Finally made it to the land of happiness
Back from a week long trip to Bhutan and happy to write this review.
The recommendation of Book My tour came from a close friend who traveled to Bhutan last year, she had very good things to say about it. So I emailed Sonam about a solo trip to Bhutan and was quite amazed how quickly he responded to my queries and the various recommendations he gave. Over a few email exchanges we decided on my travel itinerary and paid the full cost of the trip, have to say was a little anxious paying everything upfront. Anyway, two weeks later was on a Drukair flight to Bhutan.
At Paro airport, I was greeted by my guide Tashi and driver Tshering whose company I really really enjoyed. They were very friendly and super helpful. Tashi was very knowledgeable about his country and I learned quite a lot of things about Bhutan from him. Visited Paro, Thimphu, Punakha and Phubjikha in that 8 days. It was the monsoon season in Bhutan and it was raining 5 out of those 8 days :(. In hindsight, should have travelled before the rainy season.
My accommodation was booked in standard hotels, nothing fancy, although I got a complimentary room upgrade at Gantey palace. Stayed one night in a farm house in Punakha, one should definitely try it.
Things that I liked:
- Phobjikha, the place is breathtakingly beautiful
- Hike to Paro Taksang monastery
- Farmhouse in Punakha
Things I didn't like so much:
- The rain!!
- Dogs barking in the middle of the night in Thimphu
Overall, it was a great experience. Thank you Tashi, Tshering and Sonam for your service and help.
Will be recommending Book My Tour to friends and family.
A short visit to Bhutan
I re-entered India from Bhutan a week ago after a last-minute 4-day trip. As I was in Dhaka & heading to the mountains I decided to check out the possibility of a trip to Bhutan. Wanting to use a local travel agent I found a very positive write-up on the Thorn Tree about a trip arranged by Sonam Dorje (Book My Tour)
Within half an hour, Sonam had responded to me & after swapping a few emails we had come up with an itinerary:
My first contact with Sonam was on Saturday afternoon. I booked my own flight the same day for the following Friday, having agreed on an itinerary with Sonam, transferred the fee on Sunday & had my visa by the end of Monday. Everything was sorted within 72 hours. This may not always be possible, but it shows that such trips can be arranged at very short notice from neighbouring countries.
I highly recommend Sonam, Sonam, Dorje. If you are thinking about visiting Bhutan, please, go local to keep the money in country & I cannot recommend BookMyTour highly enough for their efficiency, openness, flexibility, knowledge, guiding skills, driving skills etc. etc. etc.
This review was originally posted on Lonely Planet, read more at: https://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/forums/asia-indian-subcontinent/bhutan/a-short-visit-to-bhutan-june-2018
Liverpool, United Kingdom
Traveling to Bhutan for a cause and I love it
Travelling to Bhutan with a Cause has become an addiction and Book My Tour and Travel team has made it the MOST FUN, EASY and MEMORABLE. Supporting a local Cause in Bhutan with the best of memories has been made possible. I keep on coming back
I received a lot of insight why things are this way in Bhutan
I can highly recommend entire team from Book My Tour from booking process till end of the trip! We had great contact from the beginning, explaining the programme and flight/visa process.
I was greeted by fantastic guide and driver, who stayed with me entire trip and did all my wishes. Places visited were fantastic and guide had a great knowledge not only about each place, but also about Buddhism and country overall. I received a lot of insight why things are this way in Bhutan. I truly recommend to everybody, it's once in a lifetime experience!
My pictures - http://www.piotrwasil.com/?zdjecia=bhutan
Everything was extremely well organised
We want to thank you for an excellent and memorable holiday with your company.
Our trip to Bhutan was a very last minute decision ..and you were very patient with my many questions and emails. Your quick responses was very impressive and helped me made up my mind to visit Bhutan .
Everything was extremely well organised, from being met at the airport by tour guide, transport to hotels and the fantastic tours. Our tour guide ,Karma, were friendly, professional, adaptable, and knowledgeable! The driver and car provided was superb and very clean. We felt safe and very relax.
Your recommendation of the 4 stars hotel were very good. We had fantastic experiences and really glad to be able to stay in one of the old palace.
I would highly recommend my family and friends to visit beautiful Bhutan and engage your fabulous services.
Hopefully we will visit Bhutan again in the near future and explore different areas.
Mr n Mrs lee
I will carry such fond memories of my time in Bhutan
What a wonderful time I had in Bhutan! I really can’t recommend the services of Book My Tour enough. From the moment I contacted Sonam he was nothing but helpful, going to great lengths to tailor a tour to suit my individual needs. I was provided with detailed information and quotes which clearly explained what was included with my tour before making my decision. Upon payment I received a clearly explained tour itinerary, flight confirmation and visa details.
This exceptional service continued upon my arrival in beautiful Bhutan. I was greeted at the airport by the smiling face of my guide Deki and driver Kane. For the next 4 days they looked after me like a member of the family. We travelled from the airport in Paro through the spectacular hills to Thimpu, the capital of Bhutan. Along the way I was introduced to the history and culture of Bhutan and the concept of Gross National Happiness. We visited the gorgeous Thimpu Fortress (Tashichho Dzong) before retiring to our hotel for dinner and drinks, all included.
The following morning we woke bright and early for a big day of roadtripping from Thimpu, over the Dochula Pass and its sweeping views of the Bhutanese Himalaya before arriving in Punakha. What a wonderful day it was weaving our way through the scenic mountain roads listening to stories, tales and information about Bhutan’s past, present and future. Punakha itself was incredible. From the immense Punakha Dzong (fortress) to the exploits of the ‘The Divine Madman’ Drukpa Kunley and the Fertility temple Chimi Lhakhang, it was truly a fascinating experience. We travelled back to Paro that night and I relaxed in to our cosy homestay.
My trekking legs were well and truly tested the next day and we hiked up to the impressive Tiger’s Nest Monastery perched high on the cliff above Paro. What a magical place! Deki explained the significance of this place for buddhists and the stories related to this sacred location. The afternoon brought a trip to the Museum of Bhutan where my knowledge of Bhutan’s history, government, monarchy, culture and environment was further consolidated. How truly fascinating. The afternoon finished with shopping and coffee in Paro before a gorgeous hot stone bath back at the homestay to refresh my weary legs.
It was with great sadness that I waved goodbye to my new friends Deki and Kane and flew out over the hills of Paro. I will carry such fond memories of my time in Bhutan and hope to take some of the Bhutanese way of life back home with me.
Bhutan was absolutely incredible
We booked a 5 night 6 day tour of Bhutan through Bookmytour in August 2018. We travel somewhere different around the world once a month and generally research and organise our own flights, accommodation, car rental and sightseeing for each trip that we do. However travel in Bhutan is unique and requires a package organised through a reputable tour company for anyone wanting to visit. We contacted a number of companies for information and a quote but soon realised that one company in particular went above and beyond the service of any others we had contacted. Sonam at bookmytour quickly replied to every email we sent and clearly answered all of our questions. He not only tailored an itinerary to suit our individual interests, worked in with our budget and perfectly organised every detail in our tour but also made the effort to meet with us over coffee while we were in Bhutan to ensure we were enjoying our tour.
Our guide (also named Sonam) was exceptional, as was our driver Kinley. Bhutan was absolutely incredible, one of our top 3 favourite countries out of over 130 we have travelled around the world. The Tigers Nest Monastery, the scenery while driving and our stay at Gantey Palace were the highlights of our trip.
For anyone planning a trip to Bhutan contact Sonam at bookmytour! He will take care of every little detail and ensure you are given the best price possible. We were already planning our next visit to Bhutan before our trip was through.. Thank you Sonam and team for all of your time and effort in ensuring our trip was one to remember!! We can’t wait to return in the near future!!
Mesmerizing Bhutan - 4 nights & 5 days!
After having read about this beautiful country, we finally decided on our travel dates only to realize that one simply cannot buy an air ticket & get to Bhutan - absolutely surprised!
For a tourist to enter Bhutan it has to be via a tour company/hotel as they will arrange for the permits, allocate a driver/guide for the trip and make the required arrangements. I randomly sent approx 5 inquiries to various tour operators, the first response received was by Sonam from BookMyTour - and that was quick!!
From there onward, everything was hassle free - just like a perfect holiday. Sonam understood our requirement, tailor made our short trip and took care of all the travel, accommodation, food etc... his response time was amazing & his recommendations fit what we were looking for! Via the online payment we were all set on our maiden trip to Bhutan..
1. Drukair/Bhutan Airlines are the only international airlines that gets you to Paro - never knew that before!
2. Zhiwa Ling in Paro - amazing amazing amazing
3. Tallest sitting Buddha - Thimphu, peaceful & serene
4. Le Meridien in Thimpu - ok for a city ,business hotel - i would have loved a property with more heritage
5. Tiger's Nest - no words can explain, not being a fitness person unlike my other 2 travelers this was a tough one for me, i only made it though thanks to our wonderful guide & motivator Sonam - I owe you one
6. Monasteries - a must visit
7. Shop shop shop - handicrafts/paintings (credit cards are not accepted in most stores, USD, Rupees & the local currency is a must)
8. Punakha fortress - historic
9. 108 Stupas - mountain pass & memorial - eventful
10. Smoking is prohiited
Sonam our guide - one of the nicest, knowledgeable, gentleman i have come across. Its because of him this trip will be a memorable one. He thanked us for contributing towards the economy of Bhutan - what a lovely thing to say!
It wouldn't be difficult to say I clearly am in love with Bhutan & cant wait to get back - this time with the family.. the simplicity, faith and history of this beautiful country is something that i never expected.
At all time we were safe, secure and happy! the people of Bhutan are well cared for and this is very evident across the country. Initially the costing did seem a bit steep for a small country however we understand that this also includes charges & fees that are towards the Bhutanese welfare - No wonder Bhutan ranks high on the gross national happiness, it sure made us very happy!
Thank you to book my tour for this amazing holiday, until next time...
Dubai, United Arab Emirates