Make Your Next Trip Extraordinary

I had long heard about the Forbidden Frontier of India, tucked away in the Northeast part of the country between Bhutan, Burma, and Tibet in the Highlands. Arunachal Pradesh is India’s newest state and difficult to visit, but Sanjay and his team made it happen for me. They took care of all the permits, even as an election threatened to undo my itinerary, found great hotels in this remote part of the world, and made sure I had fabulous guides, drivers and vehicles. I did not see another non-national person as I explored remote villages, monasteries, and breathtaking scenery unlike anywhere else in India.

Sanjay also recommended some time in another part of India — Gangtok, Pelling and Darjeeling — to balance the trip. The places he recommended provided great opportunities to see the Himalaya and experience yet another very different way of life. Sanjay knows India!!!

But Sanjay really saved the trip when the airline cancelled my flight from Newark to Delhi while I was in flight to Newark! Within minutes of landing, Sanjay was on the phone giving me options, and one got me to Delhi on a different airline at about the same time I was scheduled to arrive. The airline that cancelled my flight did not give me the option Sanjay found, as they wanted to keep me “in the family,” but using the information Sanjay provided the airline agreed to transfer my ticket at no additional cost!! I knew I was in safe hands for the next month.

The trip was amazing.

In New Delhi at my request, they organized a bespoke tour of the diverse and multiple religious sites in the city, a Hindu temple Sikh Gurdawara, Bahia temple and Muslim Mosque. The diversity is remarkable

In Bhutan, we saw incredible scenery, fantastic monasteries, and forts. As a special treat, we saw singing nuns Music by monks. The scenery in the country is unbelievable and no picture can do it justice.

Herbal bath with a view at Gangtey Lodge, Bhutan.

An herbal bath with a view at Bhutan’s Gangtey Lodge. Photo: Traveler Wendy Tucker

My husband and I just returned from a fantastic two-week-plus trip to India and Bhutan. Bhutan has always been on my bucket list and it exceeded expectations. We have been lucky enough to travel to many places but we both declared at our return that this was our favorite destination. Sanjay planned a perfect trip and we are so grateful to him and his local agencies for their knowledge, punctuality, kindness and seamless handling of everything. My husband had a motorcycle accident resulting in a traumatic brain injury many years ago—although he has had an incredible recovery, some challenges remain, particularly with walking on uneven surfaces and crowds where he can become easily overwhelmed. Sanjay’s guides and drivers immediately tuned into how to assist him when needed with professionalism, care and respect, which we both appreciated beyond measure.

When I initially contacted Sanjay our plan only included Bhutan. There are no flights to Bhutan from the US or Europe—you need to go through India or Thailand. We had never been to India so Sanjay suggested that we fly into Delhi (one of the cities you can access Bhutan from) and spend a few days to see the Taj Mahal. We were so glad we took his advice. We stayed at the incredible Oberoi Amarvilas which not only allows easy access to the Taj Mahal first thing in the morning but provides a dream-like view of the Taj Mahal from your room. Our guide and driver in India were outstanding.

In Bhutan we stayed at four incredible properties—each with their own flavor, beauty and charm. Overall, we found Bhutan to be peaceful, calm, clean, welcoming, safe and fascinating with people full of warmth, interest and kindness. Six Senses Thimphu was our first stay and is a beautiful, serene property. February was an auspicious month in this Buddhist country which means the sale of fresh meat was prohibited. Although hotels typically stash away meat, we so appreciated that Six Senses offered a vegetarian menu which provided a diverse and delicious selection. If you really wanted meat they happily provided it but we so enjoyed participating in this practice.

We next stayed at a new property in Bhutan—&Beyond Punakha River Lodge. We so enjoyed our luxurious tent with the beautiful sound of the rushing river nearby. More incredible food at this location. Our third and my favorite was Gangtey Lodge. Gangtey Lodge was the furthest east we traveled and is high above a beautiful valley. It snowed when we were there so we enjoyed herbal baths gazing from the tub out over the valley. The food was even better than the first two places, which already offered wonderful cuisine. Service was perfect.

Our final stay was at Zwiwa Ling Heritage in Paro. Although Zwiwa Ling did not have the intimacy of the other lodges, the traditional architecture and trove of photos and museum-like objects scattered throughout the hotel provided a perfect ending spot for our stay.

We filled our days with visits to fortresses, nunneries, temples and monasteries—we loved them all although our favorite was at Gangtey Goenpa Monastery. We spent almost three hours there participating in a tea ceremony with the monks and discussing Buddhism and life in a monastery with a senior monk.

You must use a local guide in Bhutan and Singye was stellar, as was our driver, Gembo. We spent 11 days together and throughout they were attentive, kind, intuitive, knowledgeable and on top of every detail. We are so grateful to Sanjay and his team for creating a bucket-list trip that was beyond our expectations.

Lina Obrien | January 6, 2024

Was a wonderful trip! Our guides were amazing! Rishi organized a great day in Agra. Sunrise visit to the Taj was the highlight! Rishi was knowledgeable and knew everyone and made the day seamless! Our day trip in Delhi was extremely packed and fun! The highlight for our family was visiting the Sikh temple. All the arrangements were perfect. We wish we could have had a longer trip.

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