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9-Day Nepal and Bhutan Cultural Tour

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Overview

Tour Type: Private Tour: Flexible Travel Date & Travel Routes
Guide & Driver: Chinese-English-speaking guide & air-conditioned
  • Meeting with the cheerful, hospitable and curious Nepali
  • Exploring the culture myth and Buddhist atmosphere in Nepal and Bhutan
  • Visit breathtaking views of snow-capped mountain

Itinerary Day by Day

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Day1  Kathmandu Arrival ( D )

Welcome to Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, rich in culture and religion. After arriving at Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport, you will be greeted by our enthusiastic guide with a very smiling face, then be transferred to check in your hotel in downtown by a air-conditioned private vehicle. The rest of today is your free time to take rest or walk around.

In the evening, you will be treated a "Welcome Dinner" at an excellent traditional Nepalese Restaurant where you will enjoy authentic Nepalese food.

Accommodation:Overnight in Kathmandu

Day2  Kathmandu - Pokhara (B) / About 25 minutes' Flight ( B )

After breakfast, you will visit Bhaktapur which is one of three medieval city-states in the Kathmandu Valley as well as the best preserved one with an altitude of 1,401 meter. With three different styles square - Durbar Square, Taumadhi Square and Dattatreya Square, it is the best place to explore traditional Nepalese architecture and local life and custom, also the best place to witness the great achievements of arts and crafts created by the famous Nepal's Malla Dynasty (1201–1769). Bhaktapur is also famous as the Town of the Devotees. There are many devout Hindus and Buddhists living in the city.

Leaving Bhaktapur, you will head to Patan, once a glorious independent kingdom, but now almost a suburb of Kathmandu city. It is known for the crowding Patan Durbar Square which is honored as the finest collection of temples and palaces with exquisite carvings in the whole of Nepal. It also attracts tourists with the treasures and souvenirs in the various shops around the square. The square consists of three main chowks, or courtyards - the central Mul Chowk, Sundari Chowk and Main Keshab Narayan Chowk.

After the sightseeing, driving to the airport and catch your flight to Pokhara.

Accommodation:Overnight in Pokhara

Day3  Pokhara ( B )

Today, you will begin the full-day sightseeing of Pokhara. In the early morning, you will drive to the Sarangkot to watch breathtaking sunrise. When the sun picks out the peaks, they are transformed from a purple-pink to a celestial gold. As the day breaks thoroughly, you can admire a wonderful panoramic sweep of Himalayan peaks from west to east. The view of the Annapurna Himalaya from Sarangkot is praised as a religious experience. After the spectacular sightseeing from Sarangkot, you will drive to Peace Temple to see the brilliant-white World Peace Pagoda. The road to the pagoda is not in very good condition, but scenery is stunning. World Peace Pagoda was constructed by the Buddhists from Japanese Nipponzan Myohoji organization, symbolizing the peace of the world. While seeing the enchanting natural sights around, you will also get a feeling of inner peace as well.

After lunch, you will visit Devil’s Fall, locally known as Patale Chhango (Hell’s Fall). It is an awesome waterfall lying about 2 km south-west of Pokhara Airport on the highway to Tanmen. Then, pay a visite the nearby Gupteswar Gupha, which is a sacred cave. It has some big hall-size rooms and some passages where you have to crawl on all fours. Afterwards, you will have a relaxed journey in Phewa Lake which is the second largest lake in Nepal. It is available to take to the lake with one of the beautifully painted boats or walk/cycle around the lakeshore. The most important religious monument in Pokhara, Barahi Temple, is built almost in the middle of Phewa Lake. The two storied pagoda is dedicated to boar manifestation of Ajima, the protector deity representing the female force Shakti.

Accommodation:Overnight in Pokhara

Day4  Flight from Pokhara to Kathmandu / About 25 minutes' Flight ( B )

After having breakfast, you will move towards Pokhara Airport and fly to Kathmandu. Today’s activities start with a wonderful stroll around the grand Kathmandu Durbar Square, which is the social, religious and urban focal point of the city. With the complex made between the 12th and 18th centuries by the ancient Malla Kings of Nepal, it provides many interesting things to see, like Taleju Temple, Kal Bhairab (God of Destruction), Nautalle Durbar, Coronation Nasal Chowk, the Gaddi Baithak, the statue of King Pratap Malla, the Big Bell, Big Drum and the Jagnnath Temple etc. Then you will visit the Kathmandu’s most ancient and enigmatic holy shrine – Swayambhunath, also known as “Monkey Temple”. It lies 2km west of Kathmandu City. On the clear days, you are able to see a line of Himalayan Ranges. From its hilltop setting, you can get a fine view over Kathmandu of and the valley. After that, follow a contrast tour to the giant Buddhist stupa – Boudhanath, the largest stupa in Kathmandu Valley at about 131ft (40km) high and one of the largest and most important Buddhist stupas in the world. The all-seeing red, white and blue eyes of Buddha are painted on all four sides of the stupa, similar to Swayambhunath, and surrounded by hundreds of fluttering prayer flags, prayer wheels and small images of Buddha.

Optional Activities: you can choose to take a Everest Mountain Flight in the early morning. From the airplane, fantastic Himalayan peaks, lakes and glaciers can be witnessed.

Accommodation:Overnight in Kathmandu

Day5  Flight from Kathmandu to Paro – Drive to Thimphu / About 1h's Flight & 1h15mins' Driving ( B, L, D )

Early this morning, your driver will meet you at your hotel and then take you to the airport to catch your international flight to Paro Airport, the sole international airport in Bhutan. If you sit near the left window of your plane, and fly in a clear day, you will be very lucky to enjoy a spectacular view of the Himalaya peaks, including the world’s highest mountain - Mount Everest (Alt: 29,029ft) and its neighbors - Mt. Lhotse (the world’s fourth highest mountain, Alt: 27,940ft), Mt. Makalu (the world’s fifth highest mountain, Alt: 27,838ft) and Mt. Nuptse (Alt: 25,791ft) as you approach Paro (Alt: 7,364ft).The captain’s broadcast introduction and the magazines on the plane will help you recognize these peaks.

Upon arrival, you will be greeted by your local travel guide and driver, and then be escorted to Paro Town to start your wonderful journey. You will firstly visit Bhutan National Museum where you are going to learn a crash course in Bhutanese rich culture and history. There are many impressive collections displayed in its five galleries, including traditional thangkas, festival masks, religious statues, interesting carvings, etc. Your next attraction is Rinpung Dzong, also known as Paro Dzong, which is reputed as the finest example of Bhutanese dzong. After appreciating these charming architectures in Rinpung Dzong, you could take a leisure walk through cantilever bridge and to Paro Town and witness national game archery, which is played almost every day on the ground.

After the sightseeing, drive about 1.5 hours to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan Kingdom, for accommodation.

Accommodation:Overnight in Thimphu

Day6  Thimphu Sightseeing - Drive to Punakha / 80km, about 2.5hrs' Driving ( B, L, D )

This morning you will start the day by visiting the National Memorial Chorten (shrine), a monument dedicated to the past 3rd king of Bhutan, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. More than a memorial stupa, it is also one important religious center for Bhutanese daily worship. Then go to visit Traditional Painting School, a school where students are taught to make Bhutan’s 13 traditional arts and crafts, like painting, woodcarving, embroidery, statue-making and so on. Next, go to National Textile Museum which is a good place to display textile weaving – Bhutan’s living national art. You can not only feast on the beautiful costumes, but also learn about the type of textiles, the styles of local dress and the techniques of weaving. Last activity of today is visiting the national animal - Takin in Motithang Takin Preserve, a unique looking animal with the head of sheep and body of cattle.

Leaving Thimphu, drive through a forest of pine and hemlock, up to cross over the Dochu La Pass (Alt: 10142ft/ 3,050 m). From the place, you can enjoy the panoramic views of the majestic Himalaya Mountains. Keep driving along the winding road to the fertile valley of Punakha (Alt: 4430ft/ 1,350 meters).

Accommodation:Accommodate in Punakha Town.

Day7  Punakha Sightseeing - Drive to Paro / 130km, About 3.5hrs' Driving ( B, L, D )

After breakfast, you will go to visit Punakha Dzong, situated between Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu (male and female rivers) and featuring in three docheys (one more than other dzongs). It is praised by many people as the most beautiful one in Bhutan’s 21 dzongs, especially in spring when the lilac jacaranda trees in blossom. Next, move to the Chimi Lhakhang, a mysterious temple built in 1499 by the legendary “Divine Madman” - lama Drukpa Kunley. There is a tradition that the childless women can visit this temple to receive a wang (blessing) from the saint, then they will have a child.

After lunch, drive about 3.5 hours back to Paro. Have a good night in Paro Town.

Accommodation:Accommodate in Paro

Day8  Paro - Takshang (Tiger’s Nest) / About 20mins' Driving plus 2~3hrs' Hike ( B, L, D )

Start the day with short drive to Paro’s upper valley. If the day is clear, you’ll have an unforgettable view of the "Goddess" – Mt.Chomolhari (23,640 feet).

Afterward, it's a short drive to Taktsang trail ahead. Take a challenging but necessary 2~3 hours' trek to Taktsang Monastery, the most famous monastery in Bhutan, also known as "Tiger Nest Monastery", because Guru Rinpoche reportedly flew to the site on the back of a flying tiger late in the 7th century. Between blue pines and a blue sky, the monastery perches miraculously on a cliff nearly 2,700 feet above Paro’s valley floor. Break along the way for tea and snacks in small tea house, and the view of both Taktsang Monastery and Paro Valley is magnificent.

Hike down the mountain, then drive back to Paro for accommodation.

Tips: 1) it takes about 2 ~ 3 hours to trek from the parking lot to Taktsang Monastery, and you could ride a horse for the first hour; 2) photography is strictly forbidden in the monastery, but you can take a nice shot on your road to Taktsang Monastery; 3) travelers have to deposit all belongings (cameras, phones or other electronic equipment and bags) at the entrance.

Accommodation:Accommodate in Takshang

Day9  Paro Departure ( B )

Your journey in Bhutan comes to an end today! After breakfast, your guide will pick you up from the hotel to the airport in time for the scheduled flight to your next destination. Before that, you can take a rest at the hotel or go for a walk nearby.

Tips: Please pack your luggage carefully, especially for small things like camera charge, power adaptor, mobile phone, phone charger, wallet and towel. If your flight is arranged in the afternoon, please make sure you check out the hotel before 12pm.

Accommodation:

What's Included

All necessary Tibet Travel Permit. (Including Tibet Entry Permit, Alien Travel Permit, Boarder Pass
Private professional English-Speaking local tour guide
Licensed Vehicle with experienced driver
Airport (or train)pick up and drop off
Accommodation listed in the itinerary
Breakfast provided by the hotel
Tourists Accident/Casualty Insurance
A container of Oxygen for emergency use
All taxes, fees and handling charges
Lodging and meal allowance to the guide & driver
Reservation fee for visiting Potala Palace
2 bottles of drinking water per person per day
One Welcome dinner in Lhasa
Meals not specified in the itinerary (All lunches & dinners)
All Entrance tickets to the sightseeing places
Flight/Trian tickets in and out of Tibet
Personal expenses such as laundry, drink, fax, telephone call, optional tour activities, etc.
Any losses incurred from the force majeure factor like government control, natural disaster etc.
Tips to the guide & driver ( Tips is not required but expected)
Single room supplement

Additional Info

Alterations of Itineraries

The travel date, service items, itinerary and number of visitors, visitors’ ID information, etc. can be modified free of charge 30 days or more before the trip. If the visitor needs to make a second modification, an additional service fee of 5% of the deposit will be charged. Every time the content of the travel contract is modified, the company reserves the right to re-quote.

Cancellation Policy

Once the deposit is paid, your trip is confirmed. If you need to change or cancel your itinerary, please contact your travel consultant by email, phone, instant messenger, etc. There will be a charge for Cancellation or modification. The policy is as follows:

1. Notice of trip cancellation due to personal reasons before the trip starts
Cancellation 30 days or more before the trip starts, 10% penalty of the deposit.
Cancellation 29-15 days before the trip starts, 20% penalty of the deposit.
Cancellation 14-7 days before the trip starts, 30% penalty of the deposit.
Cancellation 6-2 days before the trip starts, 50% penalty of the deposit.
Cancellation within 48 hours prior to the trip starts, no refund of your deposit.

2. Trip cancellation due to irresistible factors before the trip starts

If you have to cancel the itinerary due to irresistible reasons such as traffic, weather, politics, etc., the deposit will be fully refunded by the company (for loss related to air ticket/train ticket, please take reference of the first item).

Reviews

 Bine
Travel Date:June 8th 2018

This is my first trip to Tibet, so I have high expectation to my Tibet trip. First, our guide, Jack, arranged for visit to temples and monasteries. Also, they're able to adjust our itinerary quickly. I'm glad I had a great Tibet trip.

 Teoh chin kok
Travel Date:June 15th 2018

With the accompaniment of our experienced driver and guide-Lomsang. I forgot the name of our driver. Terribly sorry. He did a great job. Our guide is fluent in English, we had no problem in communicating. He made us laugh during the long drive and took care of my daughter. We had altitude sickness when we were at the tent of Everest Base Camp, he didn’t sleep well also in order to look after us. He also explained tibetan culture clearly which I find it pretty interesting. We would like to thank him for making our trip in tibet extraordinary. We were lucky to book a tour with Tibet odyssey tours.

 Stacy
Travel Date:July 15th 2018

Firstly, special thanks to our tour guide we met, Mr. 扎西. He was so helpful, knowledgeable, considerate, experienced and professional. He is fluent in English. We had smooth conversation.
Secondly, thanks to our tour Consultant, Amy, for organizing o

 Karin88888
Travel Date:May 30, 2019

We had a wonderful 8 days trip in Tibet with agency Odyssey travel’s organization and thanks too to our operator Amy’s help from begining to the end. Also, our guide she is an excellent guide, she is passionate and knowledgeable about Tibetan culture and religion, she taught us more than we thought. Thank you again Amy for your patience and all the follow-ups when I had questions even at night local time in China, it was great to have you as my tour operator. I feel very lucky to have accomplished my goal to the Mr. Everest, thanks for making this possible for us : )

 Fidschibitter
Travel Date:May 26, 2019

Wir reisten im April diesen Jahres (gute Reisezeit) nach Tibet, mit Tibet Odyssey Tours als Reiseveranstalter. Es hat uns sehr bewegt und wir träumen immer noch von unserer Reise nach Tibet, von der frischen Luft, den grünen Seen, den majestätischen Bergen und den vielen weiteren Sehenwürdigkeiten. Wir möchten unbedingt erneut nach Tibet. Die Einheimischen waren besonders freundlich zu den Touristen. Ein paar sprachen zwar kein Chinesisch, aber sie haben uns angelächelt und uns somit hallo gesagt. Wir haben uns einfach sehr Wilkommen gefühlt. Tibet Odyssey Tours ist eine perfekte Reiseagentur und wir hatten einen Tourguide mit viel Humor, Ortskenntnissen und Einfühlungsvermögen : ) Auf unserem Weg zum Everest Base Camp hat er uns stets gute Orte für Fotos empfohlen und er hat sich gut um uns gekümmert, z.B. wenn jemand an der Höhenkrankheit litt. Er war stets besorgt um unsere Gesundheit und hat uns jederzeit immer geholfen. Wir haben eine Nacht im Everest Base Camp geschlafen. Die Erfahrung war einmalig. Leider gab es nur eine öffentliche Toilette und es war sehr kalt, aber unser Guide hat uns mit den bescheidenen Mitteln, die vor Ort vorhanden waren, geholfen. Er hat sogar für Licht mit seinem Handy gesorgt. Diese Hilfsbereitschaft hat uns wirklich sehr bewegt. Die Reiseagentour können wir nur wärmstens empfehlen. Hier gilt unser spezieller Dank Amy, die sich sehr viel Mühe gegeben hat.

Unsere nächste Tour buchen wir wieder dort.

 changshu1999
Travel Date:August 11, 2019

The tour guide and diver are pretty kind and zealous! And all the stories the guide told are very attractive as well. Hope next time visiting there, they can entertain us again.