I undertook the Jewels of Nepal and Bhutan Tour with Third Rock Adventures five months ago. I had been meaning to post a review but I was kept rather busy, until now. From the moment I arrived in Kathmandu to the moment my trip ended, the team took very good care of me. The initial email communications were prompt and precise. As I am not too good with computers (I hardly use them), I had some issues booking the trip online. But Hari ironed out the problems and made the process very easy for me. Kemal introduced me to some of the oldest Hindu and Buddhist temples in Kathmandu. I found the Nepalese very friendly and open. In the west, strangers hardly make eye contact, but in Nepal it is not uncommon for virtual strangers to meet and talk like long lost friends. I met strangers who offered their help (when I suffered from a nasty fall while on a late evening stroll alone) without asking anything in return. Bhutan was lovely and peaceful. Ogyen, my guide had a wealth of information to share. The hike to Tiger’s Monastery left me huffing and puffing, but the views more than made up for the hard climb. It is hard to believe that this monastery, which lies straddled on a huge rock face, was built by humans. Faith does move mountains and this seems to particularly true in this part of the world. Bhutanese culture is very unique and I felt privileged to have the opportunity to experience it. I do hope that the Bhutanese people will retain their culture and not let western influence change their perspective. I highly recommend this tour and look forward to many more journeys with Third Rock Adventures.
Though I liked their itinerary, I was a bit hesitant to let a company that is not based in Australia plan my trip. But I read their reviews on TripAdvisor and their website. All of their clients had something good to say about them, so I thought maybe these guys may be good at their job after all. Without further ado I booked my trip online and it was a seamless process. Hari got in touch with me and sent me a few tips on how I could prepare for my trip physically. It was pretty helpful because the itinerary included hikes in all three countries.
Flying into Bhutan was like entering a secret destination. The aircraft literally flew between mountains and entered a valley filled with what looked like cute wooden houses. Bhutan tour was amazing. It was heartening to see the Bhutanese take pride in their culture and conservation efforts. The rest of the world should learn a thing or two from this tiny Himalayan nation about safeguarding our environment and saving our planet. There was a slight drizzle during our hike to Tiger’s Nest and the view was not that clear, but nevertheless entering the sacred monastery and meeting the monks made my day. Compared to the cities in Bhutan, Kathmandu was busier and chaotic. But there was a kind of energy and the people were very friendly. I enjoyed walking through the temples and stupas which my guide Kamal informed have been in existence for more a thousand years. Pokhara was beautiful.
I also enjoyed Tibet a lot. It was a journey worth taking. The majestic Potala Palace, the monasteries with monks engaged in lively debates, the Barkhor Square etc., these were memorable sights. Thank you to all my guides and drivers - Dawa, Peljor, Kamal, Ten and all the staff of Third Rock Adventures for this wonderful holidday. I highly recommend this company. When you book a trip with them your money will benefit local businesses.
We had a fabulous trip to Bhutan. Our guide Sonam had so much information to share about the many monasteries and dzongs that we visited. As my wife is a botanist she greatly appreciated his vast knowledge about the local flora and fauna. It was clear that he was keen bird watcher from the way he explained their habits and tweets. The accommodation and food was superb. Though a bit spicy, we really enjoyed trying out the chili and cheese dishes. The hikes were comfortable and tailored for our fitness level. The hot stone bath was therapeutic and relaxing. Observing the local archers battling it out at the archery ground was fun. The dancing and singing cheerleaders really livened up the event. Wish we could have stayed for some more days. Thanks to Third Rock for planning this fantastic vacation. Anyone planning of a Bhutan trip should get in touch with these guys!
Nepal has been my favorite destination since I spent my Gap year volunteering at a small village on the outskirts of Kathmandu. This was 15 fifteen years ago and I have returned again several times to this wonderful country. After each trip I discover there is so much to take back with me. The friend ship of the Nepalese people; their simplicity, openness and genuine warmth; the inspiring trips to the mountains and exploring places and meeting people that enrich your experience not only as a traveller but as a human being. This time around I was here on business so could only squeeze in 2 days to explore. I booked Naudanda Sarangkot Hike with Third Rock Adventures after a colleague recommended this company and itinerary. The online booking was very easy. After I booked the trip, I received an email confirmation and a call from their office informing me that my guide would pick me up from my hotel in the morning. As promised Diwakar, my guide, arrived on time. After introduction he apprised me in brief about the route and condition of the trail and soon we were on our way. We began hiking from Phedi, a small village on the outskirts of Pokhara. It was a typical hill-walk with lots of greenery and the twittering birds for company. There no other hikers and apart from a few locals we were the only ones on the trsail. Fishtail and the rest of the Annapurnas stretching on the horizon looked majestic. Views of the lake were equally mesmerizing. This hike was refreshing and invigorating, just what I needed to reboot my system! If you are in Pokhra and want to see the mountains without a noisy crowd standing around you, then you should do this hike. You will get to enjoy the amazing views in peace. Enjoyed the hike immensely. Will use this company again to book more tours in the near future.
We did this trip in spring and boy, did we love it! My wife and I are ardent hikers and we tend to take off to the mountains whenever we get a chance from our busy schedule. We had trekked through the Inca Trail, Kilimanjaro, Everest Base Camp, Grand Canyon and the Chadar (River Zanskar) Trail. Bhutan had been in our bucket list for a long, long time. Initially we wanted to do the ‘Snowman’s Trek’ but when our Travel Consultant from Third Rock Adventures suggested this trek, we couldn’t say no. This trip combined a trek in the Annapurna Mountains with a trek in Bhutan. Since we could visit two countries in one go, we finally decided to book this trip. We rarely get to take long vacations and the option of combining two destinations in one trip appealed to us greatly. Moreover the Ghorepani Trek was also one of the treks that we wanted to do. Taking this trip was like killing two birds with one stone.
It was raining when we arrived in Kathmandu. But thankfully the weather cleared when we began trekking. The first day’s walk to Ulleri was kinda tough. Those were never-ending killer steps! This was the only tough portion; the rest of the trek was easy. The rains cleared up the sky and we were presented with some outstanding Himalayan views. It was humbling to stand so close to these great mountains! At Banthanti, a villager whom we befriended on the way invited us to his home to taste a dish made of local frog. Amy declined, but I gladly tried it. It tasted like chicken. Kathmandu was chaotic and we were glad to leave it behind. The flight to Paro was almost surreal. The Himalayan range towered above white wispy clouds and I went crazy clicking on my camera. I felt as if nature was giving us a big hug when we arrived in Bhutan. There is so much of greenery around that you automatically feel soothed and restful. Though tougher than the Annapurna Ghorepani Trek, the Druk Path Trek left us with a feeling of achievement. Some portions were challenging and we struggled especially when the weather turned inclement. It was a good thing that we had packed our rainproof gear. Through those brief spells off spring showers, we were able to keep ourselves dry. The kitchen crew and our guide kept us entertained and well-fed. Their humor and good cheer kept us in good spirits and helped us ignore the harsh weather.
All in all we had a great trip. Thank you so much to the team at Third Rock Adventures for planning our trip and introducing us to Bhutan. We have completely fallen in love with this country and we sure will be back for more adventures! This trip as well as this agency is highly recommended!
I travlled with family to Nepal and Bhutan. Trip very good. No problem. Lumbini, the birthplace of Sakyamuni was very peaceful. My children enjoyed Chitwan wildlife safari. While hiking to Bumdra we felt tires but camping at Bumdra was nice. Tiger’s Nest was the best! Third Rock Adventures guides are excellent.
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