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Thread: Bhutan- Trekking trip in Dec 2009

  1. #21
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    Default Re: Bhutan- Trekking trip in Dec 2009

    Quote Originally Posted by kenkht View Post
    Yep, cold cold cold. Gotta to wear like those you see in NatGeo type people climbing Mt Everest...ok without the pickaxe!

    Temp range from teens in towns to sub zero degrees depending on wind chills.

    I think this is too tough for me - cold weather, thick clothings, high altitude and heavy gears. I am prone to altitude sickness above 4000m.

    And I didn't know it is so expensive to visit Bhutan. Can't really bear to part with so much $ to suffer

  2. #22
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    Default Re: Bhutan- Trekking trip in Dec 2009

    Quote Originally Posted by ManWearPants View Post
    I think this is too tough for me - cold weather, thick clothings, high altitude and heavy gears. I am prone to altitude sickness above 4000m.

    And I didn't know it is so expensive to visit Bhutan. Can't really bear to part with so much $ to suffer
    Thats what a bhutanese told me. He said when he was young he had to walk for miles and miles over several passes several times a year because his school was far from home. And now foreigners are paying to walk. He had a good laugh .. leaving us a bit duh! But its an experience one cannot equate to money. Aman resorts charging about USD1000 a day! http://www.amanresorts.com/amankora/rates.aspx Now thats a bit over the top!

  3. #23
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    Default Re: Bhutan- Trekking trip in Dec 2009

    Quote Originally Posted by anakbaba View Post
    Thats what a bhutanese told me. He said when he was young he had to walk for miles and miles over several passes several times a year because his school was far from home. And now foreigners are paying to walk. He had a good laugh .. leaving us a bit duh! But its an experience one cannot equate to money. Aman resorts charging about USD1000 a day! http://www.amanresorts.com/amankora/rates.aspx Now thats a bit over the top!
    wow USD1000 a day! They better CARRY us up the mountain and down again

    As for paying to trek, that the Bhutanese govt policy charging a min usd200/day. I guess if they do it any other way, it will be another Nepal. So yes, Bhutan is one of the most expensive destination this part of the world.

  4. #24

    Default Re: Bhutan- Trekking trip in Dec 2009

    We did a trek to Bhutan last year and took a bunch of photos while we were there.. http://kevinandbeer.blogspot.com/
    We did the Chomolhari trek and paid about US$3500 for 14 days for everything (incl flights).
    May was pretty cold in the mountains already so i wouldn't want to imagine what December is like.. although you are likely to get clearer skies..

    If you want to prepare for altitude sickness, u need a prescription for Diamox. Start taking it a day before you go there.. it'll help a lot..

    In terms of camera gear, i took a 400d instead of a 5d last time with 4 lens and a tripod.. Walking 20-30km a day up the mountain was tiring! so choose wisely!
    5D2|24-105|70-200|100-400|190CXPRO3|488RC2|ZE21/2.8|Rokkor58/1.2|CZ35-70/3.4|lots of M42

  5. #25
    Senior Member zoossh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bhutan- Trekking trip in Dec 2009

    Quote Originally Posted by kenkht View Post
    wow USD1000 a day! They better CARRY us up the mountain and down again
    those 1k type of accom is meant for those tony leung (liang chaowei) type of traveller lah.. but if i can spend 1k for accom, i would rather spent it on sweden or japan's ice hotel.

  6. #26

    Default Re: Bhutan- Trekking trip in Dec 2009

    that is so cool!!! tempted, only the cost issue...hahaha

  7. #27
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    Default Re: Bhutan- Trekking trip in Dec 2009

    Quote Originally Posted by insigma View Post
    We did a trek to Bhutan last year and took a bunch of photos while we were there.. http://kevinandbeer.blogspot.com/
    We did the Chomolhari trek and paid about US$3500 for 14 days for everything (incl flights).
    May was pretty cold in the mountains already so i wouldn't want to imagine what December is like.. although you are likely to get clearer skies..

    If you want to prepare for altitude sickness, u need a prescription for Diamox. Start taking it a day before you go there.. it'll help a lot..

    In terms of camera gear, i took a 400d instead of a 5d last time with 4 lens and a tripod.. Walking 20-30km a day up the mountain was tiring! so choose wisely!
    Awesome. isn't Chomolhari known as Jhomolhari?
    The sad thing is in Dec, most mountain treks might be closed. I'm checking with my contacts there now.

  8. #28
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    Default Re: Bhutan- Trekking trip in Dec 2009

    Quote Originally Posted by zoossh View Post
    those 1k type of accom is meant for those tony leung (liang chaowei) type of traveller lah.. but if i can spend 1k for accom, i would rather spent it on sweden or japan's ice hotel.
    Exactly! with that kind of money, I'll stay cheap and buy more lens

  9. #29

    Default Re: Bhutan- Trekking trip in Dec 2009

    Quote Originally Posted by kenkht View Post
    Awesome. isn't Chomolhari known as Jhomolhari?
    The sad thing is in Dec, most mountain treks might be closed. I'm checking with my contacts there now.
    yep, its the same thing. Number of different spellings for it.

    i'm quite sure you can't do Snowman in Dec, and even if the tour company says yes, most likely you won't be able to go. You might be able to do Chomolhari or one of the shorter ones like Druk. Laya-Gasa might be ok if you go early enough.. but snow comes fast and heavy in winter.

    We went in May and it was -2 degrees at night in the mountains.

    The Aman is quite outrageous overpriced.. We checked it out at the end, rooms are good but not wow, facilities are limited, and its kind of far away from Paro city..
    5D2|24-105|70-200|100-400|190CXPRO3|488RC2|ZE21/2.8|Rokkor58/1.2|CZ35-70/3.4|lots of M42

  10. #30

    Default Re: Bhutan- Trekking trip in Dec 2009

    Do check out this website if you need accommodation in Paro. This is where Tony Leung and Carrina Lau got married!

    http://www.designhotels.com/hotels/a.../paro/uma_paro

  11. #31
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    Default Re: Bhutan- Trekking trip in Dec 2009

    Quote Originally Posted by insigma View Post
    yep, its the same thing. Number of different spellings for it.

    i'm quite sure you can't do Snowman in Dec, and even if the tour company says yes, most likely you won't be able to go. You might be able to do Chomolhari or one of the shorter ones like Druk. Laya-Gasa might be ok if you go early enough.. but snow comes fast and heavy in winter.

    We went in May and it was -2 degrees at night in the mountains.

    The Aman is quite outrageous overpriced.. We checked it out at the end, rooms are good but not wow, facilities are limited, and its kind of far away from Paro city..
    Checked with my contacts and he said there were no snow last December and had tourist throughout. Global warming..? So I guess it's time to dust off my winter gears ...hope I haven't outgrown it...ie fat.

  12. #32
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    Default Re: Bhutan- Trekking trip in Dec 2009

    Quote Originally Posted by AhWee View Post
    Do check out this website if you need accommodation in Paro. This is where Tony Leung and Carrina Lau got married!

    http://www.designhotels.com/hotels/a.../paro/uma_paro
    I stayed there in 2007. Really nice hotel - a fraction of the cost of the Aman; and frankly way nicer and better location. I'm sure with the current market condition - you might be able to get a really good deal

  13. #33
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    Default Re: Bhutan- Trekking trip in Dec 2009

    For the trekking in winter - many of the high mountains passes are obviously closed. But there are specific winter treks. See here for example: http://www.alpine-bhutan.com/Samtengang_Winter_Trek.pdf

    Then altitude sickness is no big deal. You are much lower than the typical trip in Tibet; and you will take it easy. Remember you are hiking up the mountain, not just flying in. No big deal if you take it easy.

    Plus - and that's now the advantage of doing a trip to Bhutan. As you have to spend anyway money with a minimum - the trekking trips come with guide/porter. Quite nice - and if you pack right, you just have a light camera bag, a bottle with water, and your CF cards . Sounds easy.

    If you are not fixated on December - September/October is the better season. And truly enjoyable.

    Plus don't just do hiking. Make sure you hit one of the towns when a festival is on. There are tons of them - plan your trip around it. Your shutter/lens will thank you.

  14. #34
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    Default Re: Bhutan- Trekking trip in Dec 2009

    Quote Originally Posted by btrenkel View Post
    For the trekking in winter - many of the high mountains passes are obviously closed. But there are specific winter treks. See here for example: http://www.alpine-bhutan.com/Samtengang_Winter_Trek.pdf

    Then altitude sickness is no big deal. You are much lower than the typical trip in Tibet; and you will take it easy. Remember you are hiking up the mountain, not just flying in. No big deal if you take it easy.

    Plus - and that's now the advantage of doing a trip to Bhutan. As you have to spend anyway money with a minimum - the trekking trips come with guide/porter. Quite nice - and if you pack right, you just have a light camera bag, a bottle with water, and your CF cards . Sounds easy.

    If you are not fixated on December - September/October is the better season. And truly enjoyable.

    Plus don't just do hiking. Make sure you hit one of the towns when a festival is on. There are tons of them - plan your trip around it. Your shutter/lens will thank you.
    Good advice overall. And I agree Sept /Oct would be the best time but this time round Dec is the only time available. In fact I'm hitting the Silk road China to Pakistan this June, so I guess I can't have anymore leave so close together.

  15. #35
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    Default Re: Bhutan- Trekking trip in Dec 2009

    Quote Originally Posted by btrenkel View Post
    I stayed there in 2007. Really nice hotel - a fraction of the cost of the Aman; and frankly way nicer and better location. I'm sure with the current market condition - you might be able to get a really good deal
    When I travel, I'm not particular about accommodation, as long as there's shelter, warmth AND toilet, I'm happy.

  16. #36

    Default Re: Bhutan- Trekking trip in Dec 2009

    Hi guys, I'm new to this thread.

    It is really fun to have like-minded people going on a photography cum hiking trip. Dec is nice and cold. I would be keen to join if some of you would consider Sikkim (northern tip of India). It is less well-trodden and cheaper than Bhutan. I was there in Dec 2007 and temp up in the mountain was about 10 degree Celsius - cooler in the morning and evening. No snow though.

    LancerEX

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    Default Re: Bhutan- Trekking trip in Dec 2009

    Quote Originally Posted by kenkht View Post
    When I travel, I'm not particular about accommodation, as long as there's shelter, warmth AND toilet, I'm happy.
    Agree, but then don't go to Bhutan. Pending group size - there is a minimum spend per head per day of around 200 USD. In other words - Bhutan is not your usual 'survive on a shoe string' place to go.

    As you 'have' to spend the money anyway, at least enjoy

  18. #38
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    Default Re: Bhutan- Trekking trip in Dec 2009

    Quote Originally Posted by btrenkel View Post
    Agree, but then don't go to Bhutan. Pending group size - there is a minimum spend per head per day of around 200 USD. In other words - Bhutan is not your usual 'survive on a shoe string' place to go.

    As you 'have' to spend the money anyway, at least enjoy
    True. But Bhutan is one of those destination in my list of places to experience before I die type. As I said before, it is considered one of the more expensive destination in this part of the world.

  19. #39
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    Default Re: Bhutan- Trekking trip in Dec 2009

    Quote Originally Posted by LancerEX View Post
    Hi guys, I'm new to this thread.

    It is really fun to have like-minded people going on a photography cum hiking trip. Dec is nice and cold. I would be keen to join if some of you would consider Sikkim (northern tip of India). It is less well-trodden and cheaper than Bhutan. I was there in Dec 2007 and temp up in the mountain was about 10 degree Celsius - cooler in the morning and evening. No snow though.

    LancerEX
    hi lancer, i wont mind giving sikkim a try. seems like one of the last frontiers.

    but to minimise OT, could you PM me if you are organising a trip there? thnks.

    sorry to ken for OT'ing.

  20. #40

    Default Re: Bhutan- Trekking trip in Dec 2009

    kenkht - I am interested. Pl pm me more info. Thks.

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