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   Footloose Bhutan Client Testimonials

 
   

 

 

Punakha Festival

Let me first say, I’m not tourist… I jokingly tell my guides in all my trips that I am allergic to tourists and want to see how the real people live.   That is what attracted me to Tomas and Footloose was their ability to understand my desire to see how the people of the country I am visiting live, so when I read about here situation/government/voting I have a real feeling about what they are facing.

Not into dramatics but let me say that our trip to Bhutan was beyond expectations as my desires/questions/requests were so honestly met by our guide Numgay that compared to my experience in China and other trips, this was a breath of fresh air.  You are getting the real thing with Footloose travels with no pomp and circumstance…. We visited the festivals treks and if I saw 50 tourists in 2 weeks that was a lot and exactly what I wanted… my interaction with locals from buying basic super glue to repair my camera lens to handicrafts were authentic and honest.   If I wanted to eat locally and not at the hotel restaurant, it was accommodated… very special occasions for us.

So, bottom line, Tomas will with his contacts allow you to dictate what you want to see; no pre- programmed no deviation programs and to me that is so so special….

I can honestly say that my experience in Bhutan was so personally fulfilling that I can’t imagine a better experience as my guide had two ears and one mouth.  His recommendations were fantastic and my desire to visit local schools and out of the way monasteries were honored… how great is that!

Great job Tomas in networking with great people and I cannot say enough about allowing us to enjoy a trip that was dynamic and so fulfilling that my 3500 pics hardly due it justice.

Invest in people.. and Tomas has done his homework and it was a home run.

Thanks

Jack

 

 

Bike and Hike Western Bhutan

 

"In September  of 2011 a group of 10 of our friends completed a most magical, epic and memorable mountain biking trip through Bhutan, arranged by the most efficient, helpful and knowledgeable crew of Footloose Bhutan. Bhutan is a magical place. It is breathtakingly beautiful, quiet, serene, clean, well-organized and unspoilt. What a privilege to experience it on bicycles! We had a back-up truck and a 20 seater bus, with a wonderful on-the-bike guide called YuuDee. YuuDee was passionate and really cared about every single one of us. The drivers were a hoot. Stopping to run behind us and push us physically up the hills! And always at hand with packing bikes, doing maintenance, or just in general anything that needs to get done. I think the care that was taken by each person we dealt with added so much to our experience of the trip. We recommend Footloose Bhutan highly and unreservedly. From pre-trip arrangements and support, to the actual trip itself. Every member of the team was an absolute delight to deal with (Tomas, Tashi and Yuudee). You cannot go wrong. In fact, you can hardly go more right."

Roger Grobler Flickr Bhutan cycling photostream


Elca Grobler (group of 10 from Australia & South Africa)

 

Druk Path Trek

 

Tomas, we had an amazing trip! Everything was perfect. Thank you so much for the wonderful job in putting things together. We will definitely be recommending Footloose Tours to others!

 

Pictures from our Druk Path trek


Cynthia & Ben Wigren

 

 

Cycling Bhutan West to East, Paro to Samdrup Jongkhar & Guwahati, Assam

 

The bike trip was amazing. I couldn't imagine spending all that time in a car and missing out on so much of the Bhutan experience. Being on a bike lets you stop whenever you want, see things a lot closer up, and talk to all the people as you ride by. That being said, the country is primarily mountains, meaning it is all climbing or descending. I hardly remember any flat spots. But the grades were mostly gradual (5-6% on average??), and all climbs were equally rewarded with thrilling descents, especially the day that was a 56-mile descent into the subtropics. Sometimes we climbed for 2 hours or more without a descent. So you need to be physically prepared for that. It's not a leisurely ride through the park unless you quit and get in the truck before reaching the top.

 

We had two guides with us at all times - one who rode also, and one who drove the support truck. They took very good care of us and did whatever they could to make sure we were comfortable, happy, and were treated well at all the hotels. And we never had to carry our bags or load our bikes. If it was too cold in the morning, we would leave late or tour around town for a while. They were always open to doing whatever we wanted to do. All-in-all, it was the bike trip of a lifetime and I wouldn't want to do it any other way.

 

Thanks for all your help. You have great customer service!!
 
Melanie and John

 

 

Complete Bhutan Traverse, Paro to Samdrup Jongkhar & Guwahati, Assam

 

What a memorable trip to Bhutan we had, thanks to Tomas and Footloose.  Tomas was knowledgeable, patient and always responsive to our requests and questions.  Emails went back and forth for almost a year to plan a month’s trip from west to east Bhutan.  Dealing with four independent-minded women and getting them to pull together on the planning was a challenge that he met.


Our guide, Pema, arranged for us to visit schools, see an archery contest and take a hot stone bath.  He also gave us a glimpse into the life of the people by sharing his own experiences.  Budah, our attentive driver, enabled us to to relax and enjoy the mountain scenery as we drove on narrow, winding roads.  He was a great photographer, too.


The lodgings varied from charming, spacious cottages to private homes where we were kept warm by a pot bellied wood burning stove.  We were welcomed by Tashi’s family and shared in their meals.  We had lots of laughs playing volleyball with a pink balloon and their 9 year old.


The Bhutanese people were friendly.  Children gathered round us wanting to have their picture taken.  The monks, too, wanted to have their photos taken and now I have penpals.  The Saga-la trek was an unforgettable experience.  Four New York City senior citizens with little experience, spent three nights camping, at a high altitude!  We were able to enjoy the serenity of the wilderness and did not have to carry more than a day pack.  When the trail became too challenging for us we had ponies to transport us up the steeps.  Thank goodness that they were sure footed.  The cook prepared some of the best meals we had and even surprised us with a cake.  The crew sang some haunting songs and we responded with some oldies from the States.


I am looking forward to having Tomas plan our next adventure while we are still “young”.  Thank you so much, Tomas.
Chezna

 

The month we spent in Bhutan was amazing. Every day was a new adventure. The planning took about a year. First we had to find you on the Internet. We spoke to a number of other agents. None of them seemed right. Then we got to you. after one conversation we knew that this was a match. We knew basically what we wanted to experience. We ran each past you and eventually about 95% of what we wanted was possible.

 

Our three day Saga La trek, sleeping and hiking at very high altitudes (8,000' to 13,000'), riding pack horses and eating unimaginably wonderful food prepared in a tent by what should have been a 4 star chef, made 4 women from New York put their collective fists in the air and say, 'YES.'

 

The extended family we met during our farm house stay have left a lasting impression on us. Our visits with Urgen and Tashi's   family enabled us to get to talk to people we would have otherwise never had a chance to meet. The monks, nuns and children we met in monasteries, nunneries and schools gave us added incite into the culture. The journey to the East was exciting.

 

None of this could have been possible without our guide Pema who was with us every inch of the way explaining philosophy, religion and local customs to us. Our driver, Budah was made us feel totally safe. His skill on the narrow, curving mountain roads was remarkable.

 

What a trip. Again, my thanks to Pema, Budah and to you Tomas. Without the three of you it would not have been possible.

Miki

 

It's been a few weeks since my return and want to let you know what a great and adventurous trip this was to Bhutan.  

 

You arranged a fantastic trip for us.  It covered all our interests, from trekking to getting our walking in most days, to mingling with the people, seeing their way of life, staying at the farm house and lodge.   You were always at the other end of the phone when we had questions.  

Our guide and driver were always interested in our well being first and foremost.  Our driver, Budah was the best driver we could have had.  And also, incidentally, a great photographer.  Pema,  our guide  was very well versed in his culture and had a lot of western experience so really understood our needs.  We met the Tashi of the tour company on the night of our first trek at the campsite.  We visited the owner of the company Ugen who invited us for dinner with his family, and lunch at his father's house.  These experiences made us feel their interest in our good time and a glimpse into the life of the Bhutanese.  All the hotels and lodges were clean and charming.  The service people so willing to help.

 

The food was plentiful and very varied.  Each meal had a large selection of very well prepared food.  Although I am not a vegetarian I didn't at all mind eating mostly vegetables since they were so varied and tastefully cooked.   Some of our best meals were on the Saga-La Trek.  We were astonished at the great food that could be prepared on a camping stove.

 

The highlights for me was the Saga-La Trek, and the stay at the Swan Temple Lodge - the meal they prepared for us, with most of the family cooking some part of the meal.  The cooking of the meal was like a symphony with all instruments well-tuned and harmonious.  I also love staying at the Ugyencholing Lodge.  It was so charming and visiting the village in the morning while all were doing their chores was a high point of the trip.  I enjoyed experiencing the Ura Festival.  Another high point was visiting a small temple that was in the midst of a service to bring the rains.  We were the only outsiders and it was just thrilling to be there at that time.

 

The people were always so open to us wanting to talk to us and include us.  They are so open and warm. On our trek, we saw some women who were carrying huge quantities of wood on their backs to their homes, had put down their load to rest. Yet when one of the women saw me struggling through a muddy, rocky slippery area in the path she gave me her hand to help me through this area. 

 

Experiencing the valleys of the west and the villages high in the mountains of the east because the mountains start at the river's edge was great to see. 

 

One comment I would make about the mules on the trek is that they come only with Bhutanese-style saddles, not proper saddles, with only one or two carpets and just thinly padded. Ouch!

Dolores

 

 

Central Bhutan

Craig Headman with the Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Pema Jyamtsho.

 

The trip was great!!  I was quite happy with your local partner company.  They gave me the best quality hotels, good meals, an excellent vehicle and driver, and a guide who seemingly knows everyone in Bhutan.  My itinerary coincided with some important local events and, with the guide's contacts and persistence, I was admitted to some VIP places.  I met the King, Prime Minister, and other ministers, and was impressed with their friendliness and hospitality.
 
Thanks!!
 
Craig

 

 

Eastern Bhutan, Thimphu Tsechu, Tangbi Mani and Bhumthang Cultural Trek

We already knew Footloose from our trip to Ladakh two years ago and can only confirm that Tomas is the best of all the travel agents we have ever contacted – his knowledge of the countries his company offers is enormous, his quick answers will satisfy even the most impatient of client, and his effort to understand each clients needs and wishes makes Footloose unique. Thank you Tomas !!

Our vacation in magical Bhutan was one if not the most memorable one we have experienced in 25 years of traveling all over the world. It was all we had hoped for, and the arrangements all ran very smoothly, thanks also to our excellent “team”. Our lively senior guide Pema did everything to meet our wishes and was perfect in dealing with the hotels and restaurants. He was very knowledgeable about his country including its history, religion, culture, geography and he was good company too. Our driver, Tsering, who speaks English quite well, was always friendly and very helpful and the car kept in excellent conditions. He drove very carefully and seemed to know each bump of the road by heart. During the long drive on very narrow roads to the very east of the country we never for one moment felt in danger. We could just sit back and enjoy the stunning nature and beautiful landscape.

We also very much appreciated the presence of your Bhutanese partner Tashi while camping in Gangtey – he and his staff made our tent-evening/night in marvelous Phobjikha valley an unforgettable one. We even had a bottle of Beaujolais with our dinner and lots of fun together with Footloose-booked tourists Christine and Ron. Lovely people with whom we became friends during this holiday.

The choice of hotels was perfect and we were positively surprised by the good and extremely kind service and the effort the local owners and employees made to make us feel happy in their establishments. We also were very lucky with the weather and can recommend October for traveling in Bhutan, but in a certain way we regret not to have chosen April, when the rhododendrons are blooming. As for the food, there is not much fantasy in tourist food in Bhutan, but one cannot expect culinary highlights in a country were the population eats big heaps of rice and chili in cheese-sauce and some vegetable most of the time. People who need luxurious hotels and high-class cuisine, simply should not visit Bhutan.

Concerning the religious festivals, we think that one should/can avoid the major ones in Paro and Thimpu, because crowded with tourists , but should definitely include a minor one – what an unforgettable experience.

We enjoyed every moment of our holiday and think that Bhutan is THE trip of a life time – an amazing journey we will never forget.

Thanks again Tomas and Tashi for the perfect organization, who made all this possible.

Warm regards – Christine and Paolo (Strada in Chianti, Italy)

 

Eastern Bhutan

Dear Tomas,

I thought you might like an evaluation from our trip so I wrote up the following paragraphs. We thank you for helping us organize this trip of a lifetime!! We just loved our guide, driver and Tashi - wonderful people!

October 5th

We flew Druk Air to Paro, Bhutan. Our whole trip to Bhutan including this flight and the one from Guwahati back to Delhi was arranged by Tomas at Footloose travels. He was extremely easy to work with and very knowledgeable. He encouraged us to spend the time to drive all the way east which turned out to be a very good experience.

From hectic and polluted Kathmandu, Paro was an amazing contrast with clean air, clean everything. There were many highlights to our trip and we will be doing a dvd so I won't go into too much detail here – just some highlights.

Our guide was Kinley Dorji and our driver's name was Soonam. Kinley was 26 years old and an excellent guide and very helpful person. Soonam didn't speak English but was an excellent driver and seemed very pleasant. They were both helpful beyond any expectations. We grew to really love Kinley and would recommend him with no hesitations. He was knowledgeable, kind, very helpful, calm etc. We felt really lucky as we heard about other guides who were not nearly as good and drivers and guides arguing a lot. Kinley and Soonam seemed to get along very well. We have already had a couple of emails from Kinley and hope to keep in touch. Were we to travel to Bhutan again we would want Kinley for our guide!

Tiger's Nest was spectacular. We took ponies part way which turned out to be a very good idea because it was really quite a long hike. The food half way back down was the best we had in Bhutan (more about the food later)

Even though our accommodations in Thimpu were at an A rated hotel (Hotel Jumolhari), our experience with service there was the worst. Plus the bathroom had a terrible odor even after they cleaned it. And one night at dinner they ran out of food. Thimpu was also crowded and hectic and we didn't much like it there except for the festival. A highlight in Thimpu, however, was being invited to Kinley's family's home and having them dress us in the traditional dress! They are wonderful people and it was great to see how middle class people live

All in all, our time in Bhutan was really wonderful. The accommodations were usually very nice though at times quite basic (Ura was perhaps the most basic but it was still nice and we really enjoyed being there and seeing that small village). Two nights were spent camping and we found it quite cold and the padding for bedding extremely hard. That was in the Probjika valley which was really gorgeous and our experience there was still very enjoyable. Tashi took care of us there and he was very nice and very accommodating. Even when it rained, he was out there in the rain trenching around our tent to divert the water. They provided a cute little shower tent with equipment that we would use to spray weeds that pumps up. They heated some water for us and had a shower head on it and it worked very well.

We especially enjoyed the Punaka Dzong – an amazingly gorgeous dzong. The Kyichu Resort was great and we had a room right by the river – a wonderful spot.

Bumthang was perhaps our favorite spot. We really enjoyed the Wangdicholing guest House with a large room, king bed, sitting area, pot belly stove to keep us warm, and a gorgeous view over the river.

Mongar was not particularly interesting except for the fact that you could really start to see the changes going from west to east – changes in architecture especially since there were more sort of ordinary looking apartment buildings and lots of apartment buildings instead of individual houses.

We enjoyed the visit to Gom Kora and picnic by the river that day. However, the hike up was a bit treacherous with stones, mud, logs over streams etc. In general the hiking paths in Bhutan presented challenges – especially for Ron but Kinley helped him continually to navigate any difficult areas. He was extremely attentive to those needs.

The weaving school in Khaling was especially interesting.

Samdrup Jongkar and the drive into that area was interesting and you could really feel India so close. The hotel there was fine and the drive to Guwahati went well. The contrast between west and east in Bhutan and between Bhutan and India was very interesting.

The countryside in Bhutan is spectacular and that is what we enjoyed the most. The people we met were very intriguing with their happy, simple life-styles. Some things that surprised us were people smoking (though it is banned), the use of plastic bags (though also banned), lots of youth wearing jeans, the availability of goods from India, the amount of dependence the country has on India. The biggest disappointment and source of some discomfort was the monotony of the food. Every meal was a buffet and most of the time the same thing for lunch and dinner and day after day. That proved to be difficult for 17 days. Breakfast when there were eggs helped but as we went east there were no eggs. It would have been nice to order off a menu from time to time.

Chris Saudek and Ron McKelvey

 

 

Bhutan, Sikkim, Nepal

Brigitte Allen and son, Ben, have an audience with Bhutan's Queen, Her Majesty Queen Dorji Wangmo Wangchuk of the Bhutan Royal Family (in the middle).

 

 

Brigitte and Ben Allen with Bhutan's Queen, Her Majesty Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuk of Bhutan Royal Family.

 

Dear Tomas,

 

We are just back from the Himalayan tour you organized for us. On behalf of all of us, I write to thank you for having organized  the tour so thoroughly and thoughtfully. Your staff in Delhi, Darjeeling, and Bhutan were most helpful and the guides you provided us were not only courteous and accommodating but also knowledgeable on local conditions and culture. The cars and drivers were also very safe and cautious- a condition absolutely indispensable for the roads there.  As a result we had a fully satisfactory and productive, as well as memorable, tour of the regions we visited. Thanks for the job well done!

 

Rattan Bhatia 

 

 

Tomas,

My trip to Bhutan was wonderful. All travel things went smoothly, and my experiences in both Bangkok and Bhutan really were memorable.

The trek was everything I had hoped for and more.  Some surprises, but all good ones.  Eva, my trekking partner, and I had much in common and got along beautifully.  All the personnel in Bhutan were top notch.  The camp crew took very good care of us.  The tents were nice and tight, which was good as it rained virtually every night.

The "cultural" tour part of the trip was certainly less intense, and it took me a while to adjust being in a car, guided all the time.  But, whatever my frustration at being somewhat sedentary and "guided" all the time, I saw and learned a tremendous amount.  I missed the second festival in the Bumthang valley as the Monastery changed the date, but in spite of the guide's offer to find a hotel for another night, I'd been there long enough and was ready to see a new location.  It all worked out.  And, no Black Cranes, but I knew all along that was a possibility.   Still got some nice hiking in.  And, I worked it out with my guide to let me go for extensive walks daily.  He just felt a tremendous responsibility for my care, I think.  I had some wonderful spontaneous encounters with local children.  I found the entire country fascinating and am still processing things I think I learned.  The landscape makes me struggle for the vocabulary to describe it it is so vast and remarkable.  The joy and happiness the people exude in spite of not having much income was also something special to experience, and was quite thought provoking.  I heard singing, whistling and all forms of musical expression everywhere.  It really was a most memorable and wonderful experience.

I hope that continued and increased tourism and contact with the West doesn't dramatically change their culture.  It is in some ways odd to be shuffled around with all the other tourists, eating the tourist food, staying in the tourist hotels, but yet I can see where perhaps it helps them protect their culture and private lives.  (And, I am a BIG fan of Chilies and Cheese!) Going on my own, and getting some time to wander around independently helped me to feel like I was getting at least a glimpse of the "real" Bhutan, not just the tourist version of Bhutan.  The locals were very generous in opening their homes to see how they live.

Thank you for your part in putting it all together. I could not be happier with my trip and the Bhutan experience. You and Footloose did a commendable job setting up my trip and itinerary.  And, now that I've been home, checked in with friends and family, had my diet Coke and some Cheez-its, I'm ready to go back!! 

Thank you again for making this amazing trip possible.
Ginny Grossman

 

"Great work, Footloose! In the course of the tour preparation and prior to our departure we must have exchanged some hundred messages and we always had a prompt response - you just don't find that dealing with other companies. Wonderful trip! Thanks agan!"

Michael Denie

 

"Bhutan is truly different than any other Himalayan country. Bhutan functions at its own pace and that's what makes for an exciting trip – opened my mind to things in life I never imagined! Thanks Tomas for the opportunity to see my life differently! To all - do visit Bhutan!"

Clair Berry

 

Hi Tomas,

I want to first say that the trip planning you did for us was superb!  Feel free to use us as a reference.  Everything went as planned except for the flight from Delhi to Bagdogra.  It was late in arriving which caused us to make half of the drive to Phuntsholing in the dark.  Driving in India is a stressful experience, especially after dark.  The driver was in a hurry to get back, which made it worse.  The driver was an Indian side supplied driver, not your Bhutan driver we used after crossing.  The driver in Bhutan was with us during "the ride through Hell" and he even said that the trip was scary! 

Other than getting ill and having to come back early everything went well.  I am still slowly recovering from the respiratory infection.  I hated to pull the plug on the trip when I did but there was no way to think of trekking.  I couldn't even make it through the day without a nap or two.

I want to say your associates in Bhutan did a good job of getting me back from the far east end of Bhutan during high season even though it took us a week to do it.  I understand the issues that came to play.  I have no complaint with them at all.

I will be sure to get in touch with you to discuss my next travel plans.  I don't know where or when it will be other than say next year.

Thanks for everything.

Clarke Otten

 

Tomas,

 

If any of your prospective clients ever want proof of your arranging our wedding ceremony at Tiger's Nest Monastery, have them contact me. Any agent that can pull off an itinerary of Atlanta to Paris to Delhi, then to Kathmandu, tour in Nepal, then to Delhi, tour in India, then to that little border airport in NE India, Bagdogra, then drive into Bhutan, have a wedding ceremony in a remote monastery, then tour the country, extensively,  and then fly Paro, Kathmandu, Delhi, Paris, and home to Atlanta, knows something about being a professional tour agent.

 

Clarke Otten

 

To say that Tomas is a reliable travel planner would be an understatement. He is not only diligent, a perfectionist type, a true professional in what he does, but what separates him from most travel agents is his experience having actually extensively traveled all the destinations. He also possesses practically academic knowledge on cultures and places. As far as I am concerned there is no reason to look for another agent or another agency, Footloose has always delivered for me and I have booked more than one trip with them. I recommend Tomas and Footloose to anyone.

Regards,

 

John Niem

 

Hi Tomas,

Trip was great - thank you very much. I keep thinking of doing up a trip report, but have been quite busy since getting back. I have attached a number of photos - they are all untouched so if you have a photoshop maybe you can make them look better.

Thanks a lot and all the best,

Mike

 

"We had little time to prepare our itinerary, no prior knowledge of destination other than what friends told us and the tour was wonderful, the guide and crew excellent, no problems, all was smooth and pleasant. I recommend Footloose and especially Tomas to anyone."

Anthony Malkin

 

Tomas,

I had some time in Thailand to write and I did want to tell you how I felt about my Bhutan experience. First of all, I thought the hike up to Tiger's Nest monastery was phenomenal. It was the highlight of my entire trip. The monastery was spectacular, and worth the trek. I found the Bhutanese people extremely humble and  proud to show us their country, plus they had wit and intelligence. I was not so sad about missing the Traditional Medicine Hospital, after all we saw that amazing  Teschu. I am not a tour type person so I did not have a lot of expectations. Tomas, overall the trip was a success. I took some colorful photos and met some nice people. I am now in Thailand where it is sweltering hot and flooded, so my memories of Bhutan are even sweeter. Thank you for all your help with our tour. You were always quick to respond and informative.

Best regards,

Andrea

 

"Bhutan, India and Nepal are three of many countries Tomas knows extremely well from his personal travels and so he can truly plan a private trip per one's detailed request - I never understood the meaning of tailor-made tours until now. Thanks Tomas!

Mike Moon

 

"Great trip! This was our first private tour and never again will my husband and I join a group tour. Thanks for everything - we will be back."

Linda McGrath

 

"We highly recommend Tomas / Footloose and their crew in Bhutan! We were impressed with the quick response, attention to detail in planning and the willingness to provide for whatever we asked!"

Denis Truman

 

Hi Tomas,

My trip was perfect, I went in all the places I wanted and I was very happy about both the Sikkim driver and the Bhutan guide.

Thank you for everything, I was very satisfied about your services!

Best regards

Albertina

 

Hi Tomas:

The trip was very good! There are some things both of us would comment on. First of all, the guide and driver were great I would use them again anytime. The 2nd day in Bhutan we were taken up to the Tiger's Nest. I would suggest doing this after a few days in country in order to acclimate to the altitude more. We went up halfway by horse then I walked up the rest of the way and both of us walked down - a very strenuous hike. But I'm glad we went. We were pretty tired out for the next 3 days from this.

The heating in many of the hotels was less than adequate - no heat in the bathrooms was pretty common. In the Phobjika Valley the hotel had NO heat or Electricity and the cranes weren't even there. We should have been told about the lack of heat and given a choice and if the cranes weren't there we should have been given the choice of going elsewhere. The festivals were just great, glad we went there, knowing what I know now we would have liked doing more short walks or treks of 3-4 hours or a day's duration. We did not need to see all the Dzongs in every town; but would have liked more seeing small villages and more contact with local people.

All in all it was a great trip.
 
Regards,
 
Jerry and Myra Schwartz

 

 

"We would not hesitate to travel with Footloose again and recommend them to anyone!" 

Peter Seller

 

"Bhutan was absolutely the most interesting and enjoyable vacation my wife and I have ever taken. The people are wonderful, the monasteries fascinating, but the landscape is stunning."

Judy and Grant D.

 

"From planning to the actual tour all was extremely professional, all we dealt with competent and reliable, and everything on the trip went perfectly. The guide was knowledgeable, cordial and went out of his way to make us content. I recommend Footloose and their Bhutan crew to anyone. " 

Sarah & James Whitman 

 

"We made it back to Germany safe and sound after an interesting and rewarding trip.  Thanks for all your help in making the arrangements.  For the most part, things went pretty smoothly, though in Bhutan Yuki did develop a fever for about 24 hours and I came down with intestinal problems for about 5 days.  The highlights of the trip were awesome and we took many wonderful pictures.

Overall, Bhutan was a very enjoyable, educational, and interesting experience.  The country is stunning and the people are wonderful! Somehow, though, the "tourist" industry in Bhutan needs to make a few minor improvements: The food was exactly the same 2X per day every day. We ran into other tourists with the same observation/complaint.  Perhaps this is truly what the diet is there, but I suspect that what we were getting is standard "tourist" faire which got pretty old after about 7 days. And the hotels are generally substandard...  But don't get me wrong, we were not expecting 5-star luxury by any stretch of the imagination.  

Regarding the value for the money.... I think it is great that much of the cost of the trip goes into development in Bhutan.  So, again, we weren't expecting 5 star luxury, but just a bit better on a few things. But I understand their position.... they already get more tourists than they really want, so why make it better for the ones that do come?

 

I don't want to give you the wrong impression with these complaints.  Overall the trip was great.  But I wanted to share these opinions honestly.  

We will keep you in mind for any future travel plans."

Thanks again,
Drue

 

"Bhutan is pure magic! Thank you, Footloose!"

Rodger Wood

 

"Great work, Footloose! In the course of the tour preparation and prior to our departure we must have exchanged some hundred messages and we always had a prompt response - you just don't find that dealing with other companies. Wonderful trip! Thanks agan!"

Michael Denie

 

"Excellent tour, prepared by extremely competent and knowledgeable people. We highly recommend Footloose Tours if you plan to tour in Bhutan and the Indian Subcontinent!"

Truman Murray

 

Hi Tomas,

 

First.... Tiger's Nest.  When we got there, it had rained earlier and the trail was muddy and slippery.  I went only about 5 minutes when my pony slipped twice and I decided not to go all the way.  Steve decided to go to the cafeteria, but before he got there, 3 ponies in front of his fell.  2 ponies fell directly on their sides and one pony slipped, the rider fell off but still had one foot in the saddle and then was dragged a distance before the pony could be stopped.  At that time, Steve had to walk the rest of the way since it was too hard on the ponies.  Andrea and John walked all the way up and thought it was a little hard but wonderful.  Luckily they had their permit you arranged to get into the monastery.  Other tourists of other operators we met who walked up did not have it and were really disappointed.

Our hotels were fine, but at River View I had to ask for an extra mattress because the bed was like a board.  They gave it to me willingly.

We all took turns sitting in the back of the van.  When we were on the mountain roads, the person in the back got bounced around terribly.  But we've managed nicely.
Mr. Dawa, our driver was exceptionally good! 

The food has been fine and plentiful.

On our way to Punakha valley your head of operations in Bhutan asked to meet us in Timphu and bought us tea.  We enjoyed meeting him and were impressed that he wanted to take the time to meet us!

Overall, everything has been great.  The weather has been mostly clear, everyone we met was friendly, and everything we saw fascinating!

Tomas, we travel all the time.  Of all the travel companies, cruise operators, etc. that I’ve worked with, you have been the best!  Your quick response, your knowledge, and your attention to detail can’t be matched!  I can’t tell you how much I’ve enjoyed planning this trip with you!  I’m hoping to find another trip you can plan for us next year! 

Jill Lipman

 

"The trip was very fascinating, enjoyable as well as eye-opening! A great tour! Although the hotels and food are not worth the rates the Bhutanese have established, Bhutan as a country to visit is wonderful! I can see they really sell the unique culture and the pristine landscape, not the accommodations and dining experience."

Ron and Connie G.

 

"My husband does not care but I love travel brochures and travel catalogues and Footloose did not offer one so I was skeptical. So I called and almost gave up as it took a three or four calls to get through. But once I started talking with Tomas I noticed he had a rare and intimate knowledge about that part of the world. Of course after I had been dealing with him for some time I realized that he was not only well traveled, and basically been allover the world, but is also highly educated with a professional and academic background working in SE Asia and number of other countries. In short, I would never deal with another agent in preparation of our trips. Tomas is what makes Footloose Bhutan tick and they were indeed a great choice for planning our trip!

 

Bhutan is stunning, every inch of it. If you are considering to visit and may be the kind that requires fine hotels and quality food and dining experience accounts for much of your travel expectations, then Bhutan is not for you. Your Bhutan tour and the tariff used can not be measured by the standard of your hotels and meals, not in Bhutan and choice are not many! All tourists pay the required high tariff, some complain; we had to stay in a tent in Jakar as all hotels were full, still paying the same daily rate as those in best hotels ("best" does not really exist) we did not complain as what we saw, the sites, the experience was so enriching."

Kathleen and Harry Stadler

 

"To have our own guide, driver and a very good car (with ample space for our luggage) was, we thought a very good deal. Most of the accommodations selected for us were excellent."

Bob H.

 

 

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