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Please help me to start planning a trip to Bhutan

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Please help me to start planning a trip to Bhutan

Old May 10th, 2017, 07:48 AM
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I booked a 5 day trip with Druk Asia for September 2017 through Delhi and so far I have been happy with their service.

The trip is costing me about $2100 from Delhi and I will get to visit a festival.
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Old May 10th, 2017, 08:29 AM
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Thursdaysd, thanks for your opinion on hiking and festivals. I am glad to hear that hiking can be somewhat limited, and yes, definitely plan on aligning with some of the festivals. As for Nepal, or India - still undecided - looking at recent Nepal trip reports and pics and still not due to earthquake consequences. I have a bit time to think.
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Old May 10th, 2017, 08:34 AM
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Mewanderlost, Vipsha, thanks for your input! I was thinking of traveling in the fall (Oct -Nov), but yes I was planning to align with one of the festivals in Bhutan.
I just mentioned, I have not completely determined if we should go via India or Nepal. I was leaning to Nepal, after Kathy and Thursdaysd responses, but still not sure. So, your input on India is welcome.
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Old May 10th, 2017, 08:35 AM
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DBMTraveler, what does this cost include?
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Old May 10th, 2017, 09:24 AM
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I'm guessing that one of the differences between DMB's trip/price quote and the ones cited by others is a group trip vs. a customized trip for two. All of the agencies will give prices for different size groups. Larger groups are less costly per person that small groups or private tours.
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Old May 10th, 2017, 11:57 AM
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helen63

My package includes..Plus airfare from Delhi


1) Visas for Bhutan
2) A qualified & licensed English speaking guide
3) An experienced driver
4) Suitable transport for your group with experienced driver
5) All meals inclusive at selected restaurants
6) Accommodation at 3 star rated hotels
7) Taxes, surcharges, government contribution
8) Mineral water for the duration of the stay

*Hotels are subject to availability at point of reservation

The package excludes:

1) Hotel Stay outside Bhutan e.g. to catch a flight to Bhutan
2) Travel Insurance
3) Lunch & Dinner outside selected restaurants e.g. 5-star resorts
4) Tips for guide and driver
5) Alcoholic drinks
6) Expenditure of personal nature e.g. shopping and hot stone bath

Hope this helps!
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Old May 10th, 2017, 12:00 PM
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helen63,

To clarify.. airfare (which is about $780) is included in my $2100.
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Old May 10th, 2017, 12:23 PM
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DMB, how many people in your group?
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Old May 11th, 2017, 09:55 AM
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Thanks, DMB!

Kathie, This seems to be the price for a private trip for one based with not upgraded accommodations (about $264 pp/per day consistent with Victoria report).
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Old May 11th, 2017, 11:38 AM
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That would be correct helen63, this is for the basic accommodation and the inclusions/exclusions line up with the quotes I received. You will find they are very consistent from operator to operator, and you can check all the accommodations online to be sure they meet your expectations. Now the big thing is get specific with your preferences for itinerary and guide!
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Old May 11th, 2017, 08:38 PM
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Kathie,

Just one..
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Old May 12th, 2017, 06:09 AM
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Hi helen63,

I visited Bhutan last fall (October) during the Tsechu festival (mask dances with historical significances). I'm told that the best season to visit Bhutan is during this time as the weather is favorable for both touring and trekking.

The total package cost (as mentioned above by DMB) for 7 days was about $2510, inclusive of air tickets (bout $750).
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Old May 12th, 2017, 09:54 AM
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Carl, this is what I was thinking. Did you enjoy Tsechu festival? this is a big one from what I understand.

Where did you fly from into Bhutan?

Thank you, Victoria and DMBT!
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Old May 12th, 2017, 12:55 PM
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Thanks for the info DMB.
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Old May 12th, 2017, 07:53 PM
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helen63,

The Tsechu festival period is perhaps the most popular time to visit Bhutan. I for one enjoyed the colorful mask dances that typically tell the story/life events of Guru Rinpoche who introduced Buddhism to Bhutan. Legend has it that the Guru flew to Taktshang (Tiger's Nest) monastery on a tigress' back, hence the name, which I subsequently visited (and HIGHLY recommend to you).

I flew in to Paro from Bangkok and used Bhutan Next Travels as their package rates were slightly cheaper than most others I looked up. The service (guide, driver, transportation etc) were very good and the agency was responsive too.

I do suggest you build your trip around the Tsechu festival in Thimphu and visit Taktshang and a few dzongs (fortresses) as well.
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Old May 18th, 2017, 05:54 PM
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Carl, thank you so much!
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Old Jun 20th, 2017, 05:49 PM
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helen 63,

We just returned from Bhutan a few weeks ago. We went with Bhutan Travel Club (BTC). We had an amazing time and wouldn't change a thing. Highly recommend!

BTC also booked our flight from Bangkok to Paro. Make sure to check out business class on Druk Air as it is only $40 more than economy.

We visited Thimphu (2 days), Punakha (2 days), Paro (2 days), and Haa Valley (1 day). All places are incredible.

Punakha is stunning. Lots of rice paddies, beautiful villages, stunning temples, and friendly locals. We really enjoyed walking through the villages speaking with locals. The weather there is more 'tropical'. (It was 37 degrees Celsius in May). Also if you go make sure you visit Punakha Dzong. That place is very nice.

Paro is also beautiful. It's a small town with lots of history. And of course Tiger's Nest. The hike is steep but doable. Lots of places to stop and rest It's totally worth the sweat!!!!! You can do it!! Rest up at the cafeteria and continue the climb. The hike is about 1 1/2 - 2hrs (with a break for coffee/tea). Make sure you bring a small lock as lot of the lockers where you will have to leave your belonging do not have one.

Haa Valley is absolutely amazing. It's like nothing you will ever see. The scenery is incredible. We stayed with a host family at a farmhouse and that was a lot of fun. Bhutanese people are very hospitable and friendly.

Thimphu is a an interesting city with lots of museums/dzongs. We were free to wander around the city in the afternoon and that was also fun.

Try Bhutanese Hot Stone Bath if you can. It's an interesting experience . And also an archery game, which is big in Bhutan.

Anyways, hope you have a fantastic time in Bhutan. It is a beautiful country with beautiful people. When we were there in May we hardly saw any tourists. It's very peaceful.

Bon Voyage!
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Old Jul 6th, 2017, 04:38 AM
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It is certainly not that early if you are planning to visit two countries in two weeks. I will definitely invite you to visit my country, India which is apparently the "land of festivals" and you want to enjoy the festive season.

October to June is the ideal time to visit Bhutan as the air is clear and fresh with sunny skies. October and November are the festive months in India starting from Navrati pooja, Dussehra, Durga pooja, Diwali, Rajasthan International Folk Festival to Marwar Festival. The weather remains pleasant and mildly cold in October. The Golden Triangle, that you wish to visit has the best to offer in these months. You will need 4 days to cover Golden Triangle and 8 to 9 days for Bhutan.

Enjoy and I hope you have the best trip!
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Old Jul 11th, 2017, 04:48 AM
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Unfortunately, i cannot offer any first-hand info on Bhutan. But i do recommend that readers educate themselves on the current geo-political situation of that tiny kingdom by reading this report on the chinese aggression into that state. I totally condemn the chinese takeover of Tibet and view with alarm the continued land grab of the himalayan mountains and wipe-out of ancient and worthy cultures.

http://asia.nikkei.com/Politics-Econ...-bigger-target
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Old Oct 16th, 2018, 08:16 PM
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Monika, Kajal, thanks for this information! I could not make the trip this year, bur reviving this topic to plan for next year
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