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2by2 for holidays that will change your life
2by2 for holidays that will change your life
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Nepal Holidays Kathmandu Himalayas Tiger Safari Chitwan Annapurna Trek

Nepal and Bhutan Holidays & Tours: Kathmandu + Tigers Nest + Thimphu

Nepal + Bhutan - Two Himalayan Countries
FPQ12K
11 NIGHTS
FROM £2,795
Per person sharing
International flights quoted separately
Nepal And Bhutan Holidays Tours Kathmandu Tigers Nest Thimphu

Our Nepal and Bhutan holidays & guided tours combine two spectacular but very different Himalayan countries. Visit historic Durbar Square in Kathmandu & other Buddhist pilgrimage sites & hike around Pokhara, before flying to serene Bhutan, where you can hike up to Tigers Nest monastery, visit Tashichho Dzong (fortress) in Thimphu, Punakha Dzong & much more. English speaking driver/guide & all sightseeeing included.

Nepal And Bhutan Holidays Tours Kathmandu Tigers Nest Thimphu
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Nepal And Bhutan Holidays & Tours
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Kathmandu
• 
Durbar Square
• 
Pokhara & Himalayas
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Davis Falls Hike
• 
Ta Dzong, Paro
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Thimphu & Tashichho Dzong
• 
Punakha Dzong
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Chimi Lhakhang Monasetry
• 
Tigers Nest Monastery
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Nepal And Bhutan Holidays & Tours
• 
Kathmandu
• 
Durbar Square
• 
Pokhara & Himalayas
• 
Davis Falls Hike
• 
Ta Dzong, Paro
• 
Thimphu & Tashichho Dzong
• 
Punakha Dzong
• 
Chimi Lhakhang Monasetry
• 
Tigers Nest Monastery
Day 1
You will be met at Kathmandu Airport and transferred to your hotel in this spectacular Himalayan country that is famous for trekking and is home to the highest mountain in the world - the mighty Mount Everest.
 
Check into your hotel amidst the intoxicating sights and sounds of this capital city that was devastated by an earthquake in 2015, but is now slowly recovering.
Day 2
Today you will be introduced to the highlights of Kathmandu (known locally as Kantipur), as you explore its ancient UNESCO World Heritage Sites with your guide.
 
We start with a visit to Kathmandu Durbar Square, with its array of temples overlooked by the Hanuman Dhoka Palace - the ancient place of Nepalese royalty. This is one of Nepal's seven Monument Zones, each of which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Although many of these structures collapsed during the devastating earthquake of 2015, not all areas were affected. Most of the people living here are Hindu, but there are also many Buddhist as Lord Buddha was born in Lumbini, when Nepal was under the control of India. The true soul of this city can be found in its backstreets, where you can soak up the local cultural and artistic heritage.
 
Our next stop is the sacred Buddhist pilgrimage site of Swayambhunath (meaning 'sublime trees'), the oldest Buddhist stupa in the Kathmandu Valley that is said to be over 2,000 years. This perfectly proportioned monument rises up through a whitewashed dome to a gilded spire, from where four iconic faces of Lord Buddha stare out across the valley. The hill is a mosaic of small shrines and pagoda temples and, as many monkeys live here, it is also known as Monkey Temple. It is also a Monument Zone and World Heritage Site. From here you will have a perfect vantage point over the Kathmandu Valley.
 
After lunch (own account) we travel to Bhaktapur - an extraordinarily beautiful old city which was probably founded in the ninth century. Its ancient architecture comprises pagoda-style copper roofs set on wooden and mud-brick buildings, said to represent what Kathmandu looked like centuries ago before the arrival of the modern era. You can observe local artisans shaping pottery and tour Bhaktapur Durbar Square, another Monument Zone and World Heritage Site, with its Golden Gate and Palace of 55 Windows.
Day 3
Transfer to Kathmandu Airport for your light aircraft flight to Pokhara - known for its lovely lakes Phewa, Begnas and Rupa, which have their source in the glacial Annapurna Range of the Himalayas. It is also the gateway to the famous Annapurna hiking trail.
 
On arrival enjoy some sightseeing, including a visit to Bindyabasini Temple - one of the oldest temples in the valley, set on a small hill at the north end of the old bazaar. View the Seti River as it rushes through the town; Seti Gorge and Devi's Waterfall with its water vapour and beautiful rainbow in sunlight.
 
After a visit to the International Mountaineering Museum, enjoy a late afternoon boat ride on Phewa Lake.
Day 4
An early start today as we drive 35-minutes to Sarangkot, a beautiful hill famous for its spectacular sunrise. Enjoy an unforgettable breakfast on the mountain, with close-up views of the Annapurna range and Fishtail peak.
 
After sunrise we walk 3-hours along a very gentle trail to the small mountain village of Naudanda and immerse ourselves in the local cultural and natural beauty of the area. After our hike, enjoy lunch in one of the mountain restaurants.
 
In the afternoon we drive 30-minutes to the beautiful Buddhist monastery at Hemja. Explore the surroundings of the monastery until prayers starts at 15.00. Feel high in spirituality as you enjoy the chanting rituals of these monks and immerse yourself into the meditative atmosphere for about 1.5-hours until the prayers end. Afterwards we drive back to Pokhara.
 
Note: If you do not wish to hike to Naudanda, an alternative activity will be arranged for you.
Day 5
This morning enjoy exploring more of Pokhara with your guide.
 
We walk to the lake and take a boat across it to hike 1-hour up to the World Peace Stupa, a Buddhist pilgrimage site that offers beautiful views. From here you will be collected by car and driven down to Davis Falls and the longest cave in southern Asia.
 
Afterwards we return to Pokhara, with afternoon at leisure. Here there are many optional adventure activities available such as paragliding, bungee jumping and zip lining.
Day 6
This morning transfer to Pokhara Airport for your light aircraft flight to Kathmandu, where you will be met and transferred to your hotel.
 
In the afternoon we visit Boudhanath - a Tibetan 'stupa' (dome shaped shrine) that is the largest Buddhist temple in the world. Built by King Man Deva on the advice of the goddess Mani Jogini, its octagonal base is inset with prayer wheels. The shrine is ringed by houses of Lamas (priests), with four pairs of eyes looking in the four cardinal directions - keeping watch for righteous behaviour and human prosperity. Here you can see Tibetan monks involved in their chanting rituals and daily life. This stupa is one of the seven Monument Zones and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  
Afterwards we drive 3-miles (5 km) south of Kathmandu to visit Patan Durbar Square. Patan (or Lalitpur) is one of the three great cities of the Kathmandu Valley, which is the historical and cultural heart of Nepal. It is famous for its amazing collection of fantastically carved temples, palace courtyards, water spouts, public baths and houses with their equally elaborate wood, stone and metal carvings under the patronages of the Kirat, Lichivi and Malla kings. Patan has more than a 1,000 temples and monuments dedicated to the uniquely Nepali mix of Buddhist and Hindu gods. Patan Durbar Square is another of the seven Monument Zones and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
 
In the evening enjoy an included Nepali Cultural Show and dinner.
Day 7
Enjoy a full day of sightseeing, as your guide shows you some of the most important landmarks of the city of Thimphu. You can decide what you would like to see and your guide will plan your sightseeing accordingly.
 
We suggest starting with a visit to the massive Tashichho Dzong, a Bhuddist monastery and fortress situated on the northern edge of the city with an amazing gold-leaf roof. Today this is the seat of Bhutan's government and where the king's Throne Room is located. You can also visit Takin Nature Preserve to see these animals, which have the head of a goat and hooves of a cow, grazing on the mountainside. Takin are unique to the Eastern Himalayas and the national animal of Bhutan.
 
A visit to the well preserved Folk Heritage Museum will give you a fascinating insight into the local culture. Alternatively you can visit Simply Bhutan, a living museum that resembles a Bhutanese village and brings to life the traditional cuisine, dance, religion and industry. At the National Institute for Zorig Chusum (meaning '13 Crafts') you can see students creating traditional arts and crafts.
 
Time permitting, you can visit the Textile Museum, the Royal Postal Museum and the Jungshi Paper Factory. You can also walk around the city and visit the bustling weekend Farmer's Market. Walk across the traditional wooden bridge to the open craft bazaar on the other side of the river. In the evening be sure to try 'ema-datsi' - a chilli and cheese curry that is the national dish.
Day 8
Today we leave Thimphu and drive to the old capital Punakha. Along the way we stop at Dochula Pass (3,048m). On a clear day, from here you can enjoy spectacular views of the eastern Himalayas, including Bhutan's highest mountain, Gangkar Puensum (7,550m). We also visit the lovely 108 Druk Wangyal Chortens.
 
We then descend through forest of hemlock and rhododendrons to the warm Punakha Valley. In Lobesa we visit the famous Chimi Lhakhang, a monastery dedicated to the divine madman, Lama Drukpa Kunley. It is also known as the Fertility Temple, as it is a place of pilgrimage for childless couples. You can take an easy walk through  paddy fields and Sopsokha Village to the monastery, or drive along a dirt road to the base of the hill and take a short walk up. Spend time at the monastery and learn more about this great leader, who often used outrageous methods to realise Dharma teachings.  
 
After lunch we continue northwards along the river, passing rice paddies and the newly established town of Kuruthang. In the distance across the valley you will soon see the magnificent 17th century Punakha Dzong, where the royal wedding took place in 2011. Its sits at the confluence of two rivers, the Mo Chhu (female) and the Pho Chhu (male), which are distinctive colours of green and blue. Punakha served as the capital of Bhutan from 1637 to 1907 and this lovely dzong is the second oldest and second largest in the country, and one of Bhutan's most majestic structures. It is contains the remains of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the unifier of Bhutan as well as a sacred relic known as the Ranjung Karsapani. This relic is a self-created image of Avalokiteswara (Compassion Buddha) that is said to have miraculously emerged from the vertebrae of Tsangpa Gyarey, the founder of the Drukpa School of Buddhism, when he was cremated.
Day 9
This morning we walk to the lovely Khamsum Yulley Namgyel Chorten (stupa), which sits on a hill overlooking the Punakha Valley. It was built by the Queen Mother and is dedicated to the king and the peace of the country. From the car park, it is a fairly easy one hour walk across paddy fields and through broad-leaf forest, and from the top the view of the lush valley below is breathtaking.
 
Your afternoon is free to explore Punakha further with your guide, or relax at your hotel.
Day 10
This morning we leave Punakha and return to Thimpu where we view the giant statue of the Buddha Dordenma, one of the largest and tallest Buddha statues in the world offering a breathtaking bird’s eye view of the city below.
 
We also visit the Memorial Chorten, a whitewashed stupa with a beautiful golden spire dedicated to Bhutan’s third king - Jigme Dorji Wangchuck.
 
We then drive slowly to Paro where you can stroll around the town, join a cookery class or shop for local handicrafts and souvenirs.
Day 11
Today enjoy an energetic hike up the mountain to view the enchanting Tiger’s Nest (Taktsang) Monastery that clings dramatically on a huge rock cliff, 900m above the valley.
 
It is believed that in the eighth century Guru Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche), who spread Buddhism across the Himalayas, flew here on the back of a tigress and meditated for three years in a small cave, where the main shrine of the monastery stands today. Wear good walking shoes, as you will need to hike for 2 to 3 hours (each way) along winding footpaths and through pine forests and ascend many steps, but once you get there you will be rewarded with panoramic views over the forested valley below.
 
Later in the afternoon we drive along a scenic route to see the ruins of the Drukgyal Dzong, built in 1647 as a fortress to commemorate the victory of Bhutan against Tibetan invaders. In the evening enjoy a farewell dinner in town.
Day 12
Transfer to Paro Airport for your flight home.