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Bhutan, Nepal, Tibet Himalayan Passages Hiking

Deep Cultural Insight in Three Iconic Kingdoms

 

Experiencing all three Himalayan kingdoms in one journey is a rare feat, but MT Sobek's 50 years of expertise in the Himalaya puts this odyssey within easy reach. Blending cultural discovery with moderate high altitude hiking, this exclusive itinerary goes deep into the heart of Bhutan, Nepal and Tibet - beautifully showcasing unspoiled Buddhist cultures. Along the way, discover Bhutan's rich traditions; explore Kathmandu's elaborate temples, stupas, and bazaars; and marvel at Tibet's remote monasteries and the holy city of Lhasa. This incredible line-up of each kingdom's must-see destinations can't be missed!

  • Explore three great Himalayan kingdoms on this rare itinerary crafted by local adventure experts

  • Discover Bhutan and Tibet, two of world's most tradition-rich lands and visit Lhasa's Potala Palace

  • Explore Kathmandu's temples and bazaars, and take enchanting hikes along scenic mountain paths

Arrive:

Bangkok, Thailand

Depart:

Bangkok, Thailand

Duration:

15 Days

Activity Level:

3

Departures:

See Dates

Price: from $7,895

  • Arrive in Bangkok

    Day 1

    Welcome to Bangkok! Transfer to the hotel via a free 24-hour shuttle bus.

    Accommodation: Novotel Suvarnabhumi Airport Hotel

    Novotel Suvarnabhumi Airport Hotel

    The Novotel Suvarnabhumi Airport is a four-star hotel located a short walk from Bangkok's international airport. Boasting 612 comfortable and contemporary rooms, the hotel also offers two bars and four restaurants, a beautiful pool, a fitness room, and a spa! With a 24-hour airport shuttle running every 10 minutes, accommodations here couldn't be more convenient.

    Transportation: Shuttle bus transfer

  • Enter the Kingdom of Bhutan

    Day 2

    Board an early-morning flight to Paro, Bhutan. Vie for a seat on the left side of the plane: Weather permitting, you'll have spectacular views of the eastern Himalaya, including Cho Oyu and Everest, and Bhutan peaks such as Chomolhari and Jichu Drake. Meet your MTS trip leader at the Paro airport, drive into Thimphu for lunch. In the afternoon, visit the Memorial Chorten; Tashichho Dzong, seat of Bhutan's administrative and religious center; the Traditional Hospital of Herbal Medicine; and a traditional arts school.

    Accommodation: Druk Hotel

    Druk Hotel

    Experience the legendary hospitality of the Bhutanese people at this fine Himalayan hotel. Located in the heart of the capital city, the Druk Hotel is close to shopping, culture, and the bubbling Thimphu River. Pleasant rooms are outfitted with comfortable beds, tiled bathrooms, soaking tubs and modern amenities, while the spa rounds out the offering.

    Transportation: 4-hour flight & 45-minute private vehicle transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Hike to Cheri Monastery

    Day 3

    After breakfast, drive to Thimphu and then to our trailhead where we set out on our hike: a steep, hour-long climb to Cheri Goemba, constructed in the 17th century. The monastery houses the relic stupas (ashes of the father of Shabdrung, the founder of Bhutan) and is also considered one of the earliest monasteries of Bhutan. We have lunch, then drive back to Thimphu and up to Wangdi Tse for a peaceful one hour loop hike where we can enjoy wonderful views of Thimphu, but see few others on the trail. Return to Thimphu for dinner and overnight.

    Accommodation: Druk Hotel

    Druk Hotel

    Experience the legendary hospitality of the Bhutanese people at this fine Himalayan hotel. Located in the heart of the capital city, the Druk Hotel is close to shopping, culture, and the bubbling Thimphu River. Pleasant rooms are outfitted with comfortable beds, tiled bathrooms, soaking tubs and modern amenities, while the spa rounds out the offering.

    Activity: 3-4 hours/4 miles hiking

    Transportation: 2-hour private vehicle transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Dochu La, Prayer Flags & Punakha

    Day 4

    In the morning, drive across Dochu La (10,000') where, weather permitting, you behold the snow-covered peaks of the eastern Himalaya. The pass, marked by hundreds of colorful fluttering prayer flags, is truly an awesome sight! From here you continue to Punakha, winter seat of the highest lama in Bhutan until the 1950s. Visit the ancient Punakha Dzong (a fortified building for administrative and monastic institutions) dating back to the 17th century, which is spectacularly situated at the confluence of the Mo and Phu Rivers.

    Accommodation: Drubchhu Resort

    Overlooking verdant paddy fields and farmhouses, the Drubchhu Resort is a family-run, relatively new property - opened in 2014. Rooms are ample and clean, the restaurant's meals are hearty and simple, the bar and café further nourish guests, and the lovely grounds include fruit trees and vegetable gardens that supply the kitchen.

    Transportation: 2.5-hour private vehicle transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Explore Paro

    Day 5

    Drive to Paro this morning, and in the afternoon visit the National Museum, housed in an old watchtower above the Paro Dzong. The museum's collections include spectacular thangkas (religious scroll paintings), bronze statues, Bhutan's beautiful stamps, and the Tshogshing Lhakhang ("Temple of the Tree of Wisdom"), with its carvings depicting the history of Buddhism. Time permitting, we will also visit the Paro Dzong, built in 1644 by the Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal.

    Accommodation: The Zhiwa Ling-Paro, Bhutan

    The Zhiwa Ling-Paro, Bhutan

    The Zhiwa Ling is a luxurious retreat that combines the sensibilities of a fine Bhutanese guesthouse with the best of modern comforts. The exquisite architecture and manicured gardens create an authentic, inviting atmosphere. Guest rooms, spread out on 10 acres of pristine land, feature modern amenities and comfortable furnishings. Enjoy a traditional outdoor hot-stone bath, a teahouse, a meditation house, and two restaurants.

    Transportation: 3-hour private vehicle transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Hike to Taktsang Monastery

    Day 6

    Today it's a steep hike to a traditional teahouse for a great view of Taktsang Monastery, perched on a cliff 2,700 feet above the Paro Valley floor. Taktsang, meaning "tiger's nest," is Bhutan's most spiritual place and a major pilgrimage spot. Partly destroyed by fire in 1998, Taktsang has been completely rebuilt. After a tea break, you can sit outside and admire the monastery and its beautiful surroundings or, if you feel energetic, continue another hour to a closer viewpoint. Enjoy free afternoon time to explore Paro on your own.

    Accommodation: The Zhiwa Ling-Paro, Bhutan

    The Zhiwa Ling-Paro, Bhutan

    The Zhiwa Ling is a luxurious retreat that combines the sensibilities of a fine Bhutanese guesthouse with the best of modern comforts. The exquisite architecture and manicured gardens create an authentic, inviting atmosphere. Guest rooms, spread out on 10 acres of pristine land, feature modern amenities and comfortable furnishings. Enjoy a traditional outdoor hot-stone bath, a teahouse, a meditation house, and two restaurants.

    Activity: 5 hours/2.6 miles hiking with 1,707\' elevation gain & loss

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Fly to Kathmandu

    Day 7

    Enjoy breakfast and transfer to the airport for your flight to Kathmandu (4,500'). Settle in for lunch at the hotel before an afternoon of cultural exploration in the city. Marvel at the remarkable Buddhist stupa at Bodhnath - the largest in Asia and the center of the Tibetan Buddhist culture in Kathmandu.

    Accommodation: Shangri-La Hotel-Kathmandu

    Shangri-La Hotel-Kathmandu

    Within easy walking distance of the former Royal Palace and bustling Thamel market, the centrally located Shangri-La Hotel is a premier five-star property in Kathmandu. The inviting pool, gym and tennis court, lovely gardens, and free Wi-Fi encourage guests to relax in luxury. The property also houses three restaurants, several shops, and a bookstore.

    Transportation: 1-hour flight & 1.5-hour private vehicle transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Explore the Wonders of Kathmandu

    Day 8

    Experience the rich cultural heritage of the Kathmandu Valley as you visit the Swayambhunath Stupa, Kathmandu Durbar (Palace) Square, and the ancient fortified city of Patan. Patan is best-known for its Royal Palace Museum and Himalayan healing bowls, which have been used across the region for meditative and medicinal purposes for 2,500 years. View the bowls (or even buy your own) before enjoying lunch at the museum cafe.

    Accommodation: Shangri-La Hotel-Kathmandu

    Shangri-La Hotel-Kathmandu

    Within easy walking distance of the former Royal Palace and bustling Thamel market, the centrally located Shangri-La Hotel is a premier five-star property in Kathmandu. The inviting pool, gym and tennis court, lovely gardens, and free Wi-Fi encourage guests to relax in luxury. The property also houses three restaurants, several shops, and a bookstore.

    Activity: 6-8 hours of cultural sightseeing

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Hike from Nagarkot to Telkot

    Day 9

    Rise early for a drive to Nagarkot, from where you'll enjoy a 2-hour hike to Telkot. Pass traditional Tamang villages and take in views of the eastern Himalayan ranges en route (weather permitting). Transfer to the ancient town of Bhaktapur for lunch and witness an enchanting display of medieval Nepalese town life. A highlight is Durbar Square, with its many temples, remains of an ancient palace, and intricate Sun Dhoka ("Golden Gate"), a gilded copper gate crafted in 1753. Next, visit Hindu shrines and ghats at Pashupatinath on the Bagmati River before returning to the hotel.

    Accommodation: Shangri-La Hotel-Kathmandu

    Shangri-La Hotel-Kathmandu

    Within easy walking distance of the former Royal Palace and bustling Thamel market, the centrally located Shangri-La Hotel is a premier five-star property in Kathmandu. The inviting pool, gym and tennis court, lovely gardens, and free Wi-Fi encourage guests to relax in luxury. The property also houses three restaurants, several shops, and a bookstore.

    Activity: 1.5 hours/2-3 miles hiking & cultural sightseeing

    Transportation: 3.5-hour private vehicle transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Fly to the Roof of the World

    Day 10

    Another flight this morning - this time reminiscent of the famed novel Lost Horizons, as you admire the incredible Himalayan views en route to Gonggar Airport, about 75 miles from Lhasa. After arrival in Tibet, drive 48 miles to Tsedang (11,152') in the Yarlung Valley, which sheltered the ancient kingdom of Yarlung, the cradle of Tibetan civilization. Tsedang is the capital of this modern administrative region, and together with the adjacent town of Nedong, they serve as a green oasis in the middle of the high-altitude desert.

    Accommodation: Xiangchu Garden Hotel

    Xiangchu Garden Hotel

    The Xiangchu has 10 suites and 65 deluxe rooms in Tibetan style. This is a Tibetan boutique hotel. Almost all the staff are local Tibetan and the reception staff can speak English. The hotel rooms, lobby and restaurants are all covered by Wi Fi. The restaurant serves continental, Chinese and Tibetan food. They serve Western breakfasts like coffee, eggs, bread, fruit, oatmeal, etc.

    Transportation: 1.5-hour flight & 2.5-hour private vehicle transfer

    Meals: Breakfast

  • Experience Samye Monastery

    Day 11

    No journey to Tibet is complete without a visit to Samye Monastery, Tibet's first monastery (around 775 AD) and the birthplace of Buddhism. Needless to say, it's a holy place of major historical and religious significance. Today is entirely dedicated to experiencing Samye, about a 1.5-hour drive west of Tsedang. Founded as a school to train monks, Samye has the unusual honor of affiliation with all three sects of Tibetan Buddhism. After touring the extensive buildings, chapels, murals, statues, relics, and prayer wheels, we will drive to Lhasa.

    Accommodation: Four Points by Sheraton-Lhasa, Tibet

    Four Points by Sheraton-Lhasa, Tibet

    A short distance from the kinetic streets and colorful markets of central Lhasa, the Four Points stands as a comfortable retreat for the travel weary, intrepid trekker, and business traveler alike. Modern comforts and professional service define this Sheraton property, which also includes Internet access, a massage room, and a sunny courtyard.

    Transportation: 1.5-hour private vehicle transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Absorb the Sights of Lhasa

    Day 12

    The holy city of Lhasa deserves at least the three days this trip dedicates to it. Its major sights are yours for the exploring, from the imposing Potala Palace to the age-worn streets of the Barkhor bazaar, where you mingle with pilgrims, monks, traders, and nomads. The itinerary of your time in Lhasa varies, but you are certain to see the Tibetan old town and take excursions to key highlights such as the seventh-century Jokhang, the principal and holiest Buddhist temple in Lhasa and all of Tibet.

    Accommodation: Four Points by Sheraton-Lhasa, Tibet

    Four Points by Sheraton-Lhasa, Tibet

    A short distance from the kinetic streets and colorful markets of central Lhasa, the Four Points stands as a comfortable retreat for the travel weary, intrepid trekker, and business traveler alike. Modern comforts and professional service define this Sheraton property, which also includes Internet access, a massage room, and a sunny courtyard.

    Activity: 6-8 hours cultural city touring

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Visit the Potala Palace & Gelugpa Monastery

    Day 13

    Other Lhasa sights you visit include the 13-story Potala Palace, reputed to contain 1,000 rooms and countless brilliant thangkas, frescoes, and images. One of the world's most extraordinary buildings, it completely covers the mountain it stands upon. Just north of Lhasa stands Sera, a Gelugpa monastery founded in 1419. Its white buildings sit at the base of a rocky hill, and gilded, bell-shaped gyamtschens grace the roofs of many of the larger structures. And tour the architecturally unique UNESCO-listed Norbulingka Summer Palace, from which the 14th Dalai Lama fled Tibet.

    Accommodation: Four Points by Sheraton-Lhasa, Tibet

    Four Points by Sheraton-Lhasa, Tibet

    A short distance from the kinetic streets and colorful markets of central Lhasa, the Four Points stands as a comfortable retreat for the travel weary, intrepid trekker, and business traveler alike. Modern comforts and professional service define this Sheraton property, which also includes Internet access, a massage room, and a sunny courtyard.

    Activity: 6-8 hours cultural city touring

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Last Day in Lhasa

    Day 14

    If you haven't seen it already, today head to Ganden Monastery, about 25 miles outside of Lhasa. Ganden was almost completely destroyed during the Cultural Revolution but is now being painstakingly restored. Founded in 1409, it was the first Gelugpa monastery and is still considered the main seat of this major Buddhist order (the Dalai Lama's sect). The views here are spectacular! Walk the two-hour kora, light juniper, hang prayer flags, and have stunning views of the whole Kyichu Valley. At the end of each day, time permitting, explore Lhasa on your own - or rest.

    Accommodation: Four Points by Sheraton-Lhasa, Tibet

    Four Points by Sheraton-Lhasa, Tibet

    A short distance from the kinetic streets and colorful markets of central Lhasa, the Four Points stands as a comfortable retreat for the travel weary, intrepid trekker, and business traveler alike. Modern comforts and professional service define this Sheraton property, which also includes Internet access, a massage room, and a sunny courtyard.

    Activity: 6-8 hours cultural touring

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Depart Lhasa for Bangkok

    Day 15

    Bid farewell to Tibet and transfer to the airport for your direct flight to Chengdu. Upon arrival in Chengdu, catch your connecting flight to Bangkok.

    Transportation: 1.5-hour private vehicle transfer and 5-hour flight transfer from Lhasa to Chengdu to Bangkok

    Meals: Breakfast

Bhutan, Nepal, Tibet Himalayan Passages Hiking

Detailed Itinerary

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What to Expect

 

Why take this trip with us?

Reason #01

MT Sobek is a legendary outfitter in the Himalayas, offering pioneering cultural and hiking adventures since 1969.

Reason #02

Our team of local guides are true experts, with over 20 years' experience in Bhutan, Nepal, and Tibet.

Reason #03

This itinerary seamlessly blends culture and activity in three Buddhist kingdoms.

Meet your guides

Sanjay Nepal

Sanjay Nepal

Sanjay Nepal has been a trip leader in Nepal, India, Bhutan and Tibet since 1999. He is well-loved for his anecdotes, humor, and patience in the field. In addition to a Master's Degree in English Literature from Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu and an Executive MBA, Sanjay has deep knowledge of religion and culture on the sub-continent. He speaks Nepali, Hindi, Urdu, English and French fluently and has traveled extensively to learn more about Buddhism, Hinduism, Palmistry and Chinese Face Reading. Sanjay is also an accomplished writer and poet. Meet Sanjay on MT Sobek's popular Himalayan Passages tour or on our new Nepal Discovery Adventure.

Activities

Cultural touring in Bhutan, Nepal, and Tibet with visits to shrines and temples, plus mountain hikes and scenic flights.

Lodging

Comfortable inns and luxurious hotels exuding warm hospitality, also includes two nights at Paro's Zhiwa Ling Hotel.

Climate

Daytime temperatures range from low-50°Fs-low 80°Fs. Nighttime temperatures range from mid-30°Fs-mid-40°Fs.

FAQ

Who will meet me on arrival in Paro?

You will be met by an MT Sobek representative

Do I need a visa?

Yes, we handle your visa to Bhutan and China. For Nepal, you can either get your own visa before the trip or on arrival.

Where do I fly to?

This trip begins and ends in Bangkok, so make your roundtrip air to Bangkok

Where do we meet our trip leader, Sanjay?

Sanjay will meet you in Paro, as he flies from Kathmandu to Paro.

How far in advance should I book this trip?

Flights between Bangkok and Paro sell out several months in advance, so we recommend you reserve as early as possible.

  • 2021
  • Go Private
  • Go Custom

2021

Scheduled Dates

Additional costs

  • $2,195 Internal Airfare
  • $1,700 Single Supplemental

Price Includes

  • Expert leadership from experienced adventure guides
  • Accommodations as noted in the itinerary
  • Meals as noted in the daily itinerary
  • Potable water and snacks throughout
  • 1 glass of wine or beer at dinner
  • All tips and gratuities for support staff with the exception of your lead adventure guide(s)
  • All group entrance fees, activities, and ground transportation
  • Arrival and departure day hotel shuttle airport transfers

Price does not include

  • International airfare, any airport taxes, or excess baggage charges
  • 1 lunch and 2 dinners
  • Optional tips to your lead adventure guides
  • Personal expenses such as medical immunizations, phone calls, laundry, or souvenirs
  • Airport hotel transfers if arriving outside of Day 1
  • Optional travel protection

Contact An Expert

1.888.831.7526

Need help picking your next adventure? Call us to answer your questions.

Go Private

Go Private

Gather your favorite travel companions to share an MT Sobek adventure on an easy-to-book Private Trip.

Choose from the selection of dates below for your group or if your preferred date is not available, we'll create a departure just for you.

Call or email us to get the ball rolling.

Private Trip Pricing:

6 to 7 guests from $9,195 per person double occupancy

8 to 15 guests from $8,495 per person double occupancy

	

Take Over One These Dates

Make Your Own Dates In These Months

Additional costs

  • $2,195 Internal Airfare
  • $1,700 Single Supplemental

Price Includes

  • Expert leadership from experienced adventure guides
  • Accommodations as noted in the itinerary
  • Meals as noted in the daily itinerary
  • Potable water and snacks throughout
  • 1 glass of wine or beer at dinner
  • All tips and gratuities for support staff with the exception of your lead adventure guide(s)
  • All group entrance fees, activities, and ground transportation
  • Arrival and departure day hotel shuttle airport transfers

Price does not include

  • International airfare, any airport taxes, or excess baggage charges
  • 1 lunch and 2 dinners
  • Optional tips to your lead adventure guides
  • Personal expenses such as medical immunizations, phone calls, laundry, or souvenirs
  • Airport hotel transfers if arriving outside of Day 1
  • Optional travel protection

Contact An Expert

1.888.831.7526

Need help picking your next adventure? Call us to answer your questions.

Go Custom

Create Your Very Own Adventure

Dreaming of an adventure designed exclusively for you? With insider access and decades of experience, our travel experts create custom tailored adventures that are perfect for families, couples, and large groups. MT Sobek's custom adventures are designed to our exacting standards and led by our award-winning adventure guides.