Day 1: Australia – – Kathmandu (D)
Depart Australia today to begin your incredible Himalayan journey!
On arrival at Tribhuwan International Airport you will be met and transferred to your hotel in Kathmandu. Tonight, enjoying the evening with a welcome diner and cultural performance.
Day 2: Kathmandu (B)
Kathmandu city stands at an elevation of approximately 1,400 metres (4,600 ft) in the bowl-shaped Kathmandu Valley of central Nepal and is surrounded by four major hills: Shivapuri, Phulchoki, Nagarjun, and Chandragiri. Today, enjoy a full day tour of Kathmandu city and surrounding valley. Enjoy the Boudhanath. This ancient Stupa is one of the largest in the world and is on the ancient trade route from Tibet which enters the Kathmandu Valley by the village of Sankhu in the northeast corner. The Stupa is said to entomb the remains of Kassapa Buddha. See the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Patan Durbar Square, one of the three Durbar Squares in the Kathmandu Valley, all of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Day 3: Kathmandu – Bhaktapur – Ngarkot – Kathmandu (B)
Today, you’ll be taken to Nagarkot. Nagarkot, at an altitude of 2,175 meter above the sea level, is the most popular touristic destination out of the Kathmandu Valley. It is the favourite weekend gateway among those seeking a mountain view in comfort and ease. At sunrise, the Himalayan range, stretching from Dhaulagiri in the west all the way past Everest to Kanchenjunga in the east, emerges from the darkness to greet the happy visitors with its awe inspiring majesty and beauty. For those wishing to stretch their legs and enjoy the fresh morning air, there are charming walking trails as well as a lookout tower from which the sights can be taken in. Among all the places for mountain viewing around Kathmandu Valley, Nagarkot is usually considered to be the best. The views go from Dhaulagiri in the west to Kanchenjunga in the east. On a clear day you can see Mt. Everest (Sagarmatha). You can also see Manaslu (8,463m), Ganesh Himal (7,111m), and Langtang (7,246m).
Day 4: Kathmandu – – Bhadrapur – Gangtok (B)
This morning after breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport to board your flight to the town of Bhadrapur which borders India. On arrival, you will be met and driven across the border to the Sikkim capital, Gangtok in India (approx. 5hr drive). Upon arrival at the hotel the rest of the afternoon is at leisure.
Day 5: Gangtok (B)
Today, enjoy a sightseeing tour of this high mountain city. Visit the Rumtek Monastery from the 1700’s and the main seat of the Karma Kagyu Buddhism. See the Dro-dul Chorten, a large stupa surrounded by 108 prayer wheels. Continue on to the Enchey Monastery established in 1909 above the city of Gangtok. The monastery has a large collection of masks which are used for the annual ritual dances on display. Finally, finish of with a view over the region at the Nam Nam viewing point where there are breath-taking views of the dense forest of Tsomgo and a lush green valley below. After, return to the hotel where the afternoon is at leisure.
Day 6: Gangtok (B)
This morning, head out on a day tour to Tshangu Lake, at an altitude of 3,753m, it is a mesmerising sight to behold. The ethereally beautiful Tsomgo (Changu) which means “source of water” in Bhutia language (Local language of Sikkim) lake is located 38 kms away from the capital Gangtok on the Gangtok-Nathula highway which forms a part of the old trade route from India to China. The lake looks different in every season, in winter the peaceful lake remains frozen with the area and mountains around it all covered in snow while in late spring the abundance of flowers in bloom covers the whole area in wonderful colors and aroma around the lake. This lake is also a habitat for the red pandas and numerous rare species of birds which fly here in the beginning of the spring season and remain until the fall, if you’re lucky you might spot these incredible animals. After, return to Gangtok where the rest of the afternoon is at leisure.
Day 7: Gangtok – Pelling (B)
After breakfast, you will be drive to the town of Pelling (116kms / approx. 5hrs). Enroute, visit the Sikkim Temi Tea Garden. It is the only tea garden in Sikkim and considered one of the best in India and in the world, here learn about this famous tea. After, we coming along the road making a visit the the mountain town of Rabangla. Enjoy some time here to stretch your legs. The town is surround by towering snow-capped mountains with a massive central Buddhist statue watching over the area. Re-board your vehicle and continue on to Pelling. On arrival, check-in to the hotel and have time to relax before taking an evening walk to watch the sunset over Mt. Khangchendzonga. Khangchendzonga is an imposing sight, and the 3rd largest Mountain in the world at 8,586m. Watch as the sun casts beautiful orange hues on to the mountains snowy white backdrop, before returning to the hotel.
Day 8: Pelling – Pemayangtse – Pelling (B)
Today, go on a full day tour of the area around Pelling and Pemayangtse. Begin with the stunning Rimbi Waterfalls before witnessing the Rimbi Hydel Project, a small hydro station powering the surrounding areas. Before heading back to the hotel, we finish off the area with Kanchenjunga Falls. Feed by the melt water from Mt. Kanchenjunga, they are an awesome sight to behold. Continue back to the hotel for a rest or some lunch before heading out to see Pemayangtse Monastery. Built in 1705, it is one of the oldest and premier monasteries of Sikkim. After, continue on to Singshore Bridge, a spectacular cable suspension bridge set 100m about the canyon floor and the second highest bridge on the Asian continent. Finish off the day in Dantam Village and visit a local cheese shop before continuing back to the hotel where the rest of the evening is at leisure.
Day 9: Pelling – Yuksom (B)
After breakfast we drive to Yuksom (35 Km / approx. 2Hrs) on way visit Khecheopalri Lake, Khecheopalri Lake is one of the sacred Buddhist mountain lake wherever it is believed that whatever is wished in front of the lake comes true. Myth has it that when a leaf falls on the placid clear water surface is picked by a bird. A further drive takes you to Yuksom (the meeting place of three monks)- the first capital of Sikkim. This was the place where the first Chogyal (a ruling dynasty in Sikkim) was crowned.
Day 10: Yuksom (B)
Rise early this morning for a walk to the Dhubdi Monastery (built in 1700 AD it is the oldest in Sikkim). The way up to the Monastery takes approximately 45 minutes – 1 hour and is lined by a beautify grass forest along the way. The Monastery is still active and arriving early allows us to hopefully see the Buddhist monks in morning meditation. After some time to walk around the grounds of the Monastery, head back down to Yuksom where the afternoon is leisure.
Day 11: Yuksom – Kalimpong (B)
Today, depart Yuksom for Kalimpong (85kms / approx. 4hrs). This bustling bazaar town sprawls along a saddle-shaped mountain ridge overlooking the roaring Teesta River and lorded over by the summit of Khangchendzonga. It boasts Himalayan views, Buddhist monasteries, colonial-era architecture and a fascinating nursery industry, all linked by some fine hikes. You could easily fill three days here. This evening, visit a local flower nursery and see how wild flowers from the region at cultivated before enjoying the evening in Kalimpong.
Day 12: Kalimpong (B)
After breakfast enjoy a day of sightseeing. Begin with a visit to Dr Grahams House. This missionary school was set up by Dr. J A Graham in 1900 as an orphanage cum school for the destitute Anglo Indian children. It started only with one cottage that accommodated up to 35 children. Over the years it has grown as a well known multi religious and coeducational school spanning over 500 acres of lush landscape and having some 50 cottages. Visit the Nature Interpretation Centre and learn about the local flora and fauna native to the area. Head up Durbin Dara Hill, which offers a panoramic view of the town of Kalimpong, the snow-clad Himalayan ranges of West Sikkim, the Teesta river and its valleys. Finish off with the Jang Dong Palriffo Brang Monastery which was consecrated by the Dalai Lama and It contains all 108 volumes carried by the Dalai Lama in his exile.
Day 13: Kalimpong – Darjeeling (B)
Today we make the journey by road to Darjeeling (70kms / approx. 3hrs). On arrival, check in to your hotel, before heading out to enjoy a 1 hour ride on the famous ‘Toy Train’, sometimes thought of as the Darjeeling Express. While no actual train is called the Darjeeling Express, the Darjeeling Toy Train is a narrow gauge old British diesel locomotive and recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Toy Trains of Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) run along narrow gauge track passing through some of the most scenic mountain routes in the world. Known as one of the engineering marvels, the toy train track has several zigzags and loops on the way that help the train to negotiate steep gradients. And there are a number of small stations along the way. The sharpest curve has a radius of 69 feet. Mark Twain once came to Darjeeling in 1896. After his trip by the DHR Toy Train, he remarked “It is the most enjoyable day I have spent on earth.” The afternoon is the spent at leisure in the beautify surroundings of Darjeeling.
Day 14: Darjeeling (B)
Enjoy and early morning tour to Tiger Hills (at around 4 am) to view the sunrise over Mt Kanchenjunga Peak (subject to clear weather). On the way back visit Ghoom Monastery, Batasia Loop. After breakfast visit to Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park, Himalayan Mountaineering Institute and Tenzing & Gombu Rock before enjoying a visit to a local tea estate and learn about one of the region’s famous agricultural exports.
Day 15: Darjeeling – Bhadrapur (B)
Today, enjoy breakfast at the hotel before being transferred from Darjeeling to the Nepalese border. After completing immigration we will proceed to Bhadrapur Airport to board a flight back to Kathmandu. Enjoy another spectacular flight over the Himalaya mountains. On arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel where to rest of the evening is at leisure.
Day 16: Kathmandu – – Australia (B)
Today there is leisure time until you are transferred to the airport for your departure flight home.
Day 17: Australia
Arrive home today.