Journey to The Himalayan Kingdoms

Journey to The Himalayan Kingdoms

13 Days / 12 Nights

Trip Overview

Despite being one of the smallest countries in the world, Bhutan is rich & famous for its vibrant culture. One of the most unique features of the Bhutanese is their traditional dress, unique garments that have evolved over thousands of years. This trip will give you an opportunity to experience the distinctive cultural diversity.

Outline Itinerary

Day 1 Kathmandu (4265 ft / 1300m)

Day 2 Kathmandu

Day 3 Kathmandu/Bhadrapur – Gangtok

Day 4 Gangtok

Day 5 Gangtok - Darjeeling

Day 6 Darjeeling

Day 7 Darjeeling - Phuntsholing

Day 8 Phuntsholing/Thimphu (2300m)

Day 9 Thimphu/Punakha

Day 10 Punakha/Paro

Day 11 Paro

Day 12 Fly Paro/Kathmandu

Day 13 International departure

Full Itinerary

Day 1 : Kathmandu (4265 ft / 1300m)

Upon arrival you will be met and assisted by a Ker & Downey representative and transferred to the Gokarna Forest Resort. Gokarna Forest Resort is located inside the serene temperate Gokarna Forest, the former Royal hunting grounds of the Kings of Nepal. A winding road climbs through the forest, up to the main complex, comprising a mix of subtly majestic Malla period architecture, Rana period lodges, and sanctuaries harmoniously blending with nature. A quiet peaceful haven set between ancient towering trees with glimpses of the second fairway in the valley below make the perfect getaway for golf, enchanting forest walks, relaxation and rejuvenation at the Spa, as well as time close to nature.
Overnight at the Gokarna Forest Resort (B).

Day 2: Kathmandu

After enjoying a leisurely breakfast at the hotel, we'll be met by our guide for our day trip to a few of the Kathmandu valley's most spectacular and important sights and some vibrant, colorful markets.

With a blend of three ancient capitals and their associated palaces, temples and markets of Kathmandu has a lot to offer culturally and historically. However, we're mindful not to overload you so we will ensure the day has a good balance between sightseeing, exploring and relaxation time.
The exact itinerary may change depending on the local conditions but we shall most likely visit:
Pashupatinath, one of the most important temples in South Asia of the Hindu God, Lord Shiva;
One of the three Durbar (Palace) Squares , a complex of palaces and temples which was formally the social, religious and administrative focal point of the ancient city.
Boudhnnanath Stupa, a wonderful Buddhist site centered on a huge Stupa topped with the all-seeing eyes. If possible we'll come here in the early evening to soak up the atmosphere of hundreds of Tibetan and Sherpa peoples walking their devotional kora.
Overnight at the Gokarna Forest Resort (B,L).

Day 3: Kathmandu/Bhadrapur – Gangtok

After an optional early morning flight to Mount Everest, we fly to Bhadrapur where you will be picked up & driven to Gangtok (5500 Ft / 1677 Mts, 135 Kms / 4-5 Hrs).
Overnight at Mayfair Resort (B,L,D).

Day 4: Gangtok

After breakfast go out for sightseeing covering Rumtek Monastery, Droul Chorthen, Research Institute of Tibetology, Directorate of Handicraft & Handloom (Closed on Sunday), Flower Show & Enchey Monastery. Evening free to explore Gangtok.
Overnight at Mayfair Resort (B,L,D).

Day 5: Gangtok - Darjeeling

Transfer to Darjeeling (7380 Ft / 2250 Mts, 110 kms / 4-5 hrs). Evening free to explore the town.
Overnight at Mayfair Resort & Spa (B,L,D).

Day 6: Darjeeling

Early morning tour to Tiger Hills (8364 Ft / 2550 Mts at around 4 AM) to view sunrise over Kanchenjunga Peak (subject to clear weather). On way back visit Ghoom Monastery. After breakfast visit to Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park, Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Tibetan Refugee self-help Center & Tea Estate.
Overnight at Mayfair Resort & Spa (B,L,D).

Day 7: Darjeeling - Phuntsholing

After breakfast we drive to Phuntsholing, a border town which is a hub of commercial activity.
Overnight at Hotel Lhaki or similar (B,L,D).

Day 8: Phuntsholing/Thimphu (2300m)

Clear Immigration formalities at Phuntsholing & then drive 6hrs to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan.
Overnight at Hotel River View or similar (B,L,D).

Day 9: Thimphu/Punakha

Thimphu sightseeing - visit the Memorial Chorten, weaving center & Tashicho Dzong.
Afternoon drive 3 hours to Punakha crossing the Dochula pass at 3100 meters. If weather is clear, you will see the eastern Himalayan ranges including the highest mountain in Bhutan Mt.Gangar Punsum 7520 meters. Punakha served as an old capital of Bhutan.
Overnight at Hotel Zangthopelri or similar (B,L,D).

Day 10 : Punakha/Paro

Visit the Punakha Dzong. This remarkable fortress is built between two rivers and has survived many glacial floods and fire. Every year during the month of February a procession known as the Punakha Serda takes place to commemorate the victory over the Tibetans. Drive to Paro via visiting the oldest building in Bhutan, the Simtokha Dzong. It now serves as a Buddhist university.
Overnight at Hotel Olathang or similar (B,L,D).

Day 11 : Paro

Day hike to the Taktsang monastery (Tiger’s Nest). The hike which is all the way uphill takes about 4/5 hours through pine forests. The monastery clings to a huge granite cliff 800 meters from the Paro valley. It is believed that the great saint Padmasambhava came in the 7th century on a flying tigress and meditated in a cave for 3 months. The demons were subdued who were trying to stop the spread of Buddhism and converted the Paro valley into Buddhism. During the end of the 17 century a monastery was built on the spot where the saint mediated and it is a pilgrimage site for every Bhutanese to visit once in their life time.

Afternoon visit the watch tower or locally known as Ta-Dzong. It was housed into the National museum in the 1960s by the third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. The seven floors museum highlights various aspects of Bhutanese culture and history dating back to the 7th century. A short walk downhill to the Rinpung Dzong which serves as the administrative center and school for monks.
Overnight at Hotel Olathang or similar (B,L,D).

Day 12 : Fly Paro/Kathmandu

Upon arrival, we'll visit Durbar Square. Kathmandu's Durbar Square was where the city's kings were once crowned and legitimized, and from where they ruled (durbar means 'palace'). As such, the square remains the traditional heart of the old town and Kathmandu's most spectacular legacy of traditional architecture. We'll then return to the hotel where the rest of the day is free. Overnight at the Gokarna Forest Resort (B,L).

Day 13 : International departure

Transfer to the airport for your international departure.

Prices

Rates

Cost Per Person on Room Sharing Basis Based on -
2pax : US$ 3460 per person
3pax & above : US$ 3310 per person
Single Room Supplement : 770

Price Includes

  • all airport transfers, 3nts at Gokarna Forest Resort on bed & breakfast
  • 1 & ½ day guided s/seeing in Kathmandu with lunch, entrance fees, airfare Ktm/Bhadrapur & Paro/Ktm on economy class with all taxes
  • Bhutan visa fee, 5nts tour in Bhutan with all meals, guided s/seeing, transfers
  • 4nts in Sikkim/Darjeeling with all meals, guided s/seeing, transfers.

Price Excludes

  • Nepal visa fee, dinner in Kathmandu, meals not specified in the itinerary, beverages, tips & expenses of personal nature.
  • Indian visa for Sikkim/Darjeeling not included in the cost & this has to be taken out from your home country. When you apply for Indian visa do mention visit to Sikkim so that inner line permit can be taken out with the visa itself.

Extension Tour