Set off your Bhutan Nepal overland tour with a scenic flight over the land of Himalayas. Nepal is known world-wide as the birth country of Buddha and also the country having the tallest mountain in the world i.e. Mount Everest. Fly from you hometown to Kathmandu, capital of Nepal. Upon your arrival at Tribhuvan International airport, complete the clearance of customs and luggage’s and exist from the Airport Departure lounge. As soon as you exist, you can see number of peoples outside holding a placard. Among them one of the representative of Nature Trail Travels & Tours, Trekking & Expedition will be holing a placard with your name in it. So, closely look at them. He will then transfer you to your respective hotels. Or else, you can visit our office and after full description about your trip, you will be driven to your hotel. You will stay overnight at hotel in Kathmandu.
On the following day, we will have our breakfast on the camp and set out for a scenic drive towards Royal Chitwan National Park. You will enjoy the views of enormous plains of the Terai region while driving towards Chitwan. Chitwan National Park is declared as World Heritage Site under the category of Natural Sites by UNESCO. Chitwan is one of Asia’s best’s wildlife – viewing spots and the place to don your safari togs, clamber atop a lumbering elephant and head into the dawn mist in search of rhinos and tiger. 8% of the world bird species, rare mammals including one horned rhinoceros and the Bengal tiger makes it exclusive. Once reaching your destination, you will be briefed about the elephant activities and Jungle Safari. You can later enjoy the sunset in Rapti River, elephant back safari and stroll around the Tharu villages. Once the night falls down, we entertain you with cultural performances including bonfire before getting in bed. You will stay overnight in one of the resort in Chitwan.
With a wakeup call along with tea or coffee, we have the great time to witness the wildlife at its best in Royal National Park. This includes Bird watching, Nature Walk, Elephant briefing and bathing, Canoeing and visit to elephant breeding center. You can see different species of birds migrating from the different country and place. After doing bird watching activities your delicious breakfasts will be waiting for you. We will then head to the grasslands and forests near the Narayani River. If you are lucky, you will see many amazing creatures that you spend most time to looking for; rhinoceroses, Chitwan’s royal Bengal tigers, leopards, monkeys, many types of deer and reptiles. Check your camera gear – preferably with a telephoto lens and you will not miss any shots. In later afternoon, a traditional dug-out canoe takes you on a silent trip down the Rapti River to view aquatic birds and the crocodile along the river banks. Elephant briefing: to learn more about the life of these fascinating animals during a visit to our elephant stables. We will also go to the observation tower, then later in the evening head back to the resort for dinner.
After breakfast we will leave the plain of Chitwan and drive north towards mountains again. Vantage points on this section of highway offers picturesque view of Himalayan peaks atop verdant hills drained by cascading white water. Pokhara appears as amphitheater of mountains with lofty snow peaks towards north. Later we will explore Phewa Lake, the biggest of three lakes in pokhara.
You will have to make a decision for today’s journey. Either you could fly out of Pokhara or take a road transport to Kathmandu. Both of these journeys are equally adventurous. The drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu usually takes about 6/7 hours whereas by flight it only takes 30 minutes to reach Kathmandu from Pokhara. After your arrival at Kathmandu, you will be escorted to one of the hotel in Thamel.
As our flight nears Bhutan we can enjoy amazing views of the Himalayas including the sacred Chomolhari and Jichu Drake peaks. At the airport, we will be greeted by a representative from Himalayan Glacier who will take us to our hotel. After lunch, we visit Rinpung Dzong, meaning ‘fortress of the heap of jewels’. Next, visit Kichu Lhakhang, the oldest temple in the country. From here we will be taken to the Drugyal Dzong (Bhutan Victory Fort), which was built in 1646 to commemorate Bhutan’s victory over Tibetan invaders during the 1600s. On a clear day we can see Mount Chomolhari, Bhutan’s second-highest mountain, at 7,314meters.
After breakfast, we hike for around 4 -5 hours to Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) Monastery, which is Bhutan’s most famous monastery situated at 3,180 meters. Guru Rinpoche (spiritual master) is said to have flown on the back of a tigress to meditate in a cave where Taktsang Monastery now stands. Lunch will be served in the Cafeteria Restaurant, located about halfway up on the mountain. The monastery is perched on the edge of a steep cliff, about 900 meters above Paro Valley. After having explored the monastery, we hike down to the valley floor and leave for Thimphu.
After appetizing breakfast, proceed for full day sightseeing tour in Thimphu. Initially, we start our sightseeing tour with a visit to National Memorial Chorten. This temple was first initiated by the Third King as a protection from the negative elements of modernization, and as a monument to world peace. The Royal Queen Mother completed it as a memorial Stupa for the Third King who passed away in 1972. Then we will continue our visit to 12th century Changangkha Temple and Drubthob monastery housing the Zilukha Nunnery. If you want to see Takin, the national animal of Bhutan then you can proceed onto mini-zoo. The Takin (a goat-antelope) was declared the national animal of Bhutan because it is strongly associated with the country’s religious history and mythology. After sightseeing of these sites, if you still have some time left then you can visit to National Library, the priceless collection of Buddhist manuscripts and few English version books; Folk and Heritage Museum, which displays day to day livelihood of typical Bhutanese farmers in medieval period and their accessories; Late King’s Memorial Stupa, built for the world peace and Traditional Handmade Paper Factory; Painting School, which preserves our traditional paintings, sculpturing and wood curving and National Handicraft Emporium, the best place to look for souvenir from Bhutan. You can also visit the Rinpung Dzong, meaning ‘fortress of the heap of jewels’ to see the painting of the great saint Milarepa, considered as the master of meditation by the Bhutanese and believed to have attained enlightenment in a lifetime. The Dzong is now used as an administration center and school for monks. Dzong’s are large monasteries and district administrative centers, which were once strategic forts. Some of the landmarks are closed on the weekend (Saturdays and Sundays). Therefore, if your visit to Thimphu coincides with the weekend, you can walk through the Thimphu Market to see the variety of food of Bhutan, including basket upon basket of fiery chilies, cheese and a variety of greens. (This market is open only from Friday-Sunday).
Drive for about half an hour in order to reach Wangdue. Wangdue Phodrang Dzong is perched on a spur at the confluence of two rivers. It represents an important gateway to Eastern Bhutan. High on a promontory overlooking the river, this Dzong, founded in 1639, controlled the routes to Trongsa, Punakha, Dagana, and Thimphu. The position of the Dzong is remarkable as it completely covers the spur and commands an impressive view over both the north-south and east-west roads. Punakha and Wangdue Phodrang are administrative centers of their respective Dzong khang or districts. Compared to Thimphu or Paro, the valley is at much lower elevation at about 1250 meter above sea level. Therefore it enjoys subtropical climate with warm summer and pleasant winter. The valley boasts at least two crops a year and subtropical plants like Cactuses, Mandarin, and Bananas grow here. The town of Punakha was relocated recently to Khuruthang from its location near Punakha Dzong. Punakha was former winter capital of Bhutan, the tradition that is still kept by the monastic body, who moves their capital to Thimphu in the summer and return to Punakha Dzong in the winter. It is around half hour drive between Punakha and Wangdue Phodrang. The small township of Wangdue with clusters of small shops tightly packed together, surrounding a truck stop is quite interesting to visit. Across the river, on the opposite ridge is the village of Richen gang, known for cluster of houses connected to one another. If time permits, the journey can be broken with a visit to Tamchhu Lhakhang built by Than tong Gyalpo, the so-called Iron Bridge Builder. You can continue down the winding pass to the town of Wang due Phodrang.
At dawn, we drive 12 km north of Punakha and begin our 2-hour hike to Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten. It is located on a beautiful hillock called Ngezergang and contains elaborate paintings dedicated to the old sect of Buddhism. We hike further towards Punakha. On the way back, we visit the Punakha Dzong which was built in 1637. It is also the second oldest and the second largest Dzong in Bhutan. In the afternoon, we drive to Paro and spend the night there.
Upon our arrival in Kathmandu, a Nature Trail representative will pick us up from the airport. We will then be transferred to our hotel. After freshening up we begin our sightseeing tour of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Patan Durbar Square is rich in ancient arts and architecture while Bhakatpur is an irresistible city with an authentic local lifestyle preserved over centuries of isolation from the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu. While in the city square of Bhaktapur, we get to admire the Nyata-Pola Temple, the Golden Gate, water spouts and the 55 Window Palace which merge together to provide an ambiance of a magical outdoor theater to its visitors. We also immerse ourselves in the authentic delicacy of the locals in Bhaktapur. Then we drive to Thamel Hotel.
Ending our trip, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight back to home.