|Duration:||9 Days||Trip Code:||HGTNP-099|
|Primary activity:||Cultural and Historical Tours||Secondary activity:||Trekking and Hiking|
|Group size:||1-12 people||Max-Altitude:||2,320m/7,610ft|
|Country:||Bhutan,Nepal||Transportation:||Comfortable private vehicle|
|Arrival on:||Kathmandu, Nepal||Departure from:||Kathmandu, Nepal|
|Meals:||All meals in Nepal and Bhutan|
|Accomodation:||3-4 star hotels|
Our Nepal and Bhutan Tour is a cultural extravaganza in two beautiful south Asian nations. On our 9-day journey we get a glimpse of Nepal while spending most of our time in the Land of the Thunder Dragon, Bhutan. The trip begins in Kathmandu, which was voted number 19 out of top 25 Destinations in the World 2015 by Trip Advisor. In Kathmandu, we visit several UNESCO World Heritage Sites before flying to Paro, Bhutan. In Bhutan, we travel to many townships and tour several dzongs (fortresses), temples, and other cultural and historical landmarks. While in Bhutan, we also pass through the high Dochu La pass and hike to the enchanting Taktsang(Tiger’s Nest) Monastery. However, our journey does not end here. We fly back to Kathmandu and visit Patan and Bhaktapur cities that have charmed millions of tourists over the years with its historical architecture and rich cultural heritage. Then we drive to Nagarkot, a village renowned for its sunrise and sunset views of the Himalayas and enjoy spectacular sunset views amidst the tall and mighty peaks.
Upon our arrival in Kathmandu, a Himalayan Glacier representative will pick us up from the airport. We will then be transferred to our hotel. We can either visit Himalayan Glacier’s office in Thamel or take a rest at our hotel room during the late afternoon. In the evening, there will be a welcome dinner hosted by Himalayan Glacier. For dinner, you will be served excellent authentic Nepalese cuisine which will introduce you to the Nepalese food culture. Overnight in Kathmandu.
After breakfast, we begin our sightseeing tour by visiting UNESCO World Heritage Sites within Kathmandu. Kathmandu Durbar Square showcases Nepalese art and architecture at its best. The architecture is typical of the Malla dynasty who ruled over Nepal from the 12th to the 18th century. Swayambhunath Temple is popular among the foreigners as the Monkey Temple owing to the large monkey population residing in the area. Pashupatinath Temple is situated on the banks of river Bagmati and is one of the principal temples of Lord Shiva. The Bauddhanath Stupa is one of the largest stupas in South Asia which is built on the ancient trade route to Tibet.
As our flight nears Bhutan we can enjoy amazing views of the Himalayas including the sacred Chomolhari and Jichu Drake peaks. At the airport, we will be greeted by a representative from Himalayan Glacier who will take us to our hotel. After lunch, we visit Rinpung Dzong, meaning ‘fortress of the heap of jewels’. Next, visit Kichu Lhakhang, the oldest temple in the country. From here we will be taken to the Drugyal Dzong (Bhutan Victory Fort), which was built in 1646 to commemorate Bhutan's victory over Tibetan invaders during the 1600s. On a clear day we can see Mount Chomolhari, Bhutan's second-highest mountain, at 7,314meters. Overnight in Paro.
After breakfast, we hike for 4 -5 hours to Taktsang (Tiger's Nest) Monastery, which is Bhutan's most famous monastery situated at 3,180 meters. Guru Rinpoche (spiritual master) is said to have flown on the back of a tigress to meditate in a cave where Taktsang Monastery now stands. Lunch will be served in the Cafeteria Restaurant, located about halfway up the mountain. After having explored the monastery, we hike down to the valley floor and drive to Thimphu for an overnight stay.
In the morning we begin our sightseeing tour of Thimphu. We visit memorial Chorten built in memory of the late third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, the 15th century Changangkha Temple, the traditional hospital, the National Library with its treasure troves of manuscripts and ancient texts and lastly the traditional painting school where education is free for students who wish to learn the ancient skills of traditional painting. Later on, we drive through the beautiful countryside to Wangdue Phodrang across the Dochula Pass, where on a clear we can get spectacular views of the Himalayas. From the pass, we drive downhill through rhododendron, fir and hemlock forests and finally reach Wangdue Phodrang where we spend the night.
Before leaving for Paro via Punakha we visit the Wangduephodrang Dzong which was built in 1638. Next, we reach Punakha and visit the Punakha Dzong which was built between 1637-1638 and is the second oldest and the second largest dzong in Bhutan. On the way to Paro, we also visit Chimi Lhakhang, a fertility temple dedicated to the Divine Madman or Lama Drukpa Kuenley. We continue our drive to Paro via Dochu La Pass. Here, we visit the Druk Wangyal Monastery, which is the only of its kind in the country with elaborate paintings depicting the lineage of the present monarchy and their visionary works. We stop at Thimphu for lunch. Overnight in Paro.
Upon our arrival in Kathmandu, a Himalayan Glacier representative will pick us up from the airport. We will then be transferred to our hotel. After freshening up we can visit Himalayan Glacier’s office in the afternoon and enjoy the rest of the day souvenir shopping in Thamel, Kathmandu’s major tourist hub. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Patan Durbar Square is rich in ancient arts and architecture. We also visit Bhakatpur, an irresistible city with an authentic local lifestyle preserved over centuries of isolation from the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu. While in the city square, we get to admire the Nyata-Pola Temple, the Golden Gate, water spouts and the 55 Window Palace which merge together to provide an ambiance of a magical outdoor theater to its visitors. We also immerse ourselves in the authentic delicacy of the locals in Bhaktapur. Then we drive to Nagarkot, a village renowned for its sunrise and sunset views of the Himalayas and enjoy spectacular sunset views amidst the Himalayas. Overnight in Nagarkot.
Our Nepal and Bhutan tour comes to an end today. There is nothing else to do but shop for souvenirs or just take a rest. A representative from Himalayan Glacier will take us to the airport an hour before the scheduled flight.
Accommodations on this trip are on twin-shared basis. Single supplement is available with an additional fee of USD 390
Bhutan: Hotels in Bhutan are approved and classified by the government as grade A, B and C. The government approved hotels are equivalent to 3-4 star hotels elsewhere. Based on availability at the time of our booking, our company serves A grade hotels in Paro and Thimphu and B grade hotel in Wangdue Phodrang. We use Hotel Tashi Namgay Resort in Paro, Hotel Migmar in Thimpu and Dragon's Nest Resort in Wangdue Phodrang.
Nepal: We will be accommodated in Hotel Shanker, a 4-star hotel in Kathmandu and Hotel Country Villa in Nagarkot