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Embark on a cultural journey across Bhutan. Starting in Nepal’s vibrant capital Kathmandu, explore the magnificent Pashupatinath Temple and Boudhanath Stupa. Travel to Paro to climb up to the striking Taktsang Monastery, before trekking though blue pine forest and sweeping golden meadows on an inspiring 3 day trek of the Bumthang Valley. Watch for the rare black necked crane in the beautiful Gangtey Valley, then return to Nepal to discover the temple-studded streets of Nagarkot.
Our Trek itineraries offer adventurous travellers a rewarding experience to create lifelong memories in some of the world's most amazing destinations . Trek itineraries can be extended or customised to suit your interests and fitness. Discuss itinerary options and extensions with our Asia Travel Experts.
Meet your guide at the airport and travel together to your hotel for check-in. During your drive your guide will provide an introduction to Kathmandu, answer your questions and discuss plans for the following day. Enjoy free time for the remainder of the day.
Kathmandu is by far Nepal’s largest and most diverse city, a genuine melting pot of ethnicities and cultures and a haven for travellers since its rise to popularity as part of the ‘hippie trail’ in the 60s and 70s. Once described as having more temples than houses, this exhilarating and complex capital is rapidly changing, but the half-hidden temples, chilli-growing courtyards and tiny craft workshops of its narrow lanes and alleyways reveal a city that has not yet abandoned its fascinating traditional cultural identity.
Venture to the village of Deopatan, on Kathmandu’s eastern fringes, to see the revered Pashupatinath Temple. Standing on the banks of the Bagmati River, Pashupatinath is one of the most significant temples built in honour of Shiva in the world and attracts thousands of pilgrims from all over India each year. Non-Hindus are not permitted to enter this holy two-tiered pagoda, but standing on the opposite side of the river offers rewarding views of its richly ornamented silver plated doors, gold deity paintings and ornate wood carvings of Parvati, Kumar and Ganesh.
Just a short and interesting stroll away from the temple, you’ll find the iconic Boudhanath Stupa (Little Tibet). Looming at 36 metres tall, the stupa is the largest in Nepal and is considered the most important Tibetan Buddhist structure of its kind outside Tibet. Enjoy wandering the three large platforms at its base, taking in views of the mountains and listening to the prayer chants of pilgrims performing kora.
Upon arrival at Paro Airport and clearance of all immigration formalities you will be met by your guide who will escort you to Thimphu – the capital city of Bhutan. The drive from Paro to Thimphu takes about 1 hr. Enroute stop and visit the Tachhog Lhakang; located along the Paro-Thimphu highway overlooking the Pa Chhu river. This monastery was built in the early 15th century by the great master architect and yogi Thangtong Gyalpo (1385-1464). Upon arrival at Thimphu, check in and then visit some of the local sites – The Buddha Dordenma; the largest sitting Buddha in the world (measuring a height of 51.5 meters) located on top of a hill overlooking the south entrance of Thimphu and also visit the National Memorial Chorten built in memory of His Majesty the 3rd Druk Gyalpo.
Evening at leisure to wander the streets of Thimphu.
Morning visit to the Takin Preserve to see the rare and endangered Takin ( National Animal of Bhutan) and then visit the local farmers market and the handicraft bazaar. After Lunch drive to Punakha. On the way stop at the Dochula Pass (10,000 feet) to visit the 108 stupas and the Druk Wangyal Lhakang. Weather permitting you get a magnificent view of the Eastern Himalayas from the to of the pass. Then descend down to the Punakha/Wangdue Valley.
Either drive and hike to the Khamsum Yulley Monastery ( 40 minute hike) perched on a hill overlooking the Punakha valley below and then visit the Punakha Dzong in the afternoon or hike to the top of the Pho Chhu class II/III run and raft down to the confluence of the Mo and Pho rivers. After rafting visit the Punakha Dzong
The trek starts upriver from the Punakha Dzong. After crossing the longest suspension bridge in Bhutan, the trail ascends gently through terraced fields of mustard and winter wheat. After about a gradual 2 ½ hr hike through pine forests, fern, oak and some rhododendron we stop for lunch. In the distance one can see the Khamsum Yulley Monastery and if the weather is clear some of the Himalayan peaks. After lunch walk another couple of hours to the camp which is located at 2220 meters just beyond the village of Limbukha.
Trek from Limbukha to Chungsakha ( about 4 hrs). An early start to the day. The trail ascends pretty steeply through a fairly dense forest to a ridge. After crossing the ridge the trail then descends to a small side valley. Most of the trail is through oak and rhododendron forest and one can get a nice view of some of the mountains.
Descend from the camp and cross a suspension bridge and start a fairly steep climb along the trail that crosses several little villages. The trail also follows some small deeply eroded gorges. After about a 3 hr hike you cross the village of Samtengang and camp for the night.
After the village of Samtengang the trail descends steeply through agricultural fields into the valley of the Dang Chhu and ends at the Tiki Zampa (5100 ft) where you meet the main road. From there drive on to the Phobjikha Valley. Night in Phobjikha. Upon arrival at Phobjikha visit the Gangtey Goenpa Monastery.
Expect a fairly long but beautiful drive from Phobjikha to Bumthang over the Pele La pass, en-route stop at Chendebji Chorten, Trongsa ( visit the Trongsa Dzong or the Tower of Trongsa Museum) and then continue the drive over the Yotungla Pass down into Chumey and then to Bumthang.
Sightseeing of the Bumthang Valley. Visit the local sites in and around Bumthang. The Kurjey Lhakang, Tamshing Lhakang, Jambay Lhakang and also visit the Membartsho ( also known as the Burning Lakes) where Pema Lingpa in the 15th century discovered and revealed treasures hidden by Guru Rimpoche). Night at hotel/lodge in Bumthang.
Fly approximately 25 minute back from Bumthang to Paro. Upon arrival at Paro visit some of the local sites and the Paro Ta Dzong Museum
Drive up towards the Pele La pass and then hike towards to Dzongdrakha Monastery. The hike from the road takes about 40 minutes to the monastery and then hike back down to the valley floor. Spend the late afternoon at leisure around Paro town.
Drive north of Paro to the trailhead where you start a 1 ½ hr hike to the viewpoint of Taktsang Monastery (aka “Tiger’s Nest) perched on a cliff 2700 feet above the valley floor. Legend says that Guru Rimpoche arrived here on the back of one of is consorts who was in the guise of a flying Tigress sometime in the 7th century. Hence, the name “Taktsang” (Tiger’s Nest). After a short tea break, the options are to sit back and read a book for a while or if you feel energetic enough, to continue another 45 minutes up to the monastery. Evening, relax at the hotel.
Fly from Paro to Kathmandu and leave for Nagarkot, stopping en route in the ancient Newar town of Bhaktapur, just east of Kathmandu, to explore the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Bhaktapur Durbar Square. This brick paved plaza, sometimes referred to as an ‘open museum’ paints a fascinating picture of the grandeur of medieval Nepal. You’ll find architectural surprises around every corner, with 10 exquisite temples and many more magnificently fearsome statues and beautifully intricate carvings to discover.
Take time to visit a traditional Nepali village nearby before venturing to the renowned beauty spot of Nagarkot. Perched at an altitude of 2,099 metres, this small village is renowned for offering some of the most spectacular mountain views in the entire Kathmandu Valley. Unwind on the hillside and soak up a mesmerising sunset over the jagged peaks of the Himalayas.
Rise early to catch the first rays of sunlight hitting the Himalayas, then drive back to Kathmandu with your guide.
In the afternoon you can discover more marvels of Newar architecture with an optional visit to Patan Durbar Square. The beautiful Krishna Mandir Temple, embellished with carvings of scenes from mythological war Mahabharat, was built in honour of an incarnation of Vishnu. Enjoy some time exploring the narrow streets here, perhaps whiling away a few hours in one of the many local art and sculpture galleries.
On your last day, enjoy free time until your departure transfer.
All Get About Asia trips have been designed to make sure you have an unforgettable travel experience. We have developed several trip styles to cater for our diverse range of travellers. Read what your ideal Get About Asia experience might look like here.
|Superior:||from AU $7,562|
All GetAboutAsia prices are based on twin share and depend on availability and season. All our itineraries can be customised including international flights and extra nights. For questions or further information, Enquire Now!
Hotels/lodges each night of the itinerary (excluding your departure day).
Visas for Bhutan
All nationalities require a visa and a Letter of Invitation for Bhutan. Please contact Get About Asia in order to apply.
Availability of accommodation and season.
|Dates:||All year, pending group size (talk to us)|
"Both Nepal and Bhutan were enjoyable and definitely worth the trip. Highlights were Bodnath, Annapuras, and Mount Everest in Nepal - I took an ultralite flight to see the Annapura snowcaps. The cultures are obviously different in both countries with the most striking difference being the Bhutanese buildings. The guides were great, the food was awesome, and the accommodation was very nice." — Paul, Cleve SA, July 2018