- OUR LOCAL GUIDES
- TRANSFER & TRANSPORT
- ACTIVE OUTDOORS
- COMFORTABLY INACTIVE
- INFORMED TRAVELER
- UNIQUE TO BHUTAN
Namgay : Guide & Founder
With first-hand knowledge, experience and expertise in adventure activities, I have guided guests from all over the world. Over several years, I have researched and established a number of unique routes based on my extensive travels on foot to different parts of the country, mostly to places well off the beaten track to villages, communities and remote habitats that have rarely seen outsiders, and are little known even to most Bhutanese. My travels resulted in heart-warming encounters with unforgettable people, and led me to discover places of unimaginable beauty.
I sincerely want to share my travel experiences and the beauty of what Bhutan has to offer with many visitors from across the world. The focus of Namgay Adventure Travels is to introduce visitors to the people and aspects of Bhutan that they might not see with other,more conventional travel services.
Specialties: We put our emphasis on designing trips to meet our client’s precise needs and particular objectives. Tell us how many days you wish to spend in Bhutan, whether you want a cultural and festival tour, perhaps with some gentle walking, or wish to experience one of Bhutan’s wide ranges of treks, or go bird watching, or to visit Bhutan’s weaving communities or a combination of these. We will provide you with a personalized plan.
Our English speaking Bhutanese tour guides
Kinley, Namgay’s older daughter is a Travel and Tourism Management graduate. She joined Namgay Adventure Travels in November 2014. . She has a fair enough guiding experience sometimes leading independent trips and sometimes shadowing her father on his bigger group trips. She is well travelled, patient and a sweet loving girl working her way to join the team.
Ugyen Tshering, who started guiding since 1998 is still guiding for cultural and trekking tours. A well travelled sturdy, forthcoming, patient, adaptive, and a very helpful gentleman. Ugyen has an abundance of trekking experience. He has done the Druk Path, Jomolhari Trek, Laya Gasa and Snowman Trek countless times. He is a trek chef by profession too, so trekkers enjoy safely guided mountain treks and also enjoy delicious hot meals every day.
|BEHIND THE SCENE
In Bhutan the only means to get from one place to another is by Road trips. Take pleasure in riding with Tshering, Kunzang, Kalden, and Kezang all well experienced with more than 10 years of driving skills.
Enjoy your travel experience riding in one of our well maintained fleet of vehicles.
1.Six Cylinder Coaster Bus - 2
2.Four Coaster Buses - 2
3.Hi-Ace Bus - 1
4.Land Cruiser - 1
5.Toyota Prado - 1
Bhutan’s mountainous geography and rugged topography provide exciting opportunities for adventure activities of all kinds. From hiking, trekking and kayaking to river rafting, mountain biking and fishing, the choice is abundant.
If you are interested in an active itinerary but also looking to have some time to relax, then we will be happy to assist you to combine a range of products to design your ultimate adventure.
We have no sky scrapers, no elevators, no traffic lights, no car manufacturers, no industries, no internally heated home systems, no multinational companies, no international fast food joints, no air force base - all that is irrelevant to Bhutan!
But we do have picturesque snow-capped mountains,- the Himalayas, lush green meadows, breathtaking valleys, beautiful waterfalls, wildlife reserves, dense forests, abundant farm lands, numerous temples, , monasteries, Dzongs, museums, cultural heritage and legacy, friendly people, religious and historical monuments, a unique national dress, yak and Yetis, and the hundreds of gods and millions of spirits we live with….
If you are interested in a relaxing break from normal routines, or seek inspiration from a very different place and way of life, we’ll be happy to assist you with personalized arrangements for your perfect trip.
Bhutan is a politically safe and peaceful country. Occurrence of theft and loss of possessions, in particular those involving tourists, is rare. Still, we caution against an open display of money.
Bhutanese have a deep, traditional reverence for the Royal Family, and we hold our King and other members of the Royal Family in the highest regard.
Bhutanese are mostly Buddhists. Please dress neatly in all religious shrines and at festivals. It is acceptable wear shoes, hats and scarves when walking around the compound of a Buddhist temple, but not in the temple.
All statues and paintings, large or small, ruined or not, are holy. Pointing with your finger at statues, paintings or people is not right. If you must, please point with your right arm, your palm open and facing upwards and your thumb folded inside.
If you want to get close up shots of people, please first ask. Photography is not permitted inside temples and Dzongs.
Local guide accompanying you on your tours
A competent/resourceful guide plays a key function in the transfer of cultural understanding and achieving of a high level of satisfaction from your holiday experience. You will be accompanied by a guide throughout the duration of your stay in Bhutan.
Many aspects of life in Bhutan will be different from your home. One of the main reasons for travel is to learn about and experience these differences!
First thing you would notice in the streets of Bhutan is the colorful national dress: gho for men and kira for women. Although many people, especially teenagers, wear jeans, sports shoes, T-shirt, jacket and baseball hats, still you can see equal numbers dressed traditionally. All Bhutanese are required to wear the national dress in government offices, schools, monasteries and on formal occasions.
SUJA- THE SALTED BUTTER TEA
Drinking tea with butter is common in Bhutan. This 'energy drink' is called suja and made by churning or stirring salted black tea and yak - or most of the time cow - butter. It is strange to drink it for the first time as your mind expects a tea or coffee and your mouth gets a soup. As a guest, you are always served a cup of suja and you quickly learn to appreciate it.
THE PAINTED PHALLUS
A Buddhist master, Drukpa Kinley lived between 1455 and 1529 and he came to Bhutan from Tibet in the 15th century as Yogi Kunga Legpai Palzangpo to teach local folks about Buddhism in a fairly unorthodox way by using provocative and entertaining poetry, songs, dance, and humor, often combined with drinking and having sex. He occasionally applied all of his teaching methods with his hosts' wives, too.
One of his very visible and distinctive legacies is the Penis painted on houses across the country in various shapes, sizes and forms.
The tradition of provocative and shocking Buddhist teaching well demonstrated by Drukpa Kunley lives on today. The penis motif is also manifested in jokes like this one from the online Bhutan Times:
I, the penis, hereby request a raise in salary for the following reasons:
I do physical labor.
I work at great depths.
I plunge head first into everything I do.
I do not get weekends off or public holidays.
I work in a damp environment.
I don't get paid overtime I work in a dark workplace that has poor ventilation.
I work in high temperatures.
My work exposes me to contagious diseases.
After assessing your request, and considering the arguments you have raised, the administration rejects your request for the following reasons:
You do not work 8 hours straight.
You fall asleep on the job after brief work period.
You do not always follow the orders of the management team.
You do not stay in your allocated position, and often visit other areas.
You do not take initiative - you need to be pressured and stimulated in order to start working.
You leave the workplace rather messy at the end of your shift.
You don't always observe necessary safety regulations, such as wearing the correct protective clothing.
You'll retire well before reaching 65.
You're unable to work double shifts.
You sometimes leave your allocated position before you have completed the day's work.
And if that were not all, you have been seen constantly entering and leaving the workplace carrying 2 suspicious-looking bags.
Doma Pani (Areca nut, betel leaf and lime)
Doma is an integral part of Bhutanese life culture; it is chewed everywhere, by all sections of society on all occasions. It takes the form of a traditional offering during the auspicious Zhugdrel Phuensum Tshogpa ceremony and as casual offering or gift among strangers and friends. Often doma is also the first thing offered to a guest.
It must have been hard for you to distinguish or come to terms with 2 "Sonams" through your Bhutanese Journey! If you had not seen or met them in person, it would also have been difficult to establish the gender of the person behind the 2 Sonams - interchangeable names-
With many Sonams, Dorjis, Namgays, Jigmes - sometimes all in the same place, most of the time we use a person’s father's name, birthplace or profession to help identify people.
Like Sonam the guide from Namgay Adventure or Sonam the Phobjikha farm house lady, or Jigme the young boy from Lhuntse,the nephew of Ugyen who drives for Namgay Adventure, or Phub Lham the Mason’s daughter....and so on and so forth. The guy who is arranging our Bumdra camp set is called Sonam Too!
I thought it would be interesting to share this with you.
It’s not just sport but its celebration of the way of life and an expression of Bhutan’s rich culture and heritage, because when Bhutanese play archery it's not just archery - the players also have to participate in singing and dancing. Family members also join in, so it's a kind of a social event.
Apart from the grand festivity complete with traditional attire, it is probably the only sport, where players are allowed to drink! Traditional archery wouldn't be complete without a lot of indulging in eating and of course drinking. This is something which has been passed down generations and it is still continued!
Ema datshi is the most ever present dish in Bhutan. A trip to Bhutan is incomplete without tasting the Chili and Cheese delicacy. Bhutanese are passionate about chilies. Its undoubtedly tasty but very, very hot. To the unsuspecting, the dish might bring tears to the eyes, the fiery after-effects of which will linger well into the next few days. Be well forewarned or eat only with a mouthfoul of red rice for each spoonful of the hot stew.
½ lb medium hot chilies, sliced into four slices each
1 yellow onion, chopped not sliced
1 ¾ cup of water
2tb sp. Vegetable oil
2 tomatoes, chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped
½ lb cheese
Combine chilies, onion and water in a pot and add the oil. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and garlic and simmer for 3 more minutes. Add the cheese, mix and simmer for 3 more minutes. Turn off the heat, cover and et stand for a few more minutes before serving.