Tergo Travels, Bhutan

Tergo Travels, Bhutan

Tergo Travels, Bhutan random header image
You're browsing: Home » Reviews » Blog article:

April 2010

When my husband first suggested that we travel to Bhutan with our toddler son, who would be 15 months old at the time, I thought he was crazy.   We’ve always been interested in visiting the kingdom, but I thought that 15 months was far too young for George to be in a country known for its scenic hikes and adventurous day-trips. There was no way our little boy would want to sit in a car seat as we traveled for several hours from one destination to the next, and he’d definitely not be content in our travel backpack as we saw the sights. How wrong I was!  Our week in Bhutan was excellent, and we owe our fond memories to Tergo Travels. 

Other testimonials will mention Tashi Tshering and Tashi Doma’s amazing service, warmth and hospitality. They will rave about the engaging itineraries that include hikes, monasteries, and local festivals. We fully agree with these assessments and highly recommend the company to anyone interested in visiting Bhutan.  However, in this review, I’d like to share our experience with the amazing care we received as a young family visiting Bhutan.

George is a notoriously shy and quiet toddler; he’s slow to become comfortable with strangers and clings to us in new situations.  However, after settling in to the hotel – an excellent family suite – and an amazing meal at Tashi Doma’s house, George was hooked on the Bhutanese and had no time for us, his parents. At the end of our first day in Bhutan, enjoying dinner at Tashi Doma’s house, George was freely and comfortably eating macaroni and cheese, pointing out the moon and “mooing” at the cows. We kept telling our hosts: “Really, he’s not like this. Usually he’s so quiet. Here he is laughing and giggling like he’s been here all of his life!” So smitten was he with Tashi Tshering, in fact, that on our first morning in Bhutan when we were picked up at our hotel, George was all smiles when he saw his new friend:  “Tashi!”

Each day, Tashi accommodated our family’s needs, whether it was asking us if we needed to return to the hotel for George’s nap, sourcing out fresh cow’s milk, or when the best time to travel via car would be to coincide with naptime. He scheduled frequent rest-stops at great vantage points for a cup of tea and to allow George to run around and stretch his legs; he played endless games of peek-a-boo and discovered George’s love of Indian hip-hop music.  He would ask when George needed to eat, if he had enough to eat, and remind us to bring along extra clothes on the hikes in case it got cold. On some of the scenic day-hikes, Tashi and Sonam would volunteer to carry George in his travel backpack to give us a rest (invariably, George would fall asleep as soon as Sonam took over – hence he became to us “the baby whisperer”).   When we visited the Tiger’s Nest, and Phil and I wished to go to the monastery, Tashi stayed behind at the tea-house so that George could have a nap (or, as it ended up, entertain the other visitors) while we made the trek.  Upon returning to the tea house, we were greeted by many tourists who, on the way back down the mountain, told us “You must be George’s parents! Your guide was so amazing with him; we could see how much he cared about George!” Hearing from strangers what we already knew – that George formed an instant bond and trust with Tashi – made us both smile from ear to ear.

From the logistics standpoint of traveling with a toddler, Tergo Travels is terrific.  We had a family suite in each location we stayed – meaning a mini-fridge more often than not, a sitting area, plenty of room for a baby cot, and room for George to move around.  The restaurants we dined at had staff who were always thrilled to entertain George while we ate (if he wasn’t up for it!), and he ate his weight in rice and Bhutanese food. The SUV we traveled in easily accommodated our car seat with LATCH system and we felt in safe hands with the best driver, Sonam, who took us up and down some pretty steep hills like he could drive them in his sleep!  On our second night in Bhutan we had to visit the emergency room after George fell in our hotel room and split open his chin; within ten minutes of calling Tashi Tshering and Tashi Doma, he and Sonam were at our hotel and whisking us away to the emergency room. An English-speaking, Western-trained Bhutanese doctor knew we were coming and we received great care. Luckily, no stitches were required!

At the end of our week in Bhutan, we knew that George would be sad to say goodbye to his new friends, and we would be too. Our only happy moment leaving Bhutan was realizing that we might actually get the chance to hold George again –  he had no time for us with Tashi and Sonam around all day!

Traveling with a 15 month old who loves to run is a challenge no matter where you are going. I would not hesitate to recommend a visit to Bhutan with Tergo Travels.  To this day, George calls his stuffed yak, a gift from Tergo Travels, “Tashi”.

Amy, Philip and George Meehan 

Leave a Reply