Exotically beautiful experience in Bhutan
Reviewed Tour: Best of Bhutan
“I wrote Bharat after reading some of the reviews and check through Breakfree Adventure website. I wanted a customized tour for a group of 3 with core elements of history, culture, outdoor, art and fun within 5 days. Bharat wrote back quickly checking on our requirements and desires for the trip to ensure he could come up with something special for us. Understanding that we, regular lone travelers, teamed up to explore Bhutan, Bharat whatsapp me with a detailed itinerary which was good for any first timer in Bhutan plus personalization along the way. It was exactly what I wanted to have for the tour and my friends agreed to it.
Our flight got delayed in Kolkata due to minor technical problem which got fixed in 3 hours. We reached Paro International Airport and realized we didn't ask for our tour guide's number as our flight was delayed for almost 3 hours. After a good 15 minutes browsing around, we found him - Namgay Tshering - and met our dedicated driver - Rinchen.
During 5 days in Bhutan, we explored tons of things about Bhutan, visited several historical and gorgeous Dzongs (fortresses), got to enjoy the Tshechu (festival) at Buddha point (the tallest Buddha statue in Bhutan), cycled uphill to see the Takin, trekked to see the Divine Mad Man's monastery and above all, hiked up to Tiger's Nest. Namgay and Rinchen were really professional and they made us feel like they were our friends. They were so punctual and had great attention to details. They took care of everything we asked for, flexibly changed the schedule due to weather change and came with us to all the destinations. I myself never went on tour as I was always the lone traveler and roamed across most of Asian countries. This was eventually the first organized tour in my life and I had to say I was really satisfied with it.
Namgay could communicate very well and I was surprised he was a bright student who got scholarship and studied in Darjeeling - India (yeah, you're right. That's where the name of the Darjeeling tea came from). He was super knowledgeable the history and religion of Bhutan. He even got each of us a set of books and Bhutanese key chain, which was a surprise to us, knowing it wasn't a part of the tour inclusivity. Namgay showed me a mirror of how each Bhutanese man lives, works and worships with a strong belief in Buddhism and a good sense of modernization. He was also an excellent hiker as he went all the way with us to the final point of Tiger's Nest while offering to carry our backpacks (great stamina!!!).
Rinchen, on the other hand, was very soft-spoken and he didn't speak much. But when he stayed behind the wheel, we all felt safe and sound although the roads in Bhutan were in poor conditions (very bumpy and majority was under construction). He maneuvered professionally through every sharp turn (you'll find lots of them in Bhutan) with great focus and dedication.
With only 5 days, we could only go around Paro - Thimphu - Punakha. The scenes were breathtaking. The food was amazing (tell me about Ema Datshi - the legendary spicy chilly cheese) and we got to taste different authentic local food every day. We also took hot stone bath and dinner at a local farm house and tried out archery for fun. The entire trip was filled with funs and great bonding between us and the crews. The price wasn't cheap with $250/ day during high season and the return Bangkok - Paro - Bangkok ticket costed us approximately $750 each. That was a high price to pay but well, for awesome experience, you certainly couldn't buy with a discount.
Would love to come back to Bhutan and of course, I am planning out a basecamp tour with Bharat very soon. I would highly recommend Breakfree Adventure to people who love outdoor, trekking, culture & sight-seeing at Nepal and Bhutan. And my sincere thanks to Bharat, Namgay and Rinchen who have made my Bhutan trip incredible and unforgettable.”