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Welcome to Nepal and the start of your amazing adventure. We'll be there at the airport to greet you and transfer you to your hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to relax after your flight.
After breakfast we transfer you to the airport for your included flight to Paro (departing Kathmandu at 11:55, arriving Paro at 13:10). Airport arrival transfer from Paro airport to Thimphu, the modern capital town of Bhutan. Driving through the Paro valley, en route to Thimphu gaze out upon silvery Pa Chu (Paro River) meandering its way through the thick forested ravine, the Paro Dzong (fortress) and Ta Dzong (watch tower).
Today’s full day of sightseeing in Thimphu valley includes the National Library which has a vast collection of ancient Buddhist texts and the Thimpu Painting School, famous for traditional thangkha paintings. The Traditional Medicine Institute is where the rich herbal medicines abundant in the Kingdom are prepared. Memorial Chorten is the beautiful stupa built in the memory of Bhutan’s third King. Trashichhodzong, the beautiful fortress/monastery is also the summer residence of Chief Abbot. To see a wide assortment of beautifully hand-woven and crafted products, visit the Handicrafts Emporium.
This morning drive to Punakha, an old winter capital of Bhutan. En-route stop at the lofty Dochu La Pass, 10,000ft/3,048m to view the rugged eastern Himalayas, including Bhutan's highest mountain, Gangkar Punsum at 7,550m. This afternoon visit the impressive Punakha Dzong or Pungthang Dechen Phodrang "Palace of Great Happiness," which is located on the confluence of two rivers. Later hike to the Chimi lhakhang – the temple of Divine Madman which was built by lama Drukpa Kunley in 1499.
Punakha & Wangdue are two separate districts in the same valley, just 20kms apart. Located at a lower elevation, the valley has mild winters, allowing cactuses, oranges, bananas and sub-tropical plants to flourish. Punakha was once the winter capital of Bhutan, the tradition that is still held by the Central Monks and Jekhenpo, who reside here in Punakha Dzong during the winters and return to Thimphu, which is their summer capital. In Wangdue, there is a small town on the ridge and large Wangdu Phodrang Dzong. Enjoy an excursion to Wangdue today and explore the town before driving back to Paro.
Enjoy a sightseeing tour of the Paro Valley. Visit Kichu Lhakang - one of the oldest temples in Bhutan, built in the 7th century, Dungtse Lhakang, an incredible 3-storey Chorten-style building which was constructed in 1433 and the impressive and iconic Paro Rinpung Dzong. It is regarded as one of the finest Bhutanese architecture with intricate wood work, large beams slotted into each other and held together without nails.
Taktshang Pelphung monastery or Tiger's Nest as it often referred to, is one of the most venerated and famous of Bhutan's monasteries. It is located on the face of a sheer 900m cliff above the floor of Paro valley. Today take a scenic hike to view this spectacular and unmissable sight! After exploring the monastery walk back to the cafeteria for lunch, before retracing your steps back to the road to journey back to Paro.
After breakfast we say goodbye to Bhutan and transfer to the airport for your included flight back to Nepal (departing Paro at 10:30, arriving Kathmandu at 11:35). On arrival into Kathmandu we'll be there to greet you and transfer you to your hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to enjoy at leisure.
After breakfast we enjoy a full day of sightseeing. Admire the view from Swayambhunath Stupa, also known as Monkey Temple because of the many holy monkeys residing here. Visit the large and beautiful Buddhist stupa of Bodhnath, adorned with thousands of candles made with butter. Then explore magical Durbar Square - a complex of royal palaces and temples, and the social, religious and urban focal point of the city. After time to freshen up at your hotel, enjoy a tasty dinner whilst watching a traditional dance performance depicting the various religions of Nepal.
This morning we transfer to Chitwan National Park. Chitwan is hailed as one of Asia’s finest game parks and contains many animals including elephants and rhinos, sloth bears and striped hyenas. Take a nature walk, a jungle drive, ride on an elephant or journey in a dugout canoe and admire the scenery - if you are lucky you may even see an elusive tiger!
Enjoy a full day of safari in Chitwan National Park keeping your eyes peeled for the variety of wildlife on offer.
Today we transfer to spectacular Pokhara, gateway to the magnificent Annapurna Range, which consists of five mountains over 7200m including the Machhapuchare, which although falling short of 7000m, is one of the most extraordinary mountains due to its unique ‘fishtail’ peak. The local people believe it is sacred to the god Shiva and therefore is off limits to climbing. Upon arrival this afternoon, spend the rest of the day at leisure.
An early start as we drive to Sarangkot enjoying the views of the landscapes and mountains and observing local people, villages and farms. Visit the thundering waterfall known as Devi’s falls where the Pardi River enters a grottoed channel and sinks underground in a sudden rush of foam and fury. We then visit a Tibetan refugee camp, a local school and monastery, and have the chance to pick up some souvenirs from small stalls and a carpet-weaving hall, before returning to our hotel. There is some free time to participate in optional activities such as paragliding, mountain biking, cycling, boating and horse riding, or if you prefer why not unwind down by the lake.
Early this morning we fly back to Kathmandu and on arrival take a short drive to Kirtipur, also known as the City of Glory. The well-preserved old town contrasts developed Kathmandu with its unpaved narrow lanes. Admire the amazing views of the Kathmandu Valley from the top point of Kirtipur. We continue to the historic town of Patan, sometimes referred to as Lalitpur, meaning City of Beauty, and admire the rich collection of temples and monasteries in the area.
Today marks the end of your incredible adventure with On the Go Tours. After an early breakfast we transfer you to the airport for your onward departure journey.