Visiting Bhutan had been a dream for a long time, and you definitely helped that dream to become true. You cared a lot about the way I wanted to travel and definitely fulfilled my wishes. Moreover you provided the most lovely guide (who was a really awesome photographer and thanks to him I have really neat pictures of my journey to bhutan) and driver. Both of them were always doing there best to make my trip exactly as I wanted, and I had great fun with them.I also found really sweet that you both called to check up on me while I was on road, to make sure everything was perfect. And I must definitely say that after the really long e-mail conversations we had to plan my trip, I was thrilled to finally meet you in person.
Thank you for everything.
A week in a fairy tale – unforgettable!
Bhutan is a must-see country if you have seen many and would like a totally different experience. It is a country with history, strong traditions and breath-taking scenery. There are no traffic lights, no buildings higher than 5 floors and no international fast food chains – so refreshing! Traditional clothes are worn by local people because it’s a part of their culture, not to impress tourists, and actually, there are not many tourists in Bhutan . Ancient legends live in modern day life and are part of peoples’ every day existence. Having spent a few days there I had a feeling that the fairy tale does exist, contrary to what we’ve been told when we were kids!
When we landed in Paro, our hosts, Jamie and Ugyen, the owners of Butan Your Way, met us personally at the airport, handed over a “welcome pack” – a beautifully crafted folder with all the necessary paperwork and itinerary (which we’ve agreed upon with Jamie beforehand) and a mobile phone with a local sim card, so we could be in touch with them and the rest of the world. Our personal driver and an English-speaking guide were waiting nearby and Jamie and Ugyen introduced us to them and wished us all a nice trip, as our first destination was Thimpu.
I would not go into details about the trip and the places we’ve visited, I would rather whoever reads this, experience it yourself, but I would like to mention that the trip was perfectly organized, we were so well looked after! We even got a bottle of local wine (tasted like Japanese sake, to my opinion), another present from Jamie and Ugyen. Jamie and I were in touch all the way through our journey, we made a few amendments to the trip, which was absolutely fine by our hosts and all our special requirements (in terms of food, for instance, if we liked some local restaurant, we could always ask to go back there) were taken care of.
The guide, as well as the driver were very courteous and attentive to details. We had a lot of laughs throughout the journey. The car was in perfect condition, a 4-wheel, almost brand new, very comfy. We also had a choice where to stay, and as we didn’t know what to expect, we relied on our hosts’ judgement. We had no complaints about places we’ve stayed in, and a special comment should be made about the place we’ve stayed in while in Paro, it was magnificent, a former residence of the queen turned into a hotel!
Highlights of the trip? Seeing this amazing country, having Jamie and Ugyen as hosts and… meeting Bhutanese Minister of Health on our way down from Taktshang monastery.
An couple of advices? Go to a karaoke club with your guide and driver in the evening, you’ll see some amazing performances. Walk the streets at night, you’ll meet some friendly locals (all of them speak English) and don’t forget to learn a few words in Dzongkha, always helps!
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
I expect some day to be able to go back to Bhutan and not only for the beautiful landscapes and tranquility that offers this wonderful country, but also because we left there intimate friends. Thank you Jamie and Ugyen.
I would like to thank you for a most lovely and memorable experience in Bhutan. Sorry for the late e-mail. However, I was busy trying to catch up with my work after my vacation. Coming back to reality was not easy.
You are one of the few tour companies that provides a level of personable service that I didn’t expect. I’ve travelled to 39 countries so far, and I’ve never encountered a service that provides a cell phone and a bottle of wine for their clients to use. What a novel idea. I also remembered that your husband met me at the airport upon my arrival because the original guide you picked for me was sick from a cold, and you didn’t want me to catch the flu. How thoughtful.
I paritcularly like the flexibility that your company provides. During my visit, the festival at Bumthang was changed at the last minute to be one day later than was scheduled. I would have missed it because I was scheduled to be back in Thimphu that day. I asked my guide, Kuenga, to see if I could stay in Jakar one extra day so as to not miss the festival. He called your husband, and everything was arranged. The Bumthang Festival was one of my highlights. I remembered that we went to the Jakar Dzong that morning to receive the blessing from the lamas and then drove out to the monastery to see the fire blessing ceremony and the religious dancing by the monks for the rest of the day. It would have been unfortunate if I had missed it.
If I have the opportunity to come to Bhutan again, I’ll use your service again. If I have friends who want to come to Bhutan, I’ll definitely remember your company.
San Francisco, CA – USA
Jamie and Ugyen,
I’ve been a little spacey but have finally pulled through the magic curtain and wanted to share a couple of things with you.
Firstly, thank you for making our visit to Bhutan an outstanding experience. And I truly mean outstanding. It could not have been more magical. It all came together with wonder. And then again there is the unexpected comedy tour. Ugyen, you are one of the funniest guys I know. How many guys do I know who can talk about your very distinct Buddhism, House, NCIS, Guns n’ Roses, The Eagles, 50 Cent, snooker, TV madness, India, etc.
You were both such a treat. Pat and I feel as though we have known you a long time. You guys are so good at what you do. And you both have carved an indelible part in my heart.
Once again, thanks for making our visit so special. Wonder, blessings, and new friends. What more can one ask?
Ralph Pine & Patricia MacKay
Los Angeles, CA – USA
As a member of a group who used Bhutan Your Way to set up an eight day excursion through Bhutan, I can highly recommend the travel agency for anyone who wants to visit that fascinating Himalayan country. Jamie Vaughan, the owner and manager of the agency, was always prompt and professional when answering our initial inquiries and follow-up questions, and making all the necessary preparations and plans for the trip. Once we got to Bhutan, she and her husband, Ugyen, were friendly and informative hosts, greeting us with traditional scarves and ensuring that we had everything we needed for our van ride, such as water, snacks, and cell phones, and arranging to meet us for banquets and shows. Our conscientious guide, Kuenga, knew just about everything there was to know about Bhutan and proceeded to fill us in; we nicknamed the reliable driver, Puba, “Pooh Bear” because he was as playful. Between the four of them we felt well taken care of, and had a most enjoyable and comfortable experience in Bhutan.
Jane Newby, Alan Blank, Judy Sinnott, Dale Scott, & Steven Stankiewicz
From all over the USA, living and working in Hangzhou, China
Dear Jamie & Ugyen,
We greatly enjoyed our visit to Bhutan and were impressed with your service and planning. We wished we had more time to enjoy Bhutan and its scenery. The people of Bhutan are adorable and your staff was excellent. I cannot forget that on my trip to Tiger’s Nest Monastery, both of them walked with me, holding my hand and guarding me while I was going downstairs–over hundreds of steps. I had given up on seeing the monastery but their help made it possible. It is one of the wonders of the world, in my opinion. I have been telling my friends about your excellent service and some of them may contact you on their future trips to Bhutan. Hope to see you again some day, with our best regards,
Sunnyvale, CA – USA
When it comes to travel in Bhutan, the number of choices can be confusing. But I can unreservedly recommend Bhutan Your Way for those who love the options but also want expert guidance. As a first time visitor, Bhutan Your Way structured my tour to truly exploit all the special opportunities during my 10 days there (I went during Coronation). At the same time, it was flexible enough to allow me to design my own detailed itinerary. My guide Pema and driver Khandu were fantastic! Though I was the sole traveler, it felt like a road trip with old friends. And Jamie and Ugyen…they really take care of you!
I’m already looking forward to my next Bhutan voyage with Bhutan Your Way.
Hong Kong, China
For a long time I had longed to trek in the Himalayas and to visit Bhutan. Jamie Vaughan and Ugyen Dorji have made it possible in a perfect way. From the first contact to the day I crossed the border out of the country, they have been eager to understand my expectations and to constantly take great care, always providing precious advice and suggestions. I decided to make a long trip in the country with an eight days trek and a drive eastwards towards Assam (in India). For the whole itinerary, they used their precise knowledge of this beautiful country, be it sights, hotels and guest houses, travel time, events, …, and readiness to cope – successfully- with the unexpected. They had also selected a very good guide as well as good and careful driver. Therefore my trip to Bhutan has been one of the best among the many I made around the world.
A few months ago we decided to visit Bhutan. We did not find a local agency to arrange our trip according to our wishes, so we opted for a local tour agency in Bhutan. Via the internet we found Bhutanyourway and they arranged everything according to our wishes. We could only travel in a limited time of 14 days and Jamie of Bhutanyourway gave us lots of flight and travel options e.g. flying in or entering via Phuentsholing or flying in and leaving over land. We wanted to see al least one festival, so the whole trip was built up around the festival. It only took us some e-mails that were promptly answered to make a tailor-made trip.
Once in Bhutan we had a very knowledgeable guide Pema, who was also a professional photographer and gave us many tips on how to and where to make the best pictures. Our guide Pema knew lots of local people, so we spoke to lots of locals. We also had a very safe driver, which is very nice considering the narrow roads, the cows on the road and the steep precipices. On contrary to what the Bhutan Lonely Planet guide said the payment was no hassle and was easily done.
Our guide took us to lots of local bars and restaurants, and always tried to fulfill our wishes to see the other Bhutan. So in the end we were really happy with our choice for a local travel agency and can sincerely recommend Bhutanyourway.
Peter Breuer & Jolanda Baardman
Naarden, The Netherlands
Seeing the country with Bhutan Your Way was a fantastic experience. They lived up to their name, allowing me to have a flexible itinerary throughout the week. My guide was very professional, and he saw to every detail at hotels, restaurants, and sights. He made me feel very comfortable to speak up about my preferences, and also to make lots of stops for photos! Jamie and Ugyen are wonderful, warm people. I highly recommend Bhutan Your Way!
New York City, NY USA
Dear Jamie and Ugyen….
I can’t thank you enough for arranging and managing my trip in Bhutan. Your driver and guide were excellent, polite, helpful and, most importantly, agreeable to “anything” that I wished to see or do.It was a delight to meet you and your husband. I appreciate that you personally met me at the airport upon my arrival and made the time to have a dinner with me prior to my departure into the interior of Bhutan.
I was particularly pleased that in “mid-trip” that you went to the extra efforts to extend my visa so I could continue further across Bhutan.Thanks again for the wonderful look at your country.
Aspen, Colorado, USA
I just got back from 8 days in Bhutan and loved it. I flew into Paro, went to Thimpu, then Bumthang and back to Paro. The trip and the country was great, and I would recommend it for all. I went alone, and as such paid a bit more per day ($240) but it was worth having both a car driver and guide for that price. Ugyen Dorji and his wife Jamie are the owners of this tour agency. Jamie is an American who also helps in booking and advice. Of course all of them spoke good English.
Each day I decided exactly what I wanted to do, and where to go and did just that. I cannot recommend enough this method, and this tour agency. They were outstanding. They also love to work with small groups. I want to go back.
Let me say I am not related in anyway to these folks, and didn’t know of them until my trip. But I could not have picked a better group of folks to work with.
Atlanta, Georgia, USA
From the first emails to the farewell hugs and handshakes at the airport Jamie and Ugyens’ services were exceptional. They worked tirelessly to personalize my trip and meet my expectations every step of the way. Because of them I saw a side of Bhutan that would seem impossible to experience on a big package tour.
Bhutan is a country of beautiful places and beautiful people. It’s one of those rare places that not only holds on to traditions but lives them daily. Yet it’s also a country in step with the modern world. I’d recommend it to anyone to go and experience Bhutan for themselves. As would I recommend “Bhutan Your Way” with full confidence that they’ll do everything in their power to ensure your satisfaction. As I told them, they filled my heart with the Spirit of Bhutan and for that I’m forever grateful. My only regret is not having enough time to enjoy such an amazing place.
Thanks again Jamie and Ugyen!
Newtown, CT, USA
Dear Jamie and Ugyen!
Visiting Bhutan for me was an unforgettable life journey and your warm welcoming, proficiency and, above all, enthusiasm to share your fascination and love towards the country was priceless!
Thank you both so much for enabling me to experience the energy and peacefulness of this magical place, the people’s friendliness and witty sense of humor, the traditional (earth) stone bath under the open sky, excellent food (shamu datse!) and breathtaking views and scenery!
Traveling through this miraculous country from West to East for me was continuous reminder that happiness is in a small and simple things and I still cherish those feelings of calmness, content and blissfulness this experience brought to me and made this journey so precious.
You can expect some more of my friends coming and experiencing Bhutan with you! And as for me, well, I will for sure come back, so please, prepare suja and zao!
Dear Jamie and Ugyen,
I will be talking about the trip you put together forever. It was an awesome adventure. Not only were the tours, hiking and sight seeing the best, but you even ordered the best weather!!
Thank you sooooo much for arranging a once in a lifetime adventure. I have been encouraging several friends to contact you to see Bhutan “Your” Way!
Thanks ever so much!!
What an experience! One of the most beautiful places I have been. Before the trip I purchased a new camera in case there was some interesting photo opportunities. I am so glad I did, and never would have guessed taking over 800 pictures in two weeks. The pictures came out great, but there is no way for them to express the unique culture of the Kingdom of Bhutan. The history that has been passed down from generation to generation kept me listening to every word being said, and has been an exciting challenge trying to remember so many details after returning home. Bhutan is a true escape from the stress of every day life, and reminds you to keep things in perspective. Work, eat, be happy– sounds simple enough! Gross National Happiness is what more countries need to measure themselves on. Thank you for so many wonderful experiences and a trip I’ll never forget!
To Whom It May Concern:
It is with great pleasure that we recommend the services of Bhutan Your Way operated by Ms. Jamie Vaughan and Mr. Ugyen Dorji. Thanks to a recommendation from a friend in Kathmandu, we had the opportunity to meet them during an official visit to Bhutan in May 2007. During which time, they stepped in and organized an amazing home-stay in Paro for us. I would say these were the best days of our Bhutanese sojourn!
Along with their warmth and hospitality, we experienced their professional integrity, drive and passion for what they do. They are highly competent and dedicated to promoting and preserving the Bhutanese unique cultural heritage. Their personal interests and energy to provide a special experience was as sincere as could be, for which I have great admiration. In fact, thanks to them, I was further enchanted by the magic of Bhutan.
It is our pleasure to urge you to contact Bhutan Your Way for all your travel needs, be it a spiritual journey, a hiking adventure, a cultural trip or just a chance to experience this peaceful tiny Himalayan nation before the rest of the world gets there! Tashi Delek!
Elizabeth Fox & Ronit Aboutboul
(Kathmandu, Nepal and Tel Aviv, Israel)
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