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Bhutan, Nepal and Tibet in one adventure


Average rating Score
100%

Taktsang Monastery Jean Pilon
based on 4 review(s)

14 days 13 nights

Code TNB3

Category Bhutan Classic Tours

  • Group Size 5-16 persons
  • Difficulty Level 3
  • Rating Popular
  • Highest Altitude 3100m (10,168ft) at Dhochula Pass
  • Trip Starts From Chengdu, China
  • Trip Ends At Paro, Bhutan
  • Accommodation Hotels
  • Type Tours
  • Destination Chengdu Lhasa Kathmandu Nagarkot Thimphu Punakha Paro Bangkok Khui Doloo
Dates & Prices

Overview

An inspiring cultural circuit of three Himalayan countries- Bhutan, Nepal, and Tibet in one trip!

The region of Bhutan, Nepal, and Tibet, situated atop the mighty Himalayas, is among the near-mythical destinations dreamed of by many travelers to Asia. These countries are rich in history, culture, religion, arts, and architecture; they are sanctuaries of magnificent mountain vistas, pristine nature, thundering rivers, lakes, and valleys. The trip offers opportunities for short, brisk day hikes to ancient villages, ridge top monasteries, traditional arts, and craft workshops and colorful markets. Some tours overlap with the local festivals that connect travelers, close up, to the local culture and traditions. You will have the opportunity to meet the monks and villagers and try the ethnic cuisines.

This trip takes you to the region’s great capitals – first to Lhasa, Tibet; then Kathmandu, Nepal; and finally Thimphu, Bhutan. You need a Tibet entry permit to get on the flight to Lhasa, and that they don't ship abroad. So, arrive in Chengdu or Beijing or any other cities one day before and pick up your permit at your hotel. 

Highlights of the trip

  • Visit the majestic Dzong fortresses, ancient temples, farmhouse, and traditional arts and craft school and hike the Tiger's Nest monastery in Bhutan.
  • In Nepal, visit the Durbar Squares, and the UNESCO recognized World Heritage sites in Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Patan and a moderate hike from Changu Narayan to Nagarkot through the rural villages.
  • In Tibet, visit Dalai Lama's Potala Palace and major Buddhist monasteries and excursion to the Drak Yerpa Hermitages.
  • Opportunity to meet the monks and locals.
  • Some trips overlap with local festivals.
  • The trip includes some short hikes.

Is this trip for you?

This trip is a motor vehicle based cultural sightseeing with some optional hikes, but travelers are still expected to be in good shape. There are at least three short hikes in Bhutan (Two of them are less than an hour long, and one can take up to 5 hours up and down). There is one hike in Nepal which is about three hours long. Hiking usually involves walking in the hills or uneven terrain with the rough trail. If you are not keen on hiking, you can stay back with the driver and join the group later.

Lhasa (Tibet) is in high altitude (12,000 ft. or higher). So, you are likely to experience some mild symptoms of altitude sickness, but with enough rest and acclimatization, the symptoms should go away in a day or two. Travelers with hearts and lungs issues should consult with their physician before you sign up for this trip.

This trip is not a luxury. Trip accommodations are in decent three-star hotels by local standard, and they are adequately comfortable. You will have a private en suite bathroom with running hot and cold water. We can customize the itinerary and upgrade hotels for a private trip if you wish.

Land Cost 2019

  • US$ 2799  per person double occupancy basis (Minimum group size 5 persons).
  • US$ 480 Private Room Supplement (Mandatory if no-one is available to share the room).

Additional estimated In-tour Airfare

US$1200-1300 (Chengdu-Lhasa-Kathmandu-Paro-Bangkok). Fares are dynamic and subject to change. An exact quote will be available once we book the reservation.

Note: International airfare to Chengdu and return from Bangkok needs to be booked separately it's and is not included.

Trip Dates 2019

  • 11 May 2019.
  • 14 Jun 2019 (Trip timed with Saga Dawa Festival, Tibet).
  • 9 Jul 2019.
  • 12 Aug2019~Trip timed with Ganden Monastery festival
  • 24 Aug, 2019~Trip timed with Teej festival in Nepal.
  • 29 Aug  2019~Trip timed with Shotun festival in Lhasa.
  • 6 Sep 2019~Trip timed with Drak Yerpa festival in Tibet
  • 28 Sep 2019~Trip timed with Thimphu Tsechu festival in Bhutan.
  • 19 Oct 2019~Trip timed with Tihar Festival in Nepal.
  • 8 Nov 2019.
  • 12 Apr 2020~Trip timed with Rhododendron Festival in Bhutan
  • 1 May 2020~Trip timed with Lord Buddha's Birth Day
  • 28 May 2020~Trip timed with Tsurpu Monastery Festival in Tibet
  • 28 Jun 2020
  • 17 Aug 2020~Trip timed with Shotun festival in Tibet
  • 18 Sep 2020~Trip timed with Thimphu Festival in Bhutan
  • 17 Oct 2020~Trip timed with Dechenpug Festival
  • 7 Nov 2020~Trip timed with Deepawali festival in Nepal

Trip dates don't work for you? Consider a private trip and depart on your preferred time. The festival dates are subject to change.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 01~Arrive in Chengdu, China

Arrive in Chengdu on your own. Complete immigration and customs formalities and take the shuttle van to the hotel. Pick up your Tibet entry permit when you check into your room.

Overnight: Chengdu Airport Hotel
Day 02~Flight to Lhasa, Tibet

Today: Tibet. After an early morning breakfast, take a shuttle van to the Chengdu International Airport. It's two hours 20 minutes long flight. Upon arrival in Lhasa, you are met by your local guide and transferred to the hotel in the city (1 hour).

At Lhasa’s altitude of 3,650 meters or 11,972 feet, symptoms of altitude discomfort and sickness are common. The symptoms include headache, lightheadedness, breathlessness, disorientation, and loss of appetite. So, today, we take it easy and rest. It’s advisable to drink plenty of water and take liquid food in meals. The hotels also can supply oxygen pillow on request. Discomfort should go away in a day or two; but if the symptoms persist or worsen, please see a doctor immediately.

Overnight: Dekang Hotel, 3*
Meals : Breakfast
Day 03~Lingkhor walking Tour, visit Potala Palace, and Sera Monastery

We start early today to make the most of our time. First, by car to Dickey Lam (Deji Zhonglu in Chinese) to join the hundreds of Tibetan pilgrims heading to the Potala Palace. The trail takes us through the rock carvings, and a Chorten built entirely of the carved mani stones. At the intersection of Beijing Road and Dickey Lam, we might see devout Tibetans rubbing their backs, shoulders and hips against a series of holy rocks! We walk past to the Golden Yak statue and, if time permits, we can climb the viewpoint on the way to Potala Palace, Lhasa's cardinal landmark.

Potala Palace, situated atop a 130-meter hill, is among the most magnificent architectures of the world. It was the power center of Tibet until the Dalai Lama's departure to India in 1959. The complex has two palaces – white and red. The White Palace contains the throne rooms of the 13th and 14th Dalai Lamas, a reception hall, meditation room, and the bedrooms used by Dalai Lamas. The Red Palace houses various chapels and the tombs of several Dalai Lamas. A visit to Lhasa is incomplete without visiting Potala Palace.

The other great Gelugpa monastery of Lhasa is the Sera Monastery, our next stop. Founded by Sakya Yeshe, the disciple of Tsongkhapa, the monastery in its heyday, the monastery was home to 5,000 monks; now only 500 live there. Yet, the monastery has not lost its charm. One notable part of the Sera Monastery visit is the Monks’ debating ceremony each afternoon. Beforehand, we might want to visit the various chapels of the monastery. Enthusiastic hikers can also hike on the monastery’s pilgrimage path.

Overnight: Dekang Hotel, 3*
Meals : Breakfast
Day 04~Drak Yerpa Hermitage, Barkhor Street and Jorkhang Temple

We set out after breakfast to explore the rural areas of Lhasa. Today, visit the Drak Yerpa Hermitage, a cave retreat 18 miles northeast of Lhasa. Many Buddhist teachers including Guru Rinpoche and King Songtsen Gampo mediated here. The site is peaceful, with stunning views, and an experience of rural Tibet that is away from the crowds of Lhasa.

We retrace our drive to Lhasa and visit the old town of Barkhor and the Jokhang Temple, built in the 7th century, and now the most revered of all the religious shrines in Tibet. Thick with the smell of butter lamps, burning incense, the murmur of sacred Tibetan mantras, prostrating Tibetan devotees, visiting the Jorkhang is a unique Tibetan experience. We’ll make time for a walking tour of the old town, unaffected by the modern influence, and full of craft workshops and back-street chapels, and on the pilgrimage path with the Tibetan devotees spinning prayer wheels or counting beads with the utterance of sacred mantras. The complete circuit can take up to 3 hours but you may cut it short and return to Barkhor Square from anywhere if you choose.

Overnight: Dekang Hotel, 3*
Meals : Breakfast
Day 05~Flight over the Himalaya to Kathmandu

After breakfast, your guide and driver will transfer you to the airport for flight to Kathmandu, Nepal. It’s a beautiful one hour and a 30-minutes long scenic trip over the vast Himalayan mountains. On a clear weather day, you will be able to see Mount Everest on the right side!

You can apply for a Nepal visa upon arrival if you don't have one yet. Bring one passport-size photo and prepare US$25 cash for the visa fee. After clearing immigration and customs, you’ll be greeted outside the airport by your Nepali guide and driver. The drive into the city takes about 30 minutes. 

You will have time to settle into your room before we leave for sightseeing. We start with the 2,000-year-old Swayambhunath Stupa atop an 80-meter-high hillock in the western part of the city, a shrine to the evolution of Kathmandu Valley and its civilization. Then to Durbar Square of Kathmandu, in the heart of the old town. The Durbar Square includes the former Royal Palace complex and a cluster of ancient and medieval temples, all rich in art and architecture. We visit the Kumari House, the residence of the Living Goddess of Nepal. The last earthquake in Apr 2015 destroyed the palace, and some temples here and restoration works are currently underway, but there are quite a few other monuments to see around.

We’ll walk through the vibrant markets of Indrachowk and Assan, then to Thamel, the tourist hub of Kathmandu, and home to all manner of budget accommodations, restaurants, and curio shops.

Our day ends in a typical Nepali restaurant, for a welcome dinner and folklore dancing.

Overnight: Moonlight Hotel Kathmandu, 3*
Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 06~Patan City, Bungamati Village and Kirtipur

After breakfast, off to Patan, one of the three medieval principalities of the Kathmandu Valley, along with Kathmandu and Bhaktapur. Patan is called the "City of Arts and Crafts." We begin from Patan's Durbar Square, with former Royal Palace complex and an array of ancient and medieval temples – Golden Temple, Kumbheshwar Temple, Mahaboudha Temple, and Macchindranath Temple.

Now, we drive to the traditional Bungamati Village of Newari, untouched by modern influences. We walk on the narrow alleys and visit the Machhindranath Temple in the center of the village. 

Our final destination of the day is Kirtipur-a historic town just 3 miles outside Kathmandu that lives with faded glory and impressive temples, back-alleys and courtyards. UNESCO listed the city as a temporary cultural heritage in 2008.

The balance of the day is at leisure.

Overnight: Moonlight Hotel Kathmandu, 3*
Meals : Breakfast
Day 07~Thimi,Changu Narayan Temple and Nagarkot

After breakfast, we transfer to the traditional town of Thimi- one of the ancient, cultural and historical places along the trade route from Bhaktapur to Kathmandu. Now, we proceed to Changu Narayan Temple (1 hr.). This temple claims to be the oldest functioning Hindu Temple in Nepal, and it's also a UNESCO world heritage site. The last earthquake damaged the temple a bit, and so restoration work is underway. 

Now, we begin our hike to Nagarkot. If you want to pass the hiking part, your driver can drive you to the hotel. The initial part of the walk is through the jeep track, and then the trail goes through villages and farmlands. We will see on the way people busy in farming or harvesting, tending livestock, living in the joint family and maintaining a close bond in the neighborhood. We will be surprised to see just how much the local life is laid back and still keep the culture and traditions. Walking is comfortable on fairly leveled paths, and we will enjoy the mountain views from most of the trail. Later, we follow the jeep track to our hotel in Nagarkot.

Overnight: Country Villa Nagarkot 3*
Meals : Breakfast
Day 08~Bhaktapur, Pashupatinath Temple and Boudhanath Stupa

On a clear weather day, Nagarkot offers a spectacular sunrise view over the Himalaya and valley panorama.  

After breakfast, we travel back to Kathmandu with stops along the way in Bhaktapur, Pashupatinath and Boudhanath Stupa.

Bhaktapur is the best preserved of the three medieval principalities of Kathmandu Valley. We enter the city from its eastern gate and walk through the pottery street and arrive at Dattatreya Square with an ancient temple and a monastic complex. All the houses and temples exhibit beautiful wood carving. The peacock window of Pujarimath Complex is the masterpiece wood carving in Nepal.

Continuing on the brick paved street, we arrive at Taumadhi Square where rises an impressive five storied Nyatapola Temple that survived two major earthquakes of Nepal. Finally, we enter the Bhaktapur's Durbar Square that constitutes the former palace and many temples with intricate wood carving and beautiful stone sculpture. The Golden Gate-the main entrance is the masterpiece metal work of Nepal. We will visit the palace museum, the courtyard and the Royal Bath Tank of the palace complex.

Next stop will be at Pashupatinath Temple- the holiest Hindu Temple of Nepal. The temple sits on the bank of sacred Bagmati River which is also one of the tributaries of holy Ganges. Admission to the main temple sanctum is for Hindus only, but you can view the temple and activities in its courtyard from another side of the river.

The final stop of the day: Boudhanath Stupa- which is claimed to be the tallest Buddhist stupa in Asia! The stupa is believed to be one of the "must visit" site for all Buddhists in their lifetime. There are a number of monasteries belonging to different schools of Buddhism. The area is predominantly Tibetan and reminds of Barkhor area of Tibet.

Overnight: Moonlight Hotel Kathmandu, 3*
Meals : Breakfast
Day 09~Flight to Paro, Bhutan

It's a one-hour long spectacular flight to Paro Bhutan! By luck, the weather favors, and we can enjoy the spectacular views of Himalayan mountains, including Mount Everest and other majestic peaks!

On arrival at Paro, Bhutan, airport, meet your guide and driver after clearing immigration and customs. After introductions, your guide and driver will transfer you to a restaurant for lunch, followed by a scenic one-hour drive to Thimphu, the capital, with a stop for a short walk at the 13th-century temple of Tamchog Lakhang. The temple-built by the famous Tibetan iron-bridge builder Thangthong Gyalpo –an architect, physician, teacher, and a saint! Till today, his descendants own and keep the temple.

In Thimphu, we’ll have time to settle in and take rest before a walking tour of the tiny city. Thimphu is probably the only capital in the world without any traffic lights! We will leisurely take a stroll and visit the Memorial Chorten (shrine) of the 3rd King of Bhutan Jigme Dorje Wangchuk, and whatever else time and our interest allow.

Overnight: Khang Residency or similar.
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 10~Thimphu sightseeing and hiking

After breakfast, with our guide and driver, the adventures begin as we get a feel for the city. On the weekend, it's worth visiting the weekend market. Archery is the Bhutanese the national sport, and we’ll hope for matches while we’re there.

Next, visit the National Institute Zorig Chusum that offers a six years course on Bhutan's traditional arts and crafts that include painting, wood carving, embroidery, and statue making (Closed on Sunday and public holidays). Then, visit the Simply Bhutan Museum, a living museum of Bhutan, resembling a typical village that promotes the cultural heritage and local lifestyle. Here, you will have a chance to wear traditional Bhutanese costumes and pose for photographs, if you wish.  

Afternoon, take a short 10-minute hike through the forest to visit the Takin Sanctuary. Takin – a kind of sheep by way of antelope, are the National animals of Bhutan and believed to exist only in Bhutan Himalaya. On the way back to our hotel, we’ll stop at the Zilukha Nunnery in Drubthob Goemba, home to 40-60 Buddhist nuns.

Thimphu's latest addition is Buddha Dordenma, a massive 177 ft tall Buddha statue on a ridge overlooking the valley.

Time permitting, visit the National Institute of Traditional Medicine, a dispensary of traditional Bhutanese herbal and other medicines, the textile academy that preserves the centuries-old living art of Bhutan. 

Hiking option: hiking enthusiasts keen to experience a monastic lifestyle away from the crowds of town can take a half-day hike to Tango Goemba monastery. You’ll miss some sights listed above, though. Tango Goema Monastery is Bhutan's highest learning center for Buddhist studies. All Je Khenpo, the religious head of Bhutan, must complete a nine-year program here and a three-year, three-month, three-day in mediation at the nearby Cheri Goemba Monastery! With luck, the monks will be in recess, and we can join them for tea. (If you are a part of the group, the decision to hike must be unanimous)

On our way back, we can stop at Pangri Zampa Temple-an astrology school for the state clergy. More than a hundred monks study astrology in this center, and they welcome the public for astrology consultation if anyone is interested. A week-advance notice is requested for scheduling purpose, though. 

In the evening, a Bhutanese parliamentarian or government official joins us over dinner for an informal talk on Gross National Happiness, a doctrine introduced by the 4th King of Bhutan that emphasizes the prosperity of the country based on the happiness of the people, rather than the mere commerce of gross domestic product!

Overnight: Khang Residency
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 11~Across Dhochula Pass to Punakha

(77 km/ 48 miles, 3 hrs.).

Following breakfast, we begin a scenic drive to Punakha, the former winter capital of Bhutan. As we leave Thimphu behind, the road gradually winds up through villages and pine forests to Dochula Pass (3100m/10168 ft.), marked by 108 Buddhist shrines, flickering with sacred prayers flags offered by the Buddhist devotees. We’ll hang our prayer flags. On a clear day, the pass provides a superb panorama of the snow-capped mountains and the valleys.

From Dhochula Pass, the road drops slowly through the changing vegetation to the sub-tropical lowland of the Punakha and Wangdue, and we arrive at our hotel in two hours. 

We will have time to settle into our room and have lunch before we go hiking to Khamsung Yuelley Temple. We cross the Mochu River by a suspension bridge, and then we begin our walk. The initial hike is through the rice paddies, and then the trail spirals up a hill where on the top stands the beautiful Khamsum Yuelley Temple. Built by the Queen Mother, Khamsum Yuelley Temple is an example of Bhutan's traditional architecture. Our well-deserved rest will include this impressive structure and beautiful views of the valley below. The total trip should take about one hour or less.

Rafting opportunity: If you want, you can experience a thirty-minutes long rafting trip down Mochu River (Grade II or III). The rafting put in point is just below the suspension bridge, and it's taken out near the Punakha Dzong. (Cost: US$ 150 for a group of six persons)

Next, we visit the stunning Punakha Dzong, probably the most impressive of all the Dzong (fortress) architectures of Bhutan. It has served as the winter capital of Bhutan, and even today the chief abbot moves there from Trassichoe Dzong in Thimphu. 

Overnight: Drubchu Resort
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 12~Travel back to Paro

(142 km/89 miles, 4 hrs). 

This morning, we visit the Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Lhakhang Nunnery on a hill overlooking the valley. The nunnery houses a 14-foot bronze statue of Avalokiteshvara (Chenrigzig Chagtong Chentong), Buddhas and Taras. The temple complex also houses a permanent center of higher learning and meditation for nuns. The nuns here also learn skills such as tailoring, embroidery, statue making, and thangka painting.

Next, a short and easy hike leads us to Chime Lhakhang. It's less than 15 minutes from the main road, and the trail goes through paddy fields and villages. The houses here show phallic arts on the walls and doors! You might even see the door handles or knobs carved out in the shape of a phallus! Ask your guide why. The temple is nick-named as 'Fertility Temple,' and it's associated with the Lama Drukpa Kuenley who is famous as the Divine Madman!

Now, we retrace our drive across Dhochula Pass to Paro. Shortly before the pass, we can stop at Lamperi Botanical Garden that preserves the rich fauna including Rhododendron flowers. After a lunch stop in the Dhochula pass, we will continue to Paro.

The balance of the day is at leisure.

Overnight: Khangkhu Resort
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 13~Hike the Taktsang Monastery a.k.a Tiger's Nest

A special day, with an early start. After breakfast, we’ll hike to the famous Taktsang Monastery, also known as the Tiger's Nest, a highlight of any trip to Bhutan. The monastery sits on the edge of a 4000-foot cliff above the valley floor; it is an unbelievable sight. The hike up is less than three hours. With a prior arrangement, ponies can take us two-thirds of the way up, but no further. Legend has it that Guru Padmasambhava, known as Guru Rinpoche by Tibetans and Bhutanese, flew on a tigress from Tibet and landed at the monastery’s site. Guru meditated in a cave here, it is said, and subdued the local demons and established the supremacy of Buddhism in Bhutan.

On the way back to the town, we will detour to the ruins of the historic Drukgyel Dzong. It was built in the 16th century to mark the Bhutanese victory over the Tibetan invaders. 

This afternoon, visit a Bhutanese farm family and their colorful farmhouse, made up of wood without the use of a single nail! With prior arrangement, we can share a traditional meal with the family.

Experience Traditional Hot Stone Bath (Optional):

After such an active day, we recommend a traditional Bhutanese Hot stone bath, an ancient Bhutanese method of curing skin ailments, joint pains, hypertension, stomach disorders, arthritis, and many other diseases. Your guide needs one-day advance notice to book the hot stone bath. The estimated cost is $25 per person.

Overnight: Khangkhu Resort
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 14~Flight to Bangkok

After breakfast, your guide and driver will transfer you to the airport in time for our flight to Bangkok or other destination.

Meals : Breakfast
Day 09 Attend the festival in Khoi Doolo and afternoon travel to Hustai National Park

Following breakfast, we check out hotel as we travel to Khui Doloo to see the horse racing, and then we continue to Hustai National Park where to stay overnight today.

Khui Doloo is the site for the horse racing which is the major part of Naadam Festival. The horse racing is cross-country type and the race course is 10 to 20 miles long and the horse complete the course based on their age. The youngest horse runs the shortest distance. Interestingly, the jockeys are children and youths between 5 to 13 years old. There is a lot of singing and music during the race.

Afternoon, we travel to Hustai National Park (40 miles). After we settle into our ger, our guide and driver will take us for a short ride in the park to explore the wildlife. Of course, the only main attraction here are the herds of wild horses, called Przewalskii’s horses (Equus przewalskii). Locals call them "Takhi." It became extinct in the wild in 1969 and, since 1992, has been successfully re-introduced in Hustai NP from zoos around the world. It has been an international effort monitored by The Foundation for the Przewalskii Horse, based in the Netherlands and MACNE (Mongolian Association for Conservation of Nature and the Environment).

The national park boasts rolling steppe mountains with rather large patches of birch and aspen forests. There are also visible remains of Neolithic graves. Also, red deer (Cervus elaphus) and the wolf (Canis lupus) have increased quite a bit during the last few years, as well as Mongolian gazelle. Species existing in Hustai but rarely seen include Lynx, Argali Sheep, and Roe Deer.

 

Overnight: Hustai Camp
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Trip Map

Trip Info

Trip Includes:

  • Thirteen nights first class (3*) hotel accommodation, based on double occupancy basis.
  • Meals: Bhutan, full board; one welcome dinner in Kathmandu, and rest of the days daily breakfast only.
  • A vehicle for transfers and sightseeing as on itinerary.
  • English-speaking local guides.
  • Bhutan visa
  • Tibet entry permit
  • Sightseeing admission fees.
  • Service of in-tour airfare reservation. (Estimated airfare indicated separately we will give you an actual quote once we book the ticket for you.)

Trip Does Not Include:

  • Nepal Visa ( Can be obtained upon arrival)
  • China visa ( You need to get it on your own and provide us the scan no later than 45-days prior the trip date.
  • Lunch and dinner while in Nepal and Tibet.
  • Drinks, tipping, laundry, phone, internet usage, and other personal expenses.
  • Extra expenses or loss due to nature and unforeseen events beyond the control of our management.
  • Travel Insurance.
  • Airfares. ( Estimated in-tour airfare$1200 or 1300 for Chengdu-Lhasa-Kathmandu-Paro-Bangkok).
  • Hotel and services in Bangkok.

Note on Itinerary:

We do our best to adhere to the itinerary but it should be taken as a general guideline in terms of what you expect to do or see during the tour and may differ in the ground from exact sequence or order of the sights to the overnight places depending on the local conditions. As we continuously work to improve the tour, the final tour itinerary may be different which will be sent to you about two months before the trip date.

Trip Activity Level.

This trip is motor vehicle-based sightseeing with some short hikes and village visits; it is suitable for all travelers in general good health. Hiking to Takstang Monastery in Paro can be strenuous, but you can rent ponies. Some sights are high on the hillock and require climbing stairs.

The longest drive on this trip will be four hours, from Punakha to Paro. Otherwise, drive times are short. We will undoubtedly have occasional stops for photography and refreshments. Roads in the Himalaya are narrow, and some portions may be rough and damaged. While in Tibet, we stay in an elevation of 3,500 m (11,480 ft.). On the first day in Lhasa, it is normal to experience mild symptoms of altitude sickness that include dizziness, a light headache, disorientation, and breathlessness. Most people feel better within a couple of days. The itinerary allows time for acclimatization. It is nonetheless advisable to keep physically fit and start mild exercises like jogging, swimming, cycling or practice some aerobics in the months before the trip. It’s your responsibility to determine your fitness for this trip. If you have any health conditions, please consult your physician before you sign up for this trip.

Guides

Our Tour Guides are local people with college degrees, government certifications, and experience with and knowledge of the destinations and their history, culture, and religion. Our guides are just as importantly, easy-going, detailed oriented, patient, and committed to a high level of customer service. They will uncover the wonders of the destinations that you would never find on your own, and make sure your tour is without a hitch. Your guide will also deal with the bureaucracy and passport or permit control, carry all necessary documents and vouchers, and stay alert to road and weather conditions. Note: Guides will change in each country, due to local licensing requirements.

Vehicle

We use clean, reliable, comfortable cars or vans for all transfers and tours, often the Toyota Hiace micro bus (capacity 8-9 persons) and Toyota Coaster Bus (capacity up to 20 persons); depending on group size, we might also use Japanese-made sedans or SUVs. We provide separate drivers and guides. Our drivers might speak little or no English, but they know the roads and are in a pinch, mechanically skillful.

Altitude sickness and Health Concerns

There are no mandatory vaccinations required for traveling in Tibet. However, you may consider vaccination against rabies and Hep A. We recommend that travelers with cardiac-pulmonary issues or any other medical conditions consult their physician before departure. The primary health consideration in Tibet is altitude related illness or Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). You might initially experience some mild symptoms, such as headaches, lethargy, nausea, and sleeplessness; most people feel better within a few days. Doctors are also available on call.

You’ll be glad if you start some physical exercises in the months before leaving; jogging, swimming, cycling, hiking, and aerobics are all helpful. Fitness makes for a better trip experience and helps you accommodate the altitude. You should have a good sleep the night before you fly into Lhasa and take complete rest on the first day. It's also advisable to drink three or four liters of water daily and consume liquid food. Hydrate!

International and Internal Flights

The trip starts in Chengdu, Tibet and concludes in Paro, Bhutan. You need to arrive in Chengdu, China on your own. After Bhutan, you can fly out to Kathmandu or Delhi or Bangkok and connect with your international flight back home. So, you need to book your international airfare to Chengdu (China) and return from Kathmandu or Bangkok or Delhi.

We will book all in-tour flights for you and quote the fare separately. 

Visa and Permits

Your passport must be valid for at least six more months beyond your return date. 

You need to get your Chinese visa minimum two months before your trip date. Once you have your Chinese visa, please, provide us a copy of this, and then we can apply for a Tibet entry permit for you.  Our Lhasa office will ship the original hard copies of entry permit to your hotel in Chengdu or Beijing that you can pick up when you check in hotel. You need to present the document when you check in flight for Lhasa.

Chinese embassy does not accept visa applications by mail. You need to go in person or entrust someone to submit documents on your behalf. Visa application needs to be supported by air and hotel reservations in China.

You can get Nepal visa from any Nepali embassy or consulate in your country, or you can wait until you arrive at Kathmandu airport. In either case, you will need to complete a visa application and attach a picture. Currently, a 15-day multiple entries visa costs US$ 25.  

We will obtain Bhutan visa for you, and it's part of the tour. We will email you a copy of eVisa three or four weeks before the trip date.

Booking and payment schedule

When you are sure you are traveling, please don't delay in booking so that we can confirm you in preferred hotels and flights. We request an initial deposit of US$300 along with a completed booking form and passport scan.  The second payment will be for the internal airfares that we will advise you once we book the reservations for you.

The final payment is due 90 days before your departure. Reservation booked within 90 days prior departure requires making full payment at the time of booking. We request the balance payment by check or bank transfer. Final payment on credit card attracts 3.5% additional fee to cover the merchant's commission.

Cancellation and refund

Sometimes, things don't go as planned, and you may have to withdraw from the trip. Do not delay in sending us the cancellation notice in writing (email or fax) soon you know you won't be able to go.

  • Ninety days prior departure: Administrative fee US$ 150 per person.
  • 60-89 day's before departure: US$ 250 or 25% of the land cost whichever is higher.
  • Forty-five days to 59 days before departure: US$ 450 or 50% of the land cost whichever is higher.
  • Thirty days to 44 days before departure: US$ 600 or 75% of the land cost whichever is higher.
  • Less than 30 days:100%.
  • Visa fee is non-refundable.

Cancellation and refund of air tickets will be as per the airline's policy, and consolidator charges $25 in refund processing fee. For details, please view booking and cancellation terms and conditions

Accomodation

Accommodations and facilities

Except for a few over-priced international chain properties, there are limited choices of accommodation in Bhutan and Tibet. The hotels we use in this tour are decent three-star hotels by local standard. These are locally managed properties, with traditional style architecture and decor and offer warm hospitality. You will have en suite bathroom with 24-hour running hot and cold water. Part of the character of these hotels is that not all of the rooms are the same type, so there could be some variation even within the same group. They provide some basic toiletry supplies, but hair dryers, irons, and ironing boards might not be available. 
Hotels listed on the itinerary are our preferred accommodations, but their limited inventories of rooms mean they can be subject to change. If we failed to accommodate you in our preferred hotels, we would book you in other comparable alternative hotels, and we appreciate your understanding. The finalized trip dossier that we provide about two months before the trip date will contain the list of booked hotels and services. 

Hotel Khang Residency
Hotel Khang Residency, Thimphu
Drubchu Resort
Drubchu Resort Punakha
Khangkhu Resort, Paro
Khangkhu Resort, Paro
moonlight hotel kathmandu
Moonlight Hotel, Kathmandu
country villa nagarkot
Country Villa, Nagarkot
dekang hotel
Dekang Hotel, Lhasa

Add Ons

Everest View Flight

US$ 215

Mountain Flight

Buddha Air and other major domestic airlines of Nepal operate one hour daily mountain flight over the Himalayas - a wonderful opportunity to view Mount Everest and other majestic peaks without venturing into a laborious trekking. Of the fourteen peaks higher than 8000 meters, eight are in Nepal. Although there is no denying that walking up and down the hills for a close up view of the Himalaya is very much worth the effort, this we have to confess is not for everyone, due to the physical and time requirements. Buddha Air’s Everest Experience is meant especially for those who don’t want to leave Nepal without touching the sacred and majestic Himalaya. To get the best of the weather conditions in the mountains where strong winds start blowing gathering clouds and raising snow plumes which block the view as the day progresses ahead, mountain flights take place early in the morning. Mountain flight is something you don’t want to miss while you are traveling in Nepal.

Review

Average Rating Score 5star based on 4 review(s)


  • "Everything was planned out smoothly."
    5star

    We just returned from a trip to Bhutan, Nepal, and Tibet. It was absolutely amazing and I'm still trying to mentally process everything we saw and did. Our guides were wonderful and everything was planned out smoothly for us. We would definitely choose to travel with Far & High again


  • "A fantastic experience all the way through"
    5star

    A friend and I joined a Far & High Adventure Travel small group tour of Bhutan, Nepal and Tibet (7 people in total). It was a fantastic trip and we never worried about a thing ! The guides were knowledgeable and personable and we were transported everywhere in a comfortable van. They kept a supply of bottled water in the van so we didn't even have to worry about keeping hydrated ! A totally fantastic experience all the way through - the trip of a lifetime !


  • "Excellent trip"
    5star

    We used Far and High for a September 2015 private group tour of the Himalayas, China, Tibet,Nepal, Bhutan and ending in India. Hotels were very good. Guides and drivers were excellent and very reliable. We would use Far & High again.


  • "An Amazing trip!"
    5star

    Far and High put together an amazing and memorable itinerary for our trip to Bhutan, Nepal and Tibet! I did my homework and compared with other companies what they had offered and priced. I always check their rating with the BBB in their city of operation, Minn., MN. Another seasoned traveler on the trip with us did his homework , too, before choosing Far and High to travel with. We knew we were in good hands at a fair price. Postak ‘s connections in the countries visited were superb. All the native guides were fluent in speaking English, as if they were from the US. All were knowledgeable, attentive, and accommodating to our needs. The hotels were all nice and comfortable. F& H even tries to have you experience the life of locals such as enjoying a hot stone bath in Bhutan and riding a rickshaw in Nepal. Thank you, Postak for a great trip!


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(Formerly Highland Asia Travel)

United States

8030 Old Cedar Ave S, Suite 123
Minneapolis, MN 55425
Tel: 1 612 605 4428
Fax: 612 807 1137

Nepal

Kapoordhara, Samakhusi, Kathmandu
Tel (977 1) 4351780, 4381823
Fax +977-1-4381369

Bhutan

KMT Building, Nordzin Lam, Thimphu
Tel (975-2) -329098 / +975-77204087
Fax (+975) 2 337004

Tibet

B5-1-2, B3 dong, Renchen garden,
No 13 Jiangsu road Lhasa Tibet China.
Tel: +86-(891)-6836609,
Fax: +86-(891)-6836619


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