Best Of Nepal & Bhutan

Best Of Nepal & Bhutan - $4,290 / In-Country Airfare: $370

Land Arrangements per person, double occupancy

15 Day, Private, customized tour with private driver and guide Breakfast Daily In Nepal / Full Board in Bhutan

Does Not Include International Airfare, Round-Trip to Bangkok, Thailand

DAY 1 / DEPART THE UNITED STATES

Your departure from the United States wings you across the International Dateline for arrival into Bangkok.

THAILAND

DAY 2 / ARRIVAL BANGKOK

Arrive at Bangkok, where the friendliness of the Thai people will offer their genuinely warm welcome to you and where you will enjoy a night of rest and relaxation prior to your onward flight connection to Nepal and the well-known city of Kathmandu.

NEPAL

DAY 3 / BANGKOK - KATHMANDU

After a restful night, board your flight to Nepal; a kingdom nestled amidst terraced hillsides that foot the tallest mountains in the world. Completely surrounded by two of its neighboring giants, India and China, and fostering a cloistered philosophy in its approach to the outside world, this tiny kingdom for years remained a remote and unknown destination. Begin your exploration of the city with a visit to Dhubar Square to view the Royal Presidential Palace, witness the innumerable wide ranging kiosks that offer both resident and tourist a vast array of goods and the never-ending flow of foot traffic that brings hill-tribe farmers, their shoulder carried baskets full of produce to the various markets to trade and barter for necessities. (B)

DAY 4 / EXCURSION KATHMANDU – DHUKLIKHEL - BHAKTAPUR

Today you are in search of three cities: Patan, Bhaktaphur and Kathmandu. Find them different; find them colorful; find them exciting. The mixture of Hinduism, Buddhism and Animism among the people of Nepal manifests itself in the style and architecture of their innumerable temples and shrines and the various modes of their spiritual rituals. Enjoy lunch at a mountaintop resort where the view is spectacular and the peace and quiet of the nearby mountains helps provide an insight into the tranquil nature of the Nepalese. Return to Kathmandu, by way of the midlevel-styled city of Bhaktapur. (B, L)

DAY 5 / KATHMANDU – CHITWAN NATIONAL PARK

Early this morning (weather-permitting and optional) you will have the unforgettable pleasure of flying alongside the highest mountain peaks of the Himalayan chain and the mighty Mount Everest, standing at 29,028 feet. Later in the day, fly about the terraced rice fields to land nearby Chitwan National Park for your exciting stay at a “jungle resort” that offers amenities in food, comfort and service unexpected within the heart of a jungle. Your stay will be filled with excitement in very comfortable environs. (B, D)

DAY 6 / SAFARI LODGE – CHITWAN NATIONAL PARK

Wake to the trumpeting call of the elephants beckoning you for your morning’s safari. Safely nestled within your howdah, you begin to feel the gentle sway that denotes the classic stride of this magnificent animal. Atop and clearly in charge sits the mahout, his expertise of both animal and terrain readily apparent. Whether sighting Bengal tiger, rhino or merely bird life and deer, your safari across river, marshlands and jungle will never be forgotten. (B, L, D)

DAY 7 / SAFARI LODGE – KATHMANDU

After a leisurely breakfast, a last morning safari or a nature walk, your flight return this late morning, wings you above the terraced rice fields that adorn the hillsides leading to Kathmandu. Compete your touring of the region with a visit to Patan, where you will find a brilliant display of Nepalese architecture, together with an array of local merchants who have their workshops and rice mills within the city, intertwined between the footpaths and alleyways. The varieties of colorful artwork, jewelry, metal statuary, and clothing, mixed with local necessities makes the walking tour through the city a wonderland for photographers. The people are most friendly and smiles abound as you explore the narrow walking lanes that lead around the city. (B)

BHUTAN

DAY 8 / KATHMANDU – PARO VALLEY – THIMPHU

Kathmandu offers its last glimpse of Majestic Mountain tops as you fly to Paro Valley, Bhutan, “Land of the Thunder Dragon”. Wedged in between the mountain ranges that surround it, there is little wonder why this fascinating kingdom remains so unknown to the outside world, welcoming so few visitors to enjoy its unique culture. Upon arrival in Paro Valley, drive across the countryside, laced with the beauty of tree-lined mountains and flowing rivers to Thimphu, one of the least visited capital cities in the world. (B, D)

DAY 9 / THIMPHU - PHOBJIKHA

After enjoying the highlights of Thimphu, your private driver and guide will accompany you over the Dochula Pass with its spectacular views of the snow-capped Eastern range of the Himalayas. Your descent takes you through varied forest into the Wangdi Valley, considered the breadbasket for the surrounding regions. Your climb to the Lawala Pass brings you to what is perhaps the most beautiful of all valleys within Bhutan and where the black necked cranes find their winter home from the Tibetan Plateau. Your visit to the centuries-old Gangtey Goenpa Monastery provides a dramatic view of the entire Phobjika Village, where you will find your accommodations for the night. (B, L, D)

DAY 10 / PHOBJIKHA - PUNAKHA

A morning walk along the footpaths that guide you through beautiful pine forest, takes you to another viewpoint of the Phobjikha Valley. While visiting this remote region, you will enjoy visits to various sites within the village and meet with families within their private homes. After a leisurely lunch, a countryside drive takes you to Punakha for a two-night visit in one of the more colorful and fascinating areas of Bhutan. The farther out you drive, the more remote the area and the more fascinating the local sights, where the indigenous populace conduct their livelihood as have their parents and elders from generations-old traditions. It is here that you will find those traditions manifested in their daily lives and where they continue to be handed down to their children. (B, L, D)

DAY 11 / PUNAKHA

With your base in Punakha, drive a short distance to the trail point, where you will enjoy a leisurely walk across rice paddies, suspension bridges and gently uphill through the pine forest to visit the magnificent Khumsum Yulley Namgyal Chortan. Continue on to visit Lobesa, site for the Chhimi Lhakhang Temple, which is (dedicated to a reincarnate, popularly known as a Divine mad monk). Once again, you will stroll through the village where you will have the opportunity to have a first hand experience to enjoy meeting the populace who find themselves so remotely situated in what can best be described as the geographical essence of a true Shangri-La. A late afternoon drive brings you to the site of the Sangchen Dorji Lhendupchholing nunnery at Wolakha. The nunnery is located on a ridge overlooking the entire valley, from which one can view numerous stupas and a temple in the far distance. (B, L, D)

DAY 12 / PUNAKHA – THIMPHU - PARO

Trace your way back to Paro, while enjoying a leisurely lunch en route in Thimphu and visiting more of the sites within the city. Thereafter, journey back to Paro and upon arrival visit the Paro Dzong, one of the formidable sites within the city environs. The remainder of the evening will be at rest and relaxation. (B, L, D)

DAY 13 / EXCURSION TO TAKTSANG

A short morning drive brings you to the foothills of the beautiful Taktsang Monastery, where you will have the option to follow the switchbacks on foot or by horseback through an abundant forest of pine, up some 2,000 feet for an incredible view of the Paro Valley and the unusual temple (Tiger’s Nest) which clings to the side of a sheer cliff. This is one of the most sacred sites within Bhutan. All Bhutanese strive to visit this site at least once in their lifetime. (B, L, D)

THAILAND

DAY 14 / PARO VALLEY – BANGKOK

All too soon your exciting passage, it is time for a flight return to Bangkok to enjoy the remainder of the day and evening at leisure, perhaps to go into the city for an afternoon of touring or enjoying an evening meal. (B)

UNITED STATES

DAY 15 / BANGKOK – UNITED STATES

The date has arrived to make your onward passage, returning you to the United States with those grand memories to be rekindled for a lifetime. (B)

Regional Advisory

Regional Advisory

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The terraced hillsides of Nepal nestle against the Himalayas, offering amazing panoramic views. Southern Nepal includes the small town of Lumbini, birthplace of the original Buddha. A deeply religious and aesthetic people, the Nepalese ornament their buildings and temples with extraordinary carvings and paintings. The magnificent Chitwan National Park contains exotic fauna, including elephants, leopards, and the legendary Bengal tiger.

Bhutan, which means, "Land of the Thunder Dragon," lies between India and China. It is a remote paradise of rich fertile valleys and snow-capped mountains. The countryside is dotted with amazing monasteries that attract pilgrims from all over the world. Tourism has now only begun to reach Bhutan; a visit to the country offers a rare opportunity to view unspoiled natural beauty and to enjoy the hospitality of a people to whom a foreign visitor is still a welcome novelty.