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Chen Ray travel gave us a spectacular trip

bangkok
Level Contributor
203 posts
360 reviews
205 helpful votes
Chen Ray travel gave us a spectacular trip

We have just returned from our too short 6 day trip organised by Chen Ray travel.

We met Mr Sonam at a travel fair in Bangkok about 2 months ago. He was very warm and talked to us at length. Because he was our first contact I decided to research TA for other companies and contacted 4 other companies recommended by other travellers. I must say that all of them seemed very very good and 2 really stood out. In the end we stuck with Chen Ray partly based on costs. It seems that whichever operator you choose you are likely to follow the same tour.

During our planning I had a million and one questions to ask and sent many emails. I rarely had to wait more than a few minutes for a reply.

We were offered a choice of hotels in each of the places we were going to. Mr Sonam made all the bookings for us and booked our flights too which cost slightly less than if we booked by the airline website.

On arrival we were met by our guide Yoisil and driver Rinzin. I must admit that we had been slightly anxious that we were about to spend 6 days with 2 people we didn't know and there was a chance we might not like them or get along with them. That passed very quickly and we very soon felt like we were travelling with friends. There was no language barrier at all. They are both knowledgable and both excellent drivers. Nothing was ever any trouble and if we needed them they were there.

Our first day was relaxed with lots of sightseeing after checking into Norbuling Hotel. Hotel was great, very good location and good food. Second day was also around Thimphu. I won't go into too much detail about the sights because you will certainly be doing your own research

On the third day we left for Punakha which although only around 70km away is a long journey. The road is being widened and is vey bumpy almost all the way. There's a stop at the Duchela pass for lunch which was good. Even though it's a tough journey it's great because of the stunning scenery.. We made the wrong choice of hotel here, Meri Puensum was just ok. I believe there must be better choices. Hiking to Khamsum Yuelly Namgyal Chorten was quite easy and a good way to train for the major trek to Tiger's Nest.

The last full day our guides suggested leaving quite early for the hike to Taktshang and that was definitely good advice. Leaving later means it's warmer and busier. It's by no means an easy hike. It took us 2 hours in total. The altitude makes a real difference and really affects your breathing. For those who like me have an issue with heights, I'd say give it a go! The final stage which is all steps, first steeply down then up, has railings all the way and although I was a bit anxious I was able to do it.

After breakfast the last morning we were taken to the airport. We actually felt quite sad saying goodbye. Yoisil and Rinzin had been better than we could have hoped for and Sonam called to say goodbye. Without doubt the trip was made memorable for us and i don't believe you could prove on the service we got.

Please feel free to contact me privately if you have any questions or would like contact details

Gems Bhutan Travels
Hiking & Camping Tours
NE Taxi
Historical & Heritage Tours
39 replies to this topic
san francisco
Level Contributor
140 posts
47 reviews
24 helpful votes
1. Re: Chen Ray travel gave us a spectacular trip

Thank you for taking the time to write this nice report. We are off to Bhutan next month for a 7D/6N trip and are very much looking forward to it!

Thimphu, Bhutan
Level Contributor
260 posts
21 reviews
2 helpful votes
2. Re: Chen Ray travel gave us a spectacular trip

Thank you very much for taking time to write such wonderful review. We hope to see you again.

bangkok
Level Contributor
203 posts
360 reviews
205 helpful votes
3. Re: Chen Ray travel gave us a spectacular trip

@rocky8888 You're more than welcome and please feel free to contact if you want any help

Barcelona, Spain
1 post
1 review
4. Re: Chen Ray travel gave us a spectacular trip

Hi!

I just want to reiterate that Chen Ray is an excellent tour operator if deciding to visit Buthan.

We've just returned from a 4 nights trip to the country and spent 5 lovely days in & around Thimphu and Paro.

We could connect with Mr Sonam (agency manager) via Skype and email previous to the trip. He gave us all details and flexed the trip according to our requirements (i.e. with and without treks, staying in hotels or homestays...).

We spent 5 lovely days with our driver (Liky) and guide (Nima) - apologies for wrong spelling - and could experience first-hand the everyday life of this unique country, as well as visiting the most remote Budhist temples.

Silvia & Sergi (from Barcelona)

bangkok
Level Contributor
203 posts
360 reviews
205 helpful votes
5. Re: Chen Ray travel gave us a spectacular trip

I'm so pleased to hear that Sonam gave you a wonderful experience as he did for us

Thimphu, Bhutan
Level Contributor
260 posts
21 reviews
2 helpful votes
6. Re: Chen Ray travel gave us a spectacular trip

Hi Silvia & Sergi,

Thank you very much for the review and taking your precious time to write it. I am glad that you enjoyed the trip.

Sonam

1 post
7. Re: Chen Ray travel gave us a spectacular trip

I would like to add my experience to this blog.

I spent 6 memorable days lat in September in Buthan, mostly in Paro, Thimphu and Punaka areas.

Everything was just perfect, thanks to the wonderful organization done by Chen Ray travel and coordinated by Sonam. And when I say "perfect" I am not exaggerating; in this trip nothing was left to the case. I appreciated details and personal attention of the travel agency (Sonam), the guide (Laptzering), the driver (Tensing).

I think it is important to reword people who did do an outstanding work -and helped in building memorable days- as it is to peace those foreigners, as we mostly are, that are somehow worried of possible negative follows-up and unpleasant situations once you have to leave a trip organization to someone else.

I hope to be able to go back to Buthan, possibly with the family, No doubts, I will ask Chen Ray travel to have it organized..

Wish you all a great Himalayan experience!

Cesare, University Professor, Milan, Italy

bangkok
Level Contributor
203 posts
360 reviews
205 helpful votes
8. Re: Chen Ray travel gave us a spectacular trip

Another happy customer! Chen Ray are definitely a brilliant company to travel with

Thimphu, Bhutan
Level Contributor
260 posts
21 reviews
2 helpful votes
9. Re: Chen Ray travel gave us a spectacular trip

Dear Cesare,

Thank you very much for sparing your precious time to write such wonderful review, I really appreciate it. It just encourages us even more to strive for better services. Would love too see you again with your family.

Merry Christmas Sir and to all the readers and of course to Martin and Ian.

Sonam

Level Contributor
1 post
11 reviews
6 helpful votes
10. Re: Chen Ray travel gave us a spectacular trip

We recently travelled Bhutan for a 6 night trip. We were met at the airport by Gem our guide and Sonam our driver. They looked after us exceptionallly well for our whole stay in Bhutan. We visited Thimpu, Punakha and Paro with lots of stops at interesting places along the way. The food we ate everywhere was outstanding but our favourite meal was definitely the farm house dinner with a local family in Paro. I am definitely addicted to chilli cheese ! Everything we saw was amazing but the highlight was the hike to the Tigers Nest Monastry - a very rewarding experience. I would definitely recommend Chen Ray to everyone travelling to Bhutan and I would like to make a special mention of Gem and Sonam who really made our holiday the best.

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