Brand G Nepal & Bhutan Exploration 2018

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New Delhi, Kathmandu, Paro, Thimphu, Punakha

From 10/27/2018 to 11/05/2018

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10-day Nepal and Bhutan adventure.

Immerse yourself in the natural beauty and culture of two beautiful Himalayan Kingdoms in one magical tour. Enter the serene and spiritual lands of Nepal and Bhutan, and experience the countries’ rich histories and unique cultural heritages.

From the brightly colored fluttering prayer flags of Nepal to the elaborate traditional dress of the Bhutanese, these fascinating countries will delight your inner explorer.

While the natural sights of this incredible region are hard to surpass, this tour does not neglect the local culture and traditions. Learn the ancient arts of traditional healing, meditate with monks in centuries-old monasteries, and shop at markets crowded with local artisans. And you’ll do all this while staying in a premium selection of the region’s finest hotels as a Brand g host ensures your comfort throughout.

In Nepal, you’ll wander Kathmandu’s old narrow alleys, carved temples and bustling markets, visit Durbar Square, the 5th-century Swayambhunath stupa, explore the medieval city of Bhaktapur and catch a birds-eye-view of Everest with an optional 1-hour mountain flight. In Bhutan, you’ll discover the impressive 12th-century Changangkha Lhakhang temple, visit the Folk Heritage Museum, the 108 memorial stupas(Druk Wangyal Chortens) and climb to the cliff-side Taktsang monastery(Tiger’s Nest) perched 3,000 ft. above the lush valley.

You can combine the Nepal and Bhutan trip with our Splendors of India Cruise and Tour for a comprehensive 22-day vacation.

Touring Highlights

  • Visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Pashupatinath and Kathmandu Durbar Square
  • Explore Boudhanath, the largest Buddhist stupa in Asia
  • Visits to Bhaktapur and Patan, the oldest settlements in the valley
  • Swayambhunath the “Monkey Temple”
  • Optional 1-hour mountain flight, focus on Mt. Everest
  • Experience Thimphu, the capital of the Kingdom of Bhutan and the nation’s largest city
  • Stroll the Thimphus Farmers Weekend Market
  • Tour the Motithang Takin Preserve, a wildlife reserve area for Takin, the national animal of Bhutan
  • Visit the fortresses Punakha Dzong and Rinpung Dzong
  • Hike to the striking monastic retreat of Paro Taktsang, the “Tiger’s Nest”
  • Includes program internal flights – Delhi to Kathmandu, Kathmandu to Paro and Paro to Delhi
  • Includes 9 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches and 8 Dinners

Day 1 – October 27, 2018
Arrival New Delhi
Arrive at the New Delhi airport, where you will be greeted by a Brand g representative, who will transfer you to the Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel.

Day 2 – October 28, 2018
New Delhi / Kathmandu
Early this morning you are transferred to the airport to board flight to Kathmandu. On arrival in Kathmandu you are transferred to hotel for check-in. Kathmandu, capital of the Nepal, and one of the world’s oldest cities. Following check-in, begina sightseeing tour of Pasupatinath, Nepal’s most sacred Hindu temple and pilgrimage destination. Continue touring with a visit to the city of Boudhanath. Bouddhanath is an important venue for Buddhist rituals and festivals at various important times of the year when Buddhists from all over Nepal and parts of India gather.
(B/D)

Day 3 – October 29, 2018
Kathmandu
This morning sightseeing tour of Patan City, the oldest settlement in the valley. This venerable city of artists began to be built around 299 AD and located on the southern bank of the Bagmati River five kilometers south-east of Kathmandu City, perhaps has more Buddhist and Hindu temples than Kathmandu itself. Two-third of the people here are Buddhists. Local claim that the bronze and wooden gateways and windows, statues of deities, wood carving and metal works demonstrate Patan’s superiority in craftsmanship and stone architecture. This could be true when one visits the small but exquisite Golden Temple tucked away in a small by-way and the Krishna Temple in the Patan Durbar Square.

Following lunch at a local restaurant, we proceed to visit Bhaktpur, literally meaning “City of Devotees”, calling it the “living Museum” is more apt. Founded in 889 AD, with the Khasa Khusung and Hanumante Rivers on either side, Bhaktapur boasts of an immense palace complex in the center surrounded by numerous other temples which reflects the supreme craftsmanship of the city’s artisans. In the middle of the Durbar Square stands the magnificent “pachpan jhyaley mahal” (Palace of 55 Windows), residence of the former kings. Other “must see’s are the Big Bell, the stunningly exquisite Golden Gate, the five-tiered Nyatapola Temple, the Bhairab Temple and the wood carving and metal work museums in Dattaraya Square. (B/L/D)

Day 4 – October 30, 2018
Kathmandu
This morning we visit the Kathmandu Durbar Square, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where one sees the old residence of Nepalese royalty, Hanuman Dhoka (The Monkey God’s Gate) Palace which also houses a museum. Hanuman Dhoka is surrounded by a plethora of temples dedicated to Shiva the Destroyer, Vishnu the Preserver, Kali the Avenging Consort of Shiva, Indra the God of Rain and the magnificent four-storied Temple of Goddess Taleju, Protectors of the Valley, which is opened to the public only on one day of the year during Nepal’s most important festival, Dashain. Here also one finds the temple of the Kumari, the Virgin Living Goddess who, several times a day will gracefully deign to come to her ornate first floor window to give audience to visitors. Nearby is the Kashtamandap temple, dedicated to Shiva and his son Ganesh (the God with the elephant head), and said to have been built from the wood of one single tree. The modern name Kathmandu is derived from Kashtamandap, meaning “House of Wood”.
Thereafter we visit Swayambhunath, situated at a hill overlooking Kathmandu city, said to be over two thousand years, is one the oldest Buddhist stupa)in the world. Beneath the high spire and gilt copper pinnacle and on all four sides, the allseeing eyes of the Buddha gaze out at the world. The temple also represents the hybrid religion of Buddhism-Hinduism practiced by many inhabitants of the valley. Inside and outside the Temple area are many superbly crafted images of the Buddha and other entities losely linked to Buddism. Visitors have dubbed Swayambhunath the “Monkey Temple” as a large group of monkeys resides in the vicinity. (B/D)

Day 5 – October 31, 2018
Kathmandu / Paro / Thimphu
Late morning transfer to airport for flight to Paro.
On arrival at Paro airport drive to Thimphu (approx 1-hr), the capital of the Kingdom of Bhutan and the nation’s largest city. Check into hotel. Day free for rest. (B/D)

Day 6 – November 1, 2018
Thimphu
Today sightseeing of the majors places of the city. In the morning visit an Arts & Crafts School, the Folk Heritage Museum, a traditional house that showcases rural life. Exhibits and cultural shows are held in the museum compound; and the Changangkha Lhakhang: constructed in the 15th century, is one of the oldest temples in the Thimphu Valley, and is dedicated to Avalokiteshvara, the Buddhist emanation of compassion. The temple affords wonderful views over the entire valley. Lunch in the local restaurant. In the afternoon, visit Memorial Chorten (from outside), which dominates the skyline of Thimphu. It was built in 1974 to honour the 3rd King of Bhutan. This prominent landmark in the city has golden spires and bells; the Motithang Takin Preserve, a wildlife reserve area for Takin, the national animal of Bhutan. Native to Bhutan, India, and China, the Takin are docile creatures whose unique appearance attract special attention. Local legends attribute the creation of these animals in Bhutan by a 15th century saint name Drukpa Kunley, popularly known as the Divine Madman; the giant Statue of Sakyamuni Buddha, sitting on top of Kuensel Phodrang hill is a 51.5m bronze statue of the founder of Buddhism. The site also offers unobstructed views over the Thimphu Valley – especially stunning at sunset. and Takin Preservation Center. (B/L/D)

Day 7 – November 2, 2018
Thimphu / Punakha
Breakfast at the hotel. Later drive to Punakha (approx. 3 hrs) crossing over the Dochu-La Pass. Weather permitting enjoy the beautiful views of the mountains from the pass. Visit the 108 memorial stupas known as Druk Wangyal Chortens that were built by Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuk, the eldest Queen Mother. We descend into Punakha Valley and visit the ChimiLakhang, the fertility temple dedicated to famous Buddhist Lama Drukpa Kunley.

Lunch in the local restaurant and check into hotel. Punakha was the capital of Bhutan until the 1960’s, and still retains the serene atmosphere of a place with a regal past.

In the afternoon, visit the Punakha Dzong (fortress) majestically standing on an island between the confluence of the Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu rivers, the city’s dzong is one of the most photogenic of all Bhutan’s ancient fortresses. The dzong is joined to the mainland by an arched wooden bridge, and contains many precious relics from the days when successive kings reigned the kingdom from this valley. (B/L/D)

Day 8 – November 3, 2018
Punakha / Paro
Breakfast at the hotel. Thereafter drive to Paro (approx 4-hrs). Lunch at a local restaurant and check into hotel. Paro is a historic town with many sacred sites and historical buildings scattered through the area. The Paro Valley is wide and verdant and is recognized a one of the most beautiful in all Bhutan. Afternoon visit the National Museum (Ta dzong), which has a fascinating collection of arts relics, religious Thangkha paintings and a national history collection; and the Paro Dzong Rinpung Dzong, the “fortress of the heap of Jewels” was built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal on a hill above the township. Walk over the old Cantilever bridge and free time in Paro town. (B/L/D)

Day 9 – November 4, 2018
Paro
Following breakfast, enjoy a hike to the striking monastic retreat of Paro Taktsang, the “Tiger’s Nest” (3120m), built into a sheer cliff face above the forested Paro Valley. This is the most famous temple in Bhutan and one of the venerated pilgrim sites of the Himalayan world. Padmasambhava, the great 8th century Buddhist saint and teacher, is thought to have landed at this spot after flying over the mountains from Tibet on the back of a tigress, thus bringing the teachings of Buddhism to Bhutan. The primary temple was built around Padmasambhava’s meditation cave in 1684. Enjoy lunch en route at a teahouse midway with fantastic views of the monastery. (B/L/D)

Day 10 – November 5, 2018
Paro
After breakfast at the hotel, you are transferred to the airport to board your departure flight. (B)

Radisson Blu – New Delhi
(Superior Room) As one of the closest luxury hotels to the Delhi airport, the Radisson Blu Plaza Delhi provides a convenient location without compromising comfort. Enjoy the many amenities, Western and Asian dining options and spacious guest rooms during your overnight stay in New Delhi.
Hyatt Kathmandu
Hyatt Regency Kathmandu is a 5 star luxury hotel and resort in Kathmandu, Nepal offering internet access to all guests. The hotel is set on 37 acres of landscaped grounds, and created in the traditional Newari style of Nepalese architecture This beautiful hotel and resort is located on the road to the Boudhanath Stupa: the most holy of all Tibetan Buddhist shrines outside of Tibet, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site which is walking distance from the hotel – about five minutes away.
Le Meridien – Thimphu
Located in the heart of the capital city, Thimphu, the Le Méridien Thimphu invites the discerning guest to engage and discover the legendary ‘Land of the Thunder Dragon’, Bhutan.

With cosmopolitan surroundings amidst the bustling commercial streets of the city-centre, and a convenient location to many of the city’s myriad attractions, the Le Méridien Thimphu is a compelling choice for hosting business meetings, and the perfect jumpstart to that long awaited leisurely holiday.

Dhensa Resort-Punakha
Dhensa Boutique Resorts sits in the heart of the verdant and lush Punakha Valley. Flanked by thick pine forests, it overlooks the Punakha river and hundreds of paddy fields that stair-step down to the valley floor. It is surrounded by plentiful walking and trekking trails. From Dhensa Punakha, it is just a five-minute trek up the mountain to the magnificent Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Lhakhang Nunnery, which houses one of the biggest bronze statues of Chenrigzig (Avalokiteshvara) in the country.
Zhiwaling Hotel-Paro
Set on 10 acres, Zhiwa Ling has many amenities available to guests. The spa offers all the facilities guests could want; a fitness centre, sauna, steam room as well as a traditional Bhutanese outdoor hot-stone bath. There is a business centre, Tea House, two fully equipped conference rooms, a Meditation House and the hotel has it’s own greenhouse. The two restaurants specialise in contemporary international cuisine and classic Bhutanese dishes. Gathering at the Mad Monk Bar for a pre dinner drink or after-hours fun is a highlight for guests.

Honoring the spiritual heritage of this ancient Buddhist kingdom, a temple has been built into the second floor of the hotel, made with 450-year-old timbers from the famous Gangtey Monastery, the crowning glory of this new cultural landmark.

2 Night Post Program Extension – November 5–7
New Delhi, India

• Double occupancy pricing: $699 per person
• Single occupancy pricing: $999

Complete your exciting journey with a visit to captivating New Delhi. Enjoy two nights stay, at the luxurious Imperial New Delhi hotel, as you explore the capital territory. The Imperial is an iconic property in Delhi’s 5 star hotel category and the most distinguished address situated in the heart of the capital. The Hotel is steps away from Connaught Place, the renowned shopping district and is very close to the city’s major attractions.

November 5, 2018 –
Arrive at the Delhi airport where you will be met by a Brand g representative and transferred to your hotel for two nights in an Imperial room, at the deluxe Imperial Hotel in New Delhi. Meet your fellow travelers at an evening welcome reception at the hotel.

November 6, 2018 –
After the welcome briefing, the comprehensive tour introduces you to the bustling city’s landmarks, passing the imposing Red Fort, President’s Palace and City Gate, and discovering the narrow lanes of Old Delhi via a rickshaw ride. Visit Raj Ghat, the memorial to Mahatma Gandhi, Humayun’s Tomb, a 16th century landmark of Mughal architecture inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list, and Qutab Minar, also a UNESCO site. This evening, join your fellow travelers for dinner at the hotel. (B/L/D)

November 6, 2018 –
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before transferring to the airport for your departure flight. (B)

Suggested Attire
Attire is casual and comfortable during the day, with sturdy footwear for excursions. Evening wear consists of open-neck shirts, slacks, or similar attire. Fleece jackets or sweaters are advisable for cool evenings. Other items to consider: shorts, swimsuit, hat, sunglasses and rain jacket.
Currency
The official currency in India is the Indian rupee; Nepal uses the Nepalese Rupee; and the Bhutanese Ngultrum is the currency of Bhutan. Major credit cards are accepted in most shops. As exchange rates in Asia fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for exchange rates: www.xe.com
Dietary Requirements
We will make every effort to accommodate special dietary requests. Please inform our office at least 60 days prior to departure of these requests.
Electricity
The voltage in India, Nepal and Bhutan is officially 220/50Hz. To use any electrical product from the US that is not dual voltage, you will need an electrical converter. We recommend bringing an adapter for use in the hotels. The most common socket types are the two round-prong plug type such as is found in Europe or three round-prong plug such as that found in India. Because the voltage may fluctuate at times, we also recommend unplugging your devices when not in use or when leaving them unattended.
Gratuities
Gratuities are customary expressions of appreciation for a job well done. It is our goal to ensure that the service you receive is as wonderful as the sites you visit. While we have collected pre-paid gratuities with your reservation, at your own discretion you may choose to provide additional tips.
Altitude
In spite of being among the highest peaks in the world, the elevations you will experience on our Bhutan/Nepal custom tours are not extreme. Kathmandu is at 4,500 feet; Paro, which is situated in foothills of the Himalayas is at 7,300. There is time to move at a comfortable pace, allowing travelers to adjust to the mountain air. Keeping hydrated, avoiding excessive alcohol, eating frequent, light meals, and getting plenty of rest will help with any effects of altitude that you may feel.
Passport and Visas Requirements
A passport, which is valid for six months after your last date of travel, is required for this trip.

Visa Requirements – citizens of almost every country require tourist visas to enter India, Nepal and Bhutan.

You will be required to obtain a multiple entry visa to India, which you will need to apply for in advance. The soonest you may apply is 3 months prior to your last day in India. We will remind you at the appropriate time and provide instructions.

You will also need an entry visa for Nepal. The Nepalese visa may be obtained upon arrival to the airport in Kathmandu for $25usd payable by cash or credit card.

We will obtain the Bhutan visa on your behalf approximately 45 days prior to the trip start date. We will require a clear copy of your passport and a clear passport photo in order to process this visa.
Vaccination Requirements and Health Recommendations
US citizens should consult the Centers for Disease Control website http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/or your health care provider for vaccination requirements and recommendations. Citizens of all other countries should consult their government’s national disease center or their physician.

Important Notice
Thank you for choosing this Brand g for your vacation. To ensure that you understand the conditions of your particular vacation, please read the following policies and procedures completely. All policies and procedures are subject to change at any time at Brand g’s sole discretion without notice. Any and all information contained herein is in effect at the time of publishing and is subject to change at any time.

Information contained in this webpage does not form part of any offer or contract. Terms and Conditions will be included with your travel documents and contains complete and important information regarding cancellations, itineraries, health and immigration requirements, and other relevant information.

Itinerary arrival and departure times are always subject to change without notice. Brand g reserves the right to cancel, alter, advance, postpone or substitute any portion of the itinerary, which, in its sole judgment and discretion, is justified for any reason, and to do so without liability for any loss whatsoever to guests as a result of said change(s). Brand g is not responsible for incidents such as airline cancellations, re-routings or any disruption of scheduled services or accommodation, or lost luggage.

All schedules, fares, and terms and conditions listed in this website are effective as of June 2017 and supersede any schedules, prices, and terms and conditions previously published.

All fares including land and hotel, are capacity controlled, subject to change at anytime without notice and do not guarantee availability. All are subject to change and/or cancellation without notice.

Travel documents will not be dispatched until full and final payment and passenger Contact Information has been received by Brand g and cleared. For purposes of this Agreement, Contact Information shall mean a guest’s full name, passport number, address, telephone number (land and mobile), electronic mail address and emergency contact information and any other information as requested by Brand g.

Travel Professionals
Travel agents are considered to be the agent of guest and not of Carrier. Carrier is not liable for any representation, act or omission of Guest’s travel agent. Guest’s fare is not considered paid until Carrier receives full payment, and the amount thereof is subject to change at any time prior to Carrier’s receipt of payment. Guest shall at all times remain liable to Carrier for the price of passage. Carrier reserves the right to refuse travel if all charges and surcharges have not been paid in advance of departure.

Deposit/Final Payment
To reserve your tour, a $850 per person deposit is required at the time of booking. Full payment is due no later than 120 days prior to departure. Guests will not be permitted to change travel agents once final payment has been received. Final documentation will be issued after receipt of final payment and approximately 30 days prior to tour. All reservations are subject to cancellation if payments are not received by the due date, and are guaranteed only when paid in full 120 days prior to tour. Reservations made within 120 days of tour require full payment within seven days of booking or sooner, as specified by Brand g Vacations. Payments may be made by AMEX / VISA®/ MasterCard® or DISCOVER®.

Cancellations/Refunds
Should you find it necessary to cancel your reservation or any component thereof, you or your travel professional are required to contact Brand g Vacations directly by telephone as well as submit your cancellation in writing. Refunds are subject to the schedule below regardless of suite/cabin resale and cancellation charges may not be converted to future tour credits:

Cancellation Charges

121 days or more before departure –> $500 per person
120 – 91 days prior to departure –> 50% of the total per person fare
90 – 0 days prior to departure –>100% of the total per person fare
Health Requirements
All guests are required to report to Brand g Vacations at the time of their reservation is made:

  1. Any physical or mental condition that may require medical or professional treatment or attention during the voyage
  2. Any condition that may render the guest unfit for travel, or that may require special care or assistance
  3. Any condition that may pose a risk or danger to the guest or anyone else on board the ship
  4. Any condition that may require oxygen for medical reasons
  5. Any intention or need to use a wheelchair cart, other mobility device

By booking passage on this program, the guest represents and warrants that he/she is physically and otherwise fit to travel, and that the guest will comply at all times with applicable rules and regulations of the guides.

Baggage
Airlines are strict with baggage limitations. Guests are encouraged to contact individual airlines for weight limitations.

All baggage must be securely packed, and properly and clearly labeled. Liquid, fragile, perishable and other articles not suitably packed are transported at your own risk. Brand g is not responsible for loss or damage to baggage or any other personal item during air travel or land extension programs.

We recommend that you hand-carry travel documents (passport, visa, cruise tickets), medications and valuables. These items are the full responsibility of the guest at all times. Brand g shall not be responsible for the loss of, or damage to, such personal items.

Travel Documents
All travel documents (air tickets, passport and medical insurance information) are the guest’s responsibility. It is also the guest’s responsibility to obtain any necessary visas and public health documents for all applicable countries and to comply with all customs requirements. Without the required documents, a guest may be denied boarding or accommodations and Brand g Vacations will not make a refund or be otherwise liable to any guest for such denial of boarding or lodging.

In the event that Brand g provides information or advice as to necessary travel documents, visas and medical inoculations, guests are still obligated to verify such information with the appropriate government authorities and we do not warrant or guarantee the accuracy of such information. Please check with the appropriate consulate for specific requirements. Security measures imposed by governments may change from time to time and each guest will be required to comply with them. As a courtesy, we will endeavor to provide each guest with notice of measures that may affect them, but complying with any such requirements is the sole responsibility of each guest. Please consult your travel professional for advice on such requirements to avoid loss of boarding privileges.

Errors and Omissions
All fares, and itineraries are subject to change without notice. Additional restrictions may apply. We reserve the right to correct any errors or omissions.

Our website may contain inadvertent technical or factual inaccuracies and typographical errors. Brand g Vacations reserves the right to correct errors and omissions at any time without prior notice, and to cancel any offered product, service, amenity, etc. in the event of any error or omission in the description, including pricing and availability.

Video / Photographic Release
You agree to participate in promotional, publicity, or merchandising pictures during this event. You hereby authorize the reproduction, sale, copyright, broadcast and /or distribution of said video, sound recording and pictures without limitations. You further agree and release Brand g, its parent, subsidiary companies, their representatives and agents from any liability, loss, expense or claims arising from distribution, broadcast, sale or use of your likeness or voice. You certify that you are 21 years of age or over. You may opt out of any promotional videos and pictures; however Brand g does not guarantee that you will not be included.