Day 01: Arrival and sightseeing in Paro (2,250m/7,382ft)
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.
Day 02: Paro to Thimphu (2,320m/7,610ft): hike to Taktsang Monastery then drive to Thimphu: 54km, 1 hour drive
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.
Day 03: Sightseeing in Thimphu
In the morning, we visit Memorial Chorten (built in memory of the third King of Bhutan who reigned from 1952-1972), nunnery temple, mini zoo to see Takin, the national animal of Bhutan. Today, we also visit other landmarks of Thimphu including the National Institute of Traditional Medicine, Bhutanese traditional painting school, folk heritage museum, the majestic Tashichho Dzong and the traditional paper factory. However, some of the landmarks are closed in the weekends (Saturdays and Sundays). Therefore, if we are in Thimphu during the weekends, we explore the Weekend Market instead. Overnight in Thimphu.
Day 04: Fly from Paro to Kathmandu (1,300 m/4,264 ft), Chinese visa process, half day tour
After breakfast we drive to the Paro airport and board a flight to Kathmandu. After reaching Kathmandu we check-in to our hotel and freshen up. We also visit two UNESCO World Heritage Site, Boudhanth Stupa and Pashupatinath Temple. Boudhanath is one of the largest Buddhist stupas in the world. The sacred Hindu temple of Pashupatinath is one of the most revered spot for Hindu devotees; meet the famous holy men while you are there. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Day 05: Sightseeing of Patan and Bhaktapur
After breakfast we visit Patan and Bhaktapur cities within the Kathmandu Valley. Listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Patan Durbar Square is rich in ancient arts and architecture. Bhaktapur is 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. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Day 06: Fly from Kathmanduto Lhasa (3,650m/11,972ft)
Today we get to enjoy a beautiful hour-long trans-Himalayan flight that takes us over Everest (8,848m), Kanchenjunga (8,536m) and other Himalayan peaks and glaciers. Upon our arrival in Lhasa, a representative from Himalayan Glacier will pick us up from the airport for about an hour’s drive to our designated hotel in Lhasa. We are advised to take plenty of rest for the remainder of the day in order to minimize altitude sickness. Overnight in Lhasa.
Day 07: Lhasa sightseeing: Potala Palace, Norbulingka Palace and Tibet Traditional Hospital
We begin sightseeing in Lhasa after breakfast. Today is the day we visit the beautiful Potala and Norbulingka Palaces. Built in the 17th century, Potala Palace provides amazing views of the entire city and houses the private quarters of the Dalai Lama, numerous grand state rooms and chapels. Norbulingka Palace is the summer palace of the Dalai Lama and houses what is considered to be the largest man-made garden in Tibet. Next, we visit the Tibet Traditional Hospital which is the center for the treatment, training, research and production of Tibetan medicine. Overnight in Lhasa.
Day 08: Lhasa Sightseeing: Sera Monastery, Drepung Monastery, Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Bazaar
After breakfast we visit Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery, Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Bazaar. Drepung Monastery, which was built in the 14th century, is believed to have sheltered around 10,000 monks in the past but as of now there has been quite a declination resulting in only a few hundreds. The history, culture, and religious beliefs of the Tibetan people are strongly concentrated and centered in this marvelous monastery. Sera Monastery is a preserved monastery of white-washed walls and golden roofs. Jokhang Temple is another important sacred site which unravels more deep-seated mysteries of Tibetan Buddhism. We further stroll through Barkhor Bazaar (market). With its open air stalls, shops and crowd of pilgrims, it is the nerve centre of Lhasa. Overnight in Lhasa.
Day 09: Final departure
Our Bhutan, Nepal and Tibet tour comes to an end today. There is nothing else to do but shop for souvenirs or just rest in our hotel room. A representative from Himalayan Glacier will take us to the airport an hour before the scheduled flight. (direct fligts are available to China or Nepal)