TESTIMONIALS AND REFERENCES

When arranging your holiday to Bhutan the tourism policy of Bhutan entails quite a bit of formalities especially in having to make advance payments. This may make you apprehensive. Therefore the team at Bhutan Gayul Tours would like to ensure that you feel confident dealing with us right from the start of planning your holiday. In order to overcome any anxiety we provide a list of references of our past clients and associates who will be glad to provide you with further assurances. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with them.

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Dave and I have both visited Bhutan several times since Dave’s first official visit in 2001. Our journeys across Bhutan have provided us with wonderful experiences, cherished memories, strong friendships and a reasonable knowledge of Bhutan’s natural and cultural heritage. We strongly recommend that you immerse yourself in Bhutan at least once in your lifetime. It is an experience not to be missed.

We have been associated with Bhutan Gayul Company for many years and we know that, with their impeccable attention to detail, typical Bhutanese caring nature and their patient, happy personality will arrange every aspect of your holiday to ensure that your experience exceeds your wildest expectations. However, we understand that booking a holiday in a far-a-way place, such as Bhutan, can be daunting so please email or phone us if you would like to discuss any aspect of traveling in Bhutan with Gayul Tours.

Dave and Pat Darlington (retirees from Kosciuszko National Park, NSW) Jindabyne, NSW 2627, Australia

Telephone (02) 64562046, Mobile 0409562046/0429486341

Email: pdarlo@hotmail.com or ddarlo@live.com  

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We have had the holiday of a lifetime! As Tim Fisher says “If there is one place in the world you must see before you die- it is Bhutan” He is correct. As a group of 11, aged 57-75, we have just spent 16 very special days in a wonderful land. The generous efforts of our tour company were beyond our expectations. They took us to their ancestral home/farm following a welcoming picnic in their forest and produced a magnificent farewell night of music and dance at a village resort! Nothing was too difficult for them, we were nurtured. As ‘older adventurers”, they cleverly tested our ability on harder walks (5 hour grade 8 I felt) having an alternative if necessary. They were most attentive and caring as they led us to 4,500m for 2 hours, followed by a descent over flower covered meadows, through 10m rhododendron forests emerging at an exotic cluster of buildings perched on a sheer cliff-a nunnery. All the walks we did led to somewhere wonderful. The landscape is breathtaking. Snowcapped mountains, above 7,000m, passes between the valleys smothered in prayer flags-so the wind will spread the words of Buddha. The conifer covered 2000m valleys, reaching down to surging.rivers, waterfalls tumbling through huge ferns, prayer wheels beneath them. Mosaics of golden ripening rice paddies, terracotta buck wheat fields, oxen ploughed areas, orchards and bright red chillies drying on roof tops. The flora is extraordinary-from dwarf rhododendrons and edelweiss to huge hemlocks and silver firs.

We all had such a happy time. The culture, the festivals with music and dance, the colour, the flora, the topography and the friendly, happy people who so love their king and their country will stay with us for ever. I did not hear a child cry or whinge!! I respect this rapidly developing country, now a democracy, its enthusiasm and eagerness to educate its people, its gender equality and above all its happiness!

Thank you Bhutan. Thank you Bhutan Gayul.

Judy and Andrew Hansen
98 Spurway lane, Orange NSW 2800, Australia
Telephone: 02-63653232, 0428635455 (m)   Email: judithhansem@bigpond.com 

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“Through Bhutan Gayul we traveled with guides Dorje and Tashi for 10 days in October 2009. It was a superb, trouble free time that involved visits to Dzongs and monastries, good, clean, comfortable accommodation, great food and wonderful treks.

Bhutan is unique and beautiful. Our local host, ensured that we grasped its magnificence. We walked through birch, oak and rhododendron forests, stayed by wild rivers and walked at 16000 feet with expansive views of the Himalayas . Morning tea, lugged up by the guides, at that altitude was very welcomed as was the constant help, encouragement and kindness of the guides. But importantly we also were able to glimpse into the Bhutanese lifestyle with visits to homes and frank, open discussions about politics, economics and the history of Bhutan. Bhutan’s altitude can be challenging but we acclimatised over two days and were assured that if we had any difficulties the team from Bhutan Gayul knew exactly what to do.

What was truly impressive about our local host, Bhutan Gayul was their flexibility. If we had seen enough Dzongs and preferred to trek, then trek we did. If we wanted to end the day early and just lay about reading in the sun or have a beer, then they ensured we were able to do that.

In short, the team of Bhutan Gayul Tours ensured we had a holiday rather than a tour. Thank you all.”

Stephen Wyatt – China Correspondent – Australian Financial Review
Colleen Ryan – China Correspondent – Australian Financial Review

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“Gayul is an Excellent Tour organisation with variety of activities to suit everyone with emphasis on culture, music and dance”.

David Roy Rees
Melbourne, Victoria

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Our family of 5, aged between 28-63 have just spent a very memorable 10days in unique Bhutan.

Beautiful country,happy,warm and friendly people. We were indeed impressed with the team from Bhutan Gayul. They had truly made our experience with the country, the culture, the festival, the children etc etc.most rewarding.

We understand that Bhutan is undergoing rapid change, however we hope that it will forever retain their GROSS NATIONAL HAPPINESS.

Thank you Gayul Tours and your team, especially enabling us to glimpse into the Bhutanese lifestyle with visit to your home and the extraordinary farewell night of music and dance.

For anyone with thoughts or doubts of visiting this little gem of a country, please do not hesitate to contact:

Caroline Ng caroline.ng@raywhitecitysouth.com.au or Kenneth Ng

Director
Ray White City South
Direct line: 612 9289 8903

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Our trip, organized through Bhutan Gayul (Land of Happiness) Tours, and the website, www.bhutangayul.com, was in all respects a huge success. During our 18 days in Bhutan (16 Oct – 2 Nov, 2010) we travelled across more than half the country visiting temples and dzongs, viewing historic monuments, stunning landscapes and beautiful villages and meeting the wonderful people of Bhutan. We saw weaving, paper making, thangka painting, archery and darts competitions in Thimpu, the festival in Bhumtang and the Black Necked Cranes in Phobjika.
Transport and guiding was of the highest order and the accommodation and meals of a consistently high standard. During our 5 day Druk Path trek we climbed to over 4,000m and challenged ourselves in a way that was exhilarating and were rewarded with a huge sense of achievement, and stunning views of the high Himalayas. We cannot thank the company enough for the great organizational skills of the team which ensured complete success of our holiday.
Should anyone need any further assurance of the company or advise on your travel holiday to Bhutan please do feel free to contact us.
Regards,
Julie and Philip Small, Sydney, Australia
Email: philipsmall44@hotmail.com, Telephone (02) 93995851

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March 15-31, 2010.

What a wonderful trip! Two and a half weeks we’ll never forget, exploring a remarkable country. From the early days of planning our trip, through the memorable adventure, to the final farewells, the Bhutan Gayul Tours team could not be faulted.

They made sure that our holiday in Bhutan was exactly what we had hoped for – we walked through spectacular landscapes, visited ancient Dzongs and World Heritage sites, enjoyed traditional Festivals, met welcoming friendly people and learned about the ancient culture. Our guide and driver were excellent, never hurrying us when we wanted to take time to paint or photograph or just sit and gaze at the stunning scenery. The accommodation was always very comfortable and the meals were delicious! By the end of the trip we felt that we had good friends in Bhutan. Thank you to the wonderful team of Bhutan Gayul.

Where are we travelling in 2011? Back to Bhutan for more happiness and friendship, on another of Bhutan Gayul’s magical tours!

If you would like to contact us with any questions about our trip or Bhutan Gayul Tours we would be very happy to share our experiences with you.

Audrey & Adrian Young, Canberra

audnaid@gmail.com (02) 62952723

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April 2011 – group of 18

It was an excellent tour and I saw and learnt so many things that will change the way I look at the world from now on. Our guides and drivers were excellent at their jobs and made us feel very welcome and comfortable to be in your great country. They were very friendly and went out of their way to help us at every opportunity. The accommodation and food were also top rate.

Your itinerary was excellent and I appreciate all the work that you put in beforehand, organising visas, making bookings and preparing excellent notes for us. My only regret was that I wasn’t able to stay longer. Dinner with host family too was special – hope to meet again.

Bhutan Gayul team – Thank you for such a wonderful experience. Tashi Delek!

For those planning a trip to Bhutan you are most welcome to contact me for suggestions.

Mary-Anne Lattimore

Leeton, NSW, Australia

Telephone 61-2- 6953 3478 (home) mobile +61 402 235855

Email – mlattimore@bigpond.com

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18 days of extra fun and happiness in Bhutan, October 2011

Yet another wonderful trip.We thoroughly enjoyed our repeat visit to Bhutan this time with our friends and exploring new places in the east. The team at Bhutan Gayul were there at all times to take care of all our needs with their personalized services to make sure that we experienced the best.

Thank you. Audrey & Adrian Young, Canberra

audnaid@gmail.com (02) 62952723

We were extremely glad to finally get to visit Bhutan with our friends Adrian and Audrey. All our expectations were met. The team at Bhutan Gayul could hardly have done more to ensure we had a holiday every bit as memorable as we’d hoped.

Philip & Barbara Marriage, United Kingdom

philip.marriage@sizzel.net

Tel 01603 474482 Mobile 0780 775 1755

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April 2014, four Australian friends.

We had a wonderful 12 days with the tour company, magnificently assisted by our guide, Kesang, and our driver, Tshering. Every day brought a new and interesting offering, and we couldn’t have been happier with the experience.

All those concerned demonstrated absolute professionalism as well as flexibility, and our needs were catered to at all times. Whether it was sightseeing or trekking we couldn’t have asked for better service.

Trish Lowe from Melbourne.

trishmlowe@gmail.com

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Dear Friends at Gayul (Happiness) Tours

kuzu zangpo la!

This is just a quick note to say how much we enjoyed our visit. Thanks to your wonderful organisation, everything exceeded all our expectations and our visit to Bhutan was not just deeply enriching, but might I say, a life-changing experience. Our guide could not have been more helpful and kind. The driver was wonderful- very careful and courteous on even the most challenging roads. We were very happy with all our accommodation. We really appreciated your personal touch too. Can’t wait to come back one day!

McComas Taylor – McComas.Taylor@anu.edu.au

Head, Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies, CHL, CAP
The Australian National University. Tel. + 61 2 6125 3179

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Our group of four from Port Macquarie Australia spent 10 days in Bhutan in March 2016. We travelled with Gayul tours and Karma, the owner, discussed our interests and designed a personalized trip for us. Everything was perfect, food delicious, accommodation beautiful, guide enthusiastic and knowledgeable, driver skilled and professional.  We had some very personal contacts with a meal in an urban environment and one in a farm house. We exhausted our camera battery every day as all we saw warranted plenty of photographs. When you learn about “Divine Mad Man” and see his representations you will exhaust two camera batteries! Bhutan is rich in culture and has a beautiful natural environment. Our ten day trip went as if it was one and karma made sure we had an amazing unforgettable experience.  Thank you Karma and team.

Jenny Croft (retired teacher) crofty57@tpg.com.au

Greg Croft ( retired NPWS ranger)
Leanne Wilkinson teacher
Dan McGlaughlan (retired teacher)

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From the moment we arrived to when we sadly had to leave Bhutan, we experienced the warm hospitality and expert guidance of Bhutan Gayul Tours. 

Our itinerary was varied and tailored to our interests, taking us to fascinating cultural sites and events and to areas of outstanding natural beauty. The accommodation was very homely and comfortable. All travel arrangements to and within Bhutan were made by Bhutan Gayul with minimum effort needed from us – a luxury!

Our driver Tsering and our guide Jigme were both wonderful and caring. Jigme is a very knowledgeable guide and a lot of fun! 

Bhutan is such a beautiful country and its people are gentle, warm and welcoming. Trekking was the highlight of our tour and the trek team looked after us so well and we have many magical memories of their company around the camp fire and experiencing Bhutan is this wonderful way. I can highly recommend visiting this rare and unspoiled country and choosing Bhutan Gayul to be your hosts and guides.’

Hilary Davies – Coffs Harbour, NSW, Australia. hilaryskdavies@gmail.com

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Our group of 5 had a great pleasure visiting Bhutan for two weeks

All we can say is “Astonishing, amazing and astounding. Huge hugs to all the team of Bhutan Gayul Tours!  The personal access to the real lives of everyday people was incredibly special. Home-cooked meals, a baby shower, traditional medicine and monastic insights….we absolutely stepped off the tourist trail!”.

Jo Thorpe, Tura Beach, NSW (jo.thorpe@fnfc.com.au)

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My third visit to Bhutan and as expected it was yet another fantastic trip for my group. Thanks Karma again for all your kindness and hospitality in Bhutan as well as organizing one of the best trips I have ever had with Tshering and Jigme – they were absolutely fantastic and we all still think about all their stories and the magic they and you showed us!

I will be back!!

Jean Watson (jean_watson@hotmail.com) October, 2017.

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In June 2018 I travelled with my tour group from Germany with Bhutan Gayul Tours and everyone was very excited. The trip was super organized, extra requests were always observed and even fulfilled. Our guide Ugyen has accompanied us on our spiritual journey very well and made many things understandable – the deeper meaning of mask dances, for example. If he did not know something, he immediately googled and inquired. He was very attentive, did not always tell too much and yet always exactly the right thing. We also liked the hotels very much – from family style to classy and with breathtaking views. All travelers are deeply touched by the journey and their experiences. Thank you very much! Daniela danielawolf9@gmx.net

www.kraftorte-in-indien.de
www.heilkraft-der-mantren.de

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This spring I did a long and languid exploration of Bhutan over the course of 43 days. Several years ago I embarked on a writing project using poetry as a vehicle to explore the nature of reality, creation, and consciousness. I examined traditions in thought, philosophy, and religion. While I am not Buddhist, many of my personal beliefs are remarkably congruent with Buddhist thought. I felt compelled to journey to the one place on Earth that embodies the Buddha with the most profound purity. I had to visit Bhutan.

My visit to Bhutan was a profound experience and I feel blessed to have had this opportunity. Bhutan has subtly altered my perception of reality. I am woven into the fabric of Bhutan; it is part of me and I am part of it. I am eternally grateful to Bhutan and its people. Thank you. It is said that in times of great need a tertön will appear and reveal a great treasure to heal the world, to turn the world onto the right path. Perhaps Bhutan is that sacred treasure. …I am back home again and while unpacking I notice a tiny faded blue thread clinging to my fleece. I remove it and look at it speculatively, and suddenly realize what it is, a tiny fragment of a prayer flag, a blessing carried on the wind. I take it outside, place it in the palm of my hand, raise it above my head and wait until it lifts into the sky to drift away in the purling air.   

Chuck Reed, June, 2018. reedcf@wvstateu.edu

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In October 2017, I was fortunate enough to visit Bhutan for 26 days. This had been my lifetime ambition, to travel to the Kingdom and experience the Laya Mountain festival and Snow Leopard Festival at Jomolhari.  As a teenager I had seen a magazine with photos of the women in their various hats and stunning turquoise and coral jewels. The traditional dress intrigued and piqued my interest, later becoming a fabric designer and jeweller myself. The cultural, trekking and adventure itinerary that Bhutan Gayul Tours provided totally satisfied my every requirement as an independent traveller. Every aspect of the tour was organised efficiently. My accommodation a mix of hotel, lodge, tent and homestay suited my style of travel. My young guide, Karma was respectful and was there to help every step of the way over the high passes of the Himalayas, alert to my safety but giving me room to explore, whilst pointing out various birds as we walked and talked on the trail. Traditional songs sung to keep our spirits souring over the passes as we went along our way. We became firm friends and he accompanied me on my return visit. The trekking team of horsemen and cooks were obliging and offered miraculous picnics in the alpine meadows, accommodating my vegetarian diet. Our driver, safe and confident. It was a trip of a lifetime in a timeless, magical place, visiting Dzongs and villages, experiencing traditional Buddhist life side by side with modern progress. I was mesmerised by the generosity and stunning beauty of the land and its people, the colourful prayer flags against a snow capped peak, the whispers of Buddhist chants on the wind.

In June 2018, I returned to Central and East Bhutan for 14 days. Once again Bhutan Gayul Tours organised my visa, flights and itinerary. Although it was the wet season, the unspoilt, mist shrouded passes brought an ethereal quality to the rhododendron forested mountains, carpeted in flowers including the blue poppy.  The low season allowed me to feel honoured and blessed, as I was often the only visitor to the traditional villages, welcomed warmly to the kitchen to sit and share stories or beckoned by the monks to join in a Buddhist ceremony.  I didn’t want to leave.

I hope to return to Bhutan to continue exploring this Himalayan Kingdom full of ancient magic and mysteries.  I will be asking the team of Bhutan Gayul Tours once again to provide their knowledge and professionalism in developing a custom tour.

 The stars really are closer in Bhutan. 

Dawn Wilson, Australia. (adawndesign@hotmail.com)