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Bhutan Cultural Tour - 4 Days

Our Short Tour of Bhutan will take you around Bhutanese landmarks in Paro Valley, a city with rich traditional architecture that hosts Bhutan's only International Airport, and Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan. In Paro, you will visit places such as the Dungste Lhakang, a 15th-century temple with the Ugyen Perli Palace visible through its fence, the Rinpung Dzong, a fortress-monastery, the national museum, and Kichu Lhakhang, the oldest Bhutanese temple, before hiking to the extraordinary Taktsang (Tiger's Nest) Monastery the next day.

In Thimphu, the largest city in Bhutan that is situated in the linear valley of the Thimpu River, you will experience an altitude range varying between 2,248 metres (7,375 feet) and 2,648 metres (8,688 feet) with varying climates as well. Here, you will visit landmarks such as the National Memorial Chorten, the Drubthob Gonpa/Zilukha Nunnery, the majestic Tashi Chhoe Dzong (Fortress of Glorious Religion), the gigantic Buddha Dordenma Statue, the Takin Sanctuary and many other prominent cultural heritage buildings.

October to December is the ideal time to visit Bhutan as the air is clear and fresh with sunny skies. January and February are colder, but from then until April the climate remains dry. Bhutan observes its biggest festivals during spring and in late spring the famous rhododendrons bloom spectacularly, flooding the valleys with color. From June to September the monsoon rains cover the mountains. Spring (March to May) and Autumn (September and October) are the best seasons to visit Bhutan.

Trip Facts

Price: USD 975

Activities: Sightseeing
Duration: 3     Days
Holiday Style:
Accommodation: Hotels
Meals:All meals
Transportation:Private Vehicles/Flight
Service Level:
Holiday Grading:1

  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Cost Info
  • Detail Itinerary
  • Trip Details

We can organize a customized trip based on your available dates. Please contact us or visit our website at http://www.alpineclubofhimalaya.com/ for more information.

Our website contains as much information as possible about this trip. However, if you wish to discuss any aspect of this trip or your suitability for it please contact us.

Day 01: Arrival in Bhutan and Sightseeing in Paro (2,250m / 7,382ft)

You will be welcomed by an amazing view of The Himalayas as you approach Bhutan. At the airport, you will be welcomed by a representative of Alpine Club of Himalaya. Once you have settled in our hotel, you will embark on your journey to Paro. You will complete a city tour of Paro (places mentioned above) and stay overnight there.

Day 02: Paro to Thimphu (2,320m/7,610ft): 54 km including 1 hour hike to Taktsang Monastery

After breakfast, you will take a scenic hike for about 4-5 hours to Taktsang (Tiger's Nest), the most sacred monastery in Bhutan, built on steep cliff, offering you enchanting views of the Paro valley.Guru Padmasambhava who introduced Buddhism to Bhutan, is said to have meditated there for three years, three months, three weeks, three days and three hours in the 8th century. Lunch will be served at the restaurant located halfway up the mountain. You will then hike back down the valley and drive to Thimphu.  Spend the night at Thimpu.

Day 03: Sightseeing in Thimphu

You will complete a city tour of Thimpu (places mentioned above) and other landmarks including the National Institute of Traditional Medicine, Bhutanese traditional painting school, folk heritage museum, and the traditional paper factory. Some places are closed on weekends (Saturdays and Sundays), and thus we will explore the Weekend Market instead. Overnight in Thimphu.

Day 04: Final Departure

After an early breakfast, we leave to Paro airport (approx. 1 hour). Druk Air generally departs early in the mornings to avoid adverse weather conditions.

Important Note :

Your safety is of paramount importance to us at Alpine Club of Himalaya. We have the absolute authority to cancel the trip or change the itinerary, when deemed necessary or when we have reason to believe your safety is at stake. Weather conditions, the health condition of a group member, natural disasters, and such, can contribute to changes in the itinerary when traveling in remote mountainous regions. In these extreme situations, we kindly request that you offer your full co-operation to the trusted leader of the group appointed by Alpine Club of Himalaya. However, we assure you that we will make every effort to keep to the above itinerary.

Trip Cost Includes

  •     Bhutanese visa fee
  •     Pickups and drops from hotels and airports
  •     Government approved A and B category hotels on twin- shared basis
  •     All meals, tea and snacks
  •     Transportation in comfortable private vehicle(s)
  •     English speaking, trained and experienced local guide and staff
  •     All entrance and permit fees for visits to monuments and museums
  •     Company services and all required Bhutanese government taxes/royalties

Trip Cost Excludes

  •     Airfare for international flights to and from Bhutan
  •     Items of a personal nature (personal gear, telephone calls, beverages, internet, laundry, etc.)
  •     Trip cancellation and medical/evacuation insurance
  •     Tips for staff (guide and driver)
  •     Travel insurance

Itinerary

Day 01: Arrival in Bhutan and Sightseeing in Paro (2,250m / 7,382ft)

You will be welcomed by an amazing view of The Himalayas as you approach Bhutan. At the airport, you will be welcomed by a representative of Alpine Club of Himalaya. Once you have settled in our hotel, you will embark on your journey to Paro. You will complete a city tour of Paro (places mentioned above) and stay overnight there.

Day 02: Paro to Thimphu (2,320m/7,610ft): 54 km including 1 hour hike to Taktsang Monastery

After breakfast, you will take a scenic hike for about 4-5 hours to Taktsang (Tiger's Nest), the most sacred monastery in Bhutan, built on steep cliff, offering you enchanting views of the Paro valley.Guru Padmasambhava who introduced Buddhism to Bhutan, is said to have meditated there for three years, three months, three weeks, three days and three hours in the 8th century. Lunch will be served at the restaurant located halfway up the mountain. You will then hike back down the valley and drive to Thimphu.  Spend the night at Thimpu.

Day 03: Sightseeing in Thimphu

You will complete a city tour of Thimpu (places mentioned above) and other landmarks including the National Institute of Traditional Medicine, Bhutanese traditional painting school, folk heritage museum, and the traditional paper factory. Some places are closed on weekends (Saturdays and Sundays), and thus we will explore the Weekend Market instead. Overnight in Thimphu.

Day 04: Final Departure

After an early breakfast, we leave to Paro airport (approx. 1 hour). Druk Air generally departs early in the mornings to avoid adverse weather conditions.

Important Note :

Your safety is of paramount importance to us at Alpine Club of Himalaya. We have the absolute authority to cancel the trip or change the itinerary, when deemed necessary or when we have reason to believe your safety is at stake. Weather conditions, the health condition of a group member, natural disasters, and such, can contribute to changes in the itinerary when traveling in remote mountainous regions. In these extreme situations, we kindly request that you offer your full co-operation to the trusted leader of the group appointed by Alpine Club of Himalaya. However, we assure you that we will make every effort to keep to the above itinerary.

IMPORTANT NOTE
Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel; in case there have been changes that affect your plans.

Trip Highlights
Temples and Stupas sightseeing around Kathmandu, HIMALAYAN Mountain flight while flying in and out from Luka, 8000m mountains including Mt. Everest, Khumbu valley and unique Sherpa culture, Tengboche monastery, SLOW and STEADY walking.

Trip style
This trip follows through the classical route to the Everest Base Camp where we can expect lots of lodges and guest houses. We will be staying at night in these lodges and guesthouses all in the way to our trek and we need not fix a tent. Dinner and breakfast will be at the places where we sleep and the lunch in the way at places where we can relax with views of the magnificent mountains.

Service level
This trip is leveled as a standard which means standard hotel rooms are provided with breakfast, sightseeing tours and guest houses and lodges with private room with share bathroom.

Dossier Disclaimer
The information provided in this web site or at the PDF TRIP DOSSIER has been compiled with attention and is provided in good faith. However it can be changed without prior notice, and does not apply as part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary prepared is correct while published and we do have most update information at the PDF or at the website. Occasionally we change our itinerary to make improvements that stem from past travelers comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra flight, hotels, sightseeing or meal in the itinerary. Please note that we are LOCAL OPERATOR from Kathmandu and we do not produce fancy brochures but update trip/website information usually end of December each year.

Itinerary Disclaimer
Our entire adventure travel itineraries and holidays are designed with care and experiences we have from our previous clients and from us. We must understand that adventure travel goes to the remote part of the mountain where weather, physical conditions of team member and delay or cancellation of flights will affect the itinerary without prior notice. So ACH reserves the right to change itinerary at any time without any pre consultation with clients. Travel can be unpredictable as we never know exactly where our journey will take us because of our walking style, physical level and the regions we visit. Our itinerary is brief and the information provided in this Trip Details document is a general guide to understand our travel destinations.
Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.

Important Notes to know
This trip operates at altitudes over 2780m (max altitude 5545m). In this itinerary we dont have much acclimatizing days, so you may experience headaches, nausea, and lethargy on arrival in Namche Bazaar, 3420m. It is important to be aware of the affects of altitude on one's tolerance especially on going high to Namche.

Accommodation in Everest Region is basic (only dorm rooms, rooms little or no running water) but at places like Lukla, Phakding, Namche, Lobuche and Dingboche there are upgraded accommodation (standard with attached shower & toilet) too. This trip includes basic rooms with two people share only. In case you want to UPGRADE YOUR ROOM, please feel free to let us know while you book the trip.

Group Leader Description
All Alpine Club trips are accompanied by one of our local Sherpa leader who speaks excellent English. He/she will provide information on the places you are traveling through, deal with health and safety issues and introduce to the local porters and villagers. As a local leader he/she has more specific knowledge to explain about historical, cultural, religious and social aspects.

Group Size Notes
Max 14 & Min 2

Your Fellow Travelers
When we travel in a group there are people from around the world of different ages who are multi lingual, multi cultural and multi racial. You are requested to understand the benefits may be some of the frustrations of traveling in a group. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part.

Meals
Welcome breakfast and fare well dinner are in Kathmandu hotels. Foods are provided on in a tea house or guest house in the mountain, there are variety of choice of local meal as well as continental even PIZZA and Sizzler. We also give more eating flexibility, groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. Our leader will be able to suggest favorite restaurants during your trip. Included breakfasts will usually be Asian style consisting of noodles or congee (rice porridge) or bread, hass brown and eggs of any style. Wide range of vegetarian foods is found, although in some places choices are limited. While trekking in remote regions food will be served plentiful and made of fresh local ingredients.

Transport
Private Bus, Car and Van

Local Flights
All local flights are included in the cost of our tour unless otherwise noted and will be given to you prior to the flight departure.

Single Travelers
We believe single travelers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travelers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travelers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.

Accommodation
Hotels with western facilities and guesthouses in the mountain
My Own Room Available on this tour with an extra surcharge.
Joining Hotel
Kathmandu – Peak Point Hotel
(close to Hotel Malla)Thamel, Kathmandu. Nepal
Website: www.peakpointhotel.com
Tel: +977-1-4215110
Fax: +977-1-4152057

Joining information Our entire trip is a group joining basis unless any one does not request the private or the personal trip. We provide the airport pick up and drop to the hotel and sightseeing for the one who book land trip. We give the flexibility so that our clients can join the trip only .While the price will be relatively less in this case but airport pick up and transfer to the hotel and city sightseeing tours are not included.

When arriving into Kathmandu International Airport you will notice how small the city really is. It is on 7km from the downtown area and the only way to get there is by taxi. You can arrange a prepaid taxi from the counter outside of the baggage hall run by the Airport Queue Taxi Service Management Committee for about 400-450 Rupees (approx 6-7 USD). Please be aware of people wanting to help you with your bags as they will ask for money once you get to your taxi. If you have paid for an arrival transfer or booked whole trip our driver will be waiting with your name or an ALPINE CLUB Sign on it. Please check carefully once you exit the baggage hall as there seem to be hundreds of people waiting outside in the arrival area.

Arrival Information
We don't expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact us at info@alpineclubofhimalaya.com or sales@alpineclubofhimalaya.com or call us at +977 98510 20731 or your hotel +977 1 4440476/4440534 as emergency contact. If you have pre-booked an airport transfer and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Kathmandu Hotel and we will refund you the taxi cost if this occurs.

Emergency Contact
Should you need to contact Alpine Club during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call to the following contacts
Personal
Sujan +977 98510 20731 Mobile
Kathmandu – Peak Point Hotel
(close to Hotel Malla)Thamel, Kathmandu. Nepal
Website: www.peakpointhotel.com
Tel: +977-1-4215110
Fax: +977-1-4152057
What to Take
What you need to bring depends on the trip you have chosen and the places or regions you are planning to visit. We suggest that you pack as lightly as possible and keep the weight of your bags between 15-20kg/22-30lb. Suitcases are not recommended for trekking and mountaineering because it is hard to handle by the support Sherpa while in the mountains and also some of our trips have non support Sherpa porter. Most travelers carry a backpack or rolling bag of small to medium size (no XXL ones please!) as they need to carry by the porters in the mountain although you have chance to leave some of your bags at the hotel you are staying. You will also need a day pack/bag to carry water, cameras and other electronics like iPods and mobile phones. If your trip involves overnights in home stays, villages or camping, Alpine Club does not provide the sleeping bags or warm Jackets. You usually have to rent sleeping bags if needed instead of bringing them from home.

Checklist
Passport (with photocopies)
Photos for Nepal visa on arrival
Travel insurance (with photocopies)
Airline tickets (with photocopies)
USD cash and travelers cheques
Credit or debit card (see personal spending money)
Alpine Club Invoice , pre-departure information and Travel dossier
Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required
Day pack for daily personal items
Wet wipes / Moist towelettes
Hand sanitizing lotion
Alarm clock
Flashlight
Sun hat, Sun block, Sunglasses
Moisturizer, Lip balm
Insect Repellent
Water bottle, Plastic mug, Cutlery
Tampons
Ear plugs for light sleepers
Small towel and swim wear (optional)
Toiletries (biodegradable)
Sturdy walking shoes/Sport sandals
Money belt
Shorts for summer months (June – September)
Long trousers
Hiking pants/track pants
Shirts/T-shirts
Warm clothes for April-November. Hat and gloves Wool jumper / sweater / fleece. Light weight during summer, 1 heavyweight or 2 lightweights during winter months. Down jackets in winter.
Umbrella or waterproof jacket.
Cover for backpack or plastic bags to keep clothes dry or dust free.
Camera and film
Reading/writing material, cassettes/CDs or other entertainment for long travel days.
Binoculars
Pocketknife
First-aid kit (should contain lip salve, Aspirin, Band Aids, anti-histamine, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, re-hydration powder, extra prescription drugs you may be taking).
Presents from home like photos, toothbrushes, stickers, postcards, children’s books, souvenir pins.
Protein bars, chocolate, dried fruits, candies and snack foods.
Laundry
Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels in cities for a charge. While trekking in the mountain there will be times you need to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.

Visas
CHINA – Alpine Club will arrange a group visa for China. This is the only way groups may enter China from Kathmandu. If you already have a China visa the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu will cancel it and issue you a group visa that is valid for the particular trip only.

The cost of the visa is NOT included in the trip. You must pay it separately on arrival in Kathmandu at the group meeting. For all nationalities the visa fee is 114 USD EXCEPT American passport holders whose fee is 198 USD.

NEPAL - All foreign nationals (except Indians) require a visa to enter Nepal. Visas are obtainable from embassies abroad or on arrival at Kathmandu's Tribhuvan airport or at any Immigration if you are coming from India or from China TIBET. To obtain Nepal visa you are requested to have one passport photo and the fees below in US dollars cash only:

Single entry visa valid for 15 days - US $25:
Single Entry Visa for 30 days - US $40
And multiple entry visa valid for 90 days - US $100
Please inform us if you are planning an additional trip to China after The High Road to Tibet tour you will need long days visa or need to apply for a Chinese visa at the Chinese embassy in Kathmandu after your trip finished otherwise you cannot enter into China. Please check with Chinese embassy prior to travel as this is subject to change.
Destination Travel Guide
For more information on travel such as weather, costs, festival, visa information, politics and much more, please visit our Destination Travel Guide at www.alpineclubofhimalaya.com/travel-guide for more information.

Extra Spending Money
Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip. More than that if you wish to extend your other destination or the part of the adventure travel which is not included.

Money Exchange
American Dollars are well accepted in Asia and exchange rates fluctuate often. We request you to follow the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com As of JULY 2010 the exchange rate for NEPAL was 1 USD = 73 NPR (Nepalese Rupees). There are many ATM machines in major cities that accept both Visa and MasterCard. We accept and also major credit cards are accepted in most shops but they may charge a 2-4% service charge fee.

Local payment if any
There are not any local fees or surcharge other than stated in the travel itinerary. We strongly believe that one fee one trip with ACH except Tips, Laundry, Shopping, Telephone and Meals which are not included in the trip. There will be an additional fee in situations that are beyond our control; say mountain flight cancels or mountain road blocks and need extra meal or accommodations.

Departure Tax
All departure taxes should be included in your international flight ticket for TIBET and all domestic ticket.

Tipping Custom
Tips are expected but not compulsory. It is good to understand that it is customary in Asia to tip the service providers such as waiters at approximately 10% depending on the service.

Tips while travelling
Tipping drivers and local guides on local tours range from approximate $2 USD per person per day depending on the quality and length of the service your have received.
Tipping Sherpa Leader/Guide for a week trip 50 USD and for Sherpa porter 30 US$ from a group
Tipping Sherpa Leader/Guide for 2 weeks trip 100-125 USD and for Sherpa porter 50-75 USD from a group
Tipping Sherpa Leader/Guide for 3 weeks trip 150-200 USD and for Sherpa porter 75-100 USD from a group

Must have Good Health
You should well consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information before departure where you are travelling. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements although our local leader is carrying enough First Aid Kits. Please be aware that sometimes we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities. Alpine Club reserves the right to exclude any traveler from all or part of a trip without refund if in the reasonable opinion of our leader they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or rest of the group.

Safety and Security
Many national governments provide regular updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure.

We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travelers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes which are the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.

Consult your Doctor for Medical Advice
We are a small and personalized group adventures bringing together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that, as a minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility' is required to undertake our easiest tour programs. Travelers must have the good level of fitness for mountain trekking 3400m and above, at least walking 7-8 hrs each day at high elevation. And for trek, climb and mountain expedition you are requested to have the complete medical approval from your travel doctor to attend the trip.

Must Have Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance is provided to us up on arrival. Such travel insurance must cover medical, emergency evacuation and full trip cancellation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.

Responsible Travel
Being a responsible adventure travel company is at the heart of what Alpine Club is all about. From the start, Alpine Club has been committed to offering low-impact travel that benefits traveler and host alike. We are responsible holiday planner to Himalaya areas; we conserve the environment and improve the welfare of local people to the region we travel. Alpine Club plan and organize our operation to maximize the net benefit for the poor people by empowering and by training on skills development that help them to take part on different tourism activities. We have strong policies to employ the local people and use the local products as much as possible while we travel. We are guided by "Take a photograph & leave zero foot print" and always travel that maximizes the benefits to local communities, minimizes negative social or environmental impacts and help local people conserve fragile cultures and habitats or species. Nature is not just for current generation what we firmly believe that meets the needs of present travelers and host regions while protecting and enhancing opportunities for the future.

We warmly welcome you all to take part this sustainable adventure travel and a couple of tips to start you thinking about traveling sustainably.

-Please bring rechargeable batteries, a battery charger (and plug adapter if necessary). Batteries are incredibly toxic and many places that we travel do not have proper disposal facilities. Rechargeable are best but if this is not possible we recommend that you bring any used batteries back home with you for proper disposal.

-Please ask before taking pictures. Just as you would not like to have a stranger come up to you and take a picture of you while sitting on your front porch either do the locals of the places that we visit. As you can imagine pictures of their children are also not appreciated.

Associated Children Education Project
Alpine Club is not just a business firm; it has a strong policy committed to ensure that we are socially responsible as well. We are helping per person per day US$1 donation to the charity www.cennepal.org.np from each person each trip.

How you can help?
There are numbers of children who are still away from the opportunity of getting educated in this 21st Century. Our aim is to provide these children a great opportunity to educate them and we warmly welcome you if anyone interested to help for sponsoring a child 80-100US$ for a child for one year.

Respect Local Dress
In Nepal the standard dress is more conservative than it is back home. In predominately while you travel in Nepal, India, Bhutan and Tibet we ask that you dress respectfully and avoid very short shorts/skirts and singlets/tank tops when visiting temples or mosques or other holy sites or local villages.

Feedback
We are not 100% but we do 110% towards your complete satisfaction in order to be sure that you get the best of what you have paid for and expect. After your travel, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is important to us. Please help us to help your friends and families for your next adventure travel. Please visit www.alpineclubofhimalaya.com/feedback

We Want Your Photos
Every travelers have fun in taking great photos while travelling, we always expect the great photos from your Alpine Club Travel. Please post them online in our photos collection! We will give you copywriter on your name. Simply go online to www.alpineclubofhimalaya.com/photo_collection

THANKS FOR TAKING TIME, SEE US IN KATHMANDU, HAVE A NICE DAY!!!

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