Trekking in Nepal with your family?
Yes! It's not only possible, but quite possibly one of the most amazing, inspiring, educational and active adventures that you can have with your children. Grand Asian Journeys has a new program just for families, even children as young as three! Kids under 12 trek for 30% less than their parents. Unplug your kids from their regular routine and recharge them with the natural splendor of the Himalayas. Check out our fully-customizable family program here.
Books and more about Bhutan
Are you curious about the country that measure Gross National Happiness or perhaps you can't imagine what it's like in a country without a stoplight? Here are a few books and a movie to inspire you to take your own journey.
Beyond the Sky and the Earth: A Journey into Bhutan
by Jamie Zeppa
A candid, witty account of a Canadian woman's experience in remote Eastern Bhutan. She finds herself stuck between two worlds, coming to grips with the many culture and country that is incompatible with her own.
Radio Shangri-La: What I learned in Bhutan, the happiest kingdom on Earth by Lisa Napoli
A successful public radio journalist wondered how to recharge her life and wound up consulting with a new youth radio station in Bhutan. Her engaging account chronicles the country on the verge of a democratic metamorphosis.
Buttertea at Sunrise: A Year in the Bhutan Himalaya by Britta Das
A heartfelt account of a physiotherapist's time living in a remote Bhutanese village A Western woman's account of hardship and happiness in a land almost untouched by the west.
Travelers & Magicians (2003) – The first and only movie yet to make it big by a Bhutanese director. Rotten Tomatoes says, "Intertwined tales of spiritual discovery are set against a gorgeous, evocative landscape in this pleasant, engaging import." See the trailer here.
GAJ Gives Back!
With money raised from the 2010 3 Summits for Nepal charity climb, Grand Asian Journeys' Chief Adventure Officer and 3 Summits founder Jwalant Gurung, officially inaugurated the new Pathibhara Primary school in Kavre, Nepal in April 2011. We are happy to say that classes began in the newly constructed school building last month.
Twenty four participants, including four past 3 Summits climbers, will attempt to summit Mt. Rainier on the 3 Summits climb this month. Although Jwalant will not be participating in the climbs this summer, he is still actively raising money for a new school building in another Nepali village. See details on his special offer for all donors below.
Quick! Donate to 3 Summits to save big on Asia
New school in Kavre, Nepal built with money from the 2010 3 Summits climb
Money raised from last year's 3 Summits for Nepal was used to build a third school in as many years in remote Nepal. The need for improved access to education is imperative in the remote Himalayan areas. The school that will be built with money from this year's climbs will be in a village in mid-western Nepal without road access and in more desperate need of a school than any area in which we have built a school before. Because of the limited access, cost of materials will be higher which will dramatically increase the cost over past years' projects.
In order to encourage donations (and inspire a more prosperous and educated Nepal), Jwalant is personally offering a special incentive to save you money on travel in Asia. For every dollar you donate (tax deductible through Crooked Trails) on his behalf, you will be entitled to a discount equivalent to 30% of your donation on a trip to Nepal, Tibet, India, China, Vietnam or Bhutan through Grand Asian Journeys. For example, if you donate $500 you will be entitled to a $150 discount. Travel valid until May 31, 2012. You may choose to extend your special discount to another traveler.
To make a tax-deductible donation online, support a more prosperous and educated Nepal and sponsor Jwalant, click here. In the remarks box mention: "Jwalant Gurung".
How we're different: Porter care
Our satisfied customers are our best advertisements! Here's a note from a client who recently completed two treks in Nepal:
"One of the reasons we are pleased we chose Grand Asian Journeys is what we observed in relation to the porters. On both our treks, our porters had probably the best footwear and jackets of any we saw. They wore good solid hiking boots, as opposed to the flimsy canvas tennis shoes or rubber flip flops worn by many others, and they also had good waterproof ski jackets, both provided by your company. Our guide Buddhi also told us, unsolicited, that in case of a medical crisis for a staff member your company will provide helicopter evacuation for them, and also provides life insurance, unlike many outfits which leave their staff and families to fend for themselves. While our guide and porters were eating well in the lodges, he told us that sometimes companies make their staff pay for all their own food. Thank you for providing such exceptional care to your wonderful crew."
Holy Tibet: Experience Mt. Kailash
Perhaps the holiest mountain in the Himalayas, Mount Kailash (6,714m/22,028ft) in western Tibet is the is the spiritual center for four great religions including Tibetan Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, and the pre-Buddhist animistic Bon. The circumambulation of Mount Kailash is an important pilgrimage for all four religions and Buddhists believe that a single kora (circuit) washes away the sins of one life; 108 will secure nirvana. Devout Tibetans often make the 52-km circuit in a single day.
Grand Asian Journeys is proud to have added a new itinerary to our repertoire called Pilgrimage of the Heart: Simikot to Mount Kailash . This month long journey, priced from $5,245, will take you deep into Buddhist culture through Nepal and Tibet, and into your own spiritual center.
To cut down on travel by land-cruisers – which would be the case if you were to get to Kailash from Lhasa – we will trek through Humla, the highest, northernmost, and most remote district of Nepal. Humla is an area of extreme geographical conditions: elevations range from 1,524m at the lower basin of the mighty Karnali River that flows through it, to a high of 7,337m in the Saipal range. After the circumambulation of Mt. Kailash, the trek back to Simikot is via a circuitous route through the beautiful Limi Valley. Click here to learn more about this once in a lifetime journey.
Bhutan and India on Sale!
Save $400 per couple on select departures of 12 days or longer in Bhutan or India. Click here for details!
Biking to Mustang?
A new road is being built from Jomsom to Tibet through Mustang, a remote area that has never had a road. Since 90% of the work is already complete we thought it would be fun to bike the trail rather than trek it. Read the blog and learn about our new trip!
Private group presentations
Is your book club, hiking group or coffee klatch interested in traveling together? Perhaps you're inspired by the Himalayas, the happiness of Bhutan or the wilds of India. Pam Perry, based in the Seattle area, is available to put on private presentations to your group of 6 or more interested travelers on any of our destinations including Nepal, Bhutan, India, Tibet or China. Please contact her directly for more information.
If it's not you who wants to travel, but you know someone who'd benefit from our professional and personalized service and world-class journeys, refer them and get yourself $100 as a special thank you.
Don't forget to check our Hot Deals page regularly for good deals on Asian travel adventures!
Follow us on Facebook
Become a fan of Grand Asian Journeys on Facebook and you will hear about new tours, interesting stories about our destinations and special promotions before anyone else. Not to mention you'll be the first to know about our expanded offerings to other exotic Asian locales in 2011.
Forward this newsletter
Click here to forward this newsletter to a friend.