adapted our plan daily, according to the weather, the road conditions and our whims! Ram is a skilled and confident driver. His wonderful sense of humor and his unexpected talent for cooking were very special additions to our experience. We laughed halfway across Bhutan! Sajan and Ram were a great team: very compatible, good-natured, smart, kind, energetic, outgoing and genuinely friendly. Who could ask for more?

Heavenly Bhutan seems to be well organized and attentive to all details. Raju cared that we have a fine trip in his beautiful country and worked hard to make sure it happened. Thanks to him, and Sajan and Ram, our Bhutan experience was a total pleasure.

Amsterdam, Holland
Destination Expert
for Bhutan
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3,556 posts
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1. Re: 12-night trip with Heavenly Bhutan

Great to hear you had an excellent experience in Bhutan. Could you tell a bit more about your trip? This might help future travellers to know what to ask for. Thank you.

big apple
Level Contributor
3 posts
23 reviews
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2. Re: 12-night trip with Heavenly Bhutan

I researched travel in Bhutan a lot, both online and in guide books. After communication with several Bhutanese travel agencies regarding my hopes and expectations, I chose Heavenly Bhutan because of Raju’s fast and focused response to my queries as well as several positive online reviews.

Because it’s a little difficult to figure which hotels are covered by the daily fees (in our case, $500+/per day), I requested hotels which were in highish catagories, but not luxury level. All

that I requested were approved without additional charges. We sometimes requested particular restaurants for lunch or dinner and they were always included in the daily plan, except for a final dinner at Bukhari, in Uma Paro.

Massages, hot stone baths and drinks were additional, but none of this was expensive. There’s a 10% service change plus a tax on top which adds a little to the total.

The west-to-east highway (only road across Bhutan) is being reconstructed and there are some delays. Our guide, Sajan, always knew when and where the roads would be open and timed our travel for the fewest inconveniences. He did a fine job. Monkeys sitting on the side of the road were an amusing distraction, but there was no way to avoid hours of bumpy travel while heading to and from Bumthang, even with an excellent driver like Ram. Tea stops with beautiful views helped a lot, especially when a couple of yak happened to wander by! (Sajan probably arranged that!!)

A tour of a boarding school was very interesting. Children as young as six up to about sixteen years old stay for months at a time. Because their homes are in such remote areas, this is the only way to educate them. The dorm conditions were very tight (no personal space) and there were very few adult supervisors, but the kids we saw seemed healthy, spirited, busy studying in classrooms on a late Sunday afternoon.

Bhutanese cuisine is fiery hot. We got used to it! We started eating it as soon as we arrived and often requested Sajan to order our food from his dining room because what travelers are served is generally very bland. We had great picnics that came from restaurants, contained in stacked, covered tin dishes, all hot and tasty. Local beer is refreshing. A tour of the Red Panda Brewery is interesting. Bhutanese rum and whiskey are worth a try.

Outside of Thimphu, there’s not much to do after dinner. We played cards, usually in an empty dining room, once by candlelight because the electricity went out briefly.

In Thimphu, it’s worth a brief stop at the zoo for the takin, the national animal. Quite a creature to behold! I’ll leave it at that. The National Textile Museum is very impressive. Also, the Voluntary Artists’ Studio (VAST) has student works in progress. There’s a very handsome bar in the Hotel Druk. Mojo Park is fun for local bands. Karma’s Coffee was a good stop for writing postcards and a decent caffe latte.

We stopped for tea at the Gangtey Goenpa Lodge in the Phobijka Valley, lovely ambience and free WiFi.

All the beds were unexpectedly comfortable, even in the rustic farmhouse stay.

Lunch in the cafe on Tiger’s Nest trail was surprisingly good, cooked on wood fires.

I think a two-day trek might have been a good addition to our itinerary.

3. Re: 12-night trip with Heavenly Bhutan

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