Himalayan Kingdoms - Sikkim and Bhutan
From $9,990 - 24 Days, Fully Inclusive from selected Australian cities
Join us on this incredible journey through relatively unknown parts of India and Sikkim and also to one of the world’s most exclusive tourist destinations, Bhutan.
Sikkim is located in northeast India and sits in the shadow of the world’s highest mountains. Life is conducted at a slower pace in comparison to the other parts of India, yet still is incredibly fascinating. Bhutan is famous for its dramatic landscapes, architecture and colourful heritage. Its rich Buddhist culture is still intact and permeates every aspect of Bhutanese life.
Both Sikkim and Bhutan are still relatively unspoilt by tourism. Experience the mystique and beauty of these wonderful lands that not many can say they have explored. You will not be disappointed!
DAY 1: AUSTRALIA TO KOLKATA
Fly with Singapore Airlines to Kolkata for a two night stay.
DAY 2: KOLKATA
Enjoy the morning at leisure. This afternoon visit the Victoria Memorial, drive past Fort William, visit Kumartuli and a Jain temple.
DAY 3: KOLKATA TO SILIGURI
Rise early for a morning tour of the Kalighat Temple, a local flower market, Howrah Bridge, Dalhousie Square, Secretariat Building and the Old Court House Street. Later, transfer to the railway station to board your train to New Jalpaiguri and upon arrival stay overnight in nearby Siliguri.
DAY 4: SILIGURI TO DARJEELING
Leave Siliguri and continue by road through the hills and tea plantations to Darjeeling. Darjeeling is located in the Lesser Himalaya, at an average elevation of 2,045m
DAY 5: DARJEELING
Rise early to enjoy a jeep ride to Tiger Hill and visit Ghoom Monastery. Later, head to the railway station to board the UNESCO World Heritage listed Toy Train for a ride around the hillside. This afternoon, tour a tea plantation and later, visit the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, whose objective is to promote and encourage the science and art of mountaineering in the Himalaya.
DAY 6: DARJEELING TO PELLING
Drive north to Pelling and cross into the state of Sikkim. Here you will visit the Pemayangtse Monastery, the oldest in Sikkim.
DAY 7: PELLING
Visit Khecheopalri Lake, one of the most sacred lakes in Sikkim for both Buddhists and Hindus. Later, visit the Kanchenjunga Falls.
DAYS 8-9: PELLING TO GANGTOK
Drive to Gangtok, visiting the sacred Tashiding Monastery en route. Tomorrow, visit the Enchey Monastery, Namgyal Institute of Tibetology and Do Drul Chorten.
DAY 10: GANGTOK TO KALIMPONG
Drive to Kalimpong, visiting Rumtek Monastery, which is also known as the Dharmachakra Centre, en route.
DAY 11: KALIMPONG
Enjoy the day free at your leisure to explore the quaint town of Kalimpong. Here you may wish to visit the many flower nurseries around the town, which are filled with local orchids, or simply enjoy walking through the town.
DAY 12: KALIMPONG TO GORUMARA WILDLIFE SANCTUARY
This morning travel to the Gorumara Wildlife Sanctuary and this afternoon take a jeep safari around the sanctuary, where you may see a One-Horned Rhino.
DAY 13: GORUMARA WILDLIFE SANCTUARY TO PHUENTOSHOLING
Drive to the Bhutan border. After clearing Customs and Immigration you will meet your Bhutanese Guide and continue to Phuentsholing, the gateway to Bhutan for overland travellers.
DAY 14: PHUENTSHOLING TO THIMPHU
Leave Phuentsholing and drive to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. Visit Kharbandi Gompa, a Tibetan Buddhist monastery en route.
DAY 15: THIMPU
Enjoy a tour of Thimpu; visit the National Library and the Institute for Zorig Chusum (painting school). You will also visit the 'Simply Bhutan' living musuem, Folk Heritage Musuem and National Textile Musuem. Tour Thimphu Zoo, the National Memorial Chorten, Trashi Chhoe Dzong and drive to Buddha Point.
DAY 16: THIMPU TO PUNAKHA
Travel to Punakha via Dochu La, (approximately 3 hours). Upon arrival, tour the Punakha Dzong and the Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten.
DAY 17: PUNAKHA TO BUMTHANG VIA TRONGSA
Leave Punakha and continue your journey to Trongsa (approximately 5.5 hours) through Pele-La. En route, visit Trongsa Dzong, built in 1648, and Ta Dzong Musuem, before continuing to Bumthang across Yutong-La and into the Chumey Valley. Afterwards, you will visit the Swiss Farm where Bhutan's only native beer is brewed.
DAY 18: BUMTHANG
Visit Kurje Lhakhang, Jambey Lhakhang, Tamshing Lhakhang and Jakar Dzong.
DAY 19: BUMTHANG TO PUNAKHA
Drive to Punakha along the scenic mountain highway (approximately 7 hours).
DAY 20: PUNAKHA TO PARO
This morning, hike to Chimi Lakhang, known as the 'Temple of Fertility' before continuing to Paro (approximately 4 hours). En route, visit the Simtokha Dzong, once a place of tantric teaching. Upon arrival in Paro, visit Ta Dzong and walk down a hillside trail to Rinpung Dzong.
DAY 21: PARO
Drive to the starting point for your hike to Taktsang Monastery, known as the 'Tiger's Nest'. The moderate hike takes all morning and lunch will be at the cafeteria, located halfway up the trail overlooking the 'Tiger's Nest'. Return to Paro in the afternoon, visiting Drugyal Dzong and Kyichu Lhakhang en route.
DAY 22: PARO TO KOLKATA
Drive to Paro Airport and fly back to Kolkata
DAY 23: DEPART KOLKATA
This morning is free at your leisure. You may wish to enjoy some last minute shopping close to your hotel. After a late check-out, you will be transferred to Kolkata airport to board your overnight flight to Australia.
DAY 24: ARRIVE AUSTRALIA
Arrive home today.
Wendy Wu Tours Review:
"This itinerary was well balanced, the excitement of India matched by the slower pace of Nepal. The National Escort is the key factor for any group tour. Our National Escort M K Jain was excellent. We had the same experience with our WWT China tour a couple of years ago and are one of the key factors in us continuing to select WWT as our Operator for these tours. The National Escort always made us feel that we were able to influence the final decision regarding which shops/factories to visit and for how long’.
We have travelled on group tours annually for the past five years. This India and Nepal tour has been the very best! ‘An excellent tour – exhilarating!"
Mr A Mifsud, Victoria - February 2011
Wendy Wu Tours Review:
"Sikkim is very beautiful and serene. The tea plantations add a special aura, but it is still exciting India. Bhutan with the small population is very different. Walking to Eagle’s Nest was well worth the effort and the horse ride to the top of the first stage was an exhilarating experience not to be missed!"
Important Note: Above prices include Fuel surcharges and tipping of $736 (correct as at Jul 2014 and subject to change). Please note the Tipping amount of USD150 is payable on arrival in India.
Note: Sightseeing and accommodation on DAY 18 is subject to availability of hotels in Punakha. If unavailable, tour members will stay overnight in Wangdue Phodrang.
Though status is regularly updated, availability above is indicative only, not live and hence does not guarantee that space is available on your selected tour when you or your agent calls Wendy Wu Tours to book. Booking early is the only way to ensure availability of your selected departure date.