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Real Bhutan with Druk Asia

Dear Sangay,

Thanks for the greeting! I had a wonderful time in Bhutan and I would like to grasp the chance to thank my tour guide Sonam and driver Tandin for bringing me an unforgettable experience throughout the 9 days.

Please kindly find the attached compliment letters for both of them. And if chances permit, please do not hesitate to share on Facebook or your company's newsletter.

Please also find the attached 3 pics for your use.

(a) Group photo with my tour guide Sonam and driver Tandin
(b) Photo with Tiger Nest and myself
(c) Dry picnic at the lookout to Himalayas

Compliment letter to Sonam and Tandin

Sonam (tour guide)

I would like to express my deepest gratitude to my 4-year-experience tour guide Sonam for his caring and smart attitude throughout the 9-day trip. There are a number of things I appreciate:

1. Every time when a traveler first meets a tour guide, he or she will feel shy to speak up yet he tried his best to ice break the atmosphere by showing his understanding on my long-hour flight and transit from Hong Kong to Bhutan. Every day when I got into the car for a new day journey again, he would not hesitate to ask if I slept well last night. Such caring manner makes me feel warm and easy.

2. He is also a considerate tour guide. I drank a lot of water in the trip thus I need to pee all the time, yet he never showed any discontent and even willing to show me areas for toilet when the car stopped in the middle of an expressway. I remembered once when roadblock appeared and we were forced to wait in the vehicle queue for over half an hour (normal expectation of time waiting), he soon coordinated with Tandin and decided to buy some cup noodles for me to fill my hunger during lunchtime. He arranged the little lunch with villagers and always made me feel comfortable. Another incident is that when we were having dry picnic at a lookout in Ura Valley, a number of horses attempted to approach. Sonam soon produced noises to scare them away in a sense that he knew I would feel scared.

3. It was not until the 3rd night that I knew I could eat out according to a recommended list by company. Since then, I requested him to suggest me restaurant to eat out. He showed understanding and tried his best effort to offer me different menus so that I could savor different delicacies. I remembered once that a restaurant failed to provide fish owing to lacking supply of seafood from government, and he understood my disappointment at that time. He not only soon asked the restaurant manager if they had any alternatives but also chatted with me on the affair so as to let me know he has addressed my concern as soon as possible.

Another incident is about the upgrade of the room in Bumthang. I was told by the hotel staff that free upgrade is available and thus there should be no extra charges. Yet, they may have miscommunication among themselves that I was informed later by Sonam that extra charges were incurred. I was a little shocked since then, and expressed my disagreement and my complaint on lacking access to WiFi to him. He soon explained the issue to the staff manager and I could witness some staff fixing the WiFi machine the day after and, I needed not pay the extra charges at the end. Thanks for solving all these problems for my convenience.

It is not easy to leave a lifelong unforgettable memory to every traveler especially facing a growing demand for travel needs and a bunch of business competitors. However, even if I select Druk Asia by random yet I ended up having a wonderful journey. All these, as I believe, rely on how experienced and hearty the tour guide is. And Sonam did show his professionalism and perseverance throughout the trip. And I do hope that his knowledge and attitude could be utilized by company in other field of occupation such as planning and administration as well. Hope Sonam could have a better future! And hope Sonam could have chance to learn Mandarin soon (his dream as I chatted with him)!

Tandin (driver)

Very experienced driver for 6 years. Frankly, I already knew that the road to Bumthang from Punakha would not be a good one after a complete two and a half hours car massage from Thimphu to Punakha. Yet, Tandin never attempted to drive super fast and made me feel further uncomfortable. As my driver, he also doubled his effort in choosing some paths with less rocks and boulders so that I needed not experience much bumps.

There are 2 more things I appreciate:

1. He was always waiting for my return whenever I finished visiting a tourist attraction. He also grabbed the chance to wash his car so that every time I could have a fresh experience when entering the car. Also, after discovering that I hate my face being washed by dust and sand on every bumpy under-constructed countrywide roads, he would always close the windows when those machines or trucks passed by. He would also chit-chatted with me whenever he had any chance.

2. He brought me to experience clubbing and bar culture in Paro and Bumthang. I love exploring how villagers and citizens spend their night-time and thus I asked if there were good places to go. Tandin not only explained in detail to me, but also brought me to see ladies dance in the clubs. I truly then understood how Bhutan operated their clubs and how people interact in those public spaces. He befriended with many locals and always provided me with a comfortable experience by little drinking and chatting with dancers.

One last thing, I am a daring person, and I love trying new things. Tandin taught me to eat Doma (though it might not be healthy and hygienic because of the spits), and I had a happy time recording my first time hands-on.

Anyway, well done Tandin!!! Thanks for bringing me to try out REAL Bhutan!!