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Expedition At A Glance

24 days, 23 nights

Difficulty Level: 2

Price (US$): From $6,495.00

Months Available: May and September

OVERVIEW


Comprehensive Himalayan Trilogy Adventure

Come join Grand Asian Journeys on this once-in-a-lifetime adventure to visit three of the world’s most mysterious and beautiful destinations in one magical itinerary – Bhutan, Nepal and Tibet. Your visit to Bhutan will include a rare opportunity to experience a lively Bhutanese festival in the town of Ura in the Bumthang Valley.

Fly to Paro in Bhutan. Glimpse into the heart of the tranquil kingdom of Bhutan and experience of the lifestyle that is famously measured as “Gross National Happiness.” You will hike to the legendary Taktsang Monastery, also called Tiger’s Nest, which hangs dramatically on a sheer rock face 2,900 feet above the valley floor. Explore the capital city of Thimphu and move deeper into the country to visit a traditional festival.

Next visit the chaotic capital of Nepal, Kathmandu, a melting pot of various ethnic and religious groups. The unique blend of Hinduism and Buddhism is apparent in the temples and stupas and in the daily lives of the Nepali people.

On to Tibet with the sense of the deep connection to Buddhism interwoven throughout daily life in this vast expanse of land. The spirit of the Tibetan people resounds at the Forbidden City of Lhasa and in the Potala Palace, the ancient palace of the Dalai Lamas.

This journey will captivate your senses and your soul! Prepare to be amazed by the beauty and grandeur of the Himalayas!

Highlights

  • Circumabulate palaces and stupas of Tibet with the locals
  • Hike to the cliff hanging Tiger’s Nest in Paro
  • Watch a Hindu cremation along the ghats of Bagmati in Kathmandu

DETAILED ITINERARY


Day 01 – Kathmandu
Arrival in Kathmandu. Transfer to hotel. Cultural Nepali dinner in the evening. Overnight Hotel Yak and Yeti or similar (5 star). (No meals)

Day 02 and 03 – Kathmandu
Full day sightseeing of Kathmandu. Visit Pashupatinath, the holiest Hindu temple in Nepal. Witness a Hindu cremation along the Ghats of the Bagmati river. Circumambulate the Bodnath Stupa along with hundreds of Nepali and Tibetan Buddhists. Marvel at the exquisite architecture of the temples and palaces at Patan Durbar Square and Bhaktapur Durbar Square. Climb the 365 steps of the Monkey Temple (Swayambhunath Stupa) to erase the sins of a life-time.

These two days will give our Nepal operator time to apply for Tibet permits. (Breakfast and Lunch)

Day 04 – Kathmandu to Paro. Drive to Thimpu.
Fly Kathmandu to Paro. As you fly into Bhutan, you will admire the enormity of the Eastern Himalayas including Mt. Everest and Mt. Kanchendzonga (the tallest and the third tallest mountains in the world respectively).
You will be met upon arrival in Paro. Drive to Thimphu (one-hour drive). Thimphu, the Bhutanese capital (7,609 feet), is situated in a valley surrounded by terraced rice fields. The main street in Thimphu, Norzim Lam, is lined with shops. Overnight Namgay Heritage. (All meals)

Day 05 –  Thimpu.
Visit Memorial Chorten, built in memory of the third King, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. Drive to Drubthop Lhakhang, the nunnery temple. Learn more about the culture through visits to the Bhutanese Indigenous Hospital and Traditional Painting School. Visit Tashicho Dzong, the administrative headquarters of Bhutan. Overnight Namgay Heritage. (All meals)

Day 06 – Thimpu to Punakha
Drive to Punakha after breakfast at the hotel. The road climbs steeply through a scenic forest of pine and cedar trees, to Dochula pass (10,000 feet). The pass offers panoramic views of the Himalayan mountain ranges, on the descent to the fertile valley of Punakha (4,430 feet).

Before proceeding further to the town of Punakha, hike about 30 minutes to the Chimi Lhakhang (temple) on a small hilltop. The temple was dedicated to the great Yogi in the 14th century, known as Drukpa Kuenley, as well as the “Divine madman.” He dramatized Buddhist teachings using songs and outrageous sexual humor. Bold phallus symbols and paintings on the houses and temples are a result of his influence. It is believed that this temple blesses women who seek fertility.

After lunch, continue to Punakha Dzong (fortress) situated between the two rivers, Pho Chu and Mochu (male and female river). The fortress is now used as the winter seat of Je Khenpo (the spiritual head of Bhutan). The Dzong served as the capital seat of the Kingdom for more than 300 years. The intricate Buddhist paintings inside the monastery are spectacular. Overnight Meri Puensum. (All meals)

Day 07 – Punakha to Trongsa
Drive approximately to Trongsa. Overnight local lodge. (All meals)

Day 08 – Trongsa to Bumthang
Drive 2.5 hours to Bumthang. Overnight local lodge. (All meals)

Day 09 and 10 – Bumthang
Two days of exploring the valley. Witness the Ura Festival in the May departure and the Thangbi Mani Festival in the October departure. Overnight local lodge. (All meals)

Day 11 – Bumthang to Wangdue
Drive approximately 7 hours to Wangdue. Overnight lodge. (All meals)

Day 12 – Wangdue to Paro
Drive approximately 5 hours to Paro. Evening free to stroll the streets of Paro. (All meals)

Day 13 – Paro (Tiger’s Nest hike)
Begin the day with breakfast before a short drive to Taktshang Monastery. The trail to the monastery climbs through pine trees festooned with Spanish moss and occasional fluttering prayer flags. Hike at your own pace for about two to four hours.

Built in 1600s, the monastery clings to the edge of a sheer-rock cliff that plunges 2,952 feet into the valley below. It is believed that, in the 8th century, Guru Rimpoche, the tantric mystic who brought Buddhism to Bhutan, landed here on the back of a flying tigress to subdue a demon. Guru Rimpoche is believed to have meditated here for three months. Packed lunch will be served.

Drive further up the valley to Drukgyel Dzong, the fortress of the victorious Drukpas. From Drukgyel Dzong, the Tibet border is only a two-day hike away. Overnight at Hotel. (All meals)

Day 14 – Paro to Kathmandu
Fly to Kathmandu. Overnight Hotel Yak and Yeti. (B, L)

Day 15 – Kathmandu
Free day in Kathmandu. Overnight Hotel Yak and Yeti. (B, L)

Day 16Kathmandu to Lhasa
Fly to Lhasa. Free to relax, acclimatize or explore the Barkhor Square. Overnight Hotel Shangbala or similar. (B, D)

Day 17 and 18 – Lhasa
Visit Potala Palace, the palace of the Dalai Lamas – the spiritual and administrative leaders of Tibet – for many centuries. There are a thousand rooms in this tremendous building, which is a prominent landmark. Visit the Sera Monastery in the afternoon and watch monks hone their debating skills in the courtyard. (Visit the holiest temple in Tibet – The Jokhang, Barkhor. Continue to Drepung. Overnight Hotel Shangbala or similar. (B, L)

Day 19 and 20 – Lhasa to Gyantse
Drive to Gyantse via the scenic Yamdrok Lake. The next day is a full day of exploring Gyantse. Visit the Kumbum Stupa, the Gyantse monastery and the Gyantse Fort. Overnight Gyantse Hotel or similar. (B, L)

Day 21 – Gyantse to Shigatse
Drive three hours to Shigatse. Visit the Tashilunpo monastery, the seat of the Karmapa Lama. Overnight Mansarovar Hotel or similar. (B, D)

Day 22 – Shigatse to Lhasa
Return drive to Lhasa. Overnight Hotel Shangbala or similar. (B, L)

Day 23 – Lhasa to Kathmandu
Fly over the Himalayas to Kathmandu. Day free in Kathmandu. Finner dinner at a Typical Nepali restaurant. (Breakfast and Dinner)

Day 24 – Final departure

Transfer to airport for flight home. (Breakfast)

(Contact us for a detailed brochure)

PHOTO AND VIDEO GALLERY


COST AND INCLUSIONS


Per person price (valid till December 31, 2015)

The Comprehensive Himalayan Trilogy Adventure (24 days, 23 nights):

4 or more persons: $ 6,495 USD per person
Single Supplement: $ 1,450 USD

Nepal and Bhutan (14 days, 13 nights):
2 persons: $ 4,725 USD per person
3 or more persons: $ 4,325 USD per person
Single Supplement: $ 900 USD

Bhutan only (11 days, 10 nights):
1 person: $  3,800 USD per person (includes single supplement)
2 persons: $ 3,650 USD
3 or more persons: $ 3,250 USD per person
Single Supplement: $ 650 USD

Paro (Bhutan), Lhasa (Tibet) and Kathmandu (Nepal) airfare is extra.

Price includes (For Comprehensive Himalayan Trilogy Adventure):

  • Expert pre-trip advice and detailed information
  • Meeting and assistance at airport and transfers to hotels
  • All in-country transportation and sightseeing (entrance fees included)
  • Hotel accommodations on twin sharing basis
  • Meals as indicated on itinerary
  • Tours and excursions outlined on itinerary
  • Bhutan Visa and Tourism Development Fee
  • Tibet Permit


Price does not include:

  • Your international airfare
  • Nepal visa
  • Meals not indicated in the itinerary
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Travel insurance (recommended)
  • Other expenses of a personal nature (soft drinks, alcoholic beverages, mineral water, laundry, phone calls, internet, battery charging, comfort food etc.)
  • Meals not indicated in the itinerary
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Travel insurance (Required)
  • Other expenses of a personal nature (soft drinks, alcoholic beverages, mineral water, laundry, phone calls, internet, battery charging, comfort food etc.)

DATES AND AVAILABILITY


2014 Dates:

May 05 – 28

AVAILABLE

September 29 – October 22

AVAILABLE

Cannot find a departure that fits your schedule? No problem. Contact us for private departures (two or more participants) for a date of your choosing.

AVAILABLE:

Book this trip now as spaces are available.

GUARANTEED:

This trip has the minimum sign ups required and is guaranteed to run.

LIMITED AVAILABILITY:

Limited spaces are available so please contact us to inquire about the departure status.

FULL:

This date is unavailable. please contact us to inquire about other trip departure dates or booking this trip as part of a Custom Itinerary.

BOOK THIS TRIP


“I wanted to go to Nepal to help rebuild, and it was a challenge for me on many levels. The incredible part is that our guide Sune, and all the porters not to mention the family were there to help us accomplish our goal of doing what we could to help them. To receive the patience, physical assistance, guidance (and the incredible food!) touched me deeply. And as it turned out we did help! A lot of rocks got moved. Wire was woven. Progress was made in deconstructing a house. Plus we had fun! I am still integrating all that I experienced. There is something very intense about being in the vicinity of the Himalayas, the stunning beauty, the vastness, the challenges that reduce the ego and enlarge the heart. I’m glad I answered the call to participate in this adventure.”

-Linda McElroy, Napal, CA, Rebuilding Nepal: Singla, October 2015

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