I'm arranging a party to hike Bhutan's 28 day snowman trek from Sept 20-Oct 21, 2007. If interested, please contact me as soon as possible. Right now, it's me and a friend but we'd be open to hiking with others to lower cost, etc.
I was in Bhutan in 2004 and did the Jhomolhari trek. It's a beautiful country!!!!
Huntington Beach, USA
Hey, I have been looking into this trek! Unfortunately my dates are going to be a little sooner...over the summer. Trying to plan an entire trip over to nepal, bhutan, etc. right now and coordinating it around some (hopefully) good treks. I have about 3 months in total, do you have any suggestions on what I should do (what treks, countries?) i'm still wide open thus far...
Sounds like you have a lot of fun travels ahead of you. I'm not too familiar with treks in Nepal or Tibet but I've had friends who recommend both countries highly. Nepal: Annapurna circuit trek or Everest base camp; Tibet: Lhasa, etc.
The recommended times to visit Bhutan are in the spring or fall, so as to avoid the monsoon. Summer will generally give you snow-free travel but you may have to deal with rain. In addition, you must also travel in Bhutan on a prearranged package, covering guide, lodging, food, transport, etc. Because of Bhutan's policy of low impact/high value -- the daily tariff can be expensive. Check out www.bhutantravel.com or call Marie and she's very good with answering questions. Regarding treks, I recommend the Jhomolhari trek (which I've done)--it's about 8 days and will give you 3-4 days to explore the rest of the country.
I hope this helps. If you can travel around the end of September and are still interested in the Snowman trek, please let me know.
Thanks for the advice! Yeah I am excited about the trip, but overwhelmed with all the planning now. I do really want to do the Snowman trek, but I looked into what you said about the timing and it looks like I should maybe skip it, trek in Nepal or elsewhere, and plan a separate trip back to Bhutan at some point (because I am unfortunately only free April - August.)
When you say you "HAVE" to go to Bhutan on a package, what do you mean by that? Because it's too difficult to navigate on one's own, etc. etc.? I assume by package also, that you mean someone picks you up at the airport and the whole deal?
Bhutan's tourism policy is low numbers/high cost, meaning you can't just get off the plane like you can in Nepal. You book a "package" deal at a rate of $175-200 a day that covers lodging, food, guide, transport, everything. You will always be with your guide and can't really wander like in other places. It's expensive, yes. Exclusive, perhaps. But when you see the way tourism has trampled places like Nepal, Bhutan's policy seems pretty enlightened. Yes, college backpackers may not be able to afford it. But for people who wish to visit this country, I believe they'll save up the money or volunteer and make it happen.
If you want to meet fellow trekkers from around the world, of similar age and have fun/party, I'd go to Nepal. (And don't get me wrong--I love that experience too). Bhutan's tourists are generally older, married couples, some which bring their kids. A great experience...but different. Ya dig? In 2004, I combined my trip to Bhutan (reflective/inward/culture) with a trip to Thailand (social/party/beach) and that worked quite well. Gotta maintain balance!
If you want first-hand info on Nepal/Tibet, let me know and I'll refer you to my friend Todd. What's your whole itinerary?
Thank you for all your info! I've been doing a lot of research over the past week or so, and thought a lot about my options. Given what you've said and after looking into it, I am thinking that I will save Bhutan for when I can go back and do the snowman trek, and to just spend a few weeks trekking in nepal. I definitely would like your advice on Nepal. Right now i'm trying to decide if I should book a company to go trekking in advance OR just show up and try to find local guides. (i'm thinking maybe everest base camp, although i would like to do some peak climbing too - nothing too technical!). As for my whole, itinerary, I don't have one! I have about 4 months in total. I am thinking of spending about a month in Nepal, and then flying to Vietnam and working my way back west through laos, cambodia, thailand, burma. Basically I haven't figured much out yet
I'll email my friend Todd who's been to both Nepal and Tibet and get his thoughts. Until then, stay warm in NYC. I lived there for two years (103 & Bway) and (54 & 9). I loved walking down the empty streets after a huge snowstorm. In fact, I cross country skied down 5th Avenue. Forget Everest, now that's what you call EXTREME!!
You can also email me at: kgrange23 @ hotmail.com