Immerse yourself in the natural beauty and culture of two beautiful Himalayan Kingdoms in one magical LGBT+ tour of Nepal and Bhutan.
Easily combined with our Splendors of India Cruise and Tour. Call us for more details.
Enter the serene and spiritual lands of Nepal and Bhutan, and experience the countries’ rich histories and unique cultural heritages. From the brightly colored fluttering prayer flags of Nepal to the elaborate traditional dress of the Bhutanese, these fascinating countries will delight your inner explorer.
While the natural sights of this incredible region are hard to surpass, this tour does not neglect the local culture and traditions. Learn the ancient arts of traditional healing, meditate with monks in centuries-old monasteries, and shop at markets crowded with local artisans. And you’ll do all this while staying in a premium selection of the region’s finest hotels as Brand g vacations hosts ensure your comfort throughout.
In Nepal, you’ll wander Kathmandu’s old narrow alleys, carved temples and bustling markets, visit Durbar Square, the 5th-century Swayambhunath stupa, explore the medieval city of Bhaktapur and catch a birds-eye-view of Everest with an optional 1-hour mountain flight.
In Bhutan, you’ll discover the impressive 12th-century Changangkha Lhakhang temple, visit the Folk Heritage Museum, the 108 memorial stupas(Druk Wangyal Chortens) and climb to the cliff-side Taktsang monastery (Tiger’s Nest) perched 3,000 ft. above the lush valley.
Visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Pashupatinath and Kathmandu Durbar Square
Explore Boudhanath, the largest Buddhist stupa in Asia
Visits to Bhaktapur and Patan, the oldest settlements in the valley
Swayambhunath the “Monkey Temple”
1-hour mountain flight, focus on Mt. Everest (Optional at an additional cost)
Experience Thimphu, the capital of the Kingdom of Bhutan and the nation’s largest city
Stroll the Thimphus Farmers Weekend Market
Tour the Motithang Takin Preserve, a wildlife reserve area for Takin, the national animal of Bhutan
Visit the fortresses Punakha Dzong and Rinpung Dzong
Hike to the striking monastic retreat of Paro Taktsang, the “Tiger’s Nest”
Includes program internal flight from Kathmandu to Paro
Includes 10 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches and 9 Dinners
March 11 to March 21, 2021 – USD $6999.00
Early booking rate available until May 31, 2020.
How can I communicate with home while away?
Internet service is available at all land accommodations. You should check with your cell provider to determine if you have coverage in this region or if you can add coverage for the duration of the trip. Cell service will not be available in all areas. Contact information for the hotels will be provided in your final travel documents.
What are the passport or visa requirements?
A passport, which is valid for six months after your last date of travel, is required for this trip.
Visa Requirements – citizens of almost every country require tourist visas to enter India, Nepal and Bhutan.
You will require an entry visa for Nepal. The Nepalese visa may be obtained upon arrival to the airport in Kathmandu for $25usd payable by cash or credit card.
We will obtain the Bhutan visa on your behalf approximately 45 days prior to the trip start date. We will require a clear copy of your passport and a clear passport photo in order to process this visa.
If you decide to combine this trip with our Splendors of India program, you will also need to obtain an entry visa to India, which you will need to apply for in advance. The soonest you may apply is 3 months prior to your last day in India. We will remind you at the appropriate time and provide instructions.
What is the local currency?
Nepal uses the Nepalese Rupee; and the Bhutanese Ngultrum is the currency of Bhutan. Major credit cards are accepted in most shops. As exchange rates in Asia fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for exchange rates: www.xe.com
What to wear?
Attire is casual and comfortable during the day, with sturdy footwear for excursions. Evening wear consists of open-neck shirts, slacks, or similar attire. Fleece jackets or sweaters are advisable for cool evenings. Other items to consider: shorts, swimsuit, hat, sunglasses and rain jacket.
What if I have dietary requirements (allergies, religious restrictions, or preferences)?
We will make every effort to accommodate special dietary requests. Please inform our office at least 45 days prior to departure of these requests.
How do I power and charge my devices?
The voltage in Nepal and Bhutan is 220/50Hz. To use any electrical product from the US that is not dual voltage, you will need an electrical converter. We recommend bringing an adapter for use in the hotels. The most common socket types are the two round-prong plug type such as is found in Europe or three round-prong plug such as that found in India. Because the voltage may fluctuate at times, we also recommend unplugging your devices when not in use or when leaving them unattended.
What are pre-paid gratuities?
Gratuities are customary expressions of appreciation for a job well done. It is our goal to ensure that the service you receive is as wonderful as the sites you visit. Gratuities for the included portions of this program have been pre-paid. At your own discretion you may choose to provide additional tips.
What is the altitude like for this trip?
In spite of being among the highest peaks in the world, the elevations you will experience on our Bhutan/Nepal custom tours are not extreme. Kathmandu is at 4,500 feet; Paro, which is situated in foothills of the Himalayas is at 7,300. There is time to move at a comfortable pace, allowing travelers to adjust to the mountain air. Keeping hydrated, avoiding excessive alcohol, eating frequent, light meals, and getting plenty of rest will help with any effects of altitude that you may feel.
Are vaccinations required?
Most US travelers are covered by routine vaccinations. US citizens should consult the Centers for Disease Control website http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/or your health care provider for vaccination requirements and recommendations. Citizens of all other countries should consult their government’s national disease center or their physician.
Are there any luggage restrictions?
Yes, here are the known luggage restrictions for this trip.
Kathmandu to Paro Coach 30kg (66LB) / Business Class 40kg (88LB)
Restrictions are subject to change.
What arrival and departure transfers are included?
This package includes an arrival transfer from the Kathmandu, Nepal Airport (KTM) to the Hotel Hyatt Regency and a departure transfer from the Zhiwaling Hotel Paro to the Paro Airport (PBH)). If you extend your stay at these properties, the transfers will still be included. Contact our team or your travel agent to ensure arrangements outside of these arrival and departure transfers will be included. Booked guests should provide their arrival and departure details 45 days prior to the trip to ensure transfer availability.
Hyatt Regency Kathmandu is a 5 star luxury hotel and resort in Kathmandu, Nepal offering internet access to all guests. The hotel is set on 37 acres of landscaped grounds, and created in the traditional Newari style of Nepalese architecture This beautiful hotel and resort is located on the road to the Boudhanath Stupa: the most holy of all Tibetan Buddhist shrines outside of Tibet, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site which is walking distance from the hotel – about five minutes away.
Le Meridien – Thimphu
Located in the heart of the capital city, Thimphu, the Le Méridien Thimphu invites the discerning guest to engage and discover the legendary ‘Land of the Thunder Dragon’, Bhutan. With cosmopolitan surroundings amidst the bustling commercial streets of the city-centre, and a convenient location to many of the city’s myriad attractions.
Dhensa Boutique Resorts sits in the heart of the verdant and lush Punakha Valley. Flanked by thick pine forests, it overlooks the Punakha river and hundreds of paddy fields that stair-step down to the valley floor. It is surrounded by plentiful walking and trekking trails. From Dhensa Punakha, it is just a five-minute trek up the mountain to the magnificent Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Lhakhang Nunnery, which houses one of the biggest bronze statues of Chenrigzig (Avalokiteshvara) in the country.
Set on 10 acres, Zhiwa Ling has many amenities available to guests. The spa offers all the facilities guests could want; a fitness centre, sauna, steam room as well as a traditional Bhutanese outdoor hot-stone bath. There is a business center, Tea House, a Meditation House and the hotel has it’s own greenhouse. The two restaurants specialize in contemporary international cuisine and classic Bhutanese dishes. Gathering at the Mad Monk Bar for a pre-dinner drink or after-hours fun is a highlight for guests. Honoring the spiritual heritage of this ancient Buddhist kingdom, a temple has been built into the second floor of the hotel, made with 450-year-old timbers from the famous Gangtey Monastery, the crowning glory of this new cultural landmark.
Mount Everest Mountain Flight – March 13
$325 per person
This optional excursion is all about the view of the various mountains in Nepal from Langtang Range to Kanchanjunga range, but the main focus is to view Mount Everest. Each guest has a window seat to ensure unobstructed views. It will be an early morning excursion, with pick up at the hotel at 5:30am. The actual flight begins at 6:30 and lasts one hour.
Momo Cooking Lesson and Gyakok Dinner – March 14
$45 per person
Momo is one of the most popular dishes in Nepal. These are steamed dumplings made with spiced meat fillings, and served with one or more kinds of chutney. Following the cooking lesson enjoy a traditional Tibetan Gyakok dinner. Gyakok is Nepal’s take on the Chinese, Korean and other East Asian nations’ familial stew that comes simmering in a copper pot with a chimney-like opening on top, and a burner at the bottom for a constant flame.
Following lunch at a local restaurant, we proceed to visit Bhaktpur, literally meaning “City of Devotees”, calling it the “living Museum” is more apt. Founded in 889 AD, with the Khasa Khusung and Hanumante Rivers on either side, Bhaktapur boasts of an immense palace complex in the center surrounded by numerous other temples which reflects the supreme craftsmanship of the city’s artisans. In the middle of the Durbar Square stands the magnificent “pachpan jhyaley mahal” (Palace of 55 Windows), residence of the former kings. Other “must see’s are the Big Bell, the stunningly exquisite Golden Gate, the five-tiered Nyatapola Temple, the Bhairab Temple and the wood carving and metal work museums in Dattaraya Square. (B/L/D)
Optional 1-hr Mountain Flight (subject to weather conditions):
Mountain flight is all about the view of various mountains in Nepal from Langtang Range to Kanchanjunga range but the main focus is to view MOUNT EVEREST. 5:30 am pick-up from the hotel. Mountain Flight will depart at 6:30 am. Every guest has a window seat to ensure maximum visibility. The duration of flight will be one hour. (Additional cost of $325 per person)
Optional – cooking lesson of a momo followed by Tibetan Gyakok dinner. (Additional cost $45 per person)
After lunch in a local restaurant, visit Memorial Chorten (from outside), which dominates the skyline of Thimphu. It was built in 1974 to honor the 3rd King of Bhutan. This prominent landmark in the city has golden spires and bells; the Motithang Takin Preserve, a wildlife reserve area for Takin, the national animal of Bhutan. Native to Bhutan, India, and China, the Takin are docile creatures whose unique appearance attract special attention. Local legends attribute the creation of these animals in Bhutan by a 15th century saint name Drukpa Kunley, popularly known as the Divine Madman; the giant Statue of Sakyamuni Buddha, sitting on top of Kuensel Phodrang hill is a 51.5m bronze statue of the founder of Buddhism. The site also offers unobstructed views over the Thimphu Valley – especially stunning at sunset. We also visit the Takin Preservation Center. (B/L/D)
Following lunch in a local restaurant we check into our hotel.
In the afternoon, visit the Punakha Dzong (fortress) majestically standing on an island between the confluence of the Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu rivers, the city’s dzong is one of the most photogenic of all Bhutan’s ancient fortresses. The dzong is joined to the mainland by an arched wooden bridge, and contains many precious relics from the days when successive kings reigned the kingdom from this valley. (B/L/D)
Following lunch in a local restaurant, we drive to Nobgang village. On the way we visit the Shechen Lhendup Dorji Lakhang (nunnery). (B/L/D)
This afternoon we’ll visit the National Museum (Ta dzong), which has a fascinating collection of arts relics, religious Thangkha paintings and a national history collection; and the Paro Dzong Rinpung Dzong, the “fortress of the heap of Jewels” was built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal on a hill above the township. Walk over the old Cantilever bridge and enjoy some free time in Paro town. (B/L/D)
Or, you may choose to join our Splendors of India program. Contact us for details. (B)
47 Elizabeth Bay Road
Elizabeth Bay NSW
02 8667 3336