Bhutan Peak Adventure was started in 2009 by Chandra after spending several years in the travel and ticketing industry in Bhutan in other companies.
During the initial stages of setting up the company, Chandra started a conversation with a person from Norway and indicated that she was just opening a tour operator and told him that if he had clients wanting to visit Bhutan, she could help. Suddenly out of nowhere a group of 40 from Norway wanted to travel but the license wasn’t ready, the website wasn’t ready, and not even a name had been selected and it needed to be done rather quickly. Searching online gave a few ideas and out of the list of ideas came the name Bhutan Peak Adventure.
From the name, one of Chandra’s relatives drew up the initial logo of the trekker heading over the peak of the mountain.
Meanwhile I (Robert), a Canadian working as an IT teacher in Qatar, had just returned from a trip to Nepal and met Chandra on a penpal website. Eight months later I travelled to Bhutan through Bhutan Peak Adventure. As a result of many long emails and online chats, the inevitable happened and we ended up married.
Over time, I took over the management of the website and created a number of IT systems to help with the planning of tours and to make sure that nothing is missed.
These days, the logo has been updated but still contains the trekker heading into the mountains.
Although Bhutan Peak Adventure may sound like just a trekking company we actually handle a lot of cultural and high end luxury travelers in addition to the trekking trips. We did debate about changing the name a few years ago but in the end we felt that all travel, regardless if you are hiking over some 5000 meter pass, eating some strange food that you have never tried before or observing a masked dance in a strange land all falls into the category of adventure.
These days, Chandra still looks after all of the correspondence with customers and if you send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, you will get a reply from here usually within an hour (sometimes we do sleep so if it’s the middle of the night you should give us a bit of leeway) .
I still have the job of maintaining the tour management software, but I also get to travel around Bhutan visiting hotels, photographing and researching experiences that travelers may be interested in. It also gives me a great excuse to buy new camera equipment!
Chandra and I can’t do everything ourselves, so we have a small permanent staff mostly made up of family members and a group of freelance guides and drivers that our guests enjoy.
Dawa is Chandra’s brother. He is responsible for organizing transportation, hotels, and guides. He has been heavily involved with Bhutan Peak Adventure since the start and has been the only one of us to attend all trade shows that Bhutan Peak Adventure has participated in from Beijing to Los Angeles. Sometimes when we have small groups, Dawa will drive the car so that he can make sure that the guests are enjoying themselves.
Sonam has been with Bhutan Peak Adventure since 2012. Sonam’s role is not enviable; she has the task of sitting in the bank, the Tourism Council’s office, and the airline offices in long queues in order to book tickets or deposit cheques. While Sonam is not related to us, we do treat her like family and invite her to each lunch with us and join us on family picnics. Sonam’s life revolves around tourism as her husband is a tour guide in Bhutan as well.
What Makes us Different
There are several important things that really makes our company stand out. We tend to travel a lot ourselves and when we travel, we tend to make use of local tour operators that provide a mostly all-inclusive experience. We use tour operators so that we can get a better sense about what types of things make a tour good versus things that perhaps the operator has missed. This gives us a better sense of what things are important to the client. We have used low end budget hotels and 5-star luxury resorts so that we can have a better sense of how to compare the hotels in Bhutan to other places.
In some of our trips, we have discovered that not all tour operators do a good job in replying promptly. We know that when you are booking a trip, you are excited and want to know the answers to your questions and want to know them now! When we contact a tour operator asking a price, we don’t mind getting the answer a few hours later or even the next day but getting no response at all or responding after 2 weeks just doesn’t cut it in this business. This is one thing that you will find with us, if you ask us a question we will respond as long as we are not sleeping or on an airplane (there have been exceptions to this).
Because we are small family run business and we don’t have clients visit us very often (being internet based clients), we currently operate out of a large room in our house. It makes it easier for us to respond to inquiries since all information that we need is readily available without having to make a trip to an outside office.
We rarely have our guests visit the office but sometimes they really want to see us and of course we entertain.
Just like all other tour operators in Bhutan, we are licensed with the Tourism Council of Bhutan. The Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) is the organization in Bhutan that mandates tourism planning and policy, the regulation of tour operators and the development of tourism products and services. They also are the official marketing and promotion of Bhutan Tourism and you can find them at the larger Tourism Trade shows.
We are also members of ABTO (Association of Bhutanese Tour Operators). ABTO represents a single voice of tour operators bringing concerns to the tourism council.
Your next steps…
If you are looking for an adventure in Bhutan, why not check out some of sample cultural itineraries (remember everything is flexible), trekking itineraries, or read some of our Bhutan travel articles to help you decide what things to see or how to go about planning a trip to Bhutan.