Bhutan- Trekking trip in Dec 2009


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kenkht

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Sep 21, 2008
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#1
Hi all,

I'm organising a trekking trip to Bhutan this Dec 2009. No concrete details as yet since it is still far off but I'm already in contact with a Bhutanese guide there. I'm looking for at least a 2 week excursion.

I am looking for at least another 2 other to join as it gets cheaper per person after the 4th person (as stipulated by the Bhutanese Tourism Council). I'm looking at a budget of US$3000-US$4000 per person. A bit pricey but, hey, if there are any good suggestions out there, feel free to share.

Just a note, this is HIGH mountain area and altitude sickness could be a major concern. Also, lots and lots of walking, approx 20km a day (5-8 hours walking/day). If you feel up to the challenge, without puking your guts out, ..........:sweat: anyway, my wife's going, so how hard can it be...:bsmilie:

So, if interested, let me know... Thanks for reading....
 

kenkht

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#3
Thanks for the heads up.

Just that you brought this up, is there a difference between a photography trip and a trekking trip per se. I myself will be treating this as a photography trip (travel photography) while others in this trip can continue enjoying the trek.
 

zoossh

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Nov 29, 2005
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#4
Thanks for the heads up.

Just that you brought this up, is there a difference between a photography trip and a trekking trip per se. I myself will be treating this as a photography trip (travel photography) while others in this trip can continue enjoying the trek.
of cos if you can handle both, it should be fine.
 

kenkht

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#7
Interested but what is the weather like in Dec? Cold winter?
Yep, cold cold cold. Gotta to wear like those you see in NatGeo type people climbing Mt Everest...ok without the pickaxe! :bsmilie:

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

thengz

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Aug 29, 2007
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#8
Thanks for the heads up.

Just that you brought this up, is there a difference between a photography trip and a trekking trip per se. I myself will be treating this as a photography trip (travel photography) while others in this trip can continue enjoying the trek.
My guess is, if its a trekking trip, the people in the group would be less willing to stop for you to finish taking your photos. At least thats what I gather during my family holidays. Everyone else would whine about me taking my time taking photographs. :bsmilie:
 

zoossh

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Nov 29, 2005
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#10
:bsmilie: I get what you mean.
but then, i wonder if bhutan is more suitable for sight seeing and photography then dedicated trekking. they charge a premium by limiting the amount of tourist and thereby achieving a pristine human geography that is scarcely seen elsewhere - the magic of its exotism. that uniqueness might not be of the same difference in magnitude in terms of physical geography than its himalayan neighbours or further elsewhere at the same or less cost. but of cos, my presumed impression may be an misinformation.... :bsmilie:

i had previously tried to put together trekking and photography for a trip targetted at sikkim (later changed to ladakh) becos i hope to be able to capture some pictures of the people staying at the higher attitudes. the plan cannot materalise becos any decent trekking to achieve that purpose will have to take at least 8 days, and leaving little time for dedicated photography in other locations. and of cos, i have tried it before elsewhere panting for my life.... :bsmilie:

but of cos, it all depends on what is your emphasis, and you must have reasons for putting bhutan in for trekking.... and no matter what, wish to see your thread of pictures when you are back, and hopefully it is not going to be just 1-2 pages only.
 

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B-setting

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Jul 16, 2004
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#11
interesting trekking trip.

but what sort of physical training do we have to do first in preparation? i am particularly concerned about how we could train for the potential thin oxygen at high altitudes.
 

Nov 14, 2005
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#12
I was in Bhutan back in 2000 and it was not that cold. I was there in mid-Dec. I was at Paro, Thimphu, Phunaka, Trongsa, Bhumtang and Ura. I did not go trekking although I wish I had. At time I was wearing only 2 layers. At guest houses there are bukharis to keep you warm .. or you can have ara :).

I guess if you are going for the infamous Snowman's Trek, then you have to be properly geared. So the USD$170-USD$260 does not include your gears that can cost a bit more. December is not peak period so it should be in the region of USD$170 excl your flight in which is about USD$360 one way from Bangkok or USD$175 from Calcutta(base on my last research-do check DrukAir for costs)

I spent almost S$10k for me and my wife on a 11 day trip. So 2 weeks can be a bit more and bearing in mind the rates of USD is a little higher now. Good thing is there is nothing much you can spend on. Medical is free as there is no way of charging be it locals or foreigners .. during my trip. Don't know now.

Communication is easy as most speak English besides the many dialects other than dzongka and hindi. Very nice people indeed but there are a number of foreign a$$holes who take advantage. When I was at Paro for a stay in a hotel, there were people complaining about the power that had tripped thus depriving them of hot water. I told my wife they must be Singaporeans. And guess what? They are! Bunch of teachers who were there on probably an exchange program. I was rather disgusted at how they spoke to the hotel personels about their grieviences that we refuse to speak to them. We just sat at a corner trying hard to ignore the idiots. Moral of the story, go with someone you know or you could end up going for an expansive holiday with a someone not so nice .... :)

Anyway, those going, have a good time! Its an experience of a lifetime. I wish I can go back but don't think I can afford it now. :(
 

B-setting

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Jul 16, 2004
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#13
anakbaba,

how come your expenditure was so low? even with exchange rate fluctuations taken into account, your figure is still way below the currently estimated US$ 3k to 4K.

were there other charges that you have not mentioned, like those entry permits and visa and guide hire and vehicle hire and what not?

:confused:
 

Nov 14, 2005
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#14
base on 11 days, we paid USD$170 per day at that time which came up to USD$1870. We flew from SG - Bangkok and Bangkok - Paro. I forgot the cost to Bangkok but I reckon it was about SGD300+ 2 ways. The flight to Paro from Bangkok was USD$370 which came up to USD$740. So total per pax was (USD$1870 + USD$740 + SGD$300) = SGD$4215

The USD$170 includs all entry permits, visa, guide and vehicle. Who are you in touch with in Bhutan? I went with Sakten Tours http://www.bootan.com/bhutan/sakten/default.shtml
 

kenkht

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Sep 21, 2008
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#16
interesting trekking trip.

but what sort of physical training do we have to do first in preparation? i am particularly concerned about how we could train for the potential thin oxygen at high altitudes.
I don't really think that you can train for altitude other than being there. Of course, you should train for stamina otherwise you will be panting more than enjoying the scenery. :bsmilie:
From what I understand, anybody with any physical condition can be "hit" by altitude sickness, that's why I'm to devise a trek that is easy for the 1st few days and then try for higher altitude. That's the plan anyway..
 

kenkht

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Sep 21, 2008
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#17
but then, i wonder if bhutan is more suitable for sight seeing and photography then dedicated trekking. they charge a premium by limiting the amount of tourist and thereby achieving a pristine human geography that is scarcely seen elsewhere - the magic of its exotism. that uniqueness might not be of the same difference in magnitude in terms of physical geography than its himalayan neighbours or further elsewhere at the same or less cost. but of cos, my presumed impression may be an misinformation.... :bsmilie:

i had previously tried to put together trekking and photography for a trip targetted at sikkim (later changed to ladakh) becos i hope to be able to capture some pictures of the people staying at the higher attitudes. the plan cannot materalise becos any decent trekking to achieve that purpose will have to take at least 8 days, and leaving little time for dedicated photography in other locations. and of cos, i have tried it before elsewhere panting for my life.... :bsmilie:

but of cos, it all depends on what is your emphasis, and you must have reasons for putting bhutan in for trekking.... and no matter what, wish to see your thread of pictures when you are back, and hopefully it is not going to be just 1-2 pages only.
I wanted to document the trekking trip (photo wise) from the trekking point of view and I'm a prolific picture taker. 1-2 pages will not be nearly enough. ;p
 

kenkht

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Sep 21, 2008
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#18
My guess is, if its a trekking trip, the people in the group would be less willing to stop for you to finish taking your photos. At least thats what I gather during my family holidays. Everyone else would whine about me taking my time taking photographs. :bsmilie:
You are right. That's why I'm here asking for participants, at least people here will have at least a good PNS:bsmilie:
 

zoossh

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Nov 29, 2005
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#19
I don't really think that you can train for altitude other than being there. Of course, you should train for stamina otherwise you will be panting more than enjoying the scenery. :bsmilie:
From what I understand, anybody with any physical condition can be "hit" by altitude sickness, that's why I'm to devise a trek that is easy for the 1st few days and then try for higher altitude. That's the plan anyway..
you can try to aim for slower ascend or even prolonged rest (2 nite?) at locations about 2800m high. it is the night rest that is the best to aid in acclimitization.
 

kenkht

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Sep 21, 2008
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#20
OK. those who are interested please feel free to PM me. I will get into more details then. Thanks
 

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