Bhutan & Nepal: Heart of the Himalaya 2023
FULLY INCLUSIVE, CUSTOM TAILORED PACKAGES INCLUDE LUXURY TRAVEL SERVICES AND EXPERIENCES THAT TRANSCEND ALL EXPECTATIONS
Discover Bhutan and Nepal, two Himalayan countries little touched by the passage of time, as you ascend to stunning “Tiger’s Nest” Monastery, stroll through Kathmandu’s Durbar Square and enjoy a meal in the home of a local Nepali family.
Absorb the grace, beauty and remoteness of Punakha, where you visit the ornately designed Dzong and wander in hand-painted courtyards among crimson-robed monks. Feel the spirit of remote Bhutan on a pilgrimage hike to the revered “Tiger’s Nest” Monastery, perched high on a sheer rock face, followed by a celebratory Champagne toast. Explore Kathmandu’s storied Durbar Square, and connect with Nepal’s rich spiritual heritage during a guided meditation at Kopan Monastery. Hear firsthand from a Mount Everest summiter about his experiences scaling the world’s tallest peak. Savor a lesson in Nepalese cuisine during a visit with a local family in their home
Day 1: ARRIVE BANGKOK, THAILAND
Arrive in Bangkok, where you are met and transferred to your airport hotel.
Day 2: PARO & THIMPHU, BHUTAN | AMONG TOWERING PEAKS
Fly to Paro, your gateway to Bhutan, a nation whose cultural traditions remain well preserved. Travel to Thimphu, admiring the mountain scenery, before visiting the National Memorial Chorten. Later, see Tashichho Dzong, a 13th-century Buddhist monastery and fortress. Then, gather for your welcome dinner.
Day 3: PUNAKHA | THE DIVINE MADMAN
Drive over the Dochula Pass, seeing the colorful prayer flags en route to Punakha. Stop at Chimi Lhakhang (Temple of the Divine Madman), a storied fertility temple, continuing to Punakha Dzong, also called the “Palace of Great Happiness.”
Day 4: THIMPHU | DESIGN YOUR DAY
Today, enjoy one of these Design Your Day activities.
Hike Wangditse Nature Trail, a two-hour scenic walk through fields to Wangtse Monastery, with stunning views.
Offer Butter Lamps at a Monastery in Thimphu, and explore the Folk Heritage and National Textile museums.
Visit Pangrizampa, where you meet with a local astrologer and practice meditation with an expert.
Tonight, gather for dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 5: PARO | MONASTERIES, RIVERS & RELICS
Journey overland to Paro, stopping to visit local farmers at their farmhouse to better understand their traditional way of life. Once in Paro, view the religious thangka (scroll) paintings and the natural history collection at the National Museum of Bhutan. Proceed to Rinpung Dzong, a monastery and fortress on a mountain river.
Day 6: PARO | ASCENT TO THE “TIGER’S NEST”
Today, you may choose to attempt the climb to Taktsang Monastery (“Tiger’s Nest”). This hike is intentionally difficult, intended as an arduous pilgrimage for Buddhist devotees. Upon your descent, celebrate your trek with a Champagne toast and a specially arranged picnic breakfast with local entertainment. Later, try your hand at archery, Bhutan’s national sport.
Day 7: KATHMANDU, NEPAL | HISTORIC DURBAR SQUARE
Fly to Kathmandu. Ride Like a Local by rickshaw to Kathmandu Durbar Square and Taleju Temple, see the House of the Living Goddess (Kumari), and stroll through the bazaar and old city. Continue to Swayambhunath, one of the most sacred shrines for Tibetan Buddhists. Later, hear a lecture by a summiter on the epic challenge of scaling Mount Everest.
Day 8: KATHMANDU | A GUIDED MEDITATION
Visit Pashupatinath, a sacred Hindu temple built in a pagoda style. Then, on an experience exclusively for A&K guests made possible by our local office, enter Kopan Nunnery and Monastery, where a monk or nun leads you in a private guided meditation session. Continue to Boudhanath, home to one of the world’s largest Buddhist shrines, and enjoy a Scenic Sundowner.
Day 9:KATHMANDU | A LESSON IN NEPALESE CUISINE
Explore Patan to see Durbar Square and the former royal palace. Participate in a Chef ’s Table cooking class at a local family’s home, learning about local cuisine and daily life in Nepal. Later, savor a farewell dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 10:DEPART BANGKOK
On Day 10, fly to Bangkok, where you enjoy the use of an executive room, available through Day 11, when you depart on your flight home.