The ancient kingdoms of Nepal and Bhutan are synonymous with the Himalaya. Geographically close in proximity, the two nations are vastly different many ways; yet, they compliment each other and together tell the story of Himalayan culture. On this unique departure, we will visit both of the old Himalayan Kingdoms, imbibing in the multiplicity of cultural offerings in Nepal and Bhutan.
On this, one of our newest cultural journeys, we begin by exploring the sites in and around the Kathmandu Valley, making our home at the legendary Yak & Yeti Hotel. We will wander the ancient byways and bazaars of exotic Kathmandu, will visit the Buddhist stupas and Hindu temples. After experiencing the best of Kathmandu, we make the short flight to Pokhara. Nestled on the banks of Phewa Lake, the mighty Nepali Himalaya tower above - including several of the range’s legendary peaks – Dhaulagiri, Manaslu, the iconic “fish-tail” peak of Machhapucchare, and, of course, the redoubtable Annapurnas.
Leaving the Hindu "kingdom" of Nepal, we fly across the high Himalaya (a breathtakingly beautiful mountain flight) to the Buddhist kingdom of Bhutan, Land of the Thunder Dragon. Bhutan’s greatest attractions are undoubtedly its glorious Himalayan and pastoral landscapes, and its vibrant and active Buddhist culture. Bhutan’s Buddhist festival, or tshechus, are immensely popular events and play an integral part in Bhutanese life. Dressed in their finest clothes and jewelry, Bhutanese people attend the various festivals in celebration of purification and religious blessings. Arrays of colorful brocades whirl through the air as the dancers spin and dance the "thunderbolt step."
Both of our “Himalayan Kingdoms” departure will feature one of Bhutan’s finest festivals – the Wangdi Festival on our Fall departure and the Paro Festival on our Spring departure.