Fabulous! A once in a life time and a definite 'do before you die'.
- What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
Too many to adiquitely explain!
The people were the highlight. This country is still largely un spoiled by tourism, i hope it stays that way. The children have no fear of strangers and love to see thier photos on the back of your digital camera. We were welcomed so warmly and seen as a novelty which was lovely.
The most powerful moment for me was being invited into a section of one of the monestaries which tourist arnt usually allowed into. It was beautifully decorated and we recieved a blessing from one of the monks before we left.
The most peaceful moment was standing ontop of a mountain over looking the capital, Thimpu, surrounded by fluttering prayer flags.
The most heart warming was being invited to our guides home to meet his daughter and see how Bhutanese people really live.
Last but not least - arriving in Nepal to co-incide with Holi, one of the main Hindu festivals where people throw coloured paint at eachother.
- What did you think of your group leader?
He was fantastic. He allowed our itineray to be flexible and managed to meet our varied expectation and aspirations. He really made the trip worthwhile.
In nepal we didnt really have a guide but we had a local rep who explained to us about the local area and how to get to the places we might want to see. He also arranged for us to do an extra guided tour of Baktapur which we paid for out of our spending money.
- Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
Take clothes for varied weather conditions - it was very warm while we were there (march depature) and i ended up having to wash most of my tops to wear them again. The temples and the festival require women to wear loose fitting clothes with arms covered to below the elbow. Skirts shouldnt be above the knee. Also do not wear hats at the festival or in temples as it causes offense.
We were advised not to change travellers cheques at the airport which was a disaster. Most hotels dont hold enough funds to change travellers cheques of any size. This left several people in our group without spending money for most of the trip. My advise would be take US dollars which are widely accepted. Nepalese rupees are also accepted and change travellers cheques at PARO AIRPORT as you cant change them anywhere else easily. There was no problem with using travellers cheques in Nepal.
In case of emergencies it is worth taking a first aid kit which has some steralised needles in it. That way if you need to go to hospital, for what ever reason, you dont need to worry about hygiene.
- Is there anything else you would like to add?
Some people may be put off by the cost of travelling on this trip - once you visit the country you can see the value of trying to keep the numbers of tourists down and although the trip is expensive it wouldnt be anywhere near as enjoyable if thier small population was overwhelmed. Its well worth the money!