Bhutan

TripAdvisor: Mr. Mike C. Kung – Bhutan
We travelled to Bhutan for a 10 day trip and arranged our travel with Heavenly Bhutan Travels (http://heavenlybhutan.com/ ). There was a last minute addition to our group and Heavenly was very flexible with integrating him. We landed in Paro, proceeded to Thimphu, Punakha, Gasa, Phobjikha then Paro again for the departure. The itinerary was great, covered a wide swath of western Bhutan and I felt we got a really good feel sampling of Bhutan. We stayed at the Le Meridien in Thimphu and Paro, Uma in Punakha, Hotel Dewachen and a farm house in Gasa. We did a lot of hiking to various temples and sacred places – stopping by various Dzongs to worship the deities and admire the architecture. We rafted along the male river in Punakha, bargained at the farmers market in Thimphu, enjoyed the local hot spring and farm house hospitality in Gasa, walked the marshlands of Phobjikha valley and hiked the mountain to Tiger’s Nest in Paro. Bhutan is a spiritual place with some of the friendliest people. Our guide Tek was the best – very knowledgeable, fun, accommodating and helpful. He became a good friend on the trip. Bhutanese food tend to be spicy but I loved that – my mouth still waters when I think about chili cheese, an iconic dish there. Our group also purchased tons of textiles, Buddhist beads, paintings and other Bhutanese handicrafts – exquisite handwork that you just don’t see often in the west. We spent two days in Gasa – probably would have cut that short and spent more time in Phobjikha valley – the valley was so serene (unfortunately the black neck cranes just migrated for the season when we arrived). I also wished we could have caught a festival and travelled to Bumthang/Central Bhutan but we will save that trip for our next Bhutan visit – more reason to return to the land of the thunder dragon. Thanks to Heavenly for such a memorable trip.