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Festivals of Bhutan BI

Visiting: Nepal , Bhutan
Trip Duration 12 Days

Reviews for Festivals of Bhutan

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Festivals of Bhutan reviews verified by reevooReevoo

8 reviews

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Festivals of BhutanScores 7.6 out of 10 based on 8 reviews
(7 out of 10)


I had really high expectations for this trip and whilst a lot of the tour was amazing there were a couple of things that really made me think I would have been better off booking a private guide rather than going on a group trip.

I didn't have access to money until 2/3 through the trip which was horrific. I couldn't buy so much as a drink with the rest of the group. I'd taken USD as recommended but they hadn't specified that you need high denomination notes or you can loose 25-30% of the value of the note on exchange (I hate being ripped off). The guide had access to an ATM earlier on in the tour but didn't provide access to that ATM to the group - only "black market" exchange which was fine where the rate was good but not so good for me with my $20 notes. I felt we should have been given the ability to change money in Paro before we went into the country - this can't be the first group to have come across this issue.

The hotels went from specatcuar to not so good. Some were so new the staff were still finding their feet and apart from Thimpu they were miles out of town. The last couple were dirty, one didn't have enough lights in the room to pack your bag, two of them the baths didn't drain properly. I don't minds simple hotels but I do like things to be clean.

The itinerary could have been better - I would have put one day in Thimpu away from the festival - everything that we'd looked up to see in Thimpu was either closed or had restricted hours through the festival.

More than anything else I didn't like the fact that we did everything as a group. There was no chance at all to get out and see the things that you wanted to. We were ushered from one spot to another as a herd and there was very little opportunity for getting out into the community and meeting people or just hanging around a city. I'm guessing this is a restriction that the Bhutanese government puts on tourists but for this reason I really would suggest to anyone going to get a private guide. Also until the roads are better I think smaller cars are easier to get past the landslides etc.

Our guide was wonderful and I felt really did look after us and want us to have a good trip. He was personable and kind. He could have been a little more detailed in his information on areas and sites and a little louder. The money issue really was a big thing for me though.
Confirmed traveller: 17 October 2016
Published on: 23 October 2016
(2 out of 10)


My advice for someone booked on this trip would be to cancel (even if you lose a deposit) and wait for a few years for the conditions to improve and for someone from the Explore product team to go on the trip.

Unfortunately you do not see Bhutan on this trip other than from the inside of a coach and characterless resorts.

There was one day where we spent a total of 10 hours on a bus for an hour hike and a twenty minute video. The return trip was about 6 hours to a different destination but along the same road. This amount of time on horrific roads for an hour and a half of result is simply poor planning (at best) and incompetent at worst.

At such a high cost (the daily charge to be in Bhutan is significant) this isn't just wasted time, but actually a really uncomfortable experience that you are praying will end soon.

The other days also feel extremely controlled and you have little time to actually explore Bhutan.

Nepal, on the other hand was amazing, as was the group!
Confirmed traveller: 17 October 2016
Published on: 21 October 2016
(9 out of 10)


Bhutan is wonderful. A country full of charm and quiet serenity. Th great plus was that everything was included in the price: breakfast, tea and coffee, lunch and dinner. No messing about with separate bills and wasted time looking for restaurants, that is until we were in Kathmandu. Given the opportunity I would have skipped Kathmandu and just focused on Bhutan. Sad to say, Kathmandu is getting steadily more crowded, with increased refuse and pollution problems: to enjoy Nepal you have to get into the countryside and away from the urban sprawl. We were told that much of the sewage still flows untreated into the rivers. The atmosphere in Kathmandu is frantic with beggars and street sellers crowding around tourists - as in India. In Bhutan this never happened and I didn't see anyone begging, or hassling people to make a sale.
Bhutan itself is not crowded with tourists and until we did the Tigers Nest walk, we hardly saw other Europeans. The towns and countryside are quiet and clean, the hotels we stayed in were good with some being excellent. The food was often very good and vegetarians are well catered for.
I enjoyed the 'all- inclusive price', the lovely people of Bhutan, the friendly guide and the courteous service provided by the people we met. I also enjoyed the Paro Festival although some of the dances became repetitive, it was different just being with the locals. We also saw the King a few times and yes, he really does mingle with his people. Importantly, I have never experienced such a relaxed holiday. The pace is leisurely and there are very few early starts to the day, the scenery is interesting and the culture is sufficiently different to that of India and Nepal.
The quality is reflected in the price and although the holiday might seem expensive, it offers a unique opportunity to visit a nation measuring its prosperity through its 'Gross National Happiness - GNH. Go before Bhutan becomes the next 'must see experience'.
Confirmed traveller: 27 March 2016
Published on: 06 April 2016
(8 out of 10)


Elsau, Switzerland
The tour was a full success mainly due to the fantastic company and guidance from Namgyel and Tashi.
It's impossible to mention all the colourful and heart touching moments they gave us.
Slight critic: 2 days at the end in Kathmandu hard to bear contrast to the peace of Bhutan. Instead of Kathmandu walking tour and Pashupatinath do Bakhtapur and Swayambunath! People who want to walk Kathmandu can do so from the very good and central located Annapurna hotel anyway.
Confirmed traveller: 27 February 2016
Published on: 08 March 2016
(9 out of 10)

Confirmed traveller

Bhutan is such an unusual country and has so many positive aspects (though the roads are not good). The Paro Festival provided ample opportunity for people watching as well as enjoying the festive atmosphere of the dancing and religious ceremonies. The Bhutanese multi-coloured national dress is stunning. The Paro Festival and Tiger's Nest Hike were both memorable. I enjoyed all 3 hikes and it was a bonus to see daphne, rhododendrons and primula growing wild. The dzongs and monasteries were far more colourful than I'd imagined and there were ample opportunities to take photos of monks who were very photogenic.Singye was knowledgeable, competent, helpful and sensitive. A modest man, his knowledge seemed encylopaedic and he coped admirably with our questions and requests.
Confirmed traveller: 15 April 2015
Published on: 07 November 2015
(10 out of 10)


i like their type of holidays and found both office staff and tour leaders and drivers to be very pleasant and helpful. Always enjoyed my trips so far, and plan to book more.
Confirmed traveller: 17 November 2014
Published on: 26 September 2015