Stride climate

Trip Type : Small Group Tour
East Himalayan Kingdoms tour
Darjeeling Gangtok East Himalayan Kingdoms Trip
Punakha Tibet East Himalayan Kingdoms Trip

East Himalayan Kingdoms

World Expeditions Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
4.9 . Excellent
100%
Travel Style: You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level: Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level: You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping. Basic - 2 star
13 days
From: $ 4,055 $ 312 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights

  • Discover diverse Himalayan cultures in Darjeeling, Sikkim, Bhutan & Nepal
  • Experience the atmosphere of the hill stations, Darjeeling and Kalimpong
  • Explore Rumtek Monastery in Sikkim and ancient dzongs in Bhutan
  • Revel in incredible mountain views as you journey from India to Bhutan
  • Climb high above the Paro Valley to Taktsang 'Tiger's Nest' Monastery

Short Description

A superb cultural journey through Darjeeling, Sikkim and Bhutan

Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
Trip Type Small Group Tour
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping.
Lodging Level Basic - 2 star
Flights & Transport Only ground transport
Start City Kathmandu
End City N/A

Travel Theme

Cultural

Destinations

India

Cities & Attractions

Darjeeling Gangtok Punakha Tibet

Activities

Culture

N/A
See more

Trip Includes

  • 12 breakfasts, 10 lunches, 10 dinners
  • good quality accommodation throughout on a twinshare basis including the Radisson Hotel in Kathmandu
  • Private internal transport throughout
  • flight Kathmandu to Bhadrapur
  • all group airport transfers
  • group leader throughout plus a liaison officer in Bhutan
  • half day sightseeing tour in Kathmandu
  • Bhutan Government visa and sustainability fees

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Itinerary

Day 1 Join Kathmandu

You will be met by a World Expeditions representative on arrival and transferred to the Radisson hotel. In the afternoon there is a half day sightseeing tour of Kathmandu (including Pashupatinath and Bouddhanath). Evening drinks are held in the hotel for all World Expeditions clients arriving today. Drinks and snacks will generally be served from 6:30 pm until 7:15 pm, and this is a great opportunity to get acquainted with your fellow group members before heading out to dinner.

meals : Array

Day 2 Fly Bhadrapur, drive to Darjeeling

Early transfer to the airport for our flight to Bhadrapur. On arrival we will meet our Indian guide and then transfer to our chartered bus for the drive to Darjeeling.As the road climbs up to Darjeeling we gain impressive views back down to the Indian plains.On arrival in Darjeeling we savour the cool mountain air and our first glimpse of the snow capped Himalaya.This evening a pre-trip briefing will be given.

meals : B,L,D

Day 3 In Darjeeling

Darjeeling is set on the top of a wooded ridge commanding views both to the plains and to the high mountains including Kangchenjunga. During the day we will organise sightseeing to the Tibetan Refugee Centre and also to the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute. We also visit one of the famous tea plantations that were established in the middle of last century. Later we explore the local bazaars and appreciate the rich variety of peoples including Sherpas, Tibetans and Bengalis who have made Darjeeling their home. A visit to the Tea Planters Club is also recommended, for it was here that the British inter-war expeditions stayed before assembling their Sherpa crews that would accompany them on the long march through Sikkim and across Tibet to the base of Everest.

meals : B,L,D

Day 5 Drive to Gangtok (6 hrs)

This spectacular drive winds through the rice paddies and pine forests of the Sikkim foothills. The drive to Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim taking around five to six hours. Overnight Norkhill Hotel.

meals : B,L,D

Day 6 In Gangtok

Gangtok has been the capital of Sikkim since the 19th century. On a clear day it affords excellent views up the Zemu Valley to Kangchenjunga. We have scheduled visits to the Cottage Industries Emporium with its fine array of traditional crafts including hand woven carpets, shawls and hand carved furniture. We also visit the Tibetan Institute where many valuable manuscripts are stored after they were brought to Sikkim in 1959.

meals : B,L,D

Day 7 Drive to Kalimpong (6hrs)

En route we visit Rumtek Monastery, 24 km from Gangtok. The Monastery is affiliated with one of the important Tibetan Buddhist sects - the Kargyapa sect. When the leader of this sect escaped from Tibet in 1959 he was invited to settle in Sikkim. With an influx of funds the monastery was restored to its traditional Tibetan architectural lines in the 1960's - the original monastery having being destroyed by an earthquake. From Rumtek the drive to Kalimpong takes a further four hours, with time that afternoon to visit the bazaar and appreciate the time when the town was an important trading post between India and Tibet.

meals : B,L,D

Day 8 Drive to Phuentsholing (6/7hrs)

We drive back down to the Indian Plains and the Indian-Bhutan border. After clearing Indian immigration and customs we drive to an impressive archway that marks the formal entry to the Kingdom of Bhutan.  Here you will be met by our Bhutan guides who will accompany you to the nearby hotel in Phuentsholing for your briefing and overnight stay.

meals : B,L,D

Day 9 Drive to Thimphu (6/7hrs)

The drive to Thimphu winds up from the Indian plains to the Thimphu Valley. On arrival in Thimphu we transfer to our hotel for overnight accommodation. Thimphu has been the capital since 1960 (the previous being Punakha). This afternoon we will pay a visit to the main Secretariat building - the Tashichho Dzong is the most prominent building consisting of the main Secretariat, the National Assembly Hall, the Office of the King and the Throne Room. Its remarkable construction is in traditional Bhutanese style without the use of nails or metal of any kind. We also visit the large Stupa dedicated to the late King HM. Jimge Dorji Wangchuk, regarded as the founder of modern day Bhutan.

meals : B,L,D

Day 10 In Thimphu & transfer to Wangduephodrang via Dochu La

We spend the morning enjoying the charm of Thimpu. The town is by no means large and easily explored on foot. There are some interesting markets and bazaars, and the Handicraft Emporium with famous weaving, woodcarvings and paintings and the Post Office sells Bhutan's world renowned stamps. before we drive for about three hours to Wangduephodrang (locally known as “Wangdi”), changing climatic zones from mountainous to tropical. On the way, we cross over Dochu La, a 3150-metre-high pass marked by prayer flags and a chorten and, if the weather is fine, a view of the eastern Himalaya including the highest mountain in Bhutan, Mt Gangar Punsum (7520m). We drive through forests of rhododrendron and magnolia, before the road descends into the warmer lowlands around Punakha. Overnight Wangdi Kyichu Resort. *On the 24th June 2012, the beautiful Wangduephodrang Dzong was completely destroyed by fire. It was one of the oldest and most substantial dzongs in Bhutan built in 1638. Renovations were underway when the fire started and so most of the historic relics had been put into storage and were saved from the devastation of the fire. Re-building is already underway to restore the dzong to its former glory.

meals : B,L,D

Day 11 Drive to Paro via Punakha Dzong

This morning we visit the Punakha Dzong, which once served as the old capital of Bhutan. This remarkable fortress was built in 1637 between two rivers and has survived many glacial floods and fire. Every February there is a procession known as the Punakha Serda to commemorate the victory over the Tibetans. No journey in Bhutan is complete without a visit to this fascinating and visually stunning Dzong. Transfer to Paro, approx, 5 hrs. Our sightseeing program in Paro includes visits to the Paro Dzong and the even older Ta Dzong that now houses the National Museum of Bhutan. While we are not permitted inside the monastery at the Dzong we can take a look around inside this impressive building which is the monastic and administrative centre for South-West Bhutan. Ta Dzong is the original fort and has been carefully transformed into a museum with excellent displays of all facets of Bhutan's rich cultural history. Old costumes and battle dress, together with priceless jewellery and specimens of the kingdoms unique flora and fauna are included within the museum.

meals : B,L,D

Day 12 In Paro, Taktsang Monastery

We drive to the foot of the Taktsang Monastery - the famous Tigers Nest Monastery said to have been one of the divine resting places of the Guru Ringpoche. However, although much of the building was once destroyed by fire it is now restored and it is still worthwhile to ascend the walking trail to appreciate the monasteries breathtaking location on a cliff edge about 800 metres above the valley floor. The rest of the day is free to complete sightseeing and purchases before our early morning departure the following day.

meals : B,L,D

Day 13 Trip concludes in Paro

Early morning transfer to the airport and onward arrangements.

meals : B

Availability

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Price From $ 4,055
Price Per Day: $ 312 per day
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Start DateFinish DateBase Price 
Oct-14-2019Oct-26-2019$ 4,180 Reserve
Dec-16-2019Dec-28-2019$ 4,180 Reserve
Apr-06-2020Apr-18-2020$ 4,180 Reserve
Oct-12-2020Oct-24-2020$ 4,180 Reserve
Dec-14-2020Dec-26-2020$ 4,180 Reserve

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Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.

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Stride Featured in

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998 World Expeditions Travel Reviews & Ratings

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4.9 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 864
Great 131
Average 3
Disappointing 0
Terrible 0
Value
4.9
Guide
4.9
Activities
4.9
Lodging
4.9
Transportation
4.9
Meals
4.9

East Himalayan Kingdoms

Write a Review

We had a wonderful and memorable time due to your planning and organisation

4.0
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Value4.0
Guide4.0
Activities4.0
Lodging4.0
Transportation4.0
Meals4.0
Peerless Inn -Kolkata - comfortable and well organised especially for the time we arrived. Guide in Kolkata (have forgotten his name) was great. Nawang was welcoming, organised, generous, knowledgeable and always thoughtful. Couldn't have asked for more, his love for the mountains evident. Such a good ambassador for World Expeditions!Tibetan Refugee Centre - we walked there which was a great way to visit the area. We took a large duffel bag of assorted clothing and equipment to give away, Nawang took some bits with us, including the glasses I threw in last minute. The refugees are desperate for all kinds of reading, distance and sunglasses. We purchased some reading glasses in old Delhi which we left with Dorjay to give to Nawang to take to them later in the year. The drivers at all times made us feel safe and were very skilled! All our guides, cooks, porters and horsemen were great and we were spoiled. Because of the team we had a truly once in a lifetime trek. We had no injuries, lots of chatter and laughter. Thank you all, will always recommend World Expeditions.
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As always World Expeditions provided a wonderful trip which exceeded all our expectations

5.0
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Meals5.0
Thank you!

Company Reviews

What a fabulous trip we had, both to Lhasa and China, except for one hotel everything was perfect

5.0
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Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
We loved the more historical Chinese hotels vs staying in cookie cutter fancier places. The rooms were always spacious and the halls and reception had beautiful marble floors and walls. Richard, our guide was excellent and we all trotted after him as fast as we could, often walking 10km a day, no problem for us, and he selected great dishes for group meals. 1st October is the main Chinese Holiday and most Chinese have the rest of the week off as well so it was exceptional crowed in Beijing, the warriors (I was afraid I might be crushed to death) and the pandas. However the Chinese cue up in an orderly fashion to enter attractions.
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I can’t recommend this trip enough! We had the most fantastic trip leader and crew that made the whole experience exceptional, they went above and beyond to support all the members of the group

5.0
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The itinerary was a good pace and the difficulty rating was spot on. The scenery was phenomenal and I really enjoyed doing the hike with a group. Couldn’t fault the trip.
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This was a magnificent - but challenging - experience

5.0
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Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
We were so privileged to be able to walk through the lives of the people who live in the Annapurna region, really humbling to get a glimpse of their lives.
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We had the most amazing experience on the Maldives Dhoni Cruise

5.0
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Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
We can't say enough wonderful comments on the friendly crew that took care of our every need. The boat was clean and we even had unexpected cabin service. The bathrooms were kept spotless and constantly attended. The food was AMAZING! The daily catch was prepared within hours of the catch...no less than 7 - 14 dishes of food to choose from at each meal. For a total "chill" experience we would highly recommend this cruise. Possibly the best snorkelling in the world!
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Details

Flights & Transport

Only ground transport

Accomodations

12 nights hotel

Additional Information:

  • 13 day trip
  • 12 nights hotels

Please collect passport scan at time of booking, visa fee should be added as an item and payment collected before departure with final payments. NOTE: Visa numbers should not be expected until the week before clients depart.

Physical Requirements

These adventure tours sometimes involve travel at high altitude (rarely exceeding 4000m, except on certain trips in Tibet, Peru and India) and may visit remote areas of the world where facilities are often basic. Many of these trips sometimes involve some camping or basic lodging. These adventure tours will often involve long journeys and rough roads. Sightseeing and optional day walks are often included and these days may involve up to 5 hours of physical activity. To enjoy these adventures we suggest you are reasonably fit, healthy, have a moderately active lifestyle and have a positive attitude.

Rules & Other Requirements

Specialist gear required include walking boots and day pack (a comprehensive gear list is provided in the pre-departure information provided on booking).

Trip ID#:

worldexpeditions-EHK

Trip Excludes

  • Bottled water, aerated and alcoholic drinks
  • Items of a personal nature such as phone calls, laundry, etc.
  • tips
  • airport & departure taxes
  • travel insurance
  • international flights
  • visas (excluding Bhutan)

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