The Land of the Thunder Dragon - 14 days
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We enjoy the best the region has to offer during this heritage tour and visit two Himalayan kingdoms. We begin our trip in Kathmandu, a bustling medieval city. Kathmandu valley  is replete with legends and myths. Legend has it that Kathmandu valley was once a great lake and Manjushree is said to have slashed a hill, which is presently known as Chovar, to drain the water to give us Kathmandu valley as we know it. Today it is no longer an expansive watery body but a vast lake of architectural and cultural wonder. This small valley surrounded by mountains and hills that soar up to the sky have seen kingdoms rise and fall and Nepalese art and culture develop and flourish. Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Patan, the three districts that make up the valley, each has extraordinary history that rivals each other. It is no wonder that seven UNESCO designated world heritage sites are situated within a radius of a few kms in the valley. The commercial and political hub of the kingdom, Kathmandu is the most densely populated city in the whole country. Modern yet traditional, the city offers a window to the glorious past of the valley. Just walking through the narrow lanes of the city is a travel back into time. Unchanged for centuries some of the places look like open air museums with skillfully built temples, palaces and stone structures which bear testimony to the rich cultural and artistic heritage of the city. It is also home to Kumari, the living child goddess who is the protector of the city. Chosen at the age of four or five, the Kumari Devi is the most important of the several living goddesses in Nepal. We then take a breathtaking flight across the eastern Himalayas to Paro, the gateway to Bhutan. Serene, pristine and unpolluted Bhutan is certainly the land of Shangri-la. The mountains are replete with mysticism and Himalayan folklore passed down from one generation to another. A trip to Taktsang monastery, an iconic landmark, believed to be consecrated in the very spot is simply an otherworldly experience. The awe inspiring ‘Dzongs” that rise tall over sprawling valleys make a pretty picture and houses built in typical Bhutanese architecture are a treat to see.  Though Bhutan has embraced modernization it still clings on to its tradition and culture which is amply evident in all walks of life. Towns like Thimpu, Punakha and Paro offer a window to the glorious past of the area that has remained unchanged for centuries. Some of the places look like open air museums with skillfully built homes, palaces and stone structures which bear testimony to the rich cultural and artistic heritage of the of the people. We also experience how Bhutanese cuisine is prepared firsthand and get involved in the process and also sample the cuisine. We also witness the Thimpu and Paro Tangbi Mani festivals. Bhutanese from many different areas  gather to pay respect and to be blessed at this social gathering. Locals dressed in their finest cloth and jewelry attend this celebration of purification. We can enjoy the true essence of Bhutanese people and a preserved steadfast culture. Masked dances are performed in the courtyards of the Dzongs of the area to instruct the onlookers in the ways of Dharma. 

  

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Days Activity Accomodation Meals
Day 1 Arrival in Kathmandu, transfer to Hotel Hotel D
Day 2 Full day sightseeing on Kathmandu Hotel B
Day 3 Full day sightseeing in Kathmandu Hotel B
Day 4 Fly Kathmandu - Paro Hotel BLD
Day 5 Early morning hike to Tiger's Nest, transfer to Thimpu Hotel BLD
Day 6 Thimphu sightseeing Hotel BLD
Day 7 Thimphu - Wangduephodrang, afternoon Punakha sightseeing Hotel BLD
Day 8 Wangduephodrang - Trongsa, with excursion to Gantey Hotel BLD
Day 9 Trongsa - Bumthang Hotel BLD
Day 10 Bumthang sightseeing Hotel BLD
Day 11 Bumthang - Wangduephodrang Hotel BLD
Day 12 Wangduephodrang - Paro Hotel BLD
Day 13 Fly Paro - Kathmandu Hotel B
Day 14 International Departure   B

 

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