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> Bhutan. Beware Tour Operators., Beware of Tour Oerators in Bhutan
post Mar 20 2009, 06:26 AM
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Do NOT use Bhutan Norphel Tours & Treks as your tour operator in Bhutan. Their service is entirely unsatisfactory. They have hidden charges, charge above the government rate without justification, show a general lack of transparency and documentation, and communicate their services and intentions poorly. Very unprofessional.

Travel to Bhutan is a daunting task as one has to choose from over 235 "approved" agents. Payment is through the government but there is no guarantee of the quality or implementation of service. In fact, the Tourist Council of Bhutan has no legal authority to insure "approved" agents deliver services that meet any standard of quality. Be very careful when booking an agent in Bhutan. Only book with an agent that's been directly recommended by a reputable source. Do NOT rely solely on the "approved" government list. Be warned Ė when traveling to Bhutan you must pre-pay your entire trip and if you are not happy you will forfeit everything regardless.
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post Jun 27 2009, 05:12 PM
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I understand your frustration of being caught up in the Bangkok airport closure that prevented you from traveling to Bhutan. However, your frustration is misdirected at Norphel Tours & Treks. I have had the pleasure of traveling in Bhutan with Norphel services twice. The first time was a road tour and the second was an eight-day trek (returning through Bangkok just a few days prior to its closure). Both times the service was excellent with the highest quality staff to assist during the tours. In addition, the owner of Norphel Tours & Treks is one of the kindness individuals and most generous with her time and knowledge of the country and its culture. Again, I understand your frustration, but Norphel incurred losses due to your unfortunate transportation problem from Bangkok. I feel under the circumstances Norphel was most generous in their refund policy considering the expenses they incurred from the very unfortunate situation that both of you suffered from with neither to blame. There is a level of risk in all travel from sickness, weather, delays, theft, accidents, cancellations, etc. It might be wise to consider travel insurance in the future to defray the impact of unexpected circumstances such as occurred in this case with the closure of the Bangkok airport.
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