A. Itinerary in Detail (14 Days)
Day 01: Sept 10: Kathmandu – Paro (by Druk Air) Transfer to Thimphu
Transfer to airport and fly to Paro. A spectacular descent through mountainous valleys brings you into the Kingdom of Bhutan. The beautiful airport is your first glimpse of what’s ahead. After clearing customs and visa control you are met by your driver and guide. A short drive along the valley brings you to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. This very picturesque drive past rural homes, hillside monasteries and chortens only takes 1.5 hours. Settle into your hotel and after lunch at a local restaurant start your sightseeing, visiting the Textile Museum, a traditional paper making factory and the Post office to see Bhutan’s beautiful stamps which also depicts about our countrys myths, traditions etc. Alternatively you can do less formal sightseeing and walk around the town with your guide. Dinner at restaurant. Overnight at Hotel.
Day 02: Sept 11: Thimphu – Punakha
(72 Kms, 3 hours drive). After breakfast, drive to Punakha via Dochula pass. If the weather is clear, we stop for a while at Dochula pass to view Higher Himalayas. On the way, stop a while to view Chimi Lhakhang, which was built by Lama Drukpa Kuenley in 15th century. He subdued the demons with his “Magical Thunder bolt”. The Temple is also known as “the Temple of Fertility”.
Lunch in Punakha. After lunch, visit Punakha Dzong built in 1637 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and is situated between Pho Chu (Male river) and Mo Chu (Female river). For many years until the time of the second king, it served as the seat of the Government. The construction of the Dzong was foretold by Guru Rimpoche, who predicted, “a person named Namgyal will arrive at a hill that looks like an elephant”. There was a smaller building here called Dzong Chu (Small Dzong) that housed a statue of Buddha. It is said that Shabdrung ordered the architect, Zowe Palep, to sleep in front of the statue, while Palep was sleeping, the Shabdrung took him in his dreams to Zangtopelri and showed him the palace of Guru Rimpoche. From his vision, the architect conceived the design for the new Dzong, which in keeping with the tradition, was never committed to paper. The Dzong was named Druk Pungthang Dechen Phodrang (Palace of Great Happiness). The war materials captured during the battle with Tibetans are preserved here. Punakha is still the winter residence of Je-Khenpo and King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk convened the new national Assembly here in 1952. In the evening, hike to Khamsung Yulley Namgyal Choling Monastery. Overnight at hotel in Punakha.
Day 03: Sept 12: Punakha – Thimpu and sightseeing in Thimpu
After early breakfast drive back for 3 hours to Thimpu. Thimphu sightseeing includes a visit to the visit National Memorial Chorten, built in honor of our late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk and also visit the Folk Heritage Museum, which is dedicated to connecting people to the Bhutanese rural past through exhibition of items and artifacts used in rural households, Textile Museum, where the art of traditional weaving is still kept alive and preserved through exhibition and has a good collection of old textiles which are rich in its color and design. Lunch will be served at a restaurant in Thimphu. After lunch visit the School of Arts and Crafts where the 13 Crafts are taught to the Young Children which was established in 1971 with two objectives in mind, (a) to preserve and promote the traditional arts and crafts and (b) to create more job opportunities.
Day 04: Sept 13: Thimpu to Paro including sightseeing and hike to Taktsang
After early breakfast, we drive to Paro for sightseeing in Paro and hike to Taktsang. Immediate after arriving in Paro again we drive to winding road to the Drukgyal Dzong, the ruined fort, which was once defended this valley from Tibetan invasions, and also visit a Bhutanese farm house of a local family at Drukgyal for a close up view of everyday Bhutanese life. We then drive beyond Satsam Chorten to hike up (or horse ride) to the Taktsang monastery (Tigers nest). The horse ride up to the cafeteria will take around 1.5hrs. At the view point, you will enjoy the stunning view of the monastery, where Guru Padmasambhava landed on the back of a tigress in the 8th century. We then walk back to the road point and visit Kyichu Lhahang, one of the oldest temples in Bhutan, overnight at hotel in Paro.
Day 05: Sept 14: Departure from Paro
After breakfast, drive to Paro Airport and farewell for your flight to Kathmandu. Receive from airport and transfer to Hotel. Preparation and briefing about the Tibet tour
Lhasa – Everest Base Camp Trip
Day 06: Sept 15: Katmandu – Lhasa
Drive to Airport for the flight from Kathmandu to Lhasa on Air China. The flight takes about an hour and thirty minutes.The Trans Himalayan Flight gives you a great aerial views of Mt. Everest and other Himalayan Peaks. Arrival at Gonggar airport around 14.00 hrs. local time. After clearing immigration and customs it is around a two hour drive to cover the 93 kms. to Lhasa, situated at an altitude of 3670 meters. Upon arrival we check in to the hotel right in the heart of the old city.
Day 07 – 08: Sept 16-17: Three days are spent in Lhasa, we visit the Potala palace, Sera and Drepung monasteries, the Norbulinka palace and Jokhang temple including the surrounding Barkhor market. Lhasa (Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Barkhor Bazaar )
Day 09: Sept 18: Drive Nam Tso Lake – Excursion & exploration around – back Lhasa
Day 10: Apr 19: Lhasa – Gyantse (lake Yamdrok, Kumbum )Today is a long but rewarding one to Gyantse we need to cross the Kamba la (4794m) and the Karo la pass (5010m), both passes provide some spectacular views. After the Kamba la we pass near Yamdrok tso also known as the Turquoise Lake. Altitude 3900mtrs.before arriving at Gyantse and our hotel.
Day 11: Sept 20: Gyantse – Shigatse (Tashilunpo ) In the morning we visit Gyantse stupa and monastery before continueing our journey to Shigatse and a visit to the famous Tashilumpo monastery.where there is an enormous Buddha.The manastary remains the seat of the Panchen Lama. Altitude 3800m.
Day 12: Sept 21: Shigatse – Xegar – Rongbuk
The journey today travels over two high passes with fine views and ends with the spectacular views of Mt. Everest from Rombuk monastery. Relax tonight and stroll around the monastery. Altitude 5050m.
Day 13: Sept 22: Rongbuk – Zhangmu (EBC)
Up early in the morning for a two and half hour leisurely walk (one way) to Everest base-camp (5200m) return early afternoon and head to Lao Tingri. Lao Tingri is a small Tibetan town that arguably offers the best views of Everest from anywhere. Altitude 4200 m.
Day 14: Sept 23: Zhangmu – Kodari border. Cross boarder and drive back to Kathmandu by private vehicle. As per the flight schedule, transfer to airport and fly back to your next destination.