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

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

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.

Sonam is cultural- and trekking guide.

Kuenzang Choden Tenzin

Kuenzang Choden Tenzin

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GUIDE

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

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 dreamt of becoming a tour guide because of his interest in meeting and getting to know people from different walks of life. Pema also loves reading and he will always be up to date about recent developments in the country. Furthermore, he is an ardent soccer player and loves outdoor activities. 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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ITINERARY CONSULTANT/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