Himalayan Kingdoms – Sikkim and Bhutan
From $9,326 - 24 Days, fully inclusive from selected Australian cities
Join us on this incredible journey through a relatively unknown part of India, Sikkim, and also one of the world’s most exclusive tourist destinations, Bhutan.
Sikkim is located in north-east 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 it’s still 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. Darwin passengers may depart one day earlier.
DAY 2: KOLKATA
Enjoy the morning free at leisure. This afternoon visit the Victoria Memorial, drive past Fort William and visit Kalighat Temple.
DAY 3: KOLKATA TO SILIGURI
Rise early for a tour of a local flower market, Howrah Bridge, Kumartuli and a Jain temple. 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 this morning for 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 one of the many tea plantations in the area and visit the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, which was created 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, and 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
Visit the Old Rumtek Monastery and Dharma Chakra Centre before continuing to Kalimpong, located deep in the Himalaya.
DAY 11: KALIMPONG
Take a break from driving and enjoy the day free at your leisure to explore the quaint town of Kalimpong. You may wish to visit the local monastery to hear the monks chanting or stroll through the local markets.
DAY 12: KALIMPONG TO GORUMARA WILDLIFE SANCTUARY
This morning travel to the Gorumara Wildlife Sanctuary where you might be lucky enough to spot a One Horned Rhino on your afternoon jeep safari.
DAY 13: GORUMARA WILDLIFE SANCTUARY TO PHUENTSHOLING
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: THIMPHU
Enjoy a tour of Thimphu; visit the National Library and the Institute for Zorig Chusum (painting school). You will also visit the National Institute of Traditional Medicine, Folk Heritage Museum and National Textile Museum, tour Thimphu Zoo, the National Memorial Chorten, Trashi Chhoe Dzong and drive to Buddha Point.
DAY 16: THIMPHU TO PUNAKHA
Travel to Punakha via Dochu La. Upon arrival, tour the Punakha Dzong and the Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten.
DAY 17: PUNAKHA – TRONGSA TO BUMTHANG
Drive to Trongsa, stopping en route at Wangdue Paodrang to visit a local market. Ascend to Pele La, marked by prayer flags, and stop at the small village of Chendebji for lunch. Pass through Trongsa, visiting Trongsa Dzong and Ta Dzong Museum. Cross the Chumey Valley and arrive into Bumthang.
DAY 18: BUMTHANG
Visit Kurje Lhakhang, Jambay 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
Hike to Chimi Lhakhang, 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, constructed in 1644.
DAY 21: PARO
This morning you will hike to Taktsang Monastery, known as the ‘Tiger’s Nest’. The moderate hike will take you past the cafeteria located halfway up the trail where you will have lunch. Return to Paro in the afternoon, visiting Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the most sacred temples in Bhutan, en route.
DAY 22: PARO TO KOLKATA
Drive to Paro airport and fly back to Kolkata.
DAY 23: DEPART KOLKATA
The morning is free at your leisure. 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.
"An excellent tour – exhilarating!"Reviewed:
Mr A Mifsud
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!
Travelled on: Himalayan Kingdoms – Sikkim and Bhutan
Dates & Prices
Singapore Airlines - Above prices include fuel surcharges and tipping of $802. Please note the Tipping amount of USD155 (AUD168) is payable on arrival in Bhutan.
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.