Transcendent Nepal and Hidden Bhutan

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  • Group Tour
  • Starting Price: $5,305
  • Length: 13 days
  • Operator: Travcoa
  • 866-591-0260
    Destinations: South and Southeast Asia, Bhutan, Nepal
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Tour Description

Journey to Nepal and Bhutan and discover cultures that are off-the-beaten path. Walk on the wild side in Nepal, tracking tigers from atop an elephant, and delight your senses on this journey to the heart of the subcontinent. Bhutan, the “Land of Dragons,” is known for its high valleys linked to India by the scenic plains. Here, the people still wear their traditional dress as they perform a wonderful Bhutanese cultural dance for your enjoyment. This is a journey that will overwhelm you with its mystical, cultural and historical relevance.

  • Visit the Temple of the Living Goddess, Durbar Square, with its array of temples, and Hanuman Dhoka Palace, the ancient palace of the Nepalese Royalty
  • Enjoy a full day hike to the Sarangkot hill (5220 feet.) and take in the view of the Annapurna range and the Machapuchhre peak as well as Phewa Lake and the entire Pokhara valley
  • Drive through Chitwan National Park in 4WD jeeps to look for tigers, the great one-horned rhinoceros, leopards, bears as well as deer, monkeys, birds and more
  • Discover the arts at the Handicraft Center and see handwoven Tibetan carpets be made and molding of metal statues
  • Visit the newly built “Druk Wangyal Khangzang Chortens”, a unique cluster of 108 Namgyel Khangzang Chortens that spiral up to a main monument Chorten
  • Explore the sacred Chimi Lhakhang Monastery, built by Lama Drukpa Kuenley, the “Divine Madman.” explore the sacred Chimi Lhakhang Monastery, built by Lama Drukpa Kuenley, the “Divine Madman”
  • Take a day hike to the enchanting “Tiger’s Nest,” the Taktsang Monastery viewpoint, built around a cave where the Guru Rimpoche meditated and clinging to a cliff rock at 3,000 feet above the valley

Itinerary

DAY 1

Arrive Kathmandu

You are met upon arrival and taken to your hotel. This afternoon tour Kathmandu City, the capital of Nepal. Visit the temple of the Living Goddess, Durbar Square, with its array of temples, and Hanuman Dhoka Palace, the ancient palace of the Nepalese Royalty. Travel to Swayambhunath, a 2000-year-old Buddhist Stupa, with a lofty conical spire that is topped with a pinnacle of copper gilt.

Hotel Dwarika, Kathmandu

DAY 2

Kathmandu

Today you travel south to the typical Newar village of Bungmati. Founded in 7th century AD, Bungmati is revered as the home of Matsyendranath, the God of rain and compassion, worshipped equally by Hindus and Buddhists. Your next stop is to visit Khokana, a small 7th century Newar village that keeps itself aloof from all modern civilization. Exploring Bungmati and Khokana will give you an intimate picture of the primitive way of life that still exists in Nepal today. Next, drive up 5,500 feet to explore Dhulikhel, for its famous views of the Himalayan ranges. Tonight enjoy a Nepalese folkloric show followed by a traditional dinner. (B,L)

Hotel Dwarika, Kathmandu

DAY 3

Pokhara City

This morning fly from Kathmandu to Pokhara City, in the picturesque Pokhara Valley, and transfer to your hotel. This afternoon enjoy a tour of the city with its snow fed lakes and views of the snow-clad Great Himalayas. See the Bindhyavasani Temple and take a one-hour boat cruise on deep-blue Phewa Lake.(B)

Shangri-La Village Resort, Nepal

DAY 4

Sarangkot

Today enjoy a full day hike to the Sarangkot hill (5220 feet.). From the hilltop tower enjoy the view of the Annapurna range and the Machapuchhre peak, as well as Phewa Lake and the entire Pokhara valley.(B,L)

Shangri-La Village Resort, Nepal

DAY 5

Chitwan National Park

Drive to Chitwan National Park to board a 4WD jeep to continue into the heart of the jungle. Drive through the forest, deep inside the jungle to look for tiger, the great one-horned rhinoceros, leopard, bear, as well as deer, monkeys, birds and more. Arrive at “Tiger Tops”, one of the finest wildlife reserves in Asia, for your 2-night stay. This afternoon visit the Elephant Stable to learn about the Asian elephant, before taking an Elephant Safari- a memorable guided trek through the jungle. Stay the next two nights at Nepal’s most renowned pioneer wildlife safari lodge.(B,L,D)

Tiger Tops Jungle Lodge, Nepal

DAY 6

Chitwan National Park

Start your day with an early morning Jungle or Nature walk with an experienced naturalist to teach you about Chitwan’s flora and fauna. Next, take an open-air Jeep Safari for more amazing wildlife viewing. The afternoon is free to relax or take another Elephant back safari.(B,L,D)

Tiger Tops Jungle Lodge, Nepal

DAY 7

Chitwan National Park, Kathmandu Patan City

Enjoy another morning Nature walk or elephant safari before driving to the airport for your flight to Kathmandu. This afternoon tour Patan City, built in 3rd century AD by Emperor Ashoka, and enclosed within four stupas. Known as the city of fine arts, see Patan’s Durbar Square, the bronze collection in Patan Durbar, the Krishna temple built by King Siddhi Narsingh Malla, and see Mahaboudha Temple. Next, visit Later you have the privilege of visiting a Nepalese Home. (B,D)

Hotel Dwarika, Bhutan

DAY 8

Thimphu

Start today with a breathtaking flight over the great peaks of the majestic Himalayas into the Dragon Kingdom of Bhutan. Arrive at Paro airport, then drive through spectacular mountain scenery and serene countryside to Thimphu, Bhutan’s capital. Sandwiched in the heart of the Himalayas, Thimphu is a small, charming capital city. All the buildings are constructed and painted in the traditional Bhutanese style. Visit the Memorial Chorten, built in the loving memory of their late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, it has a multi-storied Stupa and will provide you with rare insight into Buddhist philosophy. (B)

Hotel Taj Tashi, Bhutan

DAY 9

Thimphu

This morning take a hike to either Tango or Cheri Goemba. Later drive to the BBS Tower viewpoint in Sangaygang. Visit the Mini Zoo to see a takin, the national animal of Bhutan, the National Library, with its vast collection of ancient Buddhist manuscripts; and the Arts and Crafts School to see young children learning the ancient craft of painting.(B)

Hotel Taj Tashi, Bhutan

DAY 10

Thimphu to Punakha

Today drive to Punakha, en route stopping at Dochula Pass (10,500 ft.) for of one of Bhutan’s most breathtaking views - a plethora of colorful rhododendron blossoms and soft green wild herbs and forest trees dot a canvas of alpine snow. Visit the newly built “Druk Wangyal Khangzang Chortens”, a unique cluster of 108 Namgyel Khangzang Chortens that spiral up to a main monument Chorten. These chortens (the Tibetan term for stupas), are a new landmark for travelers as they cross Dochula into the interior of the country. Descend into Punakha, nestled in a fertile valley, it was once Bhutan’s winter capital because of its more temperate climate.(B,D)

Zangtopelri Hotel, Bhutan

DAY 11

Punakha to Paro

Enroute to Paro, visit Punakha Dzong, built in 1637 as both the religious and the administrative center of the country. Next, explore the sacred Chimi Lhakhang Monastery, built by Lama Drukpa Kuenley, the “Divine Madman.” It is believed that childless women who visit the temple will conceive after receiving “wang”(blessing). Next drive through the Wangdue Valley and pass by Simtokha Dzong, built in 1629 as a fortress, today it is a theological university.(B)

Zhiwa Ling Hotel, Bhutan

DAY 12

Paro

This morning take a day hike to the enchanting “Tiger’s Nest”, the Taktsang Monastery viewpoint. Built around a cave where the Guru Rimpoche meditated, this monastery seems to cling impossibly to a cliff of rock at 3,000 feet above the valley floor. The hike is challenging but thrilling and mystical. And although the main building was destroyed by fire in 1998, it was reconstructed in 2000. Later drive to see the old ruined fortress of Drukgyel Dzong, see Kyichu Lhakhang (built in 659) and Satsam Chorten. Visit Ta Dzong’s National Museum with its collection of ancient Thangkha paintings, textiles and weapons; and explore Rinpung Dzong, the Fortress of the Heap of Jewels, one of the most celebrated Dzongs in Bhutan.(B)

Zhiwa Ling Hotel, Bhutan

DAY 13

Depart Paro

Today you are transferred to the airport for your flight home or on to your next destination.(B)

Departures

Pricing Information

December 31, 2011

From $5,305.00 per person double occupancy.

From $1,165.00 single room supplement.

Journey Includes

  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary
  • All transfers and fully guided daily sightseeing provided by a private deluxe A/C vehicle
  • Local English-speaking guide for sightseeing in each city
  • Entrance fees per final scheduled itinerary
  • Airport porterage, where available (2 bags per person)
  • Local taxes
  • TravcoAssist (Medical Travel Assistance Plan)

All prices are in US dollars and do not include international airfare, unless otherwise noted.

Prices displayed are based on the lowest season base price and assume double occupancy. Prices are shown in U.S. dollars and may or may not include administrative fees, taxes, meals, airfare (where applicable) and Single Supplements. Cancellation penalties, blackout dates and other restrictions may apply.

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