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Trip to Picturesque Bhutan
My Bhutan's 7-day tour come to an end the moment Druk airlines touched down at Singapore airport. 7 days is definitely not enough as there are still many places not been to and many experiences not encounter yet.
The wonderful people I met during this trip, whether it's fellow travelers like me, the locals, guides or drivers, all made this trip so memorable. The experiences we share shall remain with me for a long time infinitely, the hospitality and warm kindness from the Bhutanese touch my heart and soul and definitely taught me a lot about life and make me a better person along the way.
I might have been a Bhutanese in my previous life, because I simply love Bhutanese food! I must have ema datshi in my every meal, I drank a lot of tea and just can't get enough of butter tea! Momo, hentey, kewa datshi, organic vegetables etc are also my favorite. In addition, I tasted the best ara at "Simply Bhutan" folk museum, and even tried almost all the alcoholic drinks recommended by Druk Asia e.g Druk 11000, K-5, Red Panda and more like Druk Supreme or Druk Lager!
Bhutan is a photogenic place as no matter which angle you try taking photos, it'll turn out picturesque. I have many good photos which I shared some on my Facebook and have received a lot of praises and even inquiry about Bhutan travel, which I will definitely recommend Druk Asia to my friends.
The extra bonus of this trip was meeting the 4th King and his family at close distance at Thimpu Dzong on First Sermon of Buddha. I have always admire him as he not only introduce the National Gross Happiness, he also made many good changes and decision which change and develop Bhutan to become a better and known country to the outside world.
Compliments to Kinley Wangdi and driver Tshering which I fondly addressed him as Arnold Schwazerneger of Bhutan because he look so cool in his sunglasses! Although Kinley did not meet me at arrival as he was held up by his group, he proves to be a knowledgeable and responsible guide as he knows his facts and figures about Bhutan very well no matter what question I pose to him. He can improve by being a little more proactive and attentive e.g I've made known to him many times I prefer not to get caught in rain as I always fall sick if caught in rain and many times he did not have umbrella ready at hand when sky was dark and we were walking to our destination. Other than that, I enjoyed my trip with Kinley as he also take good photos for me since I'm a solo traveler and having good photos for this trip is even more valueable.
Tshering the driver is a very good and responsible driver. He always clean his vehicle (inside and outside) whenever after a muddy road drive to make sure I always travel comfortably in clean car. In addition, he also take good photos (even better than Kinley!) and had helped me taken a lot of candid photos which I love it very much. He is also very humorous and together with Kinley, we laugh so much that my experience traveling with them is so far the best trip I ever had.
I also like to compliment Manbir Rai who on behalf of Kinley, met me at Paro airport. Although my name was spelt wrongly on banner, he was also knowledgeable and attentive to me and pay great details to what I've requested. My request to general post office and visit to night scene (we went karaoke) were met and he even managed to help me save time queueing to change money at bank next to post office as there were so many people.
Regarding points to improve:
1. Itinerary not updated - due to summer holidays, painting school and Chhundu Primary School are closed. I was very disappointed as I really look forward to visit the painting school to learn about the 13 traditional arts and crafts, and to visit the primary school to understand about the education in Bhutan. Although itinerary is flexible and Kinley offered great alternative, since we are aware that my trip is during summer it'll be great if Druk Asia can pay attention to this obvious details as I was a travel agent myself for many years and know that details like this can either enhance or destroy guest's experience.
2. Information about money changing on travel tips incorrect - As mentioned in travel tips provided by Druk Asia, there is supposed to be a currency exchange counter at arrival hall after custom check and luggage scan which there isn't any. I've also checked with other travelers who also confirm that currency exchange counter was nowhere to be seen. We did see a very small sign "Bank of Bhutan" before immigration but because the flight was delayed for about 2 hours, we thought we can change money after immigration as we want to meet our guide and driver asap.
3. Namgay Heritage Hotel's shower - As already mentioned by many travelers on your Facebook review, the shower in Namgay Heritage is still having problem with the alternate hot and cold shower. This problem might be something beyond Druk Asia's control, Druk Asia as a popular travel agent should persistently feedback to hotel to get them to either fix the problem or change to use another hotel totally if hotel still doesn't resolve the issue. In addition, the food at Namgay Heritage is the least appealing and taste mediocre among all my dining experience in Bhutan.
I can go on talking about my Bhutan experience which I can even write a book! (just kidding!) I will stop here and hopefully my two pence worth of feedback above is useful to Druk Asia. I will share some of my stories in your Facebook and attached are some photos for your perusal.
Hopefully my next trip to Bhutan will coincide with tsechuu and to other parts of Bhutan to get a totally different experience.