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Welcome to Nepal and the start of your holiday! Pick up and complete a landing card on the plane or in the airport before you go through customs then pick-up your bags. You will then be met by our representatives and transferred to your hotel where you will receive a welcome drink and a briefing about your trip. Overnight Grand Hotel Kathmandu (Shankar is waitlisted).
This morning you can opt for an optional mountain scenic flight! Enjoy a full day of sightseeing in the Kathmandu Valley. Our first port of call is Swayambhunath. From here we drive to Kathmandu Durbar Square - the Royal Palace complex built during the 17th century. We may also visit the special living Goddess “Kumari”. After lunch drive to Pashupatinath, on the banks of The Bagmati River. After exploring the area drive northeast to Bodhnath stupa, another World Heritage site. In the evening enjoy an authentic Nepali meal with unique cultural dances depicting the various religions of Nepal at a typical Nepali restaurant. Overnight Grand Hotel Kathmandu.
Today we visit Bhaktapur and enjoy a guided tour of the Durbar square, ancient Royal Palace and the local town, which is very cultural and traditional. Overnight Grand Hotel Kathmandu.
This morning transfer to the airport for your flight departing approx. 09:25 to Bhutan. Upon arrival at Bhutan/Paro airport at approx. 10:40 you will be met by our local representative and transferred approx. 1.5 hours to Thimpu. This afternoon visit the Memorial Chorten built in memory of Late His Majesty, the 3rd King of Bhutan. Also visit a handmade paper unit. Bhutan boasts of some of the best handmade papers in the world. The Handicrafts Emporium is yet another interesting place to visit, where you will fine an excellent variety of well woven Bhutanese textiles. The rest of the afternoon is free for you to explore the Thimphu market.
After breakfast walk around Thimphu city and then drive on to Punakha. Stop for lunch at Docho la, where if the weather permits you’ll be treated to an incredible panoramic view of the Bhutanese Himalayas. Punakha is a 2.5 hour drive from Thimphu. After crossing Docho la the vegetation changes from predominantly Blue Pine forest to a greater variety of plants and trees. In spring, it is colorful with all the Rhododendrons and Magnolias in bloom. Upon arrival in Punakha check into hotel, refresh and then drive up the valley to visit the Dzong in all its splendor. Overnight Phema Karpo.
After an early breakfast visit Wangde Dzong en route to Chimi Lhakhang. A beautiful temple standing all alone on a small hill overlooking the Puna Tshangchu river belt, Chimi Lhakhang is the Holy place of Lama Drukpa Kuenley, also known as Divine Mad man. The temple is very sacred for the Bhutanese and thousands of people who visit Chimi Lhakhang do so to pray for children - either people with no children seeking fertility or those who have children, seek protection for them. Return to your hotel for lunch before driving back to Paro.
After breakfast, tour Ta Dzong (watch tower) which was built between 1656-1667 and now houses the National Museum. The Museum is considered one of the best of its kind in Asia. It boasts an exhaustive collection of Bhutanese Textiles, Armoury, Earth & Stone Wares, Buddhist Scriptures and Manuscripts. After lunch visit a local farm house and Paro market. Enjoy evening tea with a Bhutanese family in the farm house.
Today enjoy a visit to the Paro Rinpung Dzong “the Fort of the heap of Jewels” which houses the Paro Monastic body, Paro District Civil Administration and the Paro District Court. On way back to the hotel visit Kyichu Lhakhang, built in 638 AD under the order of the Tibetan King Songtsengampo, it is one of the oldest temples in Bhutan.
Today we fly back to Kathmandu flight departing approx. 08:00 and arriving approx. 08:45 where you will be transferred to your hotel. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure in Nepal's colourful capital. Overnight Grand Hotel Kathmandu.
Arrangements end after breakfast today for Robyn and Kim. The remaining clients will be transferred to the airport for your flight 9W261 and MH115.