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Blue Poppy Tours and Treks

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Blue Poppy Tours and Treks was set up by Choki Dorji. We chose the name because the blue poppy is the national flower of Bhutan. We are the only Bhutanese travel agency based in both Bhutan and the UK and we specialise in tailor made trips to Bhutan for independent travellers and small groups.

We have extensive experience of guiding western tourists around Bhutan and a good understanding of your needs and interests. Our mission is to offer you an exotic, yet comfortable, travelling experience in our homeland, based on what you want to see and do. We have explored every nook and cranny of the country, and we pride ourselves on our intimate knowledge of festivals, trekking routes and places of cultural and historical interest. All the guides we employ are fluent in English and have years of experience in Bhutan?s tourism industry.

We'll pull out all the stops for you, from helping you decide what kind of trip you?d like, sourcing that elusive Bhutanese textile, or even arranging archery lessons! To contribute to your holiday of a lifetime, Blue Poppy has arranged an exclusive opportunity for you to spend a night with a host family in a farmhouse in Paro district where you can experience a taste of traditional Bhutanese village life at its purest. You can also experience the restorative properties of a hot stone bath laid on for you by your hosts at Blue Poppy's request.

source:http://www.bluepoppybhutan.com...

Last Updated :05-03-2014 Link :http://www.bluepoppybhutan.com
Reviews
December 2013 with Blue Poppy

My husband and I did a 9 day trip to Bhutan in December 2013 booked with Blue Poppy tours.

The pre-trip service with Blue Poppy was excellent. They are based out of the UK (though I'm in the US) and they answered all my questions and always quickly responded to emails. The wire transfer of the money went very smoothly and they had a whole packet explaining everything I needed for the trip.

We were met in Bhutan by our guide and driver and proceeded to do a cultural tour of Bhutan. Bhutan really is a pretty magical place. We were struck by the large, beautifully painted farmhouses that the average person seemed to live in in the country side (many with large phallus's painted on the side-look that up). There is a definite lack of trash, plastic bags and billboards/signs, so different from Kathmadu and Bangkok. They are very protective of preserving their environment, which is so refreshing compared to the policies of other countries in the region. You want to believe in the pictures of unicorn horns and dragons eggs you see on temple altars, and wish you could have attended the royal wedding of the wise prince and handsome princess. Bhutan really is different.

Hotels: For the price, the hotels might not seem very luxurious, but we always had soft beds and hot water. We stayed at the Hotel Jumolhori in Thimphu- very nice and modern. The Hotel Dewachen in the Gangtey area was so nice- like a mountain lodge you would see in Colorado with a fireplace in the room, and hot water bottle service at night! The Meri Puensem Hotel in Punakha was alright, nothing too special. We stayed at the Gangtey Palace in Paro. It had a lot of character and charm, but it was definitely old. The room was huge and just had one small space heater, so it was pretty chilly in December.

Food: BORING. Most meals are buffets at hotels, or if you ask to go to restaurants, its pre-set meals there. You will have rice, vegetables, potatoes in a cheese sauce, chilis with cheese, and very bony chicken with some onions and tomatoes, for nearly every meal. The only time we ordered off a menu is when we asked our guide to take us to a local bhutanese place- which tasted much better! It was awkward trying to get different food, because it was obvious the guide preferred to just have us eat at the hotel for dinner and then he would be off for the night. Of course, he always accommodated any request we had. Ask ahead of time about your food options if you can.

Guide Pros: Our guide was extremely knowledgeable and took his job seriously. He could rattle of dates of anything like it was nothing. He was very professional. Our driver spoke no english to us, but towards the end I started to think he knew more than he let on.

Guide Cons: Our guide was very formal, and he seemed to have his guard up a lot. He shared facts, not opinions, and you got the sense he was trained that way. He said basically nothing negative about Bhutan, though everyone gets a couple red flags when you are told there is no problems in a country. When we asked if he had any questions for us, he did not, and rarely commented when we told him things about the US. So in all he was good, but not personable.

Other: Go out to a bar in Thimphu if you can without your guide. We met some extremely interesting Bhutanese people who were very friendly and happy to talk about whats really going on in the country, as opposed to the pre-packaged info your guide will give you.

Activities: Almost every tour goes to the same places, so this has been stated on other trip reports.

Karen

Rating: starstarstar
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