Guides Of Bhutan
So what makes us different?
WE ALL APPRECIATE that a guide can make or break a holiday. As well as knowing a phenomenal amount, being very practical and organized, we also have to understand people, be leaders, motivators, diplomats, medics, even nannies sometimes… the list is endless and it is partly this variety that makes the job so rewarding.
100+ YEARS OF GUIDING EXPERIENCE
Our small team has amassed well over a century of guiding experience and has been operating in Bhutan, in some or other incarnation, for over 20 years.
From the outset our mission was to focus purely and profoundly on adventures in just one awe-inspiring destination — the breath-taking Kingdom of Bhutan.
We believe that small is beautiful allowing our two founders a hand in the crafting of every adventure for our guests and partners. We are perfectly placed to offer exclusive access to content that is otherwise not available, even on the Worldwide Web. Not wanting to give too much away we keep many of our gems offline weaving them into our guests’ adventures at the most opportune times.
For your trip of a lifetime you are entitled to the very best and amongst our happy band of guides we feel we have some of the best fly fishermen, mountain bikers, trekkers, naturalists, watermen, archers, photographers, cultural and spiritual guides Bhutan has to offer. In addition, our Guest Leaders (from an artist to a yoga teacher) run regular special interest tours in association with Guides Of Bhutan.
As a team we adhere closely to The Royal Government of Bhutan policy of ‘High Value, Low Impact’ tourism. We take a certain warped pride when people call us Bhutan “nerds” and do enjoy being known as the “go to guys” for anything Bhutan-related. Every adventure in the Kingdom is unique and Guides Of Bhutan Founders Ugyen and Phil can’t wait to work together with you to fashion yours.
Our mission is to ensure you to get the most from your precious time in the Land Above the Clouds so strive to take you deeper to fully engage with the Kingdom, its people, culture and landscapes through a whole range of immersive and uplifting activities, experiences and encounters.
Local Fixer & Resource
Guides Of Bhutan has a well-earned reputation as a treasured source of information, news, guidance and logistical know-how related to all aspects of travel, adventure and media fixing in Bhutan and we welcome you to test us with a question or two.
In the past we have drawn on our intimate local knowledge and resources to assist both overseas and local tour operators, many event organizers and media clients including filmmakers, fashion, food and travel photographers and journalists.
In addition, we are a creative source for travel based advertising, marketing and media professionals, offering a comprehensive database of photography and we are also available for photographic commissions.
In so many ways Bhutan is an unexplored and wild part of the Himalaya and that is of course a big part of its attraction for travellers. Members of our team have been responsible for pioneering first descents of rivers, remote bike trails and rediscovering once forgotten tiny temples and monasteries deep in the mountains.
A Guide Cooperative
The Guides Of Bhutan cooperative was set up to support some of the unsung heroes of the travel industry, to give some of the top Bhutanese guides a future beyond seasonally insecure employment, through the part ownership and management of their own business in association with our British partner.
On walls, posters and in pictures all over Bhutan you will see paintings of four animals balanced one on top of another. Once upon a time, so the story goes, an elephant, monkey, hare, and partridge formed a pyramid, working together to reach the fruit from high in a tree. The central moral of this Buddhist, Bhutanese folk legend, the Four Friends or harmonious brothers (Thunpa) has shaped an attitude of participation and community teamwork throughout the country.
This legend of co-operation and community spirit lies at the core of our approach. Guides Of Bhutan welcomes any offer of support for our three main community projects so please contact us for more details or information on how you can help and get involved:
THE WAY OF THE BICYCLE
We believe that bikes help make the world a better place. We facilitate community access (especially for “at risk” teenagers, schoolkids and monks) to cheap bikes, run courses in road safety, riding skills and bike maintenance plus organise club rides and a race series through our Dragon Riders Bike Club.
We also operate bike workshops for local guides seeking to broaden their skill base and with the guidance and support of the International Mountain Bike Association, Bhutan Olympic Committee and KONA Bikes, Guides Of Bhutan coordinate local initiatives to repair and maintain trails and pick up litter.
Thanks to the foresight of His Majesty the former King Dorji Singye Wangchuck, the level of English spoken by most Bhutanese is exceptional for such a remote country.
However, most village kids are crying out for more children’s’ books to read, so our team invite all our guests to bring a few such books with them on their visit and, where possible, to hand them over personally.
Having assisted with the renovation of one remote monastery with the addition of a shower and toilet block for the resident young monks, Guides of Bhutan now work to support an ongoing project funded by a former client who is funding the construction of a farm access road and new temple in the Phobjikha valley. Check our blog for news of our latest Outreach Initiatives.