Bhutan, Nepal and Tibet : Three Highland Asia Adventure


Tiger's Nest, Boudhanath and Potala Palace

Overview

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

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

This trip takes you to the region’s great capitals – first to Paro, Bhutan; then Kathmandu, Nepal; and finally Lhasa, Tibet. Bangkok is the most popular gateway for flights into Bhutan; from Lhasa, Tibet, you can fly to Beijing and then connect with your international flight back home.

What's on this trip?

  • Bhutan 5 nights (Thimphu 2 nights, Punakha 1 night and Paro 2 nights)

  • Nepal 4 nights (3 nights Kathmandu and 1 night Nagarkot)

  • Tibet 4 nights (All 4 nights in Lhasa)

  • In Bhutan, visit the majestic Dzong fortresses, ancient temples, farmhouse, traditional arts and craft school and hike the Tiger's Nest monastery.

  • 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 are timed with local festivals.

  • The trip includes some short hikes.

Is this trip for you?

This is basically a motor vehicle based cultural sightseeing with some optional hikes but travelers are still expected to be in shape. There are three short hikes in Bhutan (Two of them are less than an hour long and the ultimate Tiger' Nest Monastery can take up to 5 hours up and down).There is one hike in Nepal which is 3 to 4 hours long. Hiking always means walking uphill. If you are not into hiking, you can still go but you will stay behind at your hotel or with the driver while others are hiking. Tibet is in high altitude (12,000 ft or higher) and so everyone will experience the symptoms of altitude sickness.

Detailed Itinerary

  • Day 01 ~Flight to Paro, Bhutan and then transfer to Thimphu (1 hr) (Bhutan)

    • On arrival at Paro, Bhutan, airport, meet your guide and driver after clearing immigration and customs. Note: Flights to Paro usually arrive from Bangkok, Kathmandu or Delhi. Please, report two hours before departure to allow smooth check-in. You’ll need to present your Visa Approval Letter, which we will email to you about three to four weeks prior to the trip date. In Paro, you are required to present the document again, and there you will get actual visa sticker on your passport.

      After introductions, your guide and driver will transfer you to 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 was built by the famous Tibetan iron-bridge builder Thangthong Gyalpo – architect, physician, teacher, and a saint! The temple is owned and maintained by his descendants.

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


      Overnight at Khang Residency or similar 4* property.
      Meals: Lunch and Dinner
  • Day 02 ~Thimphu sightseeing and hiking. (Bhutan)

    • 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. We’ll visit a small handmade paper factory across the river to see the traditional Bhutanese paper making method that uses “daphne” or mulberry plants.

      We return to the town and 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. Then we head to the Folk Heritage Museum, a three-story mud and timber building that replicates a century-old traditional farmhouse that gives us a glimpse of not only the lives of ancient Bhutanese people, but also many rural people even today.

      Next stop – the National Institute of Traditional Medicine, dispensary of traditional Bhutanese herbal and other medicines; then the Trasichoe Dzong that houses the Royal Throne, National Assembly, and the seat of Chief Abbot of the central monastic body.

      Late afternoon will bring us to a grand panoramic view of the valley, followed by a short 10-minute hike through the forest to visit the Takin Sanctuary. Takins – a kind of sheep by way of antelope, are the National animals of Bhutan and believed to exists 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.

      An 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; and if you are a part of group, the choice will be made by majority vote. 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.

      Overnight at Khang Residency, or similar 4* property.
      Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Day 03 ~Drive from Thimphu to Punakha.(77 km/ 48 miles, 3 hrs). (Bhutan)

    • 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/10168ft), 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 offers superb panorama of the snow-capped mountains and the valleys.

      Two hours later we’ll be in Punakha, the end of a road that drops slowly through the changing vegetation to the sub-tropical lowlands of the Punakha and Wangdue Valleys. After lunch at our resort, you will be transferred to Wangdue Phodrang and we will take a gentle 25-minute hike to the Rinchengang Village with traditional two-story houses; or a similar hike through paddy fields and villages to Chimi Lakhang Temple (a.k.a., the Fertility Temple); or the Nalanda Buddhist College, locally known as Dalayn, where we’ll have a chance to meet with the monks, who will want to try their English with their visitors.

      Overnight Drubchu Resort or Punatsangchu Cottages or Kichu Resort. 3*
      Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  • Day 04 ~Transfer back to Paro (142 km/89 miles, 4 hrs). (Bhutan)

    • After breakfast, we start with a pleasant hike to the Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten – about 45-60 minutes up, but only 30 minutes down. The temple is situated atop a beautiful hillock overlooking the valley. Built by the Queen Mother, and is an example of Bhutan's finest traditional architecture.

      Back down, we ride to 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 the capital. After lunch at our hotel, we will proceed to Paro, retracing our drive across Dhochu La pass. We’ll check in to our hotel and, as time permits, explore Paro.

      Overnight at Drukchen Resort or similar 3*
      Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  • Day 05 ~Hike Takstang Monastery and visit the attractions of Paro. (Bhutan)

    • A special day, with an early start. After breakfast, we’ll hike to the famous Takstang Monastery, also known as the Tiger's Nest, a highlight of any trip to Bhutan. The monastery is dramatically perched 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 the ancient Kyichu Lakhang Temple, notable as one 108 temples that King Songsten Gampo of Tibet built miraculously over a single night in the 7th century in order to subdue a demon!

      Following lunch, we will visit the legendary Dungtse Temple which is built on top a hillock that resembles the head of a turtle shaped demon.

      Our next stop is the National Museum, housed at Ta Dzong fortress, that served as the watch tower for the Rinpung Dzong in the past. The museum exhibits a good collection Bhutanese textiles, manuscripts, books, murals, armors, crafts, traditional utensils, philatelic collections, and more. Then, we can either descend and visit the impressive Rinpung Dzong Fortress that houses the office of the district administration and monastic body; or we can visit a typical Bhutanese farm family and their colorful farmhouse, made up of wood without 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 arrange the hot stone bath and it can be taken at some hotel or a private farm house. Estimated cost is US$20.

      Overnight at Drukchen Resort or similar 3*
      Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  • Day 06 ~Flight from Paro to Kathmandu (Nepal)

    • After breakfast, your guide and driver will transfer you to the airport for flight to Kathmandu, Nepal. It’s a beautiful 50-minute flight over the Himalaya – including Mount Everest on a clear weather day! 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.

      After checking in, we’ll begin exploring the fabled Kathmandu Valley. 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 city. 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 palace and some temples here were destroyed by the last earthquake in Apr 2015 and some restoration works are going on currently 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 at Shambhala Hotel, 4*
      Meals: Breakfast and Nepali Welcome Dinner
  • Day 07 ~Visit the temples, monasteries and palaces of Kathmandu and Patan. (Nepal)

    • 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 the cobblestone streets of Durbar Square, with former Royal Palace 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.

      In the afternoon, we visit the Boudhanath Stupa, the largest stupa in Nepal and one of the most revered Buddhist shrine outside Tibet. The area is predominately Tibetan, and reminds people of Barkhor Street of Lhasa, Tibet.

      Overnight at Shambhala Hotel, 4*
      Meals: Breakfast
  • Day 08 ~Visit Thimi and later hike from Changu Narayan to Nagarkot. (Nepal)

    • 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). Changu Narayan claims to be the oldest functioning Hindu Temple in Nepal and it's also listed by UNESCO as the world heritage site. The last earthquake damaged the temple a bit but restoration work is in progress and still the temple and the vicinity is worth visiting.

      After spending some time in this ancient temple, we begin our hike to Nagarkot. Luggage will be transferred by vehicle. Those who are not willing to hike can also take ride. Its 3-4 hours walking through the terraced fields and villages and sometime following the dirt road. You will be surprised to see just how much the local life along the trail is laid back and still maintain the traditional architecture, culture and values. We will see on the way people busy in farming or harvesting, tending livestock, living in joint family and maintaining close bond in the neighborhood.

      The first part of trail goes through the sparse forest. Walking is easy with fairly level paths and we will enjoy the mountain views from most part of the trail. Now, we arrive at the village of Tamang ethnics. The village is made up mud and stone houses with thatched or slate roof. Usually, the houses are three -storied, with a kitchen on the ground floor, bed-rooms on the second and storage for the grains on the top floor. Usually, there is a separate shed for the cattle. Each house maintain their own vegetable garden, flowers and even fruit trees. Later, we follow the jeep track to our hotel in Nagarkot.

      Overnight at Club Himalaya Resort or similar A class property.
      Meals: Breakfast
  • Day 09 ~Bhaktapur and Pashupatinath Temple

    • We wake up early morning to enjoy the sunrise and panoramic views of the snow capped mountains! On a clear weather day, Nagarkot offers 180 degree views of the snow capped mountains of the Himalayas.

      After breakfast, we are transferred by our vehicle to Bhaktapur. Bhaktapur is the best preserved of the three medieval principalities of Kathmandu Valley. We visit the Durbar Square that constitutes the former palace and a number of temples with intricate wood carving and beautiful stone sculpture. The Golden Gate-the main entrance of the palace is the master piece metal work of Nepal. We will visit the palace museum, the courtyard and the Royal Bath Tank of the palace complex. We walk on the cobbled street of and visit the impressive 5 storied Nyatapola Temple, Duttratraya Temple and Pujarimath Complex. The peacock window of Pujarimath Complex is the master piece wood carving in Nepal. We will stop to visit the pottery square where we will learn the traditional method of pottery making.

      Our final stop of the day will be at Pashupatinath Temple, one of the most revered Hindu Temple in South Asia. The temple is situated on the bank of holy Bagmati River that provides the cremation sites for deceased Hindus as well.

      Now, transfer to the hotel and balance of the day is at leisure for your personal interests.
      Overnight at Shambhala Hotel
      Meals: Breakfast
  • Day 10 ~Flight across the Himalayas to Lhasa (Tibet)

    • Today: Tibet. After an early morning breakfast, we’re off to the Kathmandu International Airport for flight to Lhasa, Tibet. Chinese visa and Tibetan permits are taken care of by us. A 75-minute flight takes us across the sea of snow-capped mountains that include Mount Everest and other 8,000-meter peaks. After clearing immigration and custom formalities, you will be met by your Tibetan Guide and driver for introductions and a one-hour drive to the city.

      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.

      Accommodations at 4-Points By Sheraton (4*)
      Meals: Breakfast
  • Day 11 ~Visit Drepung Monastery, Jorkhang Temple and the Old Town Walking Tour (Tibet)

    • Following breakfast, refreshed, we set out to explore the wonders of the holy city of Lhasa. We begin from Drepung Monastery, five miles west of central Lhasa. Once world's largest Monastery, it is home to around 7,000 monks. The monastery was the power center of Tibet and home to the Dalai Lamas until the 5th Dalai Lama built the Potala Palace. We visit the Ganden Palace, the main assembly hall, chapels and colleges in the monastery complex and also enjoy the panoramic views of the valley from the monastery.

      Ten minutes downhill, we find the Nechung Monastery, which served as the State Oracle until 1959. No Dalai would take any important decision without consulting the Nechung Oracle.

      Next is the old town of Barkhor and the Jorkhang 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 an unrivalled Tibetan experience. We’ll make time for a walking tour of the old town, unaffected by the Chinese 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.

      An optional Tibetan opera and folk dance show is available tonight. The show with dinner costs about US$ 15.

      Overnight at 4-Points By Sheraton (4*)
      Meals: Breakfast
  • Day 12 ~Lingkhor walking Tour, visit Potala Palace, and Sera Monastery (Tibet)

    • We’ll 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 scenic view points on the way to Potala Palace, Lhasa's cardinal landmark.

      Potala Palace, situated atop a 130-meter hill, is among the greatest 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 basically 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. Three miles north of central Lhasa, it was founded by Sakya Yeshe, the disciple of Tsongkhapa. 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.

      Instead of Sera Monastery , you can visit Tibet Museum, a multimillion dollar center that has collections of more than 1,000 artifacts and architectural designs from Tibetan history and culture.

      Accommodations at 4-Points By Sheraton (4*)
      Meals: Breakfast
  • Day 13 ~Excursion to Drak Yerpa Hermitage and Ganden Monastery (Tibet)

    • We set out after breakfast to explore the rural areas of Lhasa. Today, visit the Drak Yerpa Hermitage, a cave retreat 18 miles north east 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.

      From Drak Yerpa, we head further east through the rural areas to the Ganden Monastery, the principal seat of the Gelugpa sect of Buddhism, to which the Dalai Lama belongs. It is also among the earliest and largest Buddhist monasteries in Tibet, and commands the highest position among the six major Gelugpa monasteries. If you are keen on hiking, you may join the devout Tibetans and take a one-to-two-hour hike on the pilgrimage path around the Monastery. In the late afternoon, you will retrace drive and return to Lhasa.

      Overnight at 4-Points By Sheraton (4*)
      Meals: Breakfast
  • Day 14 ~Flight to Beijing or onward destination.

    • We will transport you to the airport for your flight to your next destination. You may fly to Chengdu, Beijing, or other major Chinese cities to connect with other international flights. If you are leaving the country to the United States or other country, you will probably want to fly to Beijing, stay there one night, and then connect with your international flight back home the following day.

      Meals: Breakfast

Trip Info

Trip Includes

  • Thirteen nights hotel accommodation, based on double occupancy (3- or 4-Star in Bhutan; 4-Star in Nepal & Tibet.
  • Meals: Bhutan, full board; one welcome dinner in Kathmandu, and rest of the days daily breakfast only.
  • All transfers and sightseeing as on itinerary.
  • English-speaking local guides.
  • Tibet permits and Bhutan visa processing ( fees quoted separately)
  • Sightseeing admission fees.
  • Booking of domestic flights (airfare separately quoted)

Trip Does Not Include

  • Visa fees (Bhutan and Tibet visa fee are quoted separately but paid with the trip cost).
  • Nepal visa fee $25 to pay when you obtain visa on your own.
  • Lunch and dinner while in Nepal and Tibet.
  • Drinks, tips and other personal expenses such as phone, laundry etc.
  • Extra expenses or loss due to nature and unforeseen events beyond the control of our management.
  • Travel Insurance.
  • International airfares and airport taxes.
  • Hotels in the gateway cities before and after the trip.

Note on Itinerary

We do our best to adhere to the itinerary, but it should be taken as a guideline that, given local circumstances, might differ in sequence or substance on a given day.

Trip Activity Level.

This trip is basically 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 ponies can be provided with prior arrangement. Some sights are high on the hillock and require climbing stairs.

The longest drive in this trip will be four hours, from Punakha to Paro. Otherwise, drive times are short. We will certainly have occasional stops for photography and for refreshments. Roads in the Himalaya are narrow, and some portions may be rough and damaged. While in Tibet, we stay in an elevation of 3,500m (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 that your fitness for this trip. If you have any health conditions, please consult your physician before you sign up for this trip.

Accommodations and facilities

There are limited choices of accommodations in Bhutan and Tibet. Except a few over-priced international chain properties, most hotels in Bhutan are small, with 25-40 rooms. Our preferred hotels are these small, comfortable, locally managed properties with traditional décor and warm, friendly services. 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 the same, so there could be some variation even within the same group. They provide some fundamental toiletry supplies, but hair dryers, irons, and ironing boards might not be available. Hotels in Bhutan are 3-4 star by local standards. In Nepal and Tibet, there are more choices and we use comfortable 4 star hotels.
Hotels listed on the itinerary are our preferred accommodations, but their limited inventories of rooms means they can be subject to change. We will accommodate you in comparable alternative hotels, and we appreciate your understanding. A confirmed list of hotels will be provided with the final trip dossier about seven or eight weeks prior the trip date.

  • Hotel Khang Residency, Thimphu

    Hotel Khang Residency, Thimphu
  • Drubchu Resort, Punakha

    Drubchu Resort Punakha
  • Raven's Nest Resort, Paro

    Raven's Nest Paro
  • Drukchen Hotel, Paro

    Druchen Hotel, Paro
  • Hotel Shambhala, Kathmandu

    Hotel Shambhala, Kathmandu
  • Club Himalaya Nagarkot

    club-himalaya-nagarkot
  • 4-Points By Sheraton, Lhasa

    4-Points By Sheraon

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 vehicles for all transfers and tours, often the Toyota Hiace microbus (capacity 8-9 persons) and Toyota Coaster Bus (capacity up to 20 persons); depending on group size, we might also use Japanese-made sedans, SUVs or minivans. 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 is no mandatory vaccinations required for traveling to Bhutan, Nepal and 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 main 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. Just in case, a supply of bottled oxygen is carried in the vehicle at all times, and hotels in Lhasa are equipped with oxygen. Doctors are also available on call.


You’ll be glad if you start some physical exercises in the weeks before leaving; jogging, swimming, cycling, hiking, and aerobics are all helpful. Fitness makes for a better trip and helps you accommodate the altitudes. You should have a good sleep the night before you fly in to 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 Paro, Bhutan, and concludes in Lhasa, Tibet. You can fly into Paro from Bangkok, Kathmandu, or Delhi, but Bangkok is the recommended gateway city. It has two daily flights and you don't need visa for Bangkok. From Lhasa, headed home, you can fly to Chengdu, Beijing, or Shanghai to connect with your international flight.

We will book all internal flights – Bangkok-Paro-Kathmandu-Lhasa-Chengdu (or Beijing). Estimated airfare is quoted separately. Airfares are dynamic and they don't have seat allotment. Bangkok-Paro-Kathamndu portion of the airfare will be billed to you. Kathmandu-Lhasa-Beijing portion, on Air China, can be charged directly on your credit card.

You have liberty to book your international airfare from your hometown to the gateway and departure cities (Bangkok, for example, arriving, and departing from Beijing, Shanghai or Chengdu). We can certainly help you book international flights if they originate in the United States. Please, once you receive your itinerary, verify its dates and details, and reconfirm the schedules.

Visa and Permits

Your passport must be valid for at least for six more months at the time of travel. Nepal visas can be obtained 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 visa application and attach a passport size photograph. Visa fee costs US$ 25 for a 15 day valid visa. Please, pay in exact change and in US currency. We will acquire visas for Bhutan and China Tibet for you. Please provide us a scanned copy of the photo page of your passport and a passport size photograph.

We will obtain Bhutan visa clearance letters for you in advance. You will need to present your letter when you check in for your Druk Air flight, and again on arrival at Paro airport. Your passport will be stamped with actual visa at Paro airport.

We will also procure Invitation Letters for Chinese Visa (popularly known as permits), but you still need to complete the visa application forms (provided by our staff in Kathmandu) and provide one passport size picture. Our Kathmandu office will deal with the Chinese embassy while you are sightseeing. After Tibet, if you want to travel to China, please let us know and we will work to extend your visa.

Booking and payment schedule

When you are sure you will be joining us, please don't delay booking so that we can confirm you in preferred hotels and flights. A deposit of US$300 for on land travel plus the cost of internal airfares are requested initially, along with a completed trip application form and a copy of the photo page of your passport. Balance payment is due 90 days prior to your departure. Reservations booked within 90 days of departure require full payment at the time of booking. Balance payment must be paid by personal check or wire transfer.

Cancellation and refund

Cancellation request must be received by us in written form. Cancellation fee of the landcost will be as below.

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

    Visa fee are non refundable.

Cancellation and refund of air tickets will be as per airline policy and $25 will be levied by us to process refund. For details, please view booking and cancellation terms and coditions

Dates & Prices

Land Cost 2017

  • US$ 3098  per person double occupancy basis (Minimum group size 5 persons)
  • US$ 680 Single Room Supplement
  • US$ 215 Bhutan and Chinese visa fee.

Estimated In-tour Airfare

US$1200-1600 (Bangkok-Paro-Kathmandu-Lhasa-Beijing)

Note: If the group size falls below 5 persons, tour will still go but the following supplement will be applicable: US$ 100 per persons (group size 4), US$ 300 per person (small group size 3) and US$ 500 (group size 2).

Tour cost and dates are subject to change. International airfare to Bangkok and return from Beijing is not included.

Small Group Departures

Start Dates End Dates Size Price (per person) Remarks Availability Booking
Jul 02, 2017 Jul 15, 2017 5-16 people USD 3098

Trip timed with Gaijatra Festival in Kathmandu

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Aug 11, 2017 Aug 24, 2017 5-16 people USD 3098

Trip timed with Shoton festival in Lhasa

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Sep 29, 2017 Oct 12, 2017 5-16 people USD 3098

Trip timed with Thimphu Tsechu Festival

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Oct 13, 2017 Oct 26, 2017 5-16 people USD 3098

Trip timed with Tihar festival in Kathmandu

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Oct 29, 2017 Nov 11, 2017 5-16 people USD 3098

Trip timed with Dechenphu Tsechu near Thimphu

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Mar 29, 2018 Apr 11, 2018 5-16 people USD 3098

Trip timed with Paro Tsechu festival

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Trip price may vary depending upon the group size.

Open

This trip is OPEN for booking

Request On Request: You can book this trip on REQUEST
Closed SOLD OUT and no further booking is possible for this date

Want to make it a private tour ?

Book this trip as a private departure - for any group, big or small.

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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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