Himalayan Kingdoms - Sikkim and Bhutan
From $7,762 - 23 Days, Fully Inclusive from selected Australian cities
Join us on this incredible journey through a relatively unknown part of India and 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. It is slower paced in comparison to the other parts of India, yet incredibly fascinating.
Bhutan is famous for its dramatic landscapes, architecture and colourful heritage. Buddhist culture is still richly 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 won’t be disappointed!
DAY 1: AUSTRALIA TO KOLKATA
Fly with Singapore Airlines to Kolkata for an overnight stay.
DAY 2: KOLKATA TO NEW JALPAIGURI
Enjoy a tour of Kolkata, visiting a Jain temple, the Kali Ma temple and the Victoria Memorial. Drive past the Howrah Bridge, Dalhousie Square, Fort William, Secretariat Building, Old Court House Street, the flower market and Kumartuli. This evening transfer to the railway station to board your overnight soft sleeper train to New Jalpaiguri.
DAY 3: NEW JALPAIGURI TO DARJEELING
This morning, arrive into New Jalpaiguri and continue by road through the hills and tea plantations to Darjeeling.
DAY 4: DARJEELING
Rise early and 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 visit a tea plantation followed by the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, housing the oldest mountaineering museum in India.
DAY 5: 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 6: PELLING
Visit Khecheopalri Lake and Kanchenjunga Falls. Khecheopalri Lake is considered to be one of the most sacred lakes of Sikkim by both Buddhists and Hindus.
DAY 7: PELLING TO GANGTOK
Drive to Gangtok, visiting the sacred Tashiding Monastery en route.
DAY 8: GANGTOK
Visit Enchey Monastery, Namgyal Institute of Tibetology and Do Drul Chorten.
DAY 9: GANGTOK TO KALIMPONG
Drive to Kalimpong, a small but rapidly expanding market town, visiting Rumtek Monastery en route.
DAY 10: KALIMPONG
Enjoy the day free at your leisure to explore the quaint town of Kalimpong.
DAY 11: KALIMPONG TO GORUMARA WILDLIFE SANCTUARY
Venture to the Gorumara Wildlife Sanctuary, famous for its population of the One-Horned Rhino. This afternoon take a jeep safari around the sanctuary.
DAY 12: GORUMARA WILDLIFE SANCTUARY TO PHUENTSHOLING
Travel 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 13: PHUENTSHOLING TO THIMPHU
Leave Phuentsholing and drive to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. Visit Kharbandi Gompa, a Tibetan Buddhist monastery en route.
DAY 14: THIMPHU
Enjoy a tour of Thimphu; visit Trashi Chhoe Dzong, the National Library and the Institute for Zorig Chusum (painting school). You will also visit the National Institute of Traditional Medicine, the National Memorial Chorten, the government-run Handicrafts Emporium, Folk Heritage Museum and National Textile Museum. This afternoon visit part of Thimphu Zoo, to see the unique Bhutanese Takin.
DAY 15: THIMPHU TO PUNAKHA
Leave Thimphu and drive up to Dochu La, stopping en route to view Simtokha Dzong. Later, visit Punakha Dzong and the Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten.
DAY 16: PUNAKHA TO BUMTHANG
Leave Punakha and continue your journey to Bumthang via Trongsa. Cross Pele La and Yotong La passing prayer flags and stop at the 18th-century Nepalese-style Chendbji Chorten en route.
DAY 17: BUMTHANG TO TRONGSA
Visit Kurje Lhakhang, the site where St. Padmasambhava is said to have subdued a local demon. Later, visit Jambey Lhakhang, Tamshing Lhakhang and Jakar Dzong. This afternoon drive back to Trongsa and visit Trongsa Dzong.
DAY 18: TRONGSA TO PUNAKHA
Not long after passing back through Pele La, you will leave the National Highway and drive into Gangtey Valley, continuing to Punakha or Wangdue Phodrang.
DAY 19: PUNAKHA TO PARO
Drive to Paro on your last long distance drive. Upon arrival visit Ta Dzong and walk down a hillside trail to Rinpung Dzong.
DAY 20: PARO
Drive to the starting point for your hike to Taktshang Monastery, known as the ‘Tiger’s Nest’. The moderate hike takes all morning and lunch will be at the cafeteria run by monks, 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 21: PARO TO KOLKATA
Rise early this morning and drive to Paro airport for your flight back to Kolkata.
DAY 22: DEPART KOLKATA
Enjoy the morning free at your leisure. After a late check-out, you will be transferred to Kolkata airport to board your overnight flight to Australia.
DAY 23: ARRIVE AUSTRALIA
Arrive home this morning.
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 $682 (correct as at May 2013 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.
Excited to explore more of India? Why not discover eastern India with our East India Splendour package?
Additional fees and taxes may apply.