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Meet The Guides


 
 
 
 
Ugyen Dorji
Name means: Birthplace of Guru Rinpoche, Thunderbolt
Guides of Bhutan Founding Partner - Biking, Culture, Trekking
 
“U Dee” as he is known to his friends hails from Paro in Western Bhutan and says that “the Male Dog year of 1982 was the time when he first saw this beautiful world”.  A licensed guide and first aider for over 10 years, he enjoys meeting and guiding people from all over the globe and is an accomplished outdoorsman, leading biking and trekking adventures for guests on trails he has pioneered. His clients appreciate his quietly confident style, attention to detail, deep knowledge of his country and his good humour. Formerly an award winning guide and butler for the luxury resort, Uma Paro (www.uma.paro.como.bz) U Dee is well-versed in five star guest service and speaks several languages including English, Dzongkha, Nepali Hindi and some Japanese. As a founding partner of Guides of Bhutan aka Excellent Guides to Himalaya Ugyen assists us to custom build exciting and uplifting adventures for our clients.
 

 
 
 
 
Sither Tshering 
Name means: Shambhala enlightened one, Long life
Guest Guide/Group Leader - Trekking, Buddhist Iconography, Wildlife
 
A veteran of over 17 Snowman Treks and over 25 years as a guide, Sither has to be one of the most seasoned, knowledgeable and professional guides in the Kingdom of Bhutan and we are so fortunate to be working with him. He shares his passion and deep understanding of Buddhist iconography and the wildlife of Bhutan with all his clients and through training courses with local junior guides. A small selection of his qualifications include Mountaineering courses at the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Darjeeling and Certification from the Mountain Leader School of St. Jean, Switzerland. Over the years he has guided all over Bhutan and overseas in Nepal and Mustang and his previous clients include such illustrious names as Reinhold Messner (mountaineer), Bobby Kennedy Jr, Christie Brinkley (super model), Tony Wheeler (Lonely Planet Guidebooks) and Jon Krakauer (author of “Into Thin Air”).
 
 
 
 
 
 
Dorji Nyeljorma
Name means: Thunderbolt, Meditating Yogini
Guide Co-operative Member – Culture, Trekking, Biking & Textiles

Dorji has come a long way from when we first met over 10 years ago – at the time she was selling Kiras made by her family members in Sandrup Jongkhar in the far East of Bhutan. Her bubbly, warm and friendly personality is ideal for guiding work and over the years her inner strength and sense of humour (plus the fact that she is the eldest of 8 children) has helped her to control our team of characters and further her career. After 5 years as the Assistant Activity Manager at the 5 star Uma Paro Resort, Dorji is now embarking on new ventures as a Freelance Guide and entrepreneur. As well as helping us in the office from time to time, Dorji especially loves to accompany families and groups of ladies on their adventures in the Kingdom.
 

 
 
 
 
Kuenga Metho
Name means: Happiness for All, Flower
Guide Co-operative Member - Culture, Trekking, Biking, Archery

Family man Metho comes from Gasa high in the Himalaya and has two sons, Sherab Kuenden Jamtsho 6 years and 11 month old, Nawang Yonten Jhamtso. He has 9 years of guiding under his belt and formerly worked for five star resort, Uma Paro before setting up his own business in Paro Town. Metho runs a thriving trekking equipment and bike rental operation from his internet café, Bhutan Nest, where most bikers stop off for a coffee or something stronger after a ride in the valley. He likes to escape the business world to work as a guide whenever he can is rightfully proud to show visitors around his magic homeland. Metho follows the tenets of Jampel Yang, the Bodhisattva of Wisdom, who holds a lotus and scripture in his left hand and the sword of wisdom in his right.
 

 
 
 
 
Sangay Dorji
Name means: Enlightened, Thunderbolt
Guide Co-operative Member - Culture, Trekking, Biking
 
A descendent of Drukpa Kunley (the infamous Divine Madman) Sangay studied for his Diploma in Tourism and Hotel Management at Khon Kean University in Thailand and attained his Guide License 10 years ago. He has lead biking groups across the length of Bhutan and though born in the year of the Water Pig has only recently learnt to swim. Between tours he dabbles in real estate and photography and still loves the Druk Path Trek though he has lost count of the number of times he has hiked it. Sangay follows the Green Tara or goddess, one of the 21 tears of Avaloketeshvrara the Buddha of Compassion, sent to liberate all beings from suffering.
 

 
 
 
 
Ugyen Dhendup
Name means: Birthplace of Guru Rinpoche, Wish Fulfillment
Guide Co-operative Member - Culture, Trekking, Biking
 
“You D” (as opposed to “U Dee” above) is from all over Bhutan as his father was from Bumthang and his mother, Trongsa, while he lives in Paro. At 6 feet, Ugyen is tall for a Bhutanese, which is a distinct advantage when playing his favourite sport, basketball, and he also competes regularly in local mountain bike races. “You D” loves guiding the Laya Gasa Trek for the amazing views and the hot springs and has lead countless photography tours.  He likes to take his clients to Tango Lhakhang (temple) to tell them the story of the painting which the Divine Madman reputedly peed on turning it to gold and showing them the ancient key which is said to unlock people’s dumbness.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Kinley Dorji 
Name means: Everybody’s Friend, Thunderbolt
Guide Co-operative Member - Rafting, Kayaking, Culture
 
Kinley is your main man on the water. A very humble and patient young man whose main concern is getting you safely down the rivers of Bhutan while having maximum fun. He has received training from Himalayan Raft Guide Course Director and Founder of Equator Expeditions, Gerry Moffat on Nepal’s wild rivers in both kayaking and rafting. Kinley is certainly one whose company you will enjoy and his forte is the capacity to adapt to your needs and abilities. Back on land Kinley holds a cultural guide license and loves playing basketball with his friends. Mr Dorji works for our friends and expert rafting outfitters Bhutan Xplore www.bhutanxplore.com
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sonam Dhendup (Devdas)
Name means: Karmic person, Wish Fulfillment
Guide Co-operative Member - Trainee with Cultural License
 
Devdas as his friends call him due to his resemblance to the Bollywood actor is our trainee guide. Though he holds a guide license over the last few years, he has been concentrating on raising his son Dorji Needup and developing his general store, Chimmi Wangmo, in Thimpu. Ready to return to guiding, Sonam is keen to gain experience and learn from our senior guides especially in the fields of biking and trekking as he understands the high standards the Guides Of Bhutan set themselves.
 
 

Meet our Guest Group Leaders

 

 

 
 
 
 
Kesang Tshering
Name means: Good Birth, Long Life
Guest Group Leader - Fly Fishing, Biking
 
Kesang is one of the very few Bhutanese to have had taken part in various guide training courses overseas both with Exum guides school, Wyoming and a First aid and Leadership course from Sawtooth Mountain Guide School, Stanley, Idaho. Kesang is also a graduate of the International Mountain Leaders School in St Jean, Switzerland. After his graduation Kesang worked with the Outward Bound Society in Sierra Nevada with high school students for exchange programs prior to establishing his own adventure company www.bhutanwilderness.com back in Bhutan. Whenever we can, Guides of Bhutan lure him away from his own company so he can share his passions for fly fishing and biking with any of our clients.
 
                       
 
 
 
 

Maurey Olsten
Guest Group Leader - Mountain Biking, Cycling
 
Mo works full time in Vancouver, Canada as the Product Manager for KONA Bikes www.konaworld.com but it doesn’t take much to persuade him to return to ride the limitless single track high in the mountains of Bhutan. When it comes to biking in Bhutan Mo is our bike guru as he has been instrumental in running training programs for Bhutanese guides both in riding skills, guiding by bike and the art of bike maintenance.
 

 
 
 
 
Namgay Phurba
Name means: Heavenly Victory, Magic Dagger
Guest Group Leader - Artist - Painting Tour Leader
 
Namgay used to be a traditional master thangka painter in Bhutan with his own assistants and students, and his work was commission-based, his clients French and American Buddhists. These days, Namgay and his wife Linda divide their time between Nashville and Bhutan and this is reflected in his newer works - one new element is the incorporation of rockets, Apollo-era Saturn Vs specifically, chosen for their aesthetics, and to symbolize how Namgay feels about adapting to life in the West. Namgay loves to share his techniques and ethos with students and guests alike from the way he prepares his canvases, makes his pigments from crushed lapis, vermilion, or other materials, and chants quietly as he works. He also makes his own brushes using either hair from the couple’s cat (and a few neighborhood felines) or cow hair. The summer hair from a cow’s ear is best for rendering fine lines, according to Namgay. Find out more about Namgay at www.phurbanamgay.com
 

 
 
 
 
Linda Leaming 
Guest Group Leader
Author & Lecturer - Creative Writing Tour Leader
 
Linda is a writer whose work has appeared in Ladies’ Home Journal, Mandala, Guardian UK, A Woman’s Asia (Travelers’ Tales), and many other publications. Her recently published book “Married to Bhutan” is the story of her life in one of the most magical and beautiful places on earth. Originally from Nashville, she has an M.F.A. in fiction from the University of Arizona; and she regularly speaks about Bhutan at colleges, churches, seminars, and book groups. She is married to the renowned Bhutanese thanka painter, Phurba Namgay and leads creative writing tours of her adopted country. Find out more about Linda here www.MarriedToBhutan.com and here www.twitter.com/lindaleaming
 

 
 
 
 
Christina Marie Curry & Drea Curry
Guest Group Leaders
Yoga Teachers & Christina is a former Bhutan resident – Yoga Retreats
 
Between them, the Curry sisters, Christina and Andrea, have been practicing and studying Yoga for over 30 years and for over 12 of those years they have been teaching in some of the world’s leading Hotels and award winning Wellness Retreats all over the world from the COMO Shambhala Retreat on Parrot Cay to New York, Begawan Giri in Bali and Uma Paro in the Kingdom of Bhutan.  Both sisters completed their teacher training in Thailand, under the inspirational guidance of David Goulet and Marina Hallerman and have since received guidance and training from such luminaries as Ana Forrest, Rodney Yee, Erich Shiffmann, David Swenson, Sharron Gannon and David Life. The sisters’ distinct but complimentary teaching styles make for  enriching classes with Christina’s style primarily inspired by Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Iyengar, Hatha and Forrest Yoga, with an enthusiastic exploration of Pranayama, Meditation, Yogic lifestyle and Philosophy while Drea integrates stretch, strength and flow with the application of precise alignment, breath and meditation, she invites people to explore their limits, embrace their intuition and relax deeper into their practice. Find out more here www.andreacurryyoga.com

Stuart Thompson

 

 

 

 

Stuart Thompson
Name means: Guardian of the House
Guest Group Leader - Trekking
 

Our old pal Stu is a seasoned veteran of countless mountaineering expeditions worldwide, leading many groups to unclimbed peaks and remote regions all over the globe. We are delighted that when he is not running his Outdoor Education Centre he will join us as a Guest Group Leader to guide a selection of our trekking adventures. A true outdoorsman of the old school he brings a wealth of experience, professionalism and knowledge, built up over 30+ years in the outdoors, to every expedition he leads. After a good day on the hill Stu likes nothing better than to get cozy and regale his clients with entertaining and usually hilarious stories of both his past exploits and those of the explorers and mountaineers of old. We can think of few better men to go exploring with than Stu Thompson and as a proud welshman he loves a good sing-song too!
 

 
 
 
 
Philip Bowen
Name means: Horse’s friend
Guides of Bhutan Founding Partner - Biking, Trekking, Photography
 
Philip has traveled on all seven continents and worked as a pearl diver, photographer, windsurfing and sailing instructor, schoolteacher, trekking, biking and adventure guide and outdoor activity instructor. Formerly as, Director of Activities for COMO Hotels & Resorts www.como.bz, he built up guide teams and developed programs for guests in Bhutan, Bali, the Turks & Caicos, Thailand and the Maldives. Now working as an Adventure Travel Consultant for COMO he continues to develop fresh, imaginative, immersive experiences for travelers both in Bhutan and beyond. Philip is a founding partner of Guides Of Bhutan, manages our London office and custom builds exciting and uplifting adventures for our clients. Contact him by email philip@guidesofbhutan.com