About the Trip
OCTOBER 27-NOVEMBER 5, 2018
10-day Nepal and Bhutan adventure.
Immerse yourself in the natural beauty and culture of two beautiful Himalayan Kingdoms in one magical tour. Enter the serene and spiritual lands of Nepal and Bhutan, and experience the countries’ rich histories and unique cultural heritages. From the brightly colored fluttering prayer flags of Nepal to the elaborate traditional dress of the Bhutanese, these fascinating countries will delight your inner explorer.
This trip is currently sold out, and available by waitlist only.
While the natural sights of this incredible region are hard to surpass, this tour does not neglect the local culture and traditions. Learn the ancient arts of traditional healing, meditate with monks in centuries-old monasteries, and shop at markets crowded with local artisans. And you’ll do all this while staying in a premium selection of the region’s finest hotels as a Brand g host ensures your comfort throughout. In Nepal, you’ll wander Kathmandu’s old narrow alleys, carved temples and bustling markets, visit Durbar Square, the 5th-century Swayambhunath stupa, explore the medieval city of Bhaktapur and catch a birds-eye-view of Everest with an optional 1-hour mountain flight. In Bhutan, you’ll discover the impressive 12th-century Changangkha Lhakhang temple, visit the Folk Heritage Museum, the 108 memorial stupas(Druk Wangyal Chortens) and climb to the cliffside Taktsang monastery(Tiger’s Nest) perched 3,000 ft. above the lush valley.
You can combine the Nepal and Bhutan trip with our Splendors of India Cruise and Tour for a comprehensive 22-day vacation.
- Visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Pashupatinath and Kathmandu Durbar Square
- Explore Boudhanath, the largest Buddhist stupa in Asia
- Visits to Bhaktapur and Patan, the oldest settlements in the valley
- Swayambhunath the “Monkey Temple”
- Optional 1-hour mountain flight, focus on Mt. Everest
- Experience Thimphu, the capital of the Kingdom of Bhutan and the nation’s largest city
- Stroll the Thimphus Farmers Weekend Market
- Tour the Motithang Takin Preserve, a wildlife reserve area for Takin, the national animal of Bhutan
- Visit the fortresses Punakha Dzong and Rinpung Dzong
- Hike to the striking monastic retreat of Paro Taktsang, the “Tiger’s Nest”
- Includes program internal flights – Delhi to Kathmandu, Kathmandu to Paro and Paro to Delhi
- Includes 9 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches and 8 Dinners
Radisson Blu – New Delhi
(Superior Room) As one of the closest luxury hotels to the Delhi airport, the Radisson Blu Plaza Delhi provides a convenient location without compromising comfort. Enjoy the many amenities, Western and Asian dining options and spacious guest rooms during your overnight stay in New Delhi.
Hyatt Regency Kathmandu is a 5 star luxury hotel and resort in Kathmandu, Nepal offering internet access to all guests. The hotel is set on 37 acres of landscaped grounds, and created in the traditional Newari style of Nepalese architecture This beautiful hotel and resort is located on the road to the Boudhanath Stupa: the most holy of all Tibetan Buddhist shrines outside of Tibet, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site which is walking distance from the hotel – about five minutes away.
Le Meridien – Thimphu
Located in the heart of the capital city, Thimphu, the Le Méridien Thimphu invites the discerning guest to engage and discover the legendary ‘Land of the Thunder Dragon’, Bhutan.
With cosmopolitan surroundings amidst the bustling commercial streets of the city-centre, and a convenient location to many of the city’s myriad attractions, the Le Méridien Thimphu is a compelling choice for hosting business meetings, and the perfect jumpstart to that long awaited leisurely holiday.
Dhensa Boutique Resorts sits in the heart of the verdant and lush Punakha Valley. Flanked by thick pine forests, it overlooks the Punakha river and hundreds of paddy fields that stair-step down to the valley floor. It is surrounded by plentiful walking and trekking trails. From Dhensa Punakha, it is just a five-minute trek up the mountain to the magnificent Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Lhakhang Nunnery, which houses one of the biggest bronze statues of Chenrigzig (Avalokiteshvara) in the country.
Set on 10 acres, Zhiwa Ling has many amenities available to guests. The spa offers all the facilities guests could want; a fitness centre, sauna, steam room as well as a traditional Bhutanese outdoor hot-stone bath. There is a business centre, Tea House, two fully equipped conference rooms, a Meditation House and the hotel has it’s own greenhouse. The two restaurants specialise in contemporary international cuisine and classic Bhutanese dishes. Gathering at the Mad Monk Bar for a pre dinner drink or after-hours fun is a highlight for guests.
Honoring the spiritual heritage of this ancient Buddhist kingdom, a temple has been built into the second floor of the hotel, made with 450-year-old timbers from the famous Gangtey Monastery, the crowning glory of this new cultural landmark.
This is a land only program. No ship is associated with this trip.
2 Night Post Program Extension – November 5–7
New Delhi, India | Double occupancy pricing: $699 per person | Single occupancy pricing: $999
Complete your exciting journey with a visit to captivating New Delhi. Enjoy two nights stay, at the luxurious Imperial New Delhi hotel, as you explore the capital territory. The Imperial is an iconic property in Delhi’s 5 star hotel category and the most distinguished address situated in the heart of the capital. The Hotel is steps away from Connaught Place, the renowned shopping district and is very close to the city’s major attractions.
November 5, 2018
Arrive at the Delhi airport where you will be met by a Brand g representative and transferred to your hotel for two nights in an Imperial room, at the deluxe Imperial Hotel in New Delhi. Meet your fellow travelers at an evening welcome reception at the hotel.
November 6, 2018
After the welcome briefing, the comprehensive tour introduces you to the bustling city’s landmarks, passing the imposing Red Fort, President’s Palace and City Gate, and discovering the narrow lanes of Old Delhi via a rickshaw ride. Visit Raj Ghat, the memorial to Mahatma Gandhi, Humayun’s Tomb, a 16th century landmark of Mughal architecture inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list, and Qutab Minar, also a UNESCO site. This evening, join your fellow travelers for dinner at the hotel. (B/L/D)
November 6, 2018
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before transferring to the airport for your departure flight. (B)
Nepal Mount Everest Mountain Flight – October 30
Kathmandu |$350 per person
This optional excursion is all about the view of the various mountains in Nepal from Langtang Range to Kanchanjunga range, but the main focus is to view Mount Everest. It will be an early morning excursion, with pick up at the hotel at 5:30am. The actual flight begins at 6:30 and lasts one hour.
Arrive at the New Delhi airport, where you will be greeted by a Brand g representative, who will transfer you to the Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel.
Early this morning you are transferred to the airport to board flight to Kathmandu. On arrival in Kathmandu you are transferred to hotel for check-in. Kathmandu, capital of the Nepal, and one of the world’s oldest cities. Following check-in, begina sightseeing tour of Pasupatinath, Nepal’s most sacred Hindu temple and pilgrimage destination. Continue touring with a visit to the city of Boudhanath. Bouddhanath is an important venue for Buddhist rituals and festivals at various important times of the year when Buddhists from all over Nepal and parts of India gather.
This morning sightseeing tour of Patan City, the oldest settlement in the valley. This venerable city of artists began to be built around 299 AD and located on the southern bank of the Bagmati River five kilometers south-east of Kathmandu City, perhaps has more Buddhist and Hindu temples than Kathmandu itself. Two-third of the people here are Buddhists. Local claim that the bronze and wooden gateways and windows, statues of deities, wood carving and metal works demonstrate Patan’s superiority in craftsmanship and stone architecture. This could be true when one visits the small but exquisite Golden Temple tucked away in a small by-way and the Krishna Temple in the Patan Durbar Square.
Following lunch at a local restaurant, we proceed to visit Bhaktpur, literally meaning “City of Devotees”, calling it the “living Museum” is more apt. Founded in 889 AD, with the Khasa Khusung and Hanumante Rivers on either side, Bhaktapur boasts of an immense palace complex in the center surrounded by numerous other temples which reflects the supreme craftsmanship of the city’s artisans. In the middle of the Durbar Square stands the magnificent “pachpan jhyaley mahal” (Palace of 55 Windows), residence of the former kings. Other “must see’s are the Big Bell, the stunningly exquisite Golden Gate, the five-tiered Nyatapola Temple, the Bhairab Temple and the wood carving and metal work museums in Dattaraya Square. (B/L/D)
This morning we visit the Kathmandu Durbar Square, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where one sees the old residence of Nepalese royalty, Hanuman Dhoka (The Monkey God’s Gate) Palace which also houses a museum. Hanuman Dhoka is surrounded by a plethora of temples dedicated to Shiva the Destroyer, Vishnu the Preserver, Kali the Avenging Consort of Shiva, Indra the God of Rain and the magnificent four-storied Temple of Goddess Taleju, Protectors of the Valley, which is opened to the public only on one day of the year during Nepal’s most important festival, Dashain.
Here also one finds the temple of the Kumari, the Virgin Living Goddess who, several times a day will gracefully deign to come to her ornate first floor window to give audience to visitors. Nearby is the Kashtamandap temple, dedicated to Shiva and his son Ganesh (the God with the elephant head), and said to have been built from the wood of one single tree. The modern name Kathmandu is derived from Kashtamandap, meaning “House of Wood”.
Thereafter we visit Swayambhunath, situated at a hill overlooking Kathmandu city, said to be over two thousand years, is one the oldest Buddhist stupa)in the world. Beneath the high spire and gilt copper pinnacle and on all four sides, the allseeing eyes of the Buddha gaze out at the world. The temple also represents the hybrid religion of Buddhism-Hinduism practiced by many inhabitants of the valley. Inside and outside the Temple area are many superbly crafted images of the Buddha and other entities losely linked to Buddism. Visitors have dubbed Swayambhunath the “Monkey Temple” as a large group of monkeys resides in the vicinity. (B/D)
Late morning transfer to airport for flight to Paro.
On arrival at Paro airport drive to Thimphu (approx 1-hr), the capital of the Kingdom of Bhutan and the nation’s largest city. Check into hotel. Day free for rest. (B/D)
Today sightseeing of the majors places of the city. In the morning visit an Arts & Crafts School, the Folk Heritage Museum, a traditional house that showcases rural life. Exhibits and cultural shows are held in the museum compound; and the Changangkha Lhakhang: constructed in the 15th century, is one of the oldest temples in the Thimphu Valley, and is dedicated to Avalokiteshvara, the Buddhist emanation of compassion. The temple affords wonderful views over the entire valley. Lunch in the local restaurant.
In the afternoon, visit Memorial Chorten (from outside), which dominates the skyline of Thimphu. It was built in 1974 to honour the 3rd King of Bhutan. This prominent landmark in the city has golden spires and bells; the Motithang Takin Preserve, a wildlife reserve area for Takin, the national animal of Bhutan. Native to Bhutan, India, and China, the Takin are docile creatures whose unique appearance attract special attention.
Local legends attribute the creation of these animals in Bhutan by a 15th century saint name Drukpa Kunley, popularly known as the Divine Madman; the giant Statue of Sakyamuni Buddha, sitting on top of Kuensel Phodrang hill is a 51.5m bronze statue of the founder of Buddhism. The site also offers unobstructed views over the Thimphu Valley – especially stunning at sunset. and Takin Preservation Center. (B/L/D)
Breakfast at the hotel. Later drive to Punakha (approx. 3 hrs) crossing over the Dochu-La Pass. Weather permitting enjoy the beautiful views of the mountains from the pass. Visit the 108 memorial stupas known as Druk Wangyal Chortens that were built by Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuk, the eldest Queen Mother. We descend into Punakha Valley and visit the ChimiLakhang, the fertility temple dedicated to famous Buddhist Lama Drukpa Kunley.
Lunch in the local restaurant and check into hotel. Punakha was the capital of Bhutan until the 1960’s, and still retains the serene atmosphere of a place with a regal past.
In the afternoon, visit the Punakha Dzong (fortress) majestically standing on an island between the confluence of the Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu rivers, the city’s dzong is one of the most photogenic of all Bhutan’s ancient fortresses. The dzong is joined to the mainland by an arched wooden bridge, and contains many precious relics from the days when successive kings reigned the kingdom from this valley. (B/L/D)
Breakfast at the hotel. Thereafter drive to Paro (approx 4-hrs). Lunch at a local restaurant and check into hotel. Paro is a historic town with many sacred sites and historical buildings scattered through the area. The Paro Valley is wide and verdant and is recognized a one of the most beautiful in all Bhutan.
Afternoon visit the National Museum (Ta dzong), which has a fascinating collection of arts relics, religious Thangkha paintings and a national history collection; and the Paro Dzong Rinpung Dzong, the “fortress of the heap of Jewels” was built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal on a hill above the township. Walk over the old Cantilever bridge and free time in Paro town. (B/L/D)
Following breakfast, enjoy a hike to the striking monastic retreat of Paro Taktsang, the “Tiger’s Nest” (3120m), built into a sheer cliff face above the forested Paro Valley. This is the most famous temple in Bhutan and one of the venerated pilgrim sites of the Himalayan world. Padmasambhava, the great 8th century Buddhist saint and teacher, is thought to have landed at this spot after flying over the mountains from Tibet on the back of a tigress, thus bringing the teachings of Buddhism to Bhutan. The primary temple was built around Padmasambhava’s meditation cave in 1684. Enjoy lunch en route at a teahouse midway with fantastic views of the monastery. (B/L/D)
After breakfast at the hotel, you are transferred to the airport to board your departure flight. (B)
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