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LENGTH of our TRIP? (long? short?) USA Tour Operators?

New York City
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298 posts
115 reviews
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LENGTH of our TRIP? (long? short?) USA Tour Operators?

Hello,

We are currently holding flights from America which would end up giving us 12 DAYS for a trip to Bhutan

(day ONE being the morning we fly in from Bangkok - arriving in Paro at 9:30 AM and day TWELVE being our last full day - day 13 we leave for airport after breakfast) How does this time sound. We are thinking of cutting it down to 10 days so that we can have a little rest in Bangkok before catching flights to USA. We'd also LOVE to hear from people here in USA who have used American tour companies for CUSTOM JOURNEYS. (Not group trips) It would just be a trip for my husband and myself. We'd love to hear about your experiences, etc. THANKS!!!!!

Toronto, Canada
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1. Re: LENGTH of our TRIP? (long? short?) USA Tour Operators?

Nezzie - 10-12 days sounds about right. I might err on the side of a bit shorter, and give yourselves a couple of days in Bangkok - of course you'll want to make sure you have AT LEAST one day either side of your journey in case of misconnects either to or from Bhutan.

Bhutantraveller will comment soon and give you a detailed itinerary for a 10-day journey - (s)he is very knowledgeable and has traveled there several times.

Our journey of only 7 days was a bit short, but was all we could afford/spare time to do. Still pondering going back this year or next.

I can't stress enough that you should use a local tour operator rather than an American one. You'll save ALOT of money, and as I said on another post, you'll be dealing directly with the people that will be providing the service to you rather than an intermediary.

Our experience with Blue Poppy was perfect. They are based in London and Bhutan, and I changed our itinerary several times and hand-picked the hotels we wanted to stay at. The vehicle was brand spanking new (Hyundai 4x4), very comfortable, and our guides were friendly and efficient - no request was too small for them. I think you will find that with most of the guides/agencies you deal with. There are only a very few negative reviews here about agencies, and we can help you steer away from those ones.

ozcanuck

New York City
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2. Re: LENGTH of our TRIP? (long? short?) USA Tour Operators?

Thanks a lot for your input. I am thinking of getting a quote from some local agencies . I've also heard great things about Nirvana. I want to upgrade hotels in both Paro and Thimphu but still debating whether to shorten the trip. Right now we arrive in Paro on Oct. 4 and spend two nights in Paro. Second day has us climbing to Tigers Nest (I don't like that idea -- still too tired) and on Oct. 6 we drive to Thimphu for two nights. Oct. 8 we go Northeast to Punakha and spend two nights in Wangdue. Oct. 10 takes us on a long drive (but we've heard worth it)

to Bumthang, whwere we spend three nights in that area. Then Oct. 13 we start journey back to Western Bhutan and spend one night in Gangtey and arrive back in Paro for two last nights (14 and 15th) Depart Paro for Bankgog on Oct. 16th. I'm pretty confused right now. Lots of different opinions!!

Looking forward to hearing from others.

Amsterdam, Holland
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for Bhutan
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3. Re: LENGTH of our TRIP? (long? short?) USA Tour Operators?

As mentioned before, dealing with a local operator is easy via e-mail, and you can have your say in planning. Most have some suggestions of tour on their site, with descritpions of the most famous places.

What are your interests? Trekking, day walks,cycling, kayaking, driving and sight seeing? It all depends on your focus, and so you can make your itinary special for you.

If you want to go to Bumthang, have at least two night there, and try to break the drive, as it is very long. Or, if you have only 10 days, stay closer to the west, and have a more relaxed and intensive visit there.

I'd advise to leave Tiger nest for the last days, when you'll be used to the altitude, you have to get back to Paro for your flight anyhow. Doing this in the beginning of your trip can be difficult.

If you got an itinary from an agent, we can help you fine-tune it with knowledge of your interests. We all had our own very special trips. F.e. you can ask to meet collegues in your field of work, which can be interesting. We had a seminar on Traditional Medicine with meeting some very special persons. Another time we had a meditation-lesson with a Lama.

Whatever you wish, can be done, although some activities might have extra costs, but these are just for covering the costs, and not for making profits. Bhutanese are very honest people,and it is nice not to deal with discussions of prices all the time.

MaineUSA
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4. Re: LENGTH of our TRIP? (long? short?) USA Tour Operators?

Nezzie:

We were there in late October - early November for 11 days with Nirvana.

The tour was just my wife and myself with the guide and driver. I agree with Bhutan Traveller that you should do the Tigers Nest at the end of the trip. We spent the last two plus days of the tour in Paro.

The hotels were fine as far as we were concerned. Be aware that the high end hotels are not part of the tour cost and appear to be very expensive.

Spend some time reading the trip reports from Bhutan Traveller, Jeanie, Ozchuck, myself and other posters. They will peovide you with a good variety of experiences.

5. Re: LENGTH of our TRIP? (long? short?) USA Tour Operators?

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