Jamyang Thinley

Jamyang Thinley

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GUIDE (cultural)

Jamyang Thinley was born in Yadhi (Mongar) in the remote east of Bhutan. He holds a BA in Geography and Economics from Sherubtse College in Kanglung, Trashigang. During his studies he worked as a research fellow with guest researchers from Kyoto University. Hence he was able to explore many places in the east, learning a lot about culture and history but also agricultural practices and challenges faced by the farmers. After completion of his studies his greatest wish was to train as a tour guide because he loves travelling and learning more about the unique culture and history of his home country. At the same time he enjoys sharing his insights and passion with others. Jamyang’s enjoys interacting with people and he loves basketball, movies, reading and hiking.

Rinzin Wangmo

Rinzin Wangmo

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SPECIALIST GUIDE: Textiles, weaving & dyeing

Rinzin Wangmo started weaving at the very young age of 10 years. Her mother, a full time weaver, insisted that she continue the family tradition in addition to her schooling. The art of weaving is very strenuous and can be monotonous at times especially for a little girl. However, young Rinzin got hooked when her first woven fabric, a male garment (gho), was sold at the local market and earned her some pocket money. Many years later in 2008 she was invited to represent the Bhutanese art of weaving at the Smithsonian Exhibition in the USA. Rinzin then realized that her passion for weaving and textiles combined with her interest in social work can contribute to the preservation of this important Bhutanese craft whilst supporting vulnerable rural people. She became a volunteer member of the Women Association of Bumthang where her responsibilities have since grown. Today she is the focal person for domestic and youth violence. Travelling with Rinzin will be informative in many ways!

 

 

Karma Choden

Karma Choden

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GUIDE (cultural)
Karma Choden was born in a remote village half way to Haa valley. After completing class XII, Karma obtained a diploma in commercial accounting and worked in a private company for a while. As her interest in tourism grew stronger, Karma decided to train as a cultural tour guide. She loves to interact with different people and  share her insights into local traditions and the culture of her beautiful country. Karma is knowledgeable about village livelihoods, local rituals and hospitality practices due to many years spent on her family farm. She is well aware of the many hardships and responsibilities Bhutanese rural folks face in daily life, especially women. Karma enjoys travelling and hiking and she is interested in photography, music and reading.

Chencho Wangdi

Chencho Wangdi

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SPECIALIST GUIDE: Bird watching & photography

Chencho Wangdi is from Khangkhu in Paro district. He holds a diploma in Financial Management and works as an accountant. Chencho spends most of his freetime with outdoor activities in particular hiking, bird watching and wildlife photography. With his photographs he wants to raise awareness and educate youth on the importance of wildlife conservation issues in Bhutan. Chencho is a member of the Royal Society for the Protection of Nature (RSPN) and loves meeting and sharing ideas with new people. Currently Chencho keeps record of birds found around Paro Dzongkhag and in future he wants to become a professional wildlife conservation photographer. You can follow Chencho’s stories and photography on his blog. Chencho is our specialist guide for birding and wildlife photography and keeps exploring new places in his beautiful country.

Marina Beck

Marina Beck

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PARTNER/GUIDE, Switzerland

Marina is our Bhutan Homestay partner in Switzerland. While studying environmental science at ETH, Zurich, she spent one and a half  years in Bhutan where she worked as an intern for Helvetas between 2008 and 2011. Marina  has been working in the Swiss forestry service for 5 years where she frequently conducts field surveys and continues gaining experience in forest managment. Marina loves mountains, particularly mountain forests, and her favorite activities are hiking, trekking and photography. Currently she is also undergoing training as a yoga teacher. Marina guides tours in German, French and English language and her focus is on forestry, flora and fauna and rural livelihoods. She also develops yoga tours for Bhutan Homestay.

Contact: marina@bhutanhomestay.com

Sonam Choden

Sonam Choden

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GUIDE (cultural)

Sonam Choden was born in Sumthrang, a beautiful village in Ura valley, Bumthang. Her family belongs to the hereditary Ngoe lineage that has a long history in the area. The saint Pema Lingpa is but one of the prominent exponents in the long line of ancestors. After finishing her studies at the Institute for Language and Culture Studies Sonam successfully underwent the tour guide training. After guiding for a while her interest in textual scholarship grew and she left for Germany to study Tibetology at the University of Hamburg. Still in the process of finishing her Master’s degree she guides during her holidays whenever she is back in Bhutan.

 

 

Sonam Chophel

Sonam Chophel

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GUIDE (cultural & trekking)

Sonam Chophel holds a Bachelor degree in science from Sherubtse College in Kanglung (East Bhutan). He occasionally worked as a research assistant and therefore is well trained and equipped to explain and interpret local cultural practices to foreign guests. He is a multi-talented and multi-skilled young man and well informed about ongoing issues in the country. Sonam is also extremely capable and helpful when it comes to ad hoc itinerary changes, organizing and networking. He loves village life and Buddhism, hiking, trekking, and mountain biking. Sonam also enjoys travelling with kids and knows how to entertain them during long drives.

Kuenzang Choden Tenzin

Kuenzang Choden Tenzin

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GUIDE (cultural)

Kuenzang Choeden Tenzin was born in Lhuntse and brought up in Western Bhutan. She completed a degree in English Language Literature from CMS college of science and commerce, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu. Other than her mother tongue Kurtoepkha, she speaks Sharchop, Dzongkha, English, Nepali, Hindi and basic Tamil. Kuenzang wanted to become a tour guide because she is very interested in meeting with people from different cultures. She loves supporting rural communities and hence introducing guests to village life and farm/homeststay hosts. Kuenzang herself is well grounded in village life not least because she has been helping on her family’s farm in Yurbi, Lhuntse since childhood. Kuenzang is also interested in photography.

Pema Thinley

Pema Thinley

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GUIDE (cultural & trekking)

Pema Thinley was born in Tralang, a picturesque village in Tang valley, Bumthang. He holds a B.A. in Dzongkha and History from Sherubtse College. Pema has always dreamed of becoming a tour guide because of his interest in meeting and getting to know people from different walks of life. Pema also loves to read and he will always be up to date about recent developments and events in the country. Furthermore, he is an ardent soccer player and loves outdoor activities. In his free time Pema also enjoys exploring trekking routes and discovering new hikes together with his friends. Last but not least Pema likes to take on responsibility and he is flexible and punctual, two very important qualities for his job as a tour guide.

Ulrike Cokl

Ulrike Cokl

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FOUNDER/TRAVEL DESIGNER/RESEARCH/GUIDE, Europe/Bhutan

Ulli has lived in Bhutan on and off  for many years. She has conducted ethnographic research on traditional hospitality practices, travelling & gift-exchange in rural communities. Thus she is very familiar with village livelihoods all over the little kingdom. Together with Sonam and Nedup she decided to explore unique and sustainable ways of farm/homestay tourism. This should support farmers to generate some extra income. With such great passion for Bhutan, Ulli also co-founded the Bhutan Network, an Austrian based association to facilitate equal exchange between people in Bhutan and Europe. When in Bhutan Ulli is always on the move, exploring new homes in remote places. She loves developing unique itineraries that offer a glimpse into the rich cultural traditions and practices of Bhutanese society. Ulli’s mother tongue is German, an advantage for our German speaking guests. Ulli occasionally guides tours in German and English language.

Contact: ulrike@bhutanhomestay.com