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Getting It Right

Our clients love us! Here's what a few of them have to say about their visit to Bhutan with Yangphel.

I am writing to express my appreciation for a wonderful visit to Bhutan in May. I have traveled extensively throughout the world, having visited more than 50 countries, and I believe that the warmth of the people and the natural beauty in Bhutan are not easily matched. Yangphel did an excellent job with attention to detail. Your team worked to customize my program which was a combination of cultural touring and hiking. While there were some small administrative glitches at the beginning (this is typical when traveling to Inner Asia), they helped to get everything resolved quickly and in a friendly manner.

Bhutan is an extraordinary destination for travelers who wish to see a spiritual side of Inner Asia with interesting and caring people in a safe environment. While it was not "luxurious," it was something which will stay with me for the rest of my life. I greatly look forward to the day when I can return.

Tom Fumarelli

The guide was very well informed. His ability to spontaneously tell a good tale kept us amused. Staff was always very helpful and worked hard to make us comfortable in all locations. The beauty, scenery and the people were all wonderful. The food for the most part was very good, especially enjoyed the fiddle head ferns and local dishes. It was really fascinating to stay in a country home and experience what life is like for a regular Bhutan family.

Diane Stillman
Livingston Montana

Our guide from Yangphel welcomed us through his steady, inviting personality. He is intelligent and was to give talks about the life in Bhutan, religion – a monks life and as a group we talked openly in discussions. He was alert, organized and very aware. Our driver was excellent and we felt safe with him. He has a comfortable personality.

The Bhutan country side is beautiful from the terraced farm fields, mustard and green to the greenery of the mountains. The warmth of the people who live here, their beautiful patterned dresses. I enjoyed the paintings on the houses. I thought the trip from Paro to Thimphu was breathtaking. I enjoyed the hike in Thimphu, through the countryside and a trek to a temple ceremony. Punakha was a great festival filled with color and costumes.I enjoyed dinner with business people in Thimphu. We enjoyed the dances in Paro and the dances by the Paro women.

Mary Ann Polard
Illinois USA

The Deeks family had a wonderful week exploring Bhutan with Yangphel this spring (2002). The trip was well organized and it represented an unusual opportunity to experience geography, religion and culture very different from our own. You played a key role in the enjoyment of our journey by being incredibly flexible, looking after all our needs and by tailoring the trip to meet our interests. You worked tirelessly on our behalf to find items we wanted to bring home and in researching special local events that were not on the scheduled itinerary. Winning a darts game at the school fete, joining the pilgrims for butter tea at the retreat in Thimphu, dining at your home and sitting with the director at teachers' day at the college were experiences we will never forget. We highly recommend you and your company to other prospective Bhutan visitors.

Best Regards,
Peter Deeks

I write to thank you and your staff for the extraordinary program arranged, organized and carried out by the staff at Yangphel for our students from Hiram College in April and May. Every aspect of our program exceeded our already high expectations.

In planning our study abroad program I wish to especially thank you, Karma Choden and Garab Dorji for crafting an itinerary that maximized the potential for student learning. Our course, "Finding Order In Nature - An Examination of the Natural History of the Himalaya" depended on student interaction with both natural environments and local people who could help us to learn about traditional lifestyles that have been sustainable for centuries. The program was a perfect mixture of natural, pastoral and urban settings allowing students to record firsthand their own impressions. Your suggestions to visit the farming communities in Bumtang and the monastic community in Gangtey worked especially well in carrying out the objectives of the course.

The success of the program, however, hinged on the ability to balance a rigorous academic program incorporating lectures, discussions, readings and tours with direct contact with the people, institutions and natural environments of Bhutan. I wish to thank your staff, especially Sha Phurba Dorji, who so capably adapted the normal tourist agenda to an academic one. Having directed over 15 programs in seven countries, I appreciated the flexibility shown by everyone on your staff, flexibility that allowed us to get the most out of the unplanned and unexpected. Excerpts from student journals show that they were deeply moved by their Bhutan experience as they were forced to change their views and attitudes through finding order in their own lives as they were confronted with a landscape and way of life radically different from their own. My role as an educator is to get students thinking critically on all subjects so that they will make informed decisions in the uncertain world that faces them. Their journals demonstrate that our program forced them to do exactly that, and I thank you and your staff for not only taking our educational program seriously, but for helping me to carry it out fully.

All of us on the program wish to thank each and every member of your staff who labored so hard to bring us the comforts of home while far away from home. The food was varied and excellent: our students learned to love the Bhutanese dishes the most. The accommodations were excellent not only in the fine hotels, but especially in the camps. The lavishness of the experience provided by your staff in Ura was totally unexpected. We felt deeply honored that you went to such extremes to make our experience so memorable. The camp provided a perfect "natural lab" where students had time and space for completing academic work while experiencing centuries old traditions at the festival. My own experience is that good food and good housing a good program make. Excellent food and excellent housing allowed the educational aspect of the program to flow unimpeded by details normally associated with travel. I thank all of you for making the living aspects of our programs singularly irreproachable in all respects.

Last but not least I give an especial personal thanks to the way that staff members helped all of us with health issues throughout the trip; dividing our trek into two groups as we experienced illness on our way to Jhomolhari helped everyone to come back from Bhutan with only good impressions. My own unexpected encounter with cardiac surgery just six days before we departed from the States, left me much more tired and exhausted than I was willing to admit until I returned home. I thank all of you for treating our students so well, and leave my deeply felt sense of gratitude with you all for being so willing to work with me in spite of my slowed down state, as a result bringing about an extraordinary learning experience for our students. I am very grateful to Phurba for keeping the academic program in motion on the trek, in spite of my leaving with students. Journals from that time demonstrate that students continued to participate fully in the academic program thanks to his guidance.

It is the wish of each and every one of our students, and my wish especially that this be just the first Hiram educational program in Bhutan. If you would like me to speak personally to other groups planning a tour, I would be more than happy to do so. I have many good pictures that I can send by e-mail if you would like to use any of them for your advertising. I would also be happy to write up something about educational tours should you wish such a piece. I have already written the cover article for Hiram's next alumni magazine, highlighting the educational aspects of the program and would be happy to share this with you.

With many thanks and best wishes for your success in the present and a bright future we hope in working with you again, I remain

Sincerely yours,
Dennis J. Taylor

We cannot thank Yangphel enough for an amazing experience in Bhutan. The itinerary was well thought out and was continually adapted during our trip based on our personal interests. At the last minute, Yangphel was even able to organize tickets to Professor Thurman’s lecture. Every detail of the trip was planned and handled flawlessly by Yangphel but what really makes them stand apart is their ability to tailor the trip and adapt at a moment’s notice. It is truly an experience customized for each individual traveler.

The guide was professional and extremely knowledgeable – we learned an immense about the country and culture. He did everything to ensure that our trip was memorable. Despite having travelled an immense amount, this trip to Bhutan stands out as one of the best trips I have ever taken and it is entirely due to Yangphel. On my next trip to Bhutan, I wouldn’t even consider travelling with any other agency and I would without hesitation recommend Yangphel to anyone. It was truly the trip of a lifetime.


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