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Nepal and Bhutan heritage tour

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Nepal Bhutan heritage tour

Nepal and Bhutan heritage tour

NEPAL – one of the most spectacular countries on earth, inhabited by extremely friendly and endearing people. For a country that lies 800 kilometres from the sea, it has a scenic and altitudinal variety that is quite unrivalled. It contains the world’s highest mountains than any other country and is dominated by the soaring snowcovered ...See more

Nepal and Bhutan heritage tour

NEPAL – one of the most spectacular countries on earth, inhabited by extremely friendly and endearing people. For a country that lies 800 kilometres from the sea, it has a scenic and altitudinal variety that is quite unrivalled. It contains the world’s highest mountains than any other country and is dominated by the soaring snowcovered peaks of the Himalayas, thundering rivers, magical forests and dense lowland jungles.

BHUTAN – perched high in the Himalaya, captures the imagination with its massive Bhuddist monasteries and hospitable people. It is a land of superlatives, the last surviving example of a Tibetan Buddhist Kingdom that proudly guard and treasures its cultural and natural heritage. Blessed with a tiny population and steep inaccessible valleys and rolling hills and towering crags, with only small patches of cultivation., it holds fabulous pristine forest that are almost entirely untouched and full of wild lives. All these factors combine to make this country one of the most rewarding and thrilling culture & nature tour destinations available today.

Your Nepal & Bhutan journey is individually tailored to suit your taste, needs and timescale. This holiday can take you in to stunning Hindu and Buddhist temples, monasteries and pagodas, at their best. Eco Trip Nepal is sure to get you closer to these fascinating cultural events, together with all the people and places that make Nepal & Bhutan unique ever.

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Trip Highlights

  • Get amazing natural and cultural insights at Himalayan countries Nepal and Bhutan
  • Sightseeing around culturally affluent Kathmandu Valley
  • Exploration paradise Pokhara
  • Visit SWAN project and discover Naraysthan VDC
  • In Bhutan, visit the following sites in the capital; Memorial Chorten, Zilukha Nunnery, Takin Sanctuary, Indigenous Hospital,
  • Textile Museum, Heritage Museum, Traditional School of arts & crafts and Tashicho Dzong
  • Embark on a trek to the famed Taktsang (Tiger’s lair) monastery

Trip Itinerary

Nepal and Bhutan heritage tour

DAY 1: Arrival in Kathmandu. Overnight at hotel.

DAY 02: Sightseeing in Kathmandu. Overnight at hotel.

DAY 03: Drive or fly to Pokhara. Overnight at hotel.

DAY 04: Drive to Kusma and trek to Narayanshan. Overnight at tent.

DAY 05-07: Explore Narayansthan and surrounding village. Overnight at tent.

DAY 08: Trek to Kusma and drive to Pokhara and fly to Kathmandu. Overnight at hotel.

Day 09: Fly to Paro-Thimpu. Overnight at hotel.

Day 10-11: Sightseeing in Thimpu. Overnight at hotel.

Day 12: Drive to Punakha. Overnight at hotel.

DAY 13: Sightseeing in Punakha. Overnight at hotel.

Day 14: Drive to Paro. Overnight a hotel.

Day 15: Day hike to Taktsang. Overnight at hotel.

DAY 16: Sightseeing in Paro. Overnight at hotel.

Day17: Fly from Paro to Kathmandu. Overnight at hotel.

Day 18: Sadly, we send you off to the airport for your flight back home.

Detail Itinerary

Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu 1334m,

Upon arrival in Kathmandu you’ll be met at the airport by our representative from travel-to-nature Asia/Eco Trip Nepal, so look out for a sign when you leave the airport. They will bring you to your hotel where your rooms are booked. If you are fit might go for a walk to Thamel the mail tourist hub in Katmandu and explore the area followed with dinner in nice restuarant (New Orleans cafe/Rum Doodle/Beer Garden) or simply recover from Jetlag! Overnight in Hotel

DAY 02: IN KATMANDU

Your local tour guide will meet you at the hotel and for next two days introduce you to the cities of Katmandu Valley.

Sightseeing Options: The striking Buddha eyes of Boudhanath Stupa (UNESCO Heritage site) watch over a lively and colorful Tibetan community and attract pilgrims from all over the Himalayan Buddhist realm. In the midst of traditional gompas, and hung with long strings of multi-colored prayer flags, Boudhanath attracts Sherpas, Tibetans and tourists alike for daily circumambulations (koras) of the stupa.

Hindu Pashupatinath (UNESCO Heritage site) and its sacred temple complex on the banks of the holy Bagmati river. Here, monkeys run up and down the steps of the burning ghats, and trident-bearing saddhus draped in burnt-orange and saffron sit serenely meditating – when they’re not posing for photos-for rupees. Climb the many steps to Swayambhunath (UNESCO Heritage site) known by the name ‘ the monkey temple’with its commanding views of Kathmandu (at 1420 m), its whitewashed stupas and its unique synthesis of Buddhism and Hinduism.

Durbar Square (UNESCO Heritage site), one of the old capitals of the Kathmandu valley, is a synthesis of Hindu and Buddhist temples, stupas and statues, and is often the site of festivals, marriages and other ceremonies. Kathmandu’s Durbar (palace) the heart of the capital was where the city’s kings were once crowned and legitimized, and from where they ruled. Over dinner you go over gear for trek and get to know your trekking guide. Overnight Hotel.

DAY 03: POKHARA (900m)

Transfer to domestic airport and fly Kathmandu to Pokhara, centre of the Western Development Region and raditional trading centre in the shadow of the Annapurna Massif. During our half an hour flight the view of the mighty Himalayan range, including the Annapurna, Ganesh, Mt. Nilgiri, Manasulu etc will be a life time experience. Upon arrival our local representative will transfer us to our hotel.
Afternoon we walk along the shores of the Phewa lake allowing us to enjoy the magnificent scenery of the Pokhara valley and birding at the shore of the lake is equally rewarding. We have the afternoon to wander to the lake, do some shopping, or sit and relax in a cafe with a book. We’ll head for Moon dance Cafe or Boomarang restaurant for dinner and drinks in the evening – great spots! Overnight Hotel.

DAY 04: VISIT TO SWAN PROJECT VILLAGE – NARAYANSTHAN (1000m)

After breakfast we drive west along the Pokhara – Banglung highway about couple of hours to Kusma (65 km) and trek to Narayansthan. Narayansthan is a 1-3 hour trek from the road, depending which route we take. The walk crosses the Kali Gandhaki River, one of the holy rivers of Nepal, and affords beautiful views of the Annapurna  and Dhaulaghiri Mountain Ranges. After organizing the gear and loads with the porters, we trek down to the Kaligandaki river. After crossing the river over the first suspension bridge, hot picnic lunch will be served close to the river side. After lunch, we climb up about 500 m to our first night’s campsite above the Cliff in a beautiful pine forest. We can see the crew setting up camp for us. Once at camp, we will introduce you to our crew who will be looking after us for nest couple of weeks. Overnight Camp.

DAY 05-07: EXPLORE NARAYANSTHAN AND SURROUNDING VILLAGES

Narayansthan, where SWAN a local charity organization (www.swannepal.org) has been running village development projects for many years in Baglung district. Projects include an integrated blind school, a pre-school for “untouchable” children, support to the health posts and schools, mother’s groups, micro credit programmes, Health care services and and many more. During our visit we will be able to attend an Inauguration Ceremony of newly built Health Post Centre in Binamare VDC. This can be one of the highlights of our trip.

DAY 08: NARAYANSTHAN – POKHARA - KATHMANDU

After our early breakfast at our camp we will trek downhill to  nayapool and take scenic drive back to Pokhara with Annapurna Himal range upfront en-route. From Pokhara we catch afternoon  light back to Katmandu. Overnight Hotel Dwarikas. Bhutan is a country nestled in the eastern Himalayas. It is a land of superlatives, the last surviving example of a Tibetan Buddhist Kingdom that proudly guard and treasures its cultural and natural heritage. Blessed with a tiny population and steep inaccessible valleys and rolling hills and towering crags, with only small patches of cultivation, it holds fabulous pristine forest that are almost entirely untouched and full of wild lives. Bhutan is not an ordinary place. It has one foot in the past and one in the future.  the country has only opened its doors to foreigners quite recently, and although it does so with outstanding hospitality, it is not without some reserve, wishing to avoid the negative side-effects of uncontrolled tourism apparent in other developing nations.  Number of visitors is restricted to a strict quota and the  government imposes a fixed and very high daily tariff. The visitors will be enlivened by a series of splendid and impressive dzogns (fortress & monasteries) that usually occupy eagle nest locations of strategic importance. The Bhutanese people still dress in  traditional garb and their customs and lifestyles are preserved with enthusiasm and pride. All these factors combine to make this country one of the most rewarding and thrilling culture & nature tour destinations available today.

Day 09: FLY KATHMANDU – PARO -THIMPHU

After breakfast transfer to the airport to take Druk air flight from Kathmandu to Paro. In good weather condition one can enjoy the view Mt. Everest, Mt. Makalu and Mt. Kanchanjunga and the eastern Himalayan ranges.
Upon arrival in Paro, clear customs and immigration. Keep your copy of the visa clearance letter handy. P.P size photos  are no longer required and your visa has been paid. Meet your Guide and driver outside the terminal building Who will bring us to Thimpu for three night stay.

Drive from Paro to Thimphu: The distance of about 65kms from Paro town takes little more than 1 hour. Drive south following Pachu river to the river confluence at Chuzom, which is also the hub of road network going to Paro, Ha, Thimphu and Phuntsholing. From Chuzom, the drive takes about 1 hour, staying close to the Wangchu River in the valley floor, as you pass through villages and suburbs to the capital, Thimphu. En-route, you can stop to view Tachogang temple and the nunnery at Sitsina

Day 10-11: IN THIPMU

Next couple of days you will visit the following sites in the capital; Memorial Chorten, Zilukha Nunnery, Takin Sanctuary, Indigenous Hospital, Textile Museum, Heritage Museum, Traditional School of arts & crafts and Tashicho Dzong. Upon available time, you will also visit paper factory and handicraft center.

Memorial Chorten: This landmark of Thimphu was built in 1974 inthe memory of third King, Jigme Dorji Wangchuk, who is popularly regarded as Father of Modern Bhutan. It is a four-storey tall white building, containing statues and iconography of deities from complex tantric teachings and serves as an important place of worship for Thimphu residents, as well as from other parts of the country.

Zilukha Nunnery: It has been housed in Drubthob Goemba(monastery). There are about 70 nuns who live and pray every day in the monastery. The beautiful view of Tashicho Dzong can be seen from the nunnery.

Takin Sanctuary: Takin (Budorcas taxicolor) has been chosen as thenational animal of Bhutan is based both on its uniqueness and its association with country’s history and mythology. It is said that Devine Madman, a popular saint is said to have created it with his magical power at a large congregation of devotees. It resembles like a cow from back and goat in the front and continues to befuddle taxonomists, who cannot quite relate to other animal. Indigenous Hospital or National Institute of Traditional Medicine (Open 9-5pm Mon-Fri, 9-1pm on Sat) is government funded institute that facilitates research of traditional medicine and practices. It prepares and dispenses herbal and other medicines with clinic where doctors diagnose and prescribe traditional medicines or treatments. School of arts & Crafts (open 9-5pm mon-fri and 9-1pm on Sat –with exceptions of holidays and breaks). Commonly known as ‘the painting school’ is a national institute where children attend six-year  course that provides instruction in Bhutan’s traditional arts and crafts called Zorig Chuksum – meaning 13 crafts.

Tashichhodzong: This fortress serves as the office of the King,ministers and various government organizations. It also is the headquarters for central monastic body of Bhutan. Bhutan’s spiritual leader Je-Khenpo and the monks of both Thimphu and Punakha reside here during summer. It is also the venue for Thimphu Festival in the fall season.

Heritage Museum: Heritage Museum is also a recent addition;housed in a traditional home displays the living style of the Bhutanese family in 19th century.

Textile Museum: A recent addition in the capital city, this museum displays the colorful and intricately hand woven textile, both old and new.

Paper Factory: Traditional papers were made from the daphne plant, using simple methods.Thimphu (2,300m) was a wooded farming valley until 1961, when it became Bhutan’s official national capital. The massive Tashicho Dzong, about 700 years old, was carefully revamped in the 1960s by the late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk to house the royal and main government offices. Even today, it still only has a few streets and no traffic lights with estimated population of 95,000 people.

NOTE: If your stay in Thimphu falls between Friday – Sunday, then visit to colourful Weekend Market will be incorporated in the itinerary accordingly.

Weekend Market: The colorful weekend market of Thimphu is held from Friday-Sunday. Residents of Thimphu and country side people come to shop for food and clothes. It provides a great photography scene.

Day 12: THIMPU - PUNAKHA

After breakfast, we drive to Punakha. En-route stop at Dochula pass. Afternoon we will visit the famous temple Chimi Lhakhang.

Chimi Lhakhang: a monastery and fertility temple dedicated to Lama Drukpa Kuenley, a TibetanBuddhist saint known popularly as “the divine madman” and considered a folk hero in Bhutan for his unconventional ways. Drukpa Kuenley originally built a chorten on the site in the 14th century, on which a temple was later built in 15th century. The temple, flanked by nearly 100 tall prayer flags, sits atop a picturesque hill. It has long been a pilgrimage site for childless couples. This easy walk takes about ½ hour each way. Two Overnight stay in Punakha.

DAY 13: IN PUNAKHA

Today we visit the beautiful Punakha Dzong . Punakha Dzong or Pungthang Dechen Phodrang”Palace of Great Happiness” is located on the confluence of two rivers, the Pho and Mochu. It was built in 1637 by Shubdrung Nawang Namgyal and following the ancient traditions, it serves as winter residence for chief abbot (Je-khenpo) and the monks of Central Monastic Body, who return to Thimphu in the summer.

Punakha and Wangdiphodrang: Punakha and Wangdue, although two separate districts, are locatedin one valley (20km/ ½ hr drive apart) and they are at the lower elevation of about 1,250m with pleasant winters. Cactuses, Oranges, bananas and sub-tropical plants are found here. Punakha was once the winter capital of Bhutan, the tradition that is still held by the Central Monastic body

Day 14: PUNAKHA – WANGDUE - PARO

After breakfast, retrace your drive back to Paro via Wandue. In Wanggdue, visit Wangduephodrang Dzong. Then, drive across Dochula pass and stop for lunch at Thimphu. Continue your drive to Paro in the afternoon for the night stay. Overnight at hotel in Paro.

Wangdiphodrang Dzong: Shubdrung Nawang Namgyal in 1638had built this massive fortress sitting on a hilltop at the confluence of Punakha Chu and Tang Chu Rivers. It is built in the shape of a sleeping bull. Wangdi festival is celebrated here in the autumn.

Drive from Punakha to Paro: The drive from Punakha to Parovia Thimphu takes about 4&½ hours, covering total of 135 km. From Punakha, climb back to the Dochula pass (3,050m), where you have another opportunity to view the peaks of the eastern Himalayas. Descend to Thimphu from Dochula takes about 40 minutes. After lunch at Thimphu, drive west to Paro. The western branch of lateral highway from Thimphu, runs close to the Wangchu river in the valley foor, through the suburbs and villages of Thimphu to arrive at the river confluence of Chuzom, which is also the hub of road network going to Paro, Ha, Thimphu and Phuntsholing. From Chuzom, it is north-west for about ½ hour, following Pa Chu river upstream, passing Tachogang temple on the other side of the river, then through relatively straight road, into the villages and farm houses of Paro valley.

Day 15: IN PARO – DAY HIKE TO TAKTSANG

After breakfast, drive to north of Paro town for about ½ hr and embark on a trek to the famed Taktsang (Tiger’s lair) monastery. Taktsang monastery is located on the face of a 1,000m seemingly impossible sheer, vertical cliff, above Paro valley. The trail begins near the Satsam (2650m) and climbs steeply uphill to the Cafeteria (2,940m), an area of exposed ridge with panoramic view of Takstang. This takes little more than an hour. (Ponies are provided on request to ride up till this Cafeteria, but rest of way, including return downhill must be on foot.) You can get a good view from the Cafeteria or hike further uphill for another hour or so to the temple itself. There are several other temples and sites within the vicinity. Lunch is served at the tea house. The return trek to the road head is quite steep downhill, where you will be met by the transport and drive back to Hotel.

DAY 16: IN PARO – SIGHT & SOUND

Paro: Is one of the most beautiful valleys in the country with Bhutan’s only airport located here,among the terraced fields, and elegant farm houses. Willow trees line many of the roads, contrasting with bright colors of the fields and the most popular and important sites also found within Paro district. Paro town (2,280m) is still a small with one main street and less than one hundred small family-run shops. The weekend market in Paro is held on Saturdays. After our breakfast we will visit today the national Museum, Rinpung Dzhong and Kyichu Lakhang.

National Museum: Established in 1967, the museumis housed inside a circular Ta Dzong, an ancient Watch Tower. It holds fascinating collection of arts, relics, religious thangkha paintings, households stuffs, arms, handicrafts, stuffed animals and Bhutan’s famous Stamps among others. (Open 10-4pm – closed on Monday).

Rinpung Dzong: Meaning “fortress of the heap ofjewels”. Built in mid 17th century, it now serves as the administrative and judicial seat of Paro district and residence for the 200 monks of Paro. It is also the venue for Paro festival held in the spring. Several years ago, the colorful movie Little Buddha was filmed here.

Kyichu Lhakhang: Tibetan King Songtsen Gompo in the 7th century miraculously built 108 temples,along with Jorkhang in Lhasa. Kyichu is considered to be one of them and is one of the oldest temples in Bhutan.

Day17: PARO – KATHMANDU

After breakfast drive to the airport to catch the outgoing flight to Katmandu. On arrival meet our representative and transfer to your hotel. Rest of the day free for individual activities or go for a shopping and followed with nice farewell dinner.

Day 18: FINAL DEPARTURE FROM KATHMANDU

Sadly, we send you off to the airport for your flight back home.

Services

Included

  • 5 star & 4 star hotel Kathmandu and Pokhara respectively on bed and breakfast basis
  • Twin sharing accommodation in all hotels
  • 8 nights/9days Bhutan Tour Package on full board basis (all meals) with all activities as per the programme
  • Services of a local English speaking Guide throughout the tour
  • All the land arrangements, airport pickups and drops and other long distance transport services on a private deluxe vehicle with air-condition as mentioned in the program
  • Entry tickets to the monuments/monasteries, included in the sightseeing as mentioned in the program
  • porters for baggage’s at hotel and airports
  • Airfare for Kathmandu/Paro/Kathmandu Flight
  • Single entry visa fee for Bhutan
  • Complete Camp/trekking arrangements which include all meals on Village Tour in Nepal.
    {Breakfast, Lunch, afternoon Tea, Dinner}, 2 men Alpine tents during Narayansthan Village with compressed Foam
    mattress. Kitchen Tent, Dinning tent, highly experienced accompanying trekking guide & Kitchen staff, Porters to
    carry the baggage/Kitchen utensils/ Camping equipment etc and all the flexibilities.

Excluded

  • Nepal multiple or double entry visa fee(ca $80) upon arrival in Kathmandu airport
  • International flight
  • Charges for photography inside the monasteries
  • Travel insurance
  • Any expenses of personal nature, such as alcohol and soft drinks, monastery donation Tips, Telephone, Medicines,Laundry, meals not mentioned in cities

 

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What makes this trip different?

Eco Trip Nepal has been working hand to hand with nonprofit social organization SWAN Nepal (Social Welfare Association of Nepal) from its initial years. We provide continuous support to SWAN financially as well as by organizing charity and volunteering tours in the remote village of Baglung district. Organizing your holiday through Eco Trip Nepal will not only provide the chance to explore the natural grandeur of Himalayan country Nepal but also you will be playing a vital role in bringing positive changes in the lives of local community.

Financial support to direct beneficiaries:  In all our programs, we strive to ensure that we only use local operators and try to source all provisions from local businesses, so you can be sure that some part of the money paid to us for arranging your holiday goes to the needy people of Nepal. The money you pay for touring and trekking through Eco Trip Nepal directly benefits the local people through SWAN as we provide them certain percentage of our profits from each and every trip on regular basis. Our guests experience true satisfaction together with enjoyment from Nepal holiday.

Local development through tourism: Eco Trip Nepal along with SWAN has been working together in discovering new routes, making plans into action and constantly working on how it can positively impact on local community development through tourism. In this way we have developed the Eco-tourism Project which focuses to flourish local tourism preservation of nature and cultural heritages.

Community Tourism: We help experience the best of Nepal through the eyes of the local Nepalese community. We enhance community based tourism to help our guests discover local habitats and wildlife; celebrate and respect traditional cultures, rituals and wisdom. In this way community will be aware of the commercial and social value placed on their natural and cultural heritage through tourism, and this will promote community based management of these resources.

For more details, visit SWAN Nepal's website www.swannepal.org