Amala Destination

Amala Destinations is a bespoke travel service delivering authentic experiences to enrich and enlighten.

Born out of a deep wish to curate special journeys to Bhutan, Amala Destinations' philosophy of exemplary service and comfort was inherited from Amala Villas' ethos of delivering authentic experiences through personalised and heartfelt service.

Our clients over the years have included discerning travellers, adventurous retirees, international corporate executives, honeymooners looking for something different and new age groups seeking spiritual inspiration.

We have much experience organising meetings or events for corporate clients and can easily host groups of up to 60 — without compromising on the level of personalised service that we stand for.

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Meet our Founders

Ee-Cheng (1960 - 2016)

A dream journey in 2009 to the Kingdom of Bhutan inspired Ee-Cheng to take on a path that she would never have expected. It changed her life significantly and become the impetus for starting a new business – the business of travel.

During her first visits to Bhutan, Ee-Cheng was frustrated at not being able to find authentic and well-made souvenirs to bring home. This prompted her to share her expertise in producing carefully crafted products for luxury resort boutiques to the students at the Nazhoem Pelri skills training centre run by the Youth Development Fund (YDF) in Bhutan. The YDF is a NGO in Bhutan with the 2nd Queen Mother, Ashi Tshering Pem Wangchuck, as its patron.

Working with the YDF meant frequent, regular trips to Bhutan. This piqued Ee-Cheng’s curiosity for discovering new places in this secluded Kingdom and to seek out fresh, authentic experiences. Her increasing local knowledge, coupled with a growing interest in travel from a different perspective, helped Ee-Cheng realize that there was gap in the market for insightful private journeys to Bhutan with a moderate luxury component.

Hence, Amala Destinations was founded in 2011 and is one of a handful of destination management companies in Bhutan with an office in Singapore. Licensed in both Bhutan and Singapore, its experienced team curates the most carefully considered journeys for its guests to Bhutan.

“Amala” means purity in Sanskrit, or mother in Dzongkha (the official language of Bhutan). Both meanings have much in connection with Ee-Cheng – the meaning of her name, and her other lifelong career.

Phub Dorji

Born in the village of Dopshari, Paro, in Bhutan, Phub Dorji was a farmer before an interest in hospitality motivated him to change his livelihood at the age of 23, and become a guide to travellers looking for experiences beyond the ordinary in this exceptional Kingdom.

After training as a cultural guide, he continued to improve his credentials by acquiring the qualifications to be a trekking guide as well. He is now licensed to take people on the world’s most difficult trek, The Snowman’s Trek, and is listed by the Tourism Council of Bhutan as a Senior Cultural & Trekking Guide. Dorji relishes learning and sharing stories about Bhutan. Constantly collecting snippets of information, he is always sharing folklore with his guests and entertaining them with local humour. He firmly believes that sharing anecdotes on everyday activities and experiences is the best way for guides to help guests form an authentic connection with the Kingdom. These vignettes about Bhutanese life will form part of the memories they create during their journey.

Dorji has more than 20 years experience as a cultural and trekking guide in Bhutan – first with a travel agent, then with the esteemed luxury chain Aman Resorts at Amankora, where he stayed for eight years before co-founding Amala Destinations. Working in luxury travel has taught him what good service is and how best to serve discerning travellers. This coupled with his earnest wish to ensure the best experience for his guests, by prioritizing their comfort and happiness always, has really set him apart from other guides. It is not uncommon for guests to request for him specifically. His ability to connect to people is a rare talent, and he understands exactly how they would like to experience Bhutan. As with his co-founder, Ee-Cheng, he pays much attention to detail, and has a strong relationship with his carefully selected team of guides, drivers and hospitality partners who are all dedicated to providing exemplary service.

Our Services

  • Guides proficient in various languages including English, Chinese, Japanese and French; For big groups, our low guide to guest ratio (1:8) ensures personal and attentive service
  • Special interest journeys - photography, bird watching, Buddhist education, cultural immersion, community involvement, local craft shopping, hiking, trekking, overnight camps, yoga/pilates/meditation retreats
  • Itinerary planning
  • Flight reservations
  • Hotel reservations – from luxurious suites to rustic homestays in Bhutan
  • Visa & route permit applications
  • Arranging transfers and lodging in Singapore, Bangkok and Kathmandu

Going to Bhutan

All trips to Bhutan, visas and route permits have to be pre-arranged and booked through a licensed Bhutanese tour operator registered with the Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) or one of their international partners. We are licensed and registered in Bhutan under "Amala Travel in Bhutan".

With most other agencies, that usually entails selecting an existing package that does not allow for much flexibility.

At Amala Destinations, we believe in creating your ideal trip with you. After speaking with one of our knowledgeable destination planners, we take your requirements into consideration before coming up with a specially designed itinerary and handling all the necessary travel logistics.

All you need to do is pack your bags and set off on your journey.

For travel during the high seasons from March to May and September to November, we advise that you approach us at least 6 - 9 months in advance.

  • Step 1 /

    Fill up online form

    Please fill up our online planner form and our destination planner will be in touch within 24 hours to plan your journey.

  • Step 2 /

    Planning your journey

    You may prefer to speak to one of our destination planners in person, please call us directly at our office number or via Skype.

  • Step 3 /

    Approve custom itinerary

    Once you have discussed with our destination planner your journey preferences, we will be able to get back to you within 3 working days or less with your journey options. After confirming your final itinerary, we will need another 2 - 3 working days to confirm all your flight bookings and hotel reservations. When all bookings are confirmed we will then require from you a 50% deposit payment, with the balance payment due 50 days prior to your departure date. For bookings made within 50 days, full payment is required.

  • Step 4 /

    Visa application and trip coordination

    As visa applications take approximately 4 weeks to process, we highly recommend all enquiries to be made at least 2 months in advance. We will then arrange a date for us to meet you in person to hand over all your travel documents once your visa is approved. During low season months, it may be possible to process your booking within 3 - 4 weeks.

  • Step 5 /

    Ready to go

    After receiving all your travel documents about 2 - 3 weeks before your departure date, you are now ready for your journey to Bhutan! Do remember to follow our recommended packing list for the different seasons in Bhutan.

Affiliations

  • Amala Villas Ubud
  • Pacific Asia Travel Association
  • Singapore Tourism Board
  • Tourism Council of Bhutan
  • Association of Bhutanese Travel Operators

Your wish, your journey

Amala Destinations takes the chore of planning off the traveller. With bespoke and customisable packages, we endeavour to fulfil almost every desire.

Plan Your Journey

Contact Us

Email: info@amaladestinations.com
Tel: +65 6734 0370
Address: 23 Balmoral Road,
#03-25 Balmoral Point,
Singapore 259806