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Classic Nepal & Western Bhutan Trip 9Days

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  • Classic Nepal tour covers the highlights of Kathmandu, Patan, and Bhaktapur.
  • Nepal world heritage trip with Dubar Squares, Pashupatinath, Boudhanath, etc.
  • Discover the best of western Bhutan with visit to Paro, Thimphu, and Punakha.
  • Hike to the holiest temple of Bhutan-Tiger's Nest Monastery (World Heritage).
  • Relax via Bhutan's traditional hot stone bath.
  • Drink traditional red rice beer with a unique local taste.
  • Dress in Bhutan National costume (Gho or Kira) to take photos.
  • Try local archery which is not only Bhutan's national sport but also art.
8 Nights 9 Days
Tour Code:NBT008
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Day1  Arrive in Kathmandu, Nepal (airport pick-up & hotel check-in)

Namaste and welcome to Nepal. Upon your arrival at Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport, you will be warmly welcomed by our local representatives. After a brief introduction about Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, we will take you to the hotel. On the way, you can have a glimpse of Nepal’s architecture, crafts, and life. Have a good rest at your hotel, or you can walk around the nearby Durbar Marg street on your own.

Meals:    Dinner


Day2  Kathmandu-Patan-Kathmandu (Kathmandu Durbar Square, Swayambhunath Stupa, Patan Durbar Square)

Today we will start our exploration trip in Kathmandu Valley with Ason Tole Vegetable & Spice Market which is full of vendors selling everything of daily use while offering a glimpse of local life. Then we will go to Kathmandu Durbar Square, visiting Kumari Temple, the house of the virgin goddess; visiting Swayambhunath Stupa (Monkey Temple), a stupa on the top of the hill; visiting Patan Durbar Square, the second largest town in the valley, with Krishna Mandir, Golden Temple, etc.

Kathmandu Durbar Square (Basantapur Durbar Square, Hanuman Dhoka Durbar Square) is the most visited landmark of the capital. Listed as a world heritage site since 1979, it is an important site for Buddhist and Hindu rituals, holy ceremonies, royal events, and coronations. The popular things to see are Kumari Ghar (temple of the Living Goddess), Taleju Temple (Kumari is the stand-in of the goddess Taleju), Kal Bhairav (dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Lord of Time and Death), Kastha Mandap, Maru Ganesh, Mahadev Temple, Shiva Parvati Temple, Bhagwati Temple, Old palace, Saraswoti temple, Krishna Octangular Temple, Big drums, Jagannath Temple, etc. It is known as the place for various festivals, cultural activities, and traditions including Indrajatra, Dashain, Gaaijatra, Machchhindra-Nath Jatra etc.

Swayambhunath Stupa (Monkey Temple), located on a small hillock named Swayambhunath (literally means "self-existent one"), is a famous landmark northwest of the Kathmandu Valley. Before sunrise, you can find thousands of pilgrims walking up the 365 steps to the top of the hill (take a 15-minute climb). Be prepared to meet some naughty monkey friends for this climb. The hill suggests fabulous views of Kathmandu valley, Mt Langtang (7,245m), Mt Ganesh Himal (7,429m), and Mt Dorje Lakpa (6,988m). The major attractions you should not miss in Swayambhunath include the Shantipur, Harati Devi Temple, Pratapur and Anantapur, Shree Karma Raj Mahavihar, and Vajra. Also, it is great to visit here during the three main festivals celebrated at Swayambhunath: Gunla (around Agu.), Buddha Jayanti (April or May), and Lhosar(the Buddhist New Year, around Feb).

Patan Durbar Square is located in the ancient city of Patan which is 5km southeast of Kathmandu. Patan, known as Lalitpur (the city of beauty) and Yala among the Newars, is renowned as the City of Art and Architecture. With Bhaktapur Durbar Square and Kathmandu Durbar Square, Patan Durbar Square is one of the three Durbar Squares in the Kathmandu Valley. As a world heritage site, it is the ancient royal palace (built in 1667) where the Malla Kings of Lalitpur resided. Patan Durbar Square represents ancient structures, temples, shrines, and statues, and is a marvel of Newari architecture. There are around 600 stupas, 136 courtyards, and 55 important temples around the square. The major attraction you should not miss in Patan Darbar Square includes Patan Museum, Hiranya Varna Mahavihar, Golden Window, Mahabouddha Temple, Golden Temple, Krishna Temple, etc.

Meals:Breakfast   Lunch   Dinner


Day3  Kathmandu-Bhaktapur-Kathmandu (Pashupatinath, Boudhanath Stupa, Bhaktapur Durbar Square, Changu Narayan Temple)

In the morning, we will visit the famous Pashupatinath Temple, then go for a walk to see the huge stupa of Buddha, also known as Boudhanath, the largest stupa in Nepal. Afterward taking a ride to Bhaktapur, a fascinating town, visit Changu Narayan Temple and Bhaktapur's Durbar Square featuring the Victorian illustrations style with temples and temples complex.

Pashupatinath Temple is a world cultural heritage site, dedicated to the god Shiva, it is also one of the most sacred Hindu temples of Nepal. Located on both banks of the holy Bagmati River on the eastern outskirts of Kathmandu, each year hundreds of elderly followers of Hinduists come here to find shelter for the last several weeks of their lives, to meet death, and be cremated on the banks of the river. Usually, tourists have the chance to see at least one open-air cremation here. Another culturally shocking thing in Pashupatinath is watching local women washing clothes downstream of the river. Besides meeting sadhus, it is common to see monkeys, cattles, and deers in Pashupatinath.

Boudhanath Stupa (Khasti Mahachaitya) is one of the most sacred sites in Tibetan Buddhism outside of Tibet and was enlisted as a world cultural heritage site in 1979. It was built around 600 AD when Song Tsen Gampo, the Tibetan king, converted to Buddhism. Also, this huge meditative monument is said to have been created just after the passing of the Buddha. With many kilograms of gold for decoration, the giant Boudhanath Stupa is a gateway to heaven serving as a horizon between the earth and sky. You can join the locals in the morning and evening for Kora, a circular walk around the stupa in a clockwise direction. There are various fast food cafes, restaurants, coffee shops, and many other souvenir shops inside the Boudhanath complex for you to explore.

Bhaktapur Durbar Square is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was one of the three kingdoms of Nepal. Located 15km away from Kathmandu, it was once home to the royal family of Bhaktapur dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries. The entire square is a massive display of traditional Newari architecture and there are four different areas in the palace complex i.e., Durbar area, Taumadhi area, Dattatreya area, and Pottery area. It is far bigger than Patan Durbar Square – not just in terms of its spread but also its imposing monuments. The major attraction you should not miss in Bhaktapur Darbar Square includes 55 Window Palace, Golden Gate, Lion's Gate, Mini Pashupati Temple, Vatsala Temple, Nyatapola Temple, Bhairava Nath Temple, etc.

Changu Narayan Temple is the oldest temple in Nepal whose history dates back nearly 3,000 years. It was built in the 4th century under the Lichhavi dynasty by King Mandev. As an ancient Hindu temple and world cultural heritage, it was surrounded by champak tree forest and a small village known as Changu. This temple is dedicated to lord Visnu and is an epic specimen of art and architecture from the Lichhavi period. Although it has a collection of statues and sculptures, Changu Narayan is also famous for its beautiful crafts in wood, stone, and metal. Everything in and around the temple is a genuine work of art.

Meals:Breakfast   Lunch   Dinner


Day4  Kathmandu-Paro, Bhutan (airport see-off and pick-up, hotel check-in)

Tashi Delek and welcome to Bhutan. Our local representative will greet you at the only international airport in Bhutan that is located in Paro(2262m), Western Bhutan. Then check in at your sweet hotel for a good rest while getting used to the time difference.

Meals:Breakfast   Lunch   Dinner


Day5  Paro (Tiger's Nest Monastery)

Today we will drive from Paro city to the start point of the hiking route of the Tiger's Nest Monastery. It takes about 2.5 hours to reach Tiger's Nest by foot (5 hours for a round trip), and you can have a rest at the view terrace which is located at the halfway point of the hiking road. Also, you can choose to ride a horse(self-paying) from the camp base to the Taktsang Cafeteria (lunch spot). We will enjoy Bhutan’s traditional Hot Stone Bath in the late afternoon.

Tiger's Nest Monastery (Taktsang Goemba, Takhtsang Lakhang, Paro Taktshang), first built in 1692, is the iconic landmark of Bhutan. As a world cultural heritage, it is sited on the side of a cliff at a height of 900m above the Paro Valley. It is said that Guru Rinpoche (a Buddhist saint) rode a tigress to the current site of the monastery and meditated in a cave for 3 years 3 months and 3 days. Now it is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Bhutan and a sacred religious site for Bhutanese to pilgrimage at least once in a lifetime.

Option activity: Bhutan Traditional Hot Stone Bath. A visit to Bhutan without enjoying the health benefits hot stone bath would be incomplete. After the hiking, a traditional Bhutanese hot stone bath is perfect to relax in the water heated by hot river stones roasted on the fire.

Meals:Breakfast   Lunch   Dinner


Day6  Paro-Thimphu (Tamchog lhakhang, Buddha Dordenma Statue, National Memorial Chorten,Tashichho Dzong, Motithang Takin Preserve, The Folk Heritage Museum)

In the morning, we will head to Bhutan’s capital city Thimphu (72km, about 2.5h) via a visit to Tamchog Lhakhang on the way. After sightseeing in Thimphu (2360m) with Buddha Dordenma Statue, National Memorial Chorten, Motithang Takin Preserve, and Tashichho Dzong, we will have dinner in the Folk Heritage Museum. Then have a good rest in your hotel.

Tamchog Lhakhang (Tachog Lhakhang) is located by the Paro river on the way to Thimphu from Paro. To get to the temple we must walk across a unique iron chain bridge with colorful fluttering prayer flags. Both the Lhakhang and the iron bridge are built by the saint Thangthong Gyalpo (1385-1464, Tibetan polymath). As the "King of the Empty Plain", Thangthong Gyalpo is now commonly known as the "Iron Bridge Maker". Enjoy his pioneering old-aged buildings left till today.

Buddha Dordenma Statue (Kuenselphodrang, Buddha Point) is a landmark of Thimphu city and you can have a great view of the Thimphu Valley there. With 51.5m in height, built of bronze and gilded in gold, the statue is famed as the largest sitting Shakyamuni statue in the world and there are 125,000 smaller Buddha statues placed within it. The statue was finished in 2015(built for 9years) to fulfill an ancient prophecy to emanate an aura of happiness and peace all over the world.

National Memorial Chorten is the most visited landmark of Thimphu which was built in 1974 in memory of the Third King, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuk(the Father of Modern Bhutan) by his mother. Due to the idea of Jigme Dorji, this stupa is dedicated to world peace and prosperity. It is a Tibetan-style chorten with amazing paintings and brilliant sculptures, you can see the classical stupa pattern like the pyramidal pillar crowned by a crescent moon and sun. It is also a good place to meet local Bhutanese people circumambulating the Chorten throughout the day in a clockwise direction for praying.

Tashichho Dzong (Thimphu Dzong) is located on the right side of the Wangchu River in the northern part of Thimphu city. As the "Fortress of the glorious religion", it houses the throne room of His Majesty the King, government offices, and the central monk body. Thimphu Dzong was initially erected in 1641 and rebuilt by King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck in the 1960s. There are two main entrances in the Tashichho Dzong. One leads to the administrative section to the south and the other one (at the north) leads to the monastic quarter where festivals and dances are performed.

Motithang Takin Preserve (Takin Zoo) is a wildlife reserve for Takin (Budorcas taxicolor), the national animal of Bhutan. Drukpa Kunley (Divine Madman), the famous Tibetan saint, is said to be responsible for the creation of Takin which has the head of a goat and the body of a cow.

Folk Heritage Museum (Phelchey Toenkhyim) was established on July 28th, 2001 with the initiative of Her Majesty Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck (the Queen Mother of Bhutan). It is set inside a three-storied, 19th-century traditional house and provides visitors with a glimpse of the traditional Bhutanese lifestyle, artifacts from rural households, collection of typical household objects, tools, and equipment. The museum also organizes regular demonstrations of rural traditions, skills, habits, and customs as well as hosts educational programs for children.

Meals:Breakfast   Lunch   Dinner


Day7  Thimphu-Punakha (Dochula Pass, Chimi Lhakhang, Limbukha Village)

This morning we will drive to Punakha (74KM, about 2.5hrs) via Dochula pass and Chimi Lhakhang. In Punakha (1310m) we can take a hike in Limbukha Village. If your visit to Thimphu coincides with the weekend (Friday to Sunday), we will walk through the Thimphu Market to see the variety of food of Bhutan, including basket upon basket of fiery chilies, fresh cheese and a variety of fresh greens. In addition, many stalls contain Bhutanese handicrafts and household items.

Dochula Pass (108 memorial chortens) is a place in honor of 108 Bhutanese Soldiers, there are 108 stupas called the "Druk Wangyal Chortens" representing each soldier's life that was lost in the war of December 2003. The pass is decorated with colorful prayer flags which are symbols of veneration and the best wishes for peace and prosperity for Bhutan. If the weather is good, the Dochula Pass will become the best platform to get breathtaking views of the snow-covered Himalayas.

Chimi Lhakhang (Fertility Temple, Chime Lhakhang) is located on a hillock among the rice field and is a pilgrimage for a childless couple to seek blessings. The monk there blesses the couple with a wooden phallus that is believed to have the power to help the childless couple conceive a child. This temple is associated with the famous Drukpa Kunley (1455-1529, Divine Madman, Tibetan saint), who is famed for using his phallus to guide people to enlightenment and subdue demons. That is why you can see the symbol of phalluses scattered everywhere. You can buy handicraft souvenirs here with the phallic symbol in various colors, shapes, and sizes.

Limbukha Village is known for its love of peace and tranquility. During the annual festival, the Limbuk men are found carrying peace flags instead of swords and fireworks. We can walk along its red rice fields and have an idea about Bhutan's famous red rice which is supposed to have medicinal value. Also, you may meet local farmers in their tradition Gho or Kira working in the field with a pure smile on their face.

Meals:Breakfast   Lunch   Dinner


Day8  Punakha-Paro (Paro Dzongkhag Archery Ground)

Today it is time for us to drive back to Paro from Punakha (115km, about 2.5h), after check-in at the hotel in Paro you can have a rest. In the afternoon, experience the national game of Bhutan: Archery time in Paro Dzongkhag Archery Ground.

Bhutan Archery is the favorite pastime for Bhutanese. It has a history of over two thousand years and was declared Bhutan's National Sport in 1971. Every town and village has its full-length archery field and teams of archers. The traditional Bhutanese archery equipment is a long bamboo bow. Now most archers use a state-of-the-art carbonite Hoyt brand bow. A compound bow made of fiberglass and pulleys can cost between 50,000 to 100,000 Nu (about 1250USD). Targets at traditional Bhutanese tournaments are placed at both ends of a 140m range (Olympic distance is 70m). Enjoy your Archery time by holding a bow and arrow.

Meals:Breakfast   Lunch   Dinner


Day9  Paro Departure(Depart Bhutan, airport see-off)

Time to say goodbye to Bhutan, the beautiful Himalayan country. Our local representative will meet you at your hotel and send you to the international airport. Happiness is a place, wish you get happiness and great memories from the Nepal Bhutantrip with us. We look forward to seeing you again, Tashi Delek!

Note: Please note that some of the sites in the itinerary may change due to season, weather, national holidays, and special events. We maintain the right to alter the itinerary. The changes in Itinerary will mainly base on improving your tour experience in Bhutan and Nepal.



Price Includes

    • 1.English-speaking local guide
    • 2.Meals listed in the itinerary [Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner]
    • 3.Accommodation in 3-star hotel under twin/dbl bed sharing basis
    • 4.All transportation within the country including airport transfers
    • 5.Entrance fees for Museums and Monuments
    • 6.Bhutan SDF fee
    • 7.Bhutan visa fee: USD 40 per person

Price Excludes

    • 1.Single room supplement charges
    • 2.Nepal visa; International flights before and after the tour
    • 3.Personal expense and Travel Insurance
    • 4.Cost for any services not mentioned in the "PRICE INCLUDES"
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