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Donna and Jacqueline

Dear Kesang,
I would like to write you this email to thank you and your team for the wonderful time Donna and I had in Bhutan.
Sangay was always very responsive and patient to answer all our questions and do the changes. Very professional and reliable (what we European like a lot).

We could not have wished for a better guide and driver than Namgay and Dorji who are real professionals but also fulfilled all our wishes. Eg. we wanted to go to local restaurants only and we eat well every single day. Thanks to them we could experience the Bhutanese cuisine which we miss already!

Dorji is a very careful and excellent driver and so is Namgay as a guide.
You seem to choose your staff carefully. Thanks to your team we had a great time and enjoyed our trip a lot.

Kindest regards,

16 Nov 2015

Paula Guinto

Thanks again, everyone. Really appreciate the kind words and concern. It’s also just hitting me now how freaky all this was but so many things worked in my favor. This oximeter which we used to check ours and the kids’ stats morning and night, kept us on our toes.
It was what told us that my oxygen intake was dropping rapidly. Oli from our Outdoor Ed Dept. and trip leader along with iSos and Tintin wasted no time at all and made the best decisions for me and the group, which was to get my stubborn butt down the mountain and fast.
Thankfully, we also had an oxygen buffer (as small as an inhaler) that kept me conscious on our way down the mountain. We also got lucky that Mr. Kesang the owner of Bhutan Wilderness Travel quickly informed the Tourism Council Of Bhutan, where Sangay Lhaden was able to arrange an ambulance that could drive closer to the base of the mountain where we were descending from. That saved a lot of time and potentially, helped us avoid more complications.
It also wasn’t raining so Wangda and Lambu, two of the strongest guys from the Bhutan Wilderness Travel crew, got to carry me down that steep, muddy hill, in the dark with one less obstacle. These guys rubbed my freezing fingers, kept me awake and showed nothing but kindness and compassion as I puked my guts and wanted to just lie down and sleep.
Kudos to our outdoor ed team, iSos and yay- the Bhutan Wilderness Travel crew who met us with oxygen and a fast driver. Mr Kesang himself, Phub and Tandin Wangyel (Tin Tin) stayed by my side the whole night at the hospital and reassured me that the kids were all right. So I wasn’t lucky I got AMS but a lot of things conspired for the best of circumstances to emerge. I am humbled and grateful to everyone who got me to safety. Thank you.

29 Oct 2015

Ms. Borgny Hjelen

We are three Norwegian women in the late fifties who love trekking both in Norway and abroad. Last June we went to Bhutan where we spent ten days from June 19, six of these trekking. The first day we went up to Tigers Nest, a combination of acclimatizing to the altitude and a test of our physical condition, we assume. It was a stunning experience, both the walk up there and the inside of the temple.

The five next days we did the Druk Path route, the old kings’ route, from Paro to Thimphu. After the trekking we stayed one night in Thimphu, the capital, and one in Punakha, the old capital. Kesang from Bhutan Wilderness Travel planned and arranged the trip for us, and was also our guide during the stay.

The highlight of our trip was the trekking in this beautiful nature, with a well prepared staff that included six horses for the equipment, the horse-boy, the chef and his assistant, our guide Kesang and an apprentice. The equipment, including the tents, was new and comfortable, and the guide and the crew made us feel very comfortable and safe. The chef, Tenzing, used natural herbs to flavor the cuisine. Kesang showed great knowledge about trekking and about the culture and history of his country. He was very forthcoming, and his English was excellent.

The midsummer night we spent by a beautiful lake with a bonfire of rhododendron wood, eating lovely trout caught in the lake. Kesang did the fishing with an admirable technique, with an audience of trekkers and crew watching, a new and exciting experience for some of the crew. During the trek we saw two yaks but hardly any human beings, so we felt the real peace of the nature.

We knew we were a bit late for the best of season, but luckily some of the rhododendrons (big trees!) were still in bloom, and in the high mountain the azalea covered the hills with their beautiful flowers of white and pink. Besides, there were a lot of other flowers and trees, and not to forget the blue poppy, the national flower, which Kesang had spotted where to find, before our arrival. We got some rain, but had also a lot of sun.

We were a bit afraid that the altitude could cause problems, but after the first day we were all well adjusted. Also the route itself was nice and we found it quite easy. We are happy to recommend this trip, even late in season, with Bhutan Wilderness Travel to anyone who loves trekking. It is a beautiful country where you feel very welcome.

29 Oct 2015

Bhutan and Kona Bikes

I recently returned from my first trip overseas. I always thought my first trip outside of North America would involve backpacking and hostels. Instead this trip involved biking in Bhutan – an experience of a lifetime. I had the privilege of being sent to Bhutan on behalf of KonaWorld Travels along with Maurey “Mo, the magician” Olsten, to teach a mountain bike guiding course to the guides of Uma Paro, and other Bhutan guiding companies.

Bhutan is a country situated in the same mountain range as Tibet and Nepal – the Himalayas. It has India to the south and China to the north. It is a country led by a constitutional monarchy, and it is striving for a balance between new and old world ways. The national language is Dzongkha and one of the countries biggest revenue sources is tourism. All visitors to the country must arrange for a travel visa – visas include room, board, transportation, and a guide. The guides are well educated and generally speak english very well. The country itself is hilly/mountainous and has existed on an agrarian culture for what seems like all of time, you will find farming villages high on the mountain side and low in the valleys and everywhere in between. There are trails everywhere connecting the villages and rivers and temples. These trails and the natural terrain make for amazing mountain biking.

Mo and I shared the mission to bring a select group of experienced Bhutanese guides up to speed on bike mechanics, riding skills and guiding groups of cyclists. Mo’s bicycle mechanical knowledge is on a whole other level, my job was to teach the latest in riding skills. The guides that participated are some of the best guides the country has to offer, and though their riding abilities were questionable on day one, I was proud of the progress they’d made by the end of the week.

One of the things I found remarkable about Bhutan was the excitement with which the locals had towards bikes. Bikes are considered a status symbol in Bhutan, so a group of 16 guides and 3 foreigners riding through the mountains, into farmers fields, and into a monastery, created quite the scene. Pictured here you’ll see one of the children we met at a boy’s monastery, we gave the boys a chance to test out our bikes, and while most of them struggled to balance the bike – this young monk in training was pulling off wheel lifts and steep roll downs with ease and a smile.

It was great to share a sport that I am passionate about with a group that was so excited to learn how to ride. In return I got to do a handful of first descents, riding trails that had never before been biked and more importantly I experienced Bhutan culture first hand from those who know it best – the local guides. If you are considering an exotic destination to ride and want to experience a new country rich in culture and history be sure to put Bhutan at the top of your list. Through Uma Paro, KonaWorld Travels offers a 10 day package to visit Bhutan. Custom packages are also available.

www.konaworldtravels.com

29 Oct 2015

Dena and Iak

Dear Kesang,

I hope you remember us from last fall, my husband Iak and I went on the Snowmen Trek and had a great experience. We would highly recommend the trip to anyone that enjoys being in the high country and away from the crowds. We didn’t get a chance to visit with you after the trip to relay our experience to you, one thing that stood out for us was the quality of the camp staff. We especially liked Nado the assistant guide, and became quite fond of him, after being with him day in and day out for three weeks. He really helped make the trip so pleasant, he had such a good spirit to him that it seemed to exemplify the beauty of Bhutan from the inside out. Anyway, we have written a letter of recommendation for him hoping that it may help him secure trekking work in the future. We thank you for taking
the time to read this and hopefully consider contacting him in the future.

Thanks so much for helping make our trip so successful, we are looking forward to our next visit.

Warm regards,
Dena and Iak

29 Oct 2015

Denise Roman

Cycling nirvana a magical adventure in Bhutan, the Land of the Thunder Dragon, a wonderful, welcoming place in the Himalayas and everything in life feels possible. I have written my experience with Bhutan Wilderness Travel http://www2.canada.com/northshorenews/news/travel/story.html?id=fa018324-5bc0-4207-840a-7b80a1bc64a4&k=19758.

29 Oct 2015

Mike and Elsie Sze

We had the most unique and wonderful experience in Bhutan. Our guide Kesang Tshering (Bhutan Wilderness Travels) was the best guide to have — knowledgeable, flexible, caring, paying attention to personal needs of his clients. We felt we were in very good hands. Thanks to him and his team, our Bumthang Cultural Trek was a grand, exhilarating, totally manageable adventure for us who needed that extra time to go that extra yard. We would engage Kesang and his company without reserve any time when we have a chance to return to that amazing kingdom.

11 Oct 2015

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