On this trip you will experience different cultures in the Himalayan region. In the capital of Nepal, Kathmandu, we explore 12th-century palaces and several temples, most of which are on the UNESCO list. The sunrise seen from Darjeeling’s Tiger hill and a ride on the famous little putt train, all while admiring the well – known tea plantations, are very memorable moments. Thanks to its natural beauty, Sikkim attracts tourists from all over the world. Organic food, cultural richness and fantastic mountain views are the really great assets in Sikkim. Bhutan, one of the world’s most acclaimed destinations thanks to its fabulous scenery, well-preserved environment and a friendly tradition-bound people.
Welcome to our Nepal-Darjeeling-Sikkim-Bhutan trip.
Day 1: Flight to Nepal (Kathmandu)
We fly to Kathmandu, the capital of the Republic of Nepal.
Day 2: Arrival in Kathmandu
In the morning we arrive in Kathmandu, which is located in a valley at an altitude of 1,400 meters. We go directly into the center, to visit Durbartorget or Hanumna Dhoka Palace. Nepal’s royal family used to live here, but the monarchy was abolished in 2006 after a long civil war with the Maoist guerrillas. Today, the country of Nepal is a republic. On Durbartorget, lots of different buildings coexist, most dedicated to different Hindu gods and goddesses. Many of the temples are over 600 years old. Then we continue to the Pashupatinath Temple which is considered to be Nepal’s holiest Hindu shrine, dedicated to Shiva. The next stop is the Boudhanathstupan which is one of the largest Buddhist stupas in the world. Then we go out to a hill outside Kathmandu. At the top is Swayambhunath, or the Temple of Ape. The impressive complex consists of a shrine, a large stupa, and other temples and shrines. The place is considered one of the finest examples of religious architecture, and here you always see tourists. A Tibetan monastery with a museum and library has been established recently. The four sites we have now visited are all selected as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. In the evening we have dinner together. Overnight in Kathmandu. (Lunch and dinner)
Day 3: Kathmandu – Darjeeling
After breakfast, transfer to the airport to fly to Bhadrapur and on arrival transfer to Darjeeling, well known for its tea plantations, views of Kangchenjunga (the world’s third highest mountain), and the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, built by the British in 1881 ( UNESCO World Heritage Site). Overnight in Darjeeling. (Breakfast)
Day 4: Darjeeling
Early in the morning we go to Tiger Hills to see the sunrise (depending on the weather) over Kanchendzonga – the world’s third highest mountain. We then return to the hotel and after breakfast we take a ride on the Toy Train (UNESCO World Heritage Site) from Darjeeling to Ghoom (2,258 m). The track has run on narrow tracks 610 mm since 1880, and constitutes an important transport route to various parts of the Darjeeling Mountains and surrounding plains. The train is a real icon and symbol of Darjeeling’s colonial era. The train journey is a wonderful way to take in the beautiful landscape of the Himalayas while the journey takes us down the mountainside. After lunch we begin a city tour, where we will visit the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, built in honor of Sherpa Tenzing Norgay, the first to climb Mount Everest with Edmund Hillary in 1953. We also visit the ZOO, India’s highest zoo (2,134 m) and here can see fascinating and rare animals from the Himalayas. Then we visit the Japanese Buddhist temple, which was built by Nichidatsu Fuiji. Then we visit the Tibetan Refugee Center, where we see men and women from Tibet make exquisite crafts such as rugs, jackets, woolen shawls and much more. Overnight in Darjeeling. (Breakfast and lunch)
Day 5: Darjeeling-Kalimpong
After breakfast we go to Kalimpon, where we take a tour in the afternoon. Here we see, among other things, the Deolo peak (1,704 m), which is Kalimpong’s highest point, and on a clear day, you can see Västra Sikkim’s snow-capped mountains from here. We come to Pine View Nursery, which is a famous nursery, known for its exotic collection of various cactus plants. Overnight in Kalimpong. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner)
Day 6: Kalimpong-Gangtok
In the morning, we leave Kalimpong and go to Gangtok. Along the way we visit Dr.Graham’s home, which was founded in 1900 by Pastor Dr. John Anderson Graham, a missionary sent by the Church of Scotland. We arrive at Gangtok in the afternoon. Overnight stay in Gangtok. (Breakfast)
Day 7: Walk
Here in Gangtok we visit Tashi View Point early in the morning, and from here we enjoy a wonderful view of the impressive Himalayan mountains, especially Mount Kanchenjunga and Siniolchu. Then we visit Ganesh Tok, one of the most popular Ganesha temples in Sikkim. Not far from here is Hanuman Tok, a temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman. We then proceed to the Crafts and Hand Weaving Center, which was founded in 1957 with the aim of promoting and preserving ethnic arts and crafts from Sikkim. We also visit the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, a museum dedicated to Tibet in Gangtok. Before returning to the hotel, we also stop at Banjhakri Falls and Energy Park, a leisure and tourist attraction near Gangtok. Overnight in Gangtok. (Breakfast and lunch)
Day 8: Gangkok – Jagon / Phuentsholing
After breakfast we go to Phuentsholing. The journey takes about 6 hours, and along the way we get breathtaking views of beautiful green jungles and clouds hovering over the mountains. Overnight in Jagon / Phuentsholing. (Breakfast and lunch)
Day 9: Phuntsoling to Thimpu
Jaigaon is our last stop in Indian West Bengal and today we head into Bhutan, via the border town of Phentsholing to today’s destination Thimphu. In front of the window passes a fantastic landscape revue, with tropical jungles, beautiful waterfalls, small villages, mountain passes, rivers, lakes and some temples and monasteries. We make a stop at the Rinchending Temple and some other places where we make photo stops. Late in the afternoon we arrive in Bhutan’s capital Thimphu. Overnight in Thimphu. (Breakfast and lunch)
Day 10: Thimphu city tour
After breakfast we visit the National Library, which was built in 1967 in order to preserve and promote Bhutan’s rich cultural and religious heritage. Not far from the National Library is the Folk and Heritage Museum, which displays Bhutanese culture and everyday life. Then we visit the Thimphu Chorten, Bhutan’s most significant monument, dedicated to the third Druk Gyalpo, Bhutan’s head of state. After lunch we arrive at the Traditional Handmade Paper Factory, a small factory that produces traditional Bhutanese paper, made from the bark of the daphne bush. We continue to Tashichho Dzong, better known as Thimphu Dzong, an impressive building that is Bhutan’s government building. Overnight in Thimphu (Breakfast and lunch)
Day 11: Thimphu – Paro (Taktsang Monastery)
After breakfast, the journey goes towards Paro, and when we arrive we make an excursion about 10 km north of Paro to Taktsangklostret (“Tiger Nest”) which is located on a cliff at 3,200 meters altitude. From here you get a magnificent view of the Parodalen below. The monastery, dating from the 17th century, with its spectacular location is one of Bhutan’s main attractions. For those who want to walk all the way up to the monastery, the walk takes about 2-3 hours. The hiking trail is lined with prayer flags and offers fantastic nature experiences. Do not forget comfortable shoes and feel free to bring a hiking stick! Overnight in Paro. (Breakfast and lunch)
Day 12 Paro – Kathmandu – Nagarkot
We say goodbye to “Thunder Dragon’s land” and take the flight to Nepal. On arrival we go to the town of Nagarkot (2,195 masl) just east of Kathmandu. On the way we visit Bhaktapur which during the 16th and 17th centuries was the capital of the Malladin dynasty. With its old buildings and rich handicraft traditions, the resort is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Overnight in Nagarkot. (Breakfast and lunch)
Day 13: Nagarkot – Kathmandu
Nagarkot is the resort in the Kathmandu Valley that offers the finest view of the Himalayas. From here you can see how the sun rises over the high peaks of the Himalayas with the world’s highest mountain Mt. Everest. We get up early in the morning to experience the sunrise and go after breakfast to Patan. The city of Patan is the oldest of the three cities located in the Kathmandu Valley. We look at Patan Durbar Square in the center which is also a museum. Fantastic wood carvings and metal statues show the craftsmanship that has always existed in Nepal. From here we move on to Kathmandu. In the evening, a farewell dinner with local delicacies and traditional dance entertainment awaits. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner)
Day 14: Return to the boarding place
During the morning transfer to the airport before returning home. Meals are included on board the long-haul flight.